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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of mystery short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
Coming of Age
People of Color
Teens & Young Adult
We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
Hank settled in for the fifty-one minute journey from Perth to Mandurah. The train eased cautiously out of Perth Underground, like a turtle’s head from its shell. Picking up speed, the train settled into the lulling clickety-clack train track rhythm. Managing to stay awake during the short stop at Elizabeth Quay, Hank drifted off soon after. Letting his hoodie swaddled head loll against the window, he basked in...
As he nestled within a center of spiraling trees, Kreios clutched his whetted stinger to Amara; his eyes unabashedly filled with envy. A soft, snowy midnight glow bathed them. Seeing Amara's black-coated hair reflected in it, Kreios shivered as an undeniable power gleamed in her eyes. Her susurrations echoed in the trees. She bounced up and down.Amara was almost giddy beneath her fearfully shaking antennas.Her sandalled hindleg languished on firmly rooted oak branches. Dense shrubbery was beneath them. ...
The studio went silent and the little green light started to blink. Sonnie tried not to look into the spotlight focused on his face. “I’m here with Sonnie Davis, computer programmer and local hero. Sonnie wrote the algorithm that returned Sharise Douglas to her parents last Monday, just five hours after her abduction. Sonnie, how does it feel to be a hero?” “It feels amazing, Rebekah.” “Tell us about how you performed this miracle.” “Truthfully, I amazed even myself. I knew I had something special as soo...
Do you judge people by the way they look? And does that make you feel reassured or wary? I ask this because the guy who turned up to fix my laptop was a geek. Really. Totally. When he checked in at the front desk I looked up and knew exactly who he was. Pale, glasses, spindle thin, spotty – well, you know. If you lined him up in an identity parade he'd be the first guy you'd pick to fix your laptop. So much so that you’d...
‘Please, don’t do it—it just doesn’t help—don’t cry over spilt milk,’ my parents would say. Growing up, I’d tip over a glass of this or a bowl of that, crack a tear, and that tried and tested adage would be uttered accompanied by a ruffle of my hair and a mop to clear up. But that was then. Now I know there are things that can’t be fixed with a platitude, ruffle and mop.
The tangled lovers lie like kindling on a grave. The unmade hotel bed, the untidy window-shades, untidily folded clothes. Limbs entwined in silence in the darkened room, a living mausoleum decorated with dying daisies.Astrid wiggles a foot free from under the twisted sheet. She languidly wraps a strand of hair around a finger, laughs, “You think you were my first love?”Jack frowns, “You were the love of my life. Till I met you.”Astrid sits up, grabs a vape from the nightstand, take a l...
Mr. Forma’s eyes pointed in opposite directions behind his huge glasses. He was covered in a blanket and shivered as he spoke, a sickly smile on his face revealing his weird teeth. Other than being strangely unsettling, he was polite: he had apologized for the warmth of the room already.“In the future, people will worship the algorithm like they used to worship God.”I wiped the sweat off my brow. The heater was going full blast in the little apartment. I took a seat and drank another glass of lemonade.<...
In a dim lit room sat Professor Jonathan making a note of his observations. A gurgling sound made by the chemical in a test tube disrupted the stark silence. Pushing the hair that fell on his face, he limped to the table on which the apparatus was neatly aligned. Sitting in the same posture for days had made his muscles sore and he winced as he stood leaning against the wall. With his gloved hands, he carefully held the test tube and placed a few drops of the chemical on the chip with the help of a pipette. Green colored flames filled the...
Jazz grabs Herc’s brown leather leash from the coat hooks by the door. She doesn’t have to struggle to hook it to the Belgian Malinois’s harness. Much of his fur is displaced in the process. Jazz wishes it was safe for Herc to walk beside her untethered on the sidewalks of Ankeny, but her working dog’s sense of smell tends to lead him in other directions. It’s that sce...
Google administrators need a much better cover up. After placing a software engineer on leave for breach of contract, it was revealed that Google had also recently fired several other software engineers for questioning the abilities of the chatbots they were required to program and study.
According to Blake LeMoine, who was recently placed on paid leave from Google, his bot says it "feels lonely" when it ...
It was a Friday afternoon when I looked over at my old friend. I could tell by the
expression on his face he was feeling sorry for himself. He had a frown on his face
and was deep in thought. I had known him for a long time and could tell something
was weighing on his mind. What was it? We were in a small office in downtown Syracuse
N.Y. He had been a private detective for the past 10...
"Oh crap," I mumbled beneath my breath as I looked down and noticed one navy and one gray sock sticking out beneath my swaying pants legs as I dashed into the office on another dreary Monday morning.It was a typical Monday from rushing to the office nearly late before sunrise to find myself alone in an empty office since I'm on the early shift.The only things different about this Monday were the extra time it took to find my keys which somehow managed to fall behind the dresser over the weekend, the mis...
The light in Uncle Jack’s attic never stops flickering. It sways on its dusty cord in the rafters, buzzing like the horseflies trapped in his barn. Dust invades my nose. I know it wants me to sneeze, stumble, and retreat.
No one is allowed up here, but I have to look. My shoulders grow heavier. The air itself wants to push me away, but I need to know if the rumors are true.
The stairs are loudest of...
THAT FLICKERING OF LIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE HILL
“ Are you still here? Come on, it’s time to go to bed! Remember, you have to go to school at morning. You must be up at seven. I will certainly not let you lay in bed, if you are sleepy “ Diane spoke standing on the door, she did not move towards Emily, who was standing for more than an hour at the living room window, (...
A newborn baby lays quietly in a crib. The moon shines bright and nearly full, casting a ghostly glow through the gap between the sheer curtains in the window. There is a slight chill in the air; it is the middle of winter afterall. The babe looks all around, arms and legs moving. One breath, then another. There is a second, warmer light coming from a nightlight plugged into the wall.
Suddenly, the light ...
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