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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 $50!
GHOSTS OF OUR PASTKris stood over his desk, sweat forming on his brow, as he recollected his thoughts. She would talk, his campaign would be no more, his wife would leave him, his son would know. The list went on and on, and he could feel his headache’s intensity increase by the second. Exasperated, he reached out for a glass of water, which he accidentally knocked over. As he tried to clear the documents from the desk before they got wet, he felt that wa...
The clock ticked and tocked into the skull of the chief of police's head. The man doubted that there was anybody who could not have a headache after listening to it for more than thirty seconds. Sometimes he could think of it as soothing (usually only on days when there was nothing that needed to be done). But that rarely was the case. There was always something or other going on at all times. Al...
In a night with no stars and no moon, a shadow stirred in the darkness. The creature knew it was being hunted and it knew by what. The howls in the night were closing in on them, she had to get her daughter to safety, she had to hide her. “Elaynia stay close, they are near now,” she whispered forcefully. Out of the shadows came a girl with red hair and freckles who was probably the age of six. “Mother I’m scared, what is out there?” Elaynia said fearfully. “Silence Elaynia, we must move stealth...
She hated disfigurements of any kind. A chipped cup, a run in the socks, a dent in the car, a broken toy truck, a dysfunctional clock. She would go about restoring them to the best of her ability. And if she couldn’t, she’d either smash them to smithereens or chuck them in the trash can. Repaired objects always seemed to get her goat. She would be forever conscious of the defect that had been set right, the tear that had been discreetly mended or the broken ends that had been carefully stuck to...
March 14. (1892) I passed my exams today. I’m certain Mr. Wilson in London will give me a position in his apothecary. He and Father are acquaintances. His son, Jonah, promises to teach me all he can before enlisting in the King’s army. He’s insatiably excited about his future.I hoped the nearing seasons’ change would shake Father from grief. Mother left nearly two years. The doctors say nothing of the strange illness which took her. She fares better in her new home than Father is in his earthly purgatory. Her love of garde...
Once upon a time, there was a town. The town was in the middle of nowhere, and it wasn’t big, but it wasn’t small either. I lived in this town, and I am one of the very few people who witnessed the mysteries that happened here. Now, I am sharing them with you. It was late October. The red, orange and yellow leaves were a kaleidoscope of colors, like someone had painted the trees. The sky was an endless ocean o...
Raymond gripped his coat tightly as wind violently blew his way. Wincing to shield his eyes from whatever bits and pieces flew at him, he yelled out, "Monica! Monica!", yet his voice was drowned out by the wind and rain’s incessant ruckus. He desperately called out her name, but there was no response, no sign of life in the dark streets of Porter.He drunkenly stumbled his way around, the wind blowing so strongly it almost sent him flying. He retrieved his pocket watch and tried making out the time. It read two thirty-four in the mo...
Second Time Around by June Capossela Kempf There it was: perched on a chair in a Saint James, Long Island yard sale. As soon as I saw it, I recognized it. It used to be mine. It was the same clock I threw out three years ago two towns away in Northport– actually put it out on the curb - in a down-sizing panic attack - and regretted doing so ever since.It is not a rare phenomenon that items of value often wind up tossed to the curb, only to be rescued in the early hours of the...
As he walked up the steps to his front door, Miles noticed a package sitting on the landing. From where he stood on the street, it was a plain looking, brown paper wrapped box about one foot long, six inches wide and six inches tall. His pulse quickened as his curiosity began to spin possibilities through his mind like sugar in a cotton candy maker. He hadn’t ordered anything and certainly wasn’t expecting any packages. It wasn’t his birthday, and Christmas was still months away. What could be inside the clean and...
“I can’t move!” cried Aria.She was submerged waist deep in a murky swamp of brown, and green water. She’d fallen into a riverbed of squelching mud. With every struggle of movement, she could feel herself sinking and tipping off balance. She had got herself completely lost out in the wilderness of Northern England. All around her was a picturesque woodland filled with pine, oak and silver birch trees. Arms of branches outstretched in a shadowed cluster; little circles of gleaming sunlight shone through in spotlight beams over the fa...
Drip, drip, drip.My eyes open. Instantly I regret that decision, moaning aloud at the thumping headache that seems to be trying its hardest to escape my skull. Despite every fibre of my body telling me not to, I sit up, letting my vision come into focus which only makes me feel even worse."Oh God." I clutch my head. "I swear, Rhiannon, drinking just isn't your thing." The last time I felt this crap had to be after Katie's party back in the Summer before college started.I look over and see an array of pills co...
I'm just going to say it now, my name isn't Cassie. And I'm not from California.But yes, this is me, standing on the streets of San Francisco, pretending I've lived in Menlo Park long enough to know where the locals go when they leave work.Which I do know, by the way. I've done my research. Weeks’ worth of it, actual...
I wonder...... What mysteries does this door contained? I hummed as I paced in front of the door. I've never thought that there would be a hidden door like this in my house. Well, it never hurt to investigate it a bit right? I opened the door and immediately, I heard chain clinking against each other. Is the door locked? It wasn't, the door creaked open easily, nothing obstructing it. Then what was that chain? Immediately, my doubts were cleared. The light creeped into the room through the door, I could bare...
Once, upon a middle age time, there lived a good and cheerful woman up high on a mountain peak. No big city to be seen for miles, stretching in the four arrows of the compass. Only company she had were the animals, the trees and her fellow villagers. And all of them knew who she was, all the people in the village. Because she was a sweet and kind woman but also, because she was fast to gossip and held the knowledge on everyone and everything they did. Scared the people we...
Wren climbed into her bed, sighing with contentment at the familiarity that contrasted to the rest of the day. Relief flooded through her, an emotion she hadn't had the luxury of associating herself with in the past couple of weeks, as she finally concluded that soon it would all be over, the dread she had felt prior to this day would all have been for no cause, because if she was supposed to die today then there was little to no chance that her death would occur in the remaining 42 minutes of the day...
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