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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!
The flash of the camera nearly blinded him in the dark, but it was worth it to see her face show up on his screen. Her eyes shone with the light of the moon as she gazed among the stars, and her smile shone even brighter when she smiled at them, foggy breath visible in the cool winter air. The two didn't think much when they decided to come to the top of the highest hill in the area, but here they were anyways, staring a...
The Man by the Tree
Four months ago, a leisurely walk through the local woods set my life on a new course. As an avid walker, I thought that I had seen everything there was to see in this greenery. I had been coming to this place since I was born; my father frequented the woods, explaining that it was his way of calming his mind.
For the umpteenth time Rev decided to choose the path less travelled, or so she hoped. Down the road and around the corner there was a pathway that one day, she had to meander down, just to see. See what? She had no clue, but these mystery walkways disappearing into the woods, were always a draw. Forever and a day, random side adventures captured her imagination, interest, and curiosity. Today’s scene reflected ...
(Contains elements of a sensitive nature, including grief, the supernatural, and implied violence)
When you’re strapped for cash, and you’re already busy with school and working in your spare time, you find more work. For me, that was cleaning out basements for the neighbors. One particular day, though, I discovered a calling (albeit, short lived) much deeper than earning some extr...
It had been a week since they arrived. Selena was lying on some fur pelts on the ground, looking up at the clouds. Vinicius, the name of the man who changed her, had made a small camp for them in one section of the woods. According to what he said, he had brought her to her new home, somewhere between New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia. She had tried to walk further inland. Only to be stopped by him telling her no...
“My name is Darren, 2 years sober. I bought this house plant today, and I am an alcoholic.” Darren smiled and gestured theatrically toward the lily plant on the table in front with him. Everyone in the room already had a good look at it. “I’ve let down many, many people in my relationships as my only real love was my drug of choice. With the advice from my new sponsor, I’m going to avoid a relationship for the next 12 months and learn how to take care of others by taking care of this plant.” H...
Two years earlier
Three best friends Emmie, Theo and Cassie head to North Pines campground for a weekend of fun only to never be seen or heard from again.
The search for Emma, Theo and Cassie went on for two weeks, no sign of them has ever been found.
Those who go to North Pines for a weekend of camping are haunted by the disappearance of the three friends and they never last the fu...
“How can you bring your heart to leave my children all alone in the wood…”
Hansel and Gretel
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Saturday, October 7
Edgar Nikephoros Huntinger, private investigator, smiled at Amaltheia Amaranthus across the candlelit ...
Othiel pulled into the parking and hurried into the restaurant for a blind date set up by her coworker. She had been skeptical, but had finally given in to Sandra's badgering. On entering the vestibule, she gave her name to the attendant who escorted her to a table towards the back of the dimly-lit dining area. She could see a plump, bearded man looking intently at his watch. He looked up when they got closer and gave a ...
Selthia set the little potted plant on the counter and looked up into the eyes of the bear in an apron. Behind the giant carnivore were a myriad of plants on dusty shelves, their leaves and vines covering the old wooden walls and obscuring the dirty windows.
“Is that all, Razia?” The bear asked, her voice low but not threatening. It took Selthia a moment to realize she was being spoken to.
She felt her eyelids heavy as she slowly opened her eyes. The ground felt damp as she lay on her belly, and she had difficulty seeing in the dark. Overwhelmed by fear and confusion, she wondered where she was. Dirt. Taking a deep breath, she breathed in a familiar damp, earthy smell. She saw tall trees as she got on her knees and looked around. She was in the woods.
"Infinitesimal stars shine down from the sky. They twinkle, and scintillate, and fizzle out, and die. They are already dead. We dance beneath their corpses."
Counselor Jordan's story times were always the highlight of every summer at Camp Nettlebottom. Between the hot, humid days spent traipsing through the woods pretending to know which mushrooms are safe to eat and which ones will earn you a one way tic...
Every year my family and I go to Firefly Campgrounds, outside our small hometown. It always feels haunted to me, as I’m being watched. I tell my parents time and time again but they don’t seem to listen. So here we are in the car with my two younger siblings, Derek, and Dakota, listening to Old Rock 5 minutes out. The trees are always green during this time of year, the air is moist, the animals and birds seem to be ali...
THE MISTERY OF THE MISSING CORPSES
It had happened some years ago.The investigation had since long been closed. No one was looking for the dead bodies that had disappeared from the coffins. The corpses had disappeared while they were exhibited in the funeral chapels adjacent to the hospital. From midnight to six in the morning the funeral chapels remain...
The regulars at Gem Port Library adored the librarians there. They were triplets by the names of Peter, Estella, and Ellie. And why wouldn't the visitors be enamored with them? They always knew the perfect book recommendations to suit your every need. Peter always had clever wording and puns, Estella had a way to make every story seem interesting, and Ellie knew all the best sources for studying any and every subject.
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