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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!
A cat ran down the cobbled street in Chantilly, Virginia. The bare trees stood tall around the Chantilly Courthouse as leaves littered the streets. Autumn was setting in and there was a coolness to the air. A group of mean boys chased the cat away from an alley. It stopped behind a hamburger joint to lick its sore paw and stare into the window. People were seated at neat little tables with the classic red and white cotton tablecloths. The cat could smell the hamburger and Fren...
My dinner party was not supposed to become a crime scene, but it did. There was a sneaky thief among us, and we needed to find the culprit by the end of the night. Even though the party was supposed to be fancy as far as having a four-course meal, I had let the guests know that they could feel free to dress casually. After all, I had a new rescue dog named Angel, and she had a habit of jumping on people to greet them. I wouldn’t want anyone’s expensive clothing to get ruined. &nbs...
Flight 257 It wasn’t unusual for a dense fog to linger at this airstrip. The location provided the right seasonal atmosphere for such a haze. What was strange it positioned...
They call me Donald the Duck. Ronald’s my name and detecting’s my game. I’ve been keeping the streets clean of trouble in Maryville, dirtiest ditch in Southern California. Twelve years now I’ve had the tough task of finding lost dogs, lizards and husbands for birds of all shapes and sizes. Nothing has been too much and lately the dough was coming in painfully slow. At least that was before yesterday.Yesterday I was snooping in the alleyway of Seventh and Forester where I knew I’d find that final piece of the puzzle to the Morrison ...
She liked the way his hands moved; smooth and powerful. The way the knife almost completely disappeared in them while he cut his steak. What else could those hands do? More paws than hands, really. Her stomach did a little dance as she clenched her teeth behind her lips to steady herself. To bring her wandering mind back around. Jesus. Am I saying the right things? “Mmm,” she nodded while she chewed. He was going on about his recent trip to a small village in Panama, and how he felt fortuna...
The spear goes through the boar and the beast stumbles. A few meters ahead, it falls and moves no more. We are going to have a meat feast tonight. Grognak has the best throw, rarely it is another to claim the kill. He knees beside the dead prey. He thanks the Great Mother and screams: "Grognak brings meat!" Everybody yells and cheers, spears in the sky.Grognak is chief, his word is law. The chief had another name before, we are forbidden to say it as we are forbidden to speak ours. He gave us names, new ...
The alley was dark as usual, the only sound the scuffling of rats and the soft breeze. At the end of alley was a lopsided tin shed. It reeked of rat poop and garbage, but I was used to it. After all, it was my home. Mother was waiting for me. Her eyes were dull and empty, her lips cracked and grey. She was once beautiful, with lush, blonde locks, sparkling blue eyes, and pink lips always wide, smiling. She would attend galas and proms in dazzling ball gowns, and dance with handsome young men who would propose to her by the e...
Lemon ZestShe knows the bodies will be gone by now, but even after twenty years on the job, she can still feel uneasy working a room. It’s only five a.m., but already the sweat is beading her forehead and trickling down her sides as she moves slowly across the baking asphalt towards the open door. She’s glad of her designer shades as the dazzling glare is hurled back at her from the white aluminium siding of the motel, pale lemon of doors and wall panels a blinding assaul...
October 10, 2019Dear Diary,The following clue was given to me in a yellow envelope with the help of a plump grey haired woman averaging about 80 years old. The envelope simply said “Kata A. Malone , C1 from Beatrice Brown”Here is how it happened. While my friend AC (short for Anna Cate) went to find some cute lifeguard to engage with, and ventured over to the nearby historical society with Tom’s key in hand. Not really quite sure why I had to bring the key, just that I needed it for if nothing else luck...
I had grown up in Wrigley Ville as it was referred to by the locals. My family and I lived in Waveland, just across from the ballpark itself. I loved sports, but baseball was my passion, and living in this area only fueled my love of the game. I ran around with a group of boys, mostly good kids. There were a few that had started hanging out with us; they were o...
I turned off the bitumen and the tyres bit into the gravel with a familiar crunch. It had been a dry summer and the road to my grandparents’ place dusted my windshield with cream talc. I wondered if old man Patterson would be on the phone to my parents, complaining I was going too fast. But he'd have been dead ten years by now.A fortnight prior, Grandma had passed away and I was back at the fami...
“If you break a pinky promise, you’ll die within a year.”That’s what my neighbour, Geoffrey Collins used to say when we were kids. I’m looking at his old bedroom window from the base of the gum where his tyre swing used to be; where I’d call 'cooee!' to get him to come out and join me.
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