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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!
“You must never leave these woods,” my grandmother told me. “Under the open sky on fields larger and wilder than you can imagine, giants roam.” When I was younger, I believed her. A child would always pick the fantastical over harsh, boring reality. Now, as she lectured me before I left to hunt, I could barely hold back a scoff. The mere idea that a teenager would believe her tall tales was laughable at best and my brother clearly thought the same, based on the way he scar...
.............................................................................................................................Do not go into The Woods, they said. She shrugged, as she pushed back the dense leafy curtain, took a deep breath and stepped in. A cacophony of colour dazzled her for a moment. She took a step and the colours were wiped away by near complete darkness and a weak warm wind. The floor...
I am used to the chemical smell in the air. We all are. We all have to be. It coats our throats and hurts when we breath, but we fight through it. There simply aren’t enough gas masks to go around. We don’t have a choice. We need food. We need wood to keep the furnaces going. Without the precious logs that others bring in, we would all freeze to death in the only thing keeping us safe fro...
I found myself wandering around the countryside. It was a gorgeous day, the sky was a deep azure with cottony clouds that gave my mind exercises inventing animals and people’s faces. I was walking in a valley of grass that had not been mowed this year and as a result, the breeze made it ripple like waves on the ocean. This valley was surrounded by forests with their canopies a luscious green. It was near 80 degre...
We lived in a quiet town - a small one too. There were only fifty or so kids in our high school class. Everyone knew everyone; there was nowhere to hide. When they said you could never go into The Escape, you obeyed, no questions asked. The Escape - where do I begin? On the outskirts of town was a large wooded area that paralleled the highway. It was an appealing place for those who enjoy...
Growing up around here, we heard all the stories. To us, they were tall-tales – passed down through the generations around campfires and told in the dark with a flashlight held under your chin. They weren’t real. I heard so many variations on what was hiding in the woods. In some stories, it was a monster comparable to the abominable snowman. In others, it was a witch brewing stray children in her cauldron. The lesson was the same in each one, though – don’t go into the woods. Don’t go into the woods in the morning or night. Don’t go into...
Once upon a time, a shrouded figure stood in the clearing of the great Woods, with what had seemed like a dress made of leaves, petals and bark billowing around her. Perhaps it was simply a trick of light, but every now and then, towering antlers could be visible on the left of her oak-brown locks, sheltering the collection of delicate petals nested below. Serenity s...
In a very vast sky where the flora and faunas meet the beam of light from the sun, a very dark woods that never taste the heat of the sun due to its very chaotic view from a distance. John has a rare condition where he needs a blood transfusion every week in order for him to survive. He has to go to the hospital every Friday for the blood transfusion and this is his condition since he was three years old and now his fifteen years old. His parents- Marcus and Lisa is very determined to give everything for their only son. John was a miracle...
Simon and Peter were the only kids in their neighborhood. They found each other out of necessity more than actual affection for one another. But what started out as a playdate forced by their moms, did eventually grow into a bond with some measure of fondness. By the time they were 8 years old, they were inseparable. In school, they sat next to each other, until the teacher moved them for talking too much. They walked home from school together, ate after school snack toget...
It was a common sight around town: the four boys riding their bikes together. That was because there wasn’t much else to do in such a small place. Where everybody knows everybody and if you do something wrong it will get back to your mother by dinnertime. The boys mostly rode around to pass the time to move on to the next day, next month, next year. “What do you guys want to do today?” Jamie asked the other boys. All four slowly came to a stop on their bikes. “What is there to do around here?” Tom res...
Every since I was a child I was told to stay out of the woods on the outskirts of town. For a while I thought it was because of my horrible sense of direction and my parents were simply worried I would get lost, but when I got older I began noticing that people who went in those woods didn’t come out. The first time I really noticed was the time my friend Leo went in on a dare. It was just supposed to be a stupid high school party trick to freak everyone out...
My people fear the forest. Why? I don’t know. No one in the village or in my family has ever told me why. All they say is “do not venture past the forest’s edge,” or “your fate will meet you if you traverse the forest’s domain.” Sometimes they simply say “you will die if you dare enter the forest; do not...
Autumn was a time for mourning, and the woods knew that best.
The woods that morning teetered on the edge of November. Frost lanced the black barked trees like cobwebs, and the dirt was dark and cold. The air tasted of earth. A low fog hemmed the roots of the trees, slipping between dim briars. Too slow for the eye to catch, under the white autumn sky, the trees stir. Nothing is still in the woods. If you were to listen – really listen – you would hear the choir. The trees were groaning. The leafless bushes creaked, an...
Once upon a time, in a faraway land near a forest, lived a boy called Edwin, and his mother. They had lived there for all their lives, and they had never gone into the forest. When he was a child, Edwin often asked his mother why they never went there. “Surely,” he said, “there are fruits and things to be had?” But his mother said the same thing each time he asked: “It is forbidden.” When he got...
It's a tale as old as time itself; Stay away from the woods or you will never return. Both the parents of Rome and Constantine warned them nearly every day of the threat posed by the woods near the edge of town so being obedient boys, they never strayed away from their safe streets and houses. Every day the two boys studied in class, went home, ate with their families then laid their heads to rest. On a day like any other, Sparta had showed up to town. Sparta was an old soldier from the days when the town was not perfect. His face ...
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