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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!
George came to work at the lab. He was very nervous for a number of reasons. First it was his first night on the job. Second it happened to be Halloween. And if that wasn't bad enough, George was extremely superstitious.He reported to the guards control room. He met his supervisor. And he was assigned to Rebecca, a seasoned and heavy set woman. She grinned at him. And cracked her knuc...
You could call me superstitious, but you’d only be half right. Certainly I believe that broken mirrors and umbrellas indoors and crossing under ladders and black cats causes bad luck, just like four leaf clovers and burning incense and rabbit’s feet causes good luck. And yet, it isn’t the actual thing that causes it. It’s the symbolism of it. So yes, I’m superstitious, but for good reason.&nbsp...
It was the cat again. It was the door first and then when he was climbing the bus, and over and over, he had been seeing it everywhere he went. This was the tenth time that the cat had appeared. Stephen did not believe in superstitions or the paranormal, but this was creeping him out. Every time that he saw the black cat, his heart skipped a beat.It had green eyes, and a dark black fur, coating her skin.Stephen was in the cafe right now. And the black...
Jade and Caron could see the heat rising off the concrete in front of them. They were heading nowhere in particular just racing. Simply something to do on a blistering summer day. It hadn’t rained for a minute. Grandpa and grandma were worried at the fact. Drought is the worst. Besides killing the crops and making the prices rise on fruit and vegetables, the trees fall over when the storms come. They heard them chatting in the kitchen. “I don’t want to spend another one tho...
The house stood at the end of a small cape, on the edge of a cliff over the sea. A 225 foot sheer cliff; a rock-strewn, churning sea. Rough Point, the house, rose up three stories with a chaotic assortment of ascending gables and towers and spires, in the style of a very English architect’s dream—or nightmare—of French châteaux. A dirt road wound through a thick wood, mostly ash and copper beach, to arrive at Rough Point. The road looped back into itself, away from the façade of the ancestral home of Sir Elden Terry, and ...
I started to run. Eyes full of tear. I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know how many times I shouted his name while running under the rain, I don’t know how many times I hit the ground but when I reached the train station my knees were bleeding, my throat was aching and there was no tear left in my eyes to cry them out.I didn’t call his name anymore. I didn’t because I was standing in the middle of an empty station at 5 am under the storm, soaking wet, bleeding and it was like I had lost it all. I had lost this game, called life.*...
It was well past midnight, and on any other night of the year, I would have been dead asleep, but this was Christmas Eve, so I was wide awake when I heard my dad’s patrol car crunching the gravel in our drive. Softly, I crept along the hall until I stood, silent as a shadow, peering into the kitchen. It felt like one of those Norman Rockwell moments; my mom, still young, sitting up with her crosswords in our bright yellow kitchen, waiting for my dad to come home at the end of his shift....
I’m a writer who doesn’t write. At least I used to be. That changes today. I have a short story due for my Creative Writing class this Friday, and I am done procrastinating. In the last week and a half, I took every reason not to write. Friend were going out? Writing could wait. My stomach was growling? Writing could wait. I needed to get to bed early because I suddenly started caring about my mental health and well-being that very minute? Writing could wait, once again. Not this time! I would sit down, and write until my fi...
The first to arrive is Julia, I know her, she wears bright red lipstick and her hair is the color of the night sky. She looks like a porcelain doll, like the ones in the glass cabinets at my friend Beth's house. One that will never crack is what my mom says. Julia comes from what my mother calls hill billies. I don't know what those are but Julia sometimes talks real slow, and her words have a funny accent. One night after a couple of glasses of the bitter juice my mom always serves, she said, "I ahm a prohhhper Holly go Lightly, I left m...
Everyone in town loved Clara. She was voted most popular in high school. All the girls wanted to be in her friend and all the guys wanted to be with her. She finished high school and followed her dream of writing for the local paper. She volunteered at the local women’s shelter and tutored underachieving kids most days of the week. She was certainly something special.The whole town showed up for her funeral.Everyone wore purple, Clara’s favourite colour. Her friends and family sp...
“...anytime, alright?”With a start, he looked up. A girl, twenty-something, maybe, was smiling at him. She was wearing the apron of a certain popular coffee chain, and he could see an unfamiliar face reflected in her brown eyes as she looked kindly upon him.“June!” She glanced away, then nodded at him, moving to answer an order at another register.It seems he had just put something in hi...
Chapel Trail is a small town in the middle of Nowhere Iowa. There’s a college on the edge of town, and some old military trail used to run right by here. We’re surrounded by farms, so in the summer it’s corn as far as the eye can see. When they start harvesting in the fall, you can smell it even up on Main street.There are four guys that I pal around with.Chuck lives a couple houses down from me and I’ve known him basically forever. He’s pretty much a goof. His dad owns the grocery store.Roger lives on the o...
All the conditions were ripe for a successful lemonade stand. Bright electric sunlight coated the sky. A warm balmy breeze generated the right amount of stickiness to prime potential customers. At the end of the driveway where Gertie and Gordon set up shop, stood a shaded lazy oak, just the right place to nab unsuspecting passersby. A full pitcher of lemonade crafted from a citrus powder and ordinary tap water sat at the end of the table. Clear plastic cups flanked the sweet drink. Only thing out of place was the empty shoe box wh...
The way the town of Moonrock works, is that the people never question the things that happen there. Some say the place is haunted, some say that aliens have invaded it, and some others think it is plain corrupt. No resident has yet been able to explain this place, and this is probably for the best. It's because none of them are able to look at it from the outside. You must be confused, so let me share with you some of the weird occurrences of this town by explaining a typical day. In the morning, the children go to ...
Bittie had always loved animals. She’d grown up on a farm in Kansas with cows, goats, a mule, rabbits. There’d been lots of dogs and lots of barn cats during her growing up. Years back, in her second hometown of Pawkuntsy, Ohio, she’d taken a puppy to the vet after it was hit by a car. Not able to afford to have it fixed up, she’d had it put down. Days later she’d gotten a thank you note from her office and an invitation to make her the first stop for veterinarian needs. Enclosed had been a sweet poem about The Rainb...
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