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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!
“It’s this unknown number calling again” – Sarah announced as she picked up her phone from the coffee table.“Answer it” – Hannah suggested, taking a sip of her marshmallow filled hot cocoa.“They’ve called twice already. What if something happened to your parents and someone is trying to get a hold of you?” – she continued.Sarah looked at her friend in disbelief. Hannah was such a good-natured ...
It was going to be one of those nights. Lorelei knew it. She sighed and turned on the TV. She read articles saying if one were looking to fall asleep, it’s best NOT to watch TV. But she couldn’t lay there, alone in the dark anymore. “Everyone please welcome Jorjanna Byers and Knozall!” The handsome man in a blue suit introduced a dark haired woman standing next to a twelve inch metallic r...
Edgar Alan died in 1874, age ten, struck by the back-wheel of a horse drawn buggy. Some say the wheel found a deeper love within the strands of his burnt umber painted, feathery locks, and refused to part with them — for the wheel dragged him across the cobblestone by the knotted locks of his hair, forty-three feet past the starting mark before it finally let go. They say he painted the town red that night. The streaks of blood, splattered where he bounced, but painted beautiful straight lines down where he dragged. Crimson Valley, ...
“Giana! Your mother needs her assistant chef!” Zeke knocked on his teenage daughter’s door. It opened, revealing a girl with brown eyes, a dark shade of chestnut brown hair, and a sprinkling of cute freckles around her nose. Her nose was just like her Aunt Illeana’s. “Give me five minutes.” Giana told her father. “I’m on the phone with Yori.”
The sign says “Don’t Go Into the Woods”. Some certain types of events happened in these woods a very long time ago. The rumors of which created such nicks in the frame of the story that a legend emerged from the base. The legend is also very, very old. Sarah had heard of the legend, but hadn’t paid attention. Somehow living here her whole life didn’t automatically qualify for that knowledge. Anyway, it was more of a popular story with the older generation….
They warned us to never walk in those woods. If they’d just left it at that then maybe we would never have gone in there. The things they made up to stop us going inside though, that made it irresistible. “Time ain’t welcome in ...
Erik the Drunk was drunk again. By this point, the townspeople had stopped keeping track of how many times they had awoken to his intoxicated yelling in the middle of the night. They had stopped ushering their children quickly away from his crooked finger pointing and his twisted mouth laughing in their direction. They often saw Erik swaggering up and down the town’s dusty main street, pretending to face off with dragons or bandits or barter with invisible merchants, but a...
I still find myself flinching when I hear the sound. My head instinctively ducking. My forearms rising above my head. Goosebumps rising there like an army of tiny ants tearing through the flesh. The whoosh of wind is equivalent to a blow to the back of my knees and it takes a tremendous amount of willpower not to collapse and succumb to the fear. You see, I am terrified of ravens. Of crows. Of blackbirds. Whatever it is you want to call them. I’ve had people laugh at my behaviour in crowded markets where I’ve mean...
Grandma used to tell me all sorts of stories before she fell ill. She told me about the witch who lived far away in the deep dark woods and would grant wishes. But only if you completed the tasks she set you. If you failed, she would cook you and eat you.I loved listening to those stories. Once, when I was about six, I declared that I would go and find the witch and ask her to give me wings so I could fly. But grandma grabbed my shoulders with her bony fingers and shook me until my teeth rattled. “Never do that!” she said. S...
Stepping steadily forward with arms outstretched Sheldon moved closer to his prey. Twin sister Zoe was approaching from the opposite side in a similar manner. Inching ever closer to the clueless rabbit, Sheldon caught his sister’s gaze and mouthed 1, 2. “Sheldon! Zoe!”, the deep voice bellowed across the yard. The twins froze in place, moving only their faces toward their father. Upon seeing his clouded features they walked toward him in unison. Father was the tallest of the three, his long dirty blond hair held back in pony tail with a l...
King Charles boasted of being the most powerful king in the whole kingdom and its surrounding areas.However, one day, destiny showed him that wealth and power meant nothing. It was the day her daughter fell ill and no matter how much the great knowledge of the royal doctors and sorcerers tried to heal her, they never could. Anguished the king saw his daughter more and more lost in her illness; this clouded her mind and made her an irritable and monstrous pers...
THE WIDE WOODRuby tugged on her durable boots and zipped up her favorite hoodie, a warm red garment with a kangaroo pouch in the front. She lifted her backpack, bloated with supplies, and slung it on her back. She looked around her room with forlorn eyes before departing for her little brother’s room. Her little brother, Damien, lay in the bed, brow slicked with sweat, suffering from Black Fever. She gently ran a hand over his curly black hair before pre...
“Don’t go into the woods,” they said. Do not go under the emerald leaves, do not venture on the twisted paths. Fools see a shortcut; wise men went around. Strange things lurk there. “Stay in the light,” they said. The shadows move. If they catch you, if they touch you, they will steal your shape and leave you flat. “Don’t trust the beautiful,” they said. Don’t look at their faces, beautiful women though they seem, or their eyes will trap you. Look behind. They have no backs. Hollow they a...
It was one of those diner places where travelers hear exceptional and sometimes creepy stories about something strange happened to someone driven by curiosity to go somewhere near enough to get them in troubles. I mean big troubles, like you forget a period of your life, or go missing for couple days till someone appears to get you out of a homeless, starving and dangerously dehydrated version of you. Or maybe you would end up in a hospital like that guy from the north coast, who got very curious last month, ...
Once upon a time… “Kacey, Johnathan! Come back here this instant! How many times do I have to tell you don’t EVER go into those woods!” Mother yelled at us from the other side of the yard. My brother and I turn at the wooded line and look back at her. Once we return to a distance that was far enough from the woods she returned to our big house. “I don’t know why she refuses to let us go in the woods. What could be so bad?” I ask my brother who is 3 years younger than me.“Maybe the trees come alive and they would ...
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