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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!
I told the cops that I didn’t see Danica that night. That was a lie. I told my parents that I had no idea why my roommate had been on the bell tower in the middle of the night. That was a lie. I cried with her parents when I told them she had been depressed for months. That was a lie.
The Thursday that Danica died we had spent the evening watching trashy reality TV, just like we had eve...
(Trigger warning: This story contains mentions of violence and suicide)The Game began on a Saturday in the spring of 1932. The blue sky arched like the tents of the fair that had arrived the night before, unnoticed by the inhabitants of the small harbour town. It was the fishermen who first noticed the lights behind the hilltops and already an hour later the message was on everyone's lips.Now you have to know that pleasure rarely reached the southernmost tip of Cornwall. People lived on what they fished out of the rough wate...
What's that noise? What is that? The buzzing, inconsistent buzzing. It sounds like a flickering light, where is that coming from? I can't see anything, its pitch black, darker than the large pupils of my eyes from not being able to see. Its nothingness, absolute blank. Where am I? How did I get here? I don't understand any of this. Why is this happening to me? Ok, if I am going to attempt to do anything I guess I will...
Uninvited Guests by Katelyn Bullock
It was a conventional summer day. It was bright and the sun was shining like it had just swallowed a bunch of light bulbs.Tim and his two parents were helping the movers clear out the big, white truck and place down the furniture.“ Why don’t you go explore Tim? It will be a good opportunity to get used to the new house.” Said Tim’s mom.Tim wasn’t going to pass up the o...
THE SLAVE ARTISTYou could see the years of service on the face of this strange man. Those years of true combatted wars and secrets that were pressed into his military attire. Even his walk as he escorted me down this old dimly lit hallway, spoke to the honor he exuded as a member of the military. I distinctly remember the lights were flickering as we came closer to the area I would soon be taken to. My mind frantically searches for answers to questions I didn’t even think of yet. The cold breeze draws out...
Ryan Perkins is a gentle and quiet thirty-one-year-old office worker who likes collecting antiques. He lives in New York City and is well acquainted with the antique shops there. However, this afternoon while walking to the convenience store, he looks down an alley. He notices an old-fashioned symbol of three gold balls hanging over a door signifying a pawnshop. He hadn’t seen that particular sign in years and, with caut...
A light flickered above the crowd and the room went silent. Many kept their heads down, while others started to pray. There were murmurs spreading across the room, but few people spoke. No one knew what was going on or about to happen next. A couple of kids in the vast space started to cry and their parents tried to calm them down, but as the level of anxiety increased, more kids began to whimper. Only one person in the r...
The lights flickered again as if some unseen hand were signaling for help in Morse code."What in the name of Jesus and all his carpenter friends is that?" Michael Castellanos hollered down to the captain, who was making his way back from the deck to the flying bridge. He had been the first to spot it but felt he couldn't trust his eyes without getting a little closer. Castellanos raised the enormous GeoVid binoculars to his eyes, blinked a few times, and was again taken aback by what was approaching the port side of their vessel.
My eyes are opening up to the heat of sunlight shining in through the window on the right side of my bed. The warm touches are hitting my face and getting me ready for my daily routine. First, a full breakfast before working out. Next, a shower lasting at least thirty minutes or so. I never liked drying off with a towel. As I only enjoy letting the sun and air remove the water from my su...
Notes of Conversion
Erwinn Metzger climbed out of his car on Central Avenue in Dothington this blustery March afternoon, stared plaintively at the empty rubicund brick high-rise in which he and his deceased mother used to live. Their flat had been situated on the top floor at the end of the hallway, one which had afforded them a picturesque, panoramic view of the o...
Perdita would never have used the phrase “My real name is Karen”. If anyone asked, which they almost never did, she’d say: “Karen is my given name, my chosen name is Perdita”.
Given, to be fair, was pushing it a bit. Allocated, more like: stuck on like a luggage label. Her mother’s choice, who had stood by the mirror in the hallway, and said, But those clothes aren’t you, Karen, they’re for someone…..glamorous. O...
It stared at me as I tried my hardest to concentrate on what she was saying. Jenny Langstrom, our realtor had been droning on for what seemed like days. Jenny was showing us this apartment for the second time because my wife liked it so much. I kept looking at that huge mole that sat on her top lip like a bird perched on a fence. I felt my wife’s hand touch my arm. She knew I wasn’t concent...
For the last two decades, we have always owned our own home. Our last home was an expansive one on a lake-six bedrooms, a full basement, three bathrooms and a full walk-up attic that hid everything from various holiday decorations to unused furniture. It was a lot of room but more importantly there were no sounds except for the occasional fox rustling through the leaves, singing bullfrog or a fish jumping to capture their evening dinner. At some point, we wanted to retire and downsize. My husband was already retired and I was c...
"Doctor, heal thyself," I hear the first-year intern mumble to his cohort and the murmur of the newly degreed physicians as they leave my room.I've forgotten my case files, and my hair is windblown and drenched from the rainy walk across the street to the patient pre-op apartment tower. But as Saint Bernadette's leading psychiatrist and a woman nearing her thirtieth year in practice with the remnants of menopause clinging to my body, they don't dare say a word more. A sudden hot flash would burn through my eyes and char ...
Lady Brackvark had sent her manservant to the constables to complain about her neighbor, Lady Razia, and her raucous party. This was nothing new: Lady Razia was always throwing parties of some kind in her salon, and Lady Brackvark was a jealous, acrimonious old badger who longed for the days when she would be invited to such parties.This party was unusual, though, as it had been snowing heavily: Enough to deaden most noise. The constables - mostly collies and a few bloodhounds - assumed that Lady Brackvark was simply com...
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