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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!
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...
Lying on the cold forest ground Scarlett Sheridan slowly gives up on life. And for the first time in her life, no one is around to save her. Alone, is the popular girl with thousand of friends at university. Alone, is daddy’s girl with a horde of servants at her service. Alone, is the girl who knew too much and is dying for that reason. She’d always thought that secret would serve as a guarantee of her life, but she is slowly realising, that it was the cataclysm of her demise. Ignorance for her, had always been the worst thing, b...
“One of you…” I glared at my suspects. “Committed murder.”My lightning and thunder sound effect flashed and crackled outside the window. All my guests cranked their heads in suspense at it.Together, the three of us were all huddled around a wooden table in a castle I inherited from my recently deceased uncle. Mold bl...
The whispers are everywhere. No matter where I turn they linger. They reside within these walls I am confided in. This establishment that claims to shape me into someone that society will like. Not this empty shell of a being that people think that they are conversing and coexisting with. I refuse to say where I live or where I used to live because then you might come to find me and I...
“T-minus fifty seconds.” I took a deep breath, my hands shaking as I reached for the armrests of my seat. The cabin was cramped, and I was sweating profusely under my suit. “<...
High upon the sweeping, swaddling moors surrounding Manchester stood a small hideaway of a town. Weathered and resistant, its streets, dull, dirty and decaying, were cracked like an unloved mirror. Moss, dandelions and a cocktail of unremitting flowers grew through every crack and crevice of the asphalt. On main thoroughfare, the frosted windows of the town’s single off licence were guarded by secure, heavy bars which kept the town’s delinquents from seizing any of the stock outside of the law. Opposite the park stood the busiest pub in t...
The Dead Walk Out of the Sea by Rachel Frankki “Mom do we really have to go to the beach today? It’s so cold out!” I groaned and dragged a withered beach towel over my shoulders. It was the middle of October and my Mom wanted to go the beach. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t understand it. All I could expect from today was a swimming trip that left you unable to feel an...
I have never been a superstitious person. I have never balked at the idea of walking under a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors. Stray pennies that I find on the sidewalk don’t fill me with excitement at the prospect of coming luck. Quite frankly, I think that people who do think this way are a bit ridiculous. Still, I had to admit that I had seen more than just a few strange coincidences that day. It started early, with not one of my six alarms going off to wake me up. Sure, that’s just a small thing for most peop...
Romeo circled the green dragon, looking for a chance to close in for the kill. The green turned with him, keeping its sword-like fore claws ready to block any attack against its neck or chest. Blood still flowed from the gash Romeo had delivered to its hind leg, but the green as yet showed no signs of favoring it. Romeo made several feints, hoping to draw the green into over exerting the weakened limb, but it remained defensive, minimizing the stress to it. Romeo began to circle faste...
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