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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of thriller 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!
**TW/CW** This story contains instances of physical harm, violence, and gore, as well as adult language. Ashley and I had known each other for nearly 15 years, since the freshman year of college when we sat next to each other in English 101 at the University of Arizona. We became quick friends with similar interests. She became like a sister, and I was always protective. After graduation, we both moved back to Phoenix and...
Marisa Wright. She looked so normal to me, so painfully average. She was a young woman that posted pictures of her little white dog and her iced lattes from Starbucks. Who donated to homeless shelters and posted pictures of her volunteer work every other week. Missing? I couldn’t believe the stories going around. In all my years as a crime detective, I’ve never studied a case so mind-boggling. Disappeared, out of nowher...
TW: allusions to mental and physical abuse
"Say cheese!” I chirped happily.
Darling screamed at me from behind the duct tape on his curved lips, tears rolling down his long face as he struggled against the ropes on his hands to no avail. I had spent months practicing those knots and it was safe to say he was tied firmly to the chair beneath him. I shook my head and bent down t...
Our father passed away a year ago. He died alone in the house we had grown up in. He had barricaded himself inside. When my brother found him, he said dads face was contorted like he had seen something that scared him.
It has taken Rob and I a year to make it through the traps in the house just to get to this last room. This is the room father never let us go into. It was his special room. When I opened the doo...
Warning: This short story contains graphic imagery, suicide, death, and elements of gore. Please note that the setting of the story is completely fictional and any or all connections to any real world locations or events are completely coincidental.
"Ah, come on!" Ralph exclaimed as he tried to shake the photo to develop.
"What wrong now?" I asked in a nuanced tone.
"What wrong now?...
By: Joseph A. Monachino
George’s grandfather’s house has comfortable surroundings. George has just moved in after his grandfather, Bill, passed away one month earlier. He feels ...
**TW/CW** Contains sensitive content related to mental health, physical violence, and gore. “Kevin, are you sure we’re not lost?” “I’ve been here before with my dad. I know where I’m going.” Nearly a decade had passed since he had been to the campground. A lot of things can happen in a decade. A lot of things can happen in a few hours. Memories and recollections can often become ambiguous to time and place and reason. “Kaci, just relax and find something good ...
It was cold, and the little leaf buds were closed tight, as if hugging themselves warm, waiting for spring to properly arrive, before taking the risk of opening up to the world. The golden shafts of sunlight broke up the shadow of the evergreen pines and spruces, interrupted by silver birch trees, that fell on the moss- and lichen-covered hillside. The view was beautiful, but Jane knew it would be far better from the top...
The Man by the Tree
Four months ago, a leisurely walk through the local woods set my life on a new course. As an avid walker, I thought that I had seen everything there was to see in this greenery. I had been coming to this place since I was born; my father frequented the woods, explaining that it was his way of calming his mind.
When Allan took his final inhale, the cherry on the joint burned to its cream-toned crutch, and ash-tainted air rushed to the back of his throat. The rank taste made him purse his lips and lap at his mouth like a dog. As his tongue flipped around his gums, it streaked across his teeth, where he thought he felt the ridges of decaying enamel. In between pinched fingers, he raised the joint in front of him for inspection, but he was downwind, near a smoky campfire, and things were challenging to see.Allan had the makings of...
For the umpteenth time Rev decided to choose the path less travelled, or so she hoped. Down the road and around the corner there was a pathway that one day, she had to meander down, just to see. See what? She had no clue, but these mystery walkways disappearing into the woods, were always a draw. Forever and a day, random side adventures captured her imagination, interest, and curiosity. Today’s scene reflected ...
This was supposed to be a calming trip. I guess it could have been with just a couple different decisions. Maybe one could have been going to a hotel instead of bringing my own tent, but no, I just had to camp in a forest. I don’t even know why. That was nothing like me. I haven’t been camping since I was a little girl, and after this experience I can promise, I will never do it again. If I even survive this.
Bree’s hateful stare was practically burning a hole into the back of her best friend’s skull.Chris threw her head back, laughing hysterically at something Aaron had said. Her thick, blonde hair fell all over Bree’s desk, who brushed it away in disgust.But Chris, I thought you were seeing someone? So, what are you doing flirting with Aaron, you slut? Bree thought in a rage. She felt a pang of jealousy as the two of them watched a video on Aaron’s phone, so close together that their heads were ne...
He picked through the rubble of what had been his childhood home, looking for anything that might be kept as a souvenir. Bryon meticulously opened drawer after drawer in the kitchen before moving on to the cupboards and then searching under piles of old papers and leaves that had been left to blow arbitrarily through the broken home, lifted by even the gentlest of breezes as it wafted through from the missing front door to the broken patio glass. He hadn’t been back there since that night.Memories would occasionally surf...
“Something is definitely out there watching us.”
“Hansen, give it a rest, would ya?” Clifford said, giving her coat a shake to dislodge the snow that had gathered around her collar.
“I’m being fucking serious Cliff, I swear it’s out there.” Hansen squinted against the darkness and the ever-present falling of flakes for movement in the deep shadows of the forest. The light from their campfi...
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