We turned out the lights, locked the doors. Dad waited with a shotgun. Nobody spoke. We knew they’d be coming for him; for the money he still didn’t have.
Two sharp knocks, and he fired.
We found the neighbor’s kid in a Spiderman costume, bloody candy scattered across the porch.
I agree, it is such a bait and switch...so much tension is built you are like: I hope he got whoever is out there. Then: oh god I'm a terrible person.
The only light in the room is a waning candle. Trapped feeling the earth beneath the remains of your home... You are trying to breathe,crawling through the shattered crystals from the windows. No air, the candle just hiss as the flame fades away. It is only matter of time.
This is awesome Mara. I am nervous reading it haha.
It sets the mood pretty well. Nice!
This is very intriguing!
I really, really like this one, Sab.
> The Wait Calculation
Air fills my lungs in a sudden rush, and they violently reject this change. I fall into a fit of racking coughs, spewing hypersleep fluid onto the ship's floor. Once I get control of myself, excitement overwhelms me. I'm the very first person to travel to another star. I excitedly rush to the porthole, open the shades, and peer out into space. Before me is a hulking metal monstrosity, many times the size of my ship, surrounded with debris and floating corpses. Its guns aim at me, and I receive a transmission over the intercom. "Welcome to Alpha Centauri."
99 words, not counting the title.
I love the sudden tone switch. Nervousness, elation, elation! Nervousness is back!
Lots of people made it to the planet, and lost have transmitted; unfortunately the robot can intercept transmissions out of hyperspace. That is what happened to the space pirate star-beard, god rest his soul.
That's what I was going for. I figured the ship that was already there with way more advanced tech would be aware of the slow moving sub-light protagonist arriving, and would have plenty of advanced notice to brush up on old Earth languages.
Loving Mother -- 60 words (title not included)
A baby's scream cries through the night,
Giving the entire block quite a fright.
You look in the bay widow with trepidation
To see if you can alleviate the vexation.
There a child lays in her mother's arms,
To protect baby from any harms.
The mother does not continue to dote--
Due to the knife sticking out of her throat.
I agree I read that first line and instantly thought "wrong word." I think I was going for rings though the night or pierces the night. I wanted it to give the impression that it suddenly happened. I also did it quickly on my phone so I did not go through and match up the syllables from every line...the quite seemed to work when read out loud, but I agree it could be removed.
the idea was a normal seeming scene with a sudden dramatic twist at the end. Sort of like you think you know what is about to happen, then bam! Stabbed! Haha. I think it makes the rest of the poem creepier on a reread
Taking the time to be alone with my thoughts was the only thing that kept me sane. Now, that is all there is. Just me alone with my thoughts. There is no one left to bounce ideas off of. No new ideas to break up the boredom. I had always heard that everyone creates their own private Hell in life. I didn't take it seriously. The phrase meant something completely different to me, then. Now, I know what it truly means to be alone. If only someone would stop by. My plot is in dire need of tending.
What a dramatic turn at the end, yet subtle enough that I had to read it twice! I liked it
Parasite (100 words counting title)
I stumbled into that forest clearing, having no clue what I would discover. Rows of small dirt mounds lined the ground like soldiers standing at attention, piquing my curiosity. Bending over to inspect a mound, my feet were torn out from underneath me and a violently crashed into the ground. I found myself staring directly at the dirt mound and a small, millipede-esque, insect crawled out of a hole in the top, dragging its long body over to my face. It slowly inserted itself into my nostril, and I struggled, held down by some unknown force. Panic. PANIC! Bliss...
I was bored. I know it's not very good.
Oh! Ok thank you. I definitely was tight for words and wasn't able to really write the ending I wanted. I can see that some words were not really necessary (especially with such a low limit).
I agree it was good, but you spent so many words on tribal things--like the description on the mounds--that some things couldn't be described as well, like your death scene and the millipede
I stumbled into the unfamiliar forest clearing, still lost. Here, ankle high dirt mounds formed unnatural rows like little soldiers. Crouching to inspect one, some violent, invisible force sent me crashing forward. Held paralyzed in place, the mound at eye level, I watched a long, millipede-like insect crawl from the top, approaching my face.
Very creepy and plays off the ignorance of the main character. I love the implications without confirmation--especially the one that comes when you realized the main character's mother is lying. Why does she need to lie about grandma being alive? Did she do it? The only thing I'll point out is the awkward tense change. "I never understood why we can't visit her, when she still visits me." I think "I don't understand" fits better.
BTW, here are links to the first and the second 100 word story threads, as well as the 21 word and 6 word one, for even more flash fic goodness!
The end really got me. Woah.
I have to admit that even if short flash stories are not a style I enjoy personally, this thread as a whole has given me another perspective and some are really meaningful. So you are all good writers.
I am burning.
Flesh chars. Bone blackens.
I am burning.
The sickness first feasted upon the young, but all flesh soon suffered. While the people prayed, I worked, synthesized, tested. Soon, I could offer them hope, yet all they saw was heresy.
I am burning. I realize I'm screaming. As my angers rises, so do the flames. The screaming turns to unhallowed laughter, as the crowd is consumed in the rising inferno. Consumed in pain. In terror. In panic. In fear. In justice. Beautiful, agonizing justice.
I am burning. And in my fury, we shall all burn together.
I like the unique perspective for this one. So much is packed in the 100 words too. It goes from tragic for the main character, to tragic/frightening for everyone else. The repetitive language is also well used, it is a such a strong phase that ties perfectly into the plot. This story makes you imagine an entire book.
Another unique perspective, well done! I think one thing that is missing for me is a stronger description of the "dark figure". So much detail is given to the puzzle--the pieces are in good condition, the box is old and worn so the picture is not readable, you start with the edge and work your way in--maybe you can shorten that all up:
I found a old puzzle box at a yard sale that had the picture worn off.
I bought it to see what is was and eagerly assembled the pieces.
As the puzzle nears completion I get a strange feeling that I am making a picture of my room.
I get that you want to build suspense, but the puzzle doesn't really do that and even feeling weird putting it together is a bit weak (in my opinion). Seeing the "dark figure" is automatically creepy. The more you describe it the more creepy it gets:
Behind me is a dark figure--twice as large as me with razor claws. I don't want to see more of it, but my hands assemble the pieces on their own. I watch my hands place his long neck and wolf-like snout directly behind my neck in the puzzle.
I can feel his breath.
I feel that everything in your story would have been better served as setup for the creatures appearance.
It does carry a certain suspense when there is some mystery. It might just be preference. I found my self wondering what the creature looked like. I thought that the puzzle could be described in less words. You could make the opposite argument that a longer description of the puzzle builds more suspense for the reveal. I do think it is a great and unique take on a spooky story
I like it with the care taken to describe the puzzle, but the figure being a twist. It has more impact that way. What we can't imagine is often more monstrous tgan what we can, as well.
Thunder howled as the sleep deprived college student sat alone in his study. This is it, the final test of strength. Just a ten thousand word essay about the history of potatoes.
Though as he sat there, he knew what he must do. His fingers moved at the speed of sound as he took excerpts and put them into the perfect essay. After an hour he was done.
Though when he got his paper back, he saw that he had been kicked off the course. After looking at student loans he knew what he must do. He got a belt...
The nightmares about school flare up. I thought this was more funny than scary, it was dark though. It was also unclear why he was kicked off course to me. Was it failure to pay? Or did the essay actually suck?
I meant to imply that he plagiarized it, though I had to cut some things so that might not have came through. That's what I meant by taking excerpts and putting them into the perfect essay.
Oh! That is my mistake, it is totally there and clear, I just missed that. It is more dark comedy, but it makes sense reading it again with that in mind.
No, you may not have a different partner for the group project, regardless of whether Cynthia "smells like compost" or "is a bitch." Yes, I know that nobody likes her, and I honestly agree that she is a moron, but someone has to be partnered with her. I deal with this every time I have her in this class, and nobody is happy about it, least of all me. Just put up with her stupid face for a few weeks more.
Dear Prof. Gower,
Did you mean to "reply all"?
R.I.P. I am going to change my email setting to ask for 6 reminders before I send anything haha. This one was also more dark funny than creepy scary
Bought her off some guy in Tijuana. She probably thinks I'm a pervert. Her mascara's been running all day, but she stayed quiet, which I like. Sometimes, it feels like they know.
Maybe she figured I was CIA, bringing her to America. No, I'm just a guy with needs. My survival depends on it. Really!
Opened the door to the bedroom. The smell hit us both like a brick. That's when she started to fight. I shoved her onto the pus-soaked sheets and ran out. Locked the door behind me.
I had no choice.
Better her than me.
I had a huge production planned! There was going to be description and sound effects, but it was all far too many words. The producers really killed this one.
I love all the false impressions you worked in. Like CIA agent saving the girl: nope! Going to use her sexually: nope! Surprise: feeding her to the thing.
It is a sunny day
On a cliff by the bay
I can see for miles
Sand blown in piles
The air smells like salt
A day without fault
So I lean forward and let go
But it is not water that waits below...
44 words not counting title. This is a remake of a poem I wrote in middle school as a angsty teen.
What it be? How it do? Trev0r3 here with a food review!
Y'all heard about the new "affordable", "free-range" McSquidgeburger for only $1.99! How good is it really? Let's unwrap and find out!
Haha! I like how they wrapped the skin around it to show it really did come from a real human, not the stuff that grows on stalactites. But how's the taste?
Definitely chewier, the muscle works harder out in the backalleys. They tried their best to add the marbling we're familiar with! Tastes like lymph injections for the artificial moisture? Haha, they don't waste anything at McSquidgies.
I don't know why, but the ending made me giggle. The narrator's reaction just went from 0 to 100 in an unexpected way! (Though, the same cannot be said for the word count, which went from 0 to 100 in what I assume was standard procedure.)
Our banquet is fine--
I put arsenic in the wine.
Crying I couldn't take--
So I gave her a shake.
These don't taste like the rest,
babies are the best!
We had to bury Ed
Even though he isn't dead.
who knew my first kiss
would end with eternal bliss...
I scratch, I claw!
My own leg I gnaw.
Fresh out of the fryer,
My sister is a crier.
Ten-word couplets you probably don't want to read. Whole post is under one hundred words.
Challenge accepted, 76 words:
Wind rushing through his hair,
Heracles gave the beast a glare.
Even as the hydra stood tall--
ten heads in all--
the exiled king,
of whom the poets sing,
wearing the pelt of a lion
charged in sword flyin'.
Ten more heads grew, of course,
so he put a torch to the source;
now the hydra is dead--
unable to grow another head.
Ten trials remain until we can laud
a transition from man to god.
I don't know if this consider a short story or not 67 words
A plate with kebab spicy food, A good synthetic ice tea, and observing the feral frantic dance of the sweating bodies around the bonfire.
It is an amusing timeless scene to enjoy in the near distance; if it weren't the fact that they make so much noise.
Oh, well, it is their last day on the Galaxy, so Carpe diem for them! You think satisfied with yourself.
Creepy, in a good way! This has some tangential relation to the meta-themes of control vs. freedom in my current project, actually, as the 'hollows' are mostly subjucated by a pretend goddess. Her control goes so far as to make them actually think they desire to commit the crimes they do in her name, however. I had to come up with a lot of ways to give the main character some protection or loopholes to that, otherwise it would have been an incredibly linear story.
Trevor faced the king of his nation—
A monster of his own creation.
The king had ruled for years,
Leaving the people in tears,
While Trevor refused the crown.
Now he must take his brother down.
They fought for two weeks straight
At the castles gate.
A slash, a parry, a repost—
Yet neither side could boast.
On day fifteen Trevor prevailed,
His brother's reign he derailed!
Trevor won the crown.
Again, he turned it down.
For his brother was kind
But power corrupted his mind;
Trevor introduced democracy
To eliminate hypocrisy.
94 words if you count the title.
Tonight is my only escape, I join the tsunami of mini monsters and undead to ravage the stores of unsuspecting victims. My own costume, a tattered mess barely holding on. I find the perfect target, a house that hasn't been looted yet. I urgently run to the door and ring the bell after a insufferable wait, the door opens and a elderly old woman appears with a hoard of candy, I struck gold! She knows the routine and gets ready to surrender her goods. She pours them into my- her bucket of treasure passes through me. I drift away. 99 words
Clutching a gift from his father, a unique gold-blue hat, Liam's gaze looks far. He failed to ascend those towers.
With hope fleeting; eyes drop.
Then he sees it, below, walls; inscriptions matching those on the dais. Of course, climbing was never going to work, but a hidden passage? Perhaps.
These rocks looked smaller from above. Still, he only needs to navigate to the walls.
Turning a corner, a golden glint blinds; he fires.
Hands clutch cranium, his smoking rifle discarded. A headache.
Best curl up to rest...
His victim's mangled gold-blue and red head watches.
Very intriguing! I read it a few times, and it does leave me with a lot of questions, but I think that is the point. This seems like the sad ending to a longer story. If I am understanding correctly he killed himself at the end? So were there two of him? Or did he somehow shoot himself in the head? I also wonder what the glint was and she he fired... so many questions haha.
Yeah, this prompt has been great for practicing concise descriptions! I think it is a good story, but I am confused on what happened. Looking back I think the title added an interesting twist, it makes it feel like a sci-fi time travel thing as if he accidentally shot himself in the past and killed both versions...either way it was fun to read.
They told us
that we have grown
into strong, young men
who stand together
on the cusp of tomorrow
with the stars
almost within reach.
Why then do
I feel weak and pale
to a cold cliff face,
the dark sea
frothing and swelling below
my ragged claws.
As day is drawn long
from spire to great spire
I know my shuffled
sole will not fade
but echo in the paths
of others who trudge
the weary road to an unend.
Those boys stood no chance. Half starved, feet bound with rags, and nearly out of ammunition. Surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, when the messenger arrived. The war had ended!
Jubilation followed. And after a period of caution, both sides mingled, shook hands, played cards, shared what food they had.
The message had been a forgery, of course. Just a clever little stratagem, to buy me time to move the cavalry into position and sharpen the bayonets. Those ragged boys of ours will be right in the path of the charge, but they’d been doomed anyhow.
I’ll get a medal for this.
End 01 83 words. This is the first ending I am writing as a draft for my new story:
Alone. Helpless. The iron grip of my pistol feels comforting over my forehead.
"I will fix it," you mumble continuously, transforming your weak febrile voice into a nightmarish chanting: "I will fix it."
There are no more doubts about it in my mind as the waters of This New London swelling turning half of the City in A New radioactive Venice...
"I will return and Fix it!"
An abrupt explosion, then, an amicable nothing. Only the ferrous determination of arising from death.
At a four count pace, Xavier strikes the drum with precision. The tempo shatters the silence downtown and the band moves with the beat. Next comes Nakiel on the axe, subtle shreds kissing against each snap of the snare. Marcus grips the mic with sweaty palms, counting with his head and his feet.
Boom, boom, boom, bap. One more. Boom, boom, boom, bap.
Marcus wails into the mic, piercing the starless sky. He can hear the thousands of fans chanting his name, and then the band screeches to a halt.
“On key this time, Marcus. Let’s run this shit again.”
(100 words excluding the title)
Lol, clever, I thought it was a great build up. It's is similar to the dark "sudden tone shift" stories where something is described like it is normal, then made creepy in the last line. The only difference is this goes from serious to tragic/funny. The choice of verbs fit the mood well. The first two shred and strike with precision, the last guy "wails".
one thing that is unclear to me is how they got to be playing in front of thousands live if the singer is tone deaf?
Oh, that’s because it’s just a practice session. The thousands of fans are all in Marcus’s head.
Okay, I get that! I just read it too literally (lol)
(Both of these are based on sleep paralysis experiences that a friend of mine has had, I thought it made pretty cool topics for short stories, both are 100 words)
Concerta: side effects may include mania, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.
There’s a brief moment at daybreak where everything in my room is a midnight blue. It’s not when I want to wake up, but I know it well. I crack my eyes open, and it’s standing at the foot of my bed.
Separated from the walls, a few shades darker, it looms over me. Two unblinking, bloodshot eyes amongst the darkness. Vertical slits like a reptile, inspiring primal fear.
Not in me, however.
I blink the vision away hastily, eager to get back to sleep. It was Saturday, after all.
Loud, familiar snickering brings me into consciousness. A peek of my eyes reveal several figures at the end of my bed, my friends. Their faces are contorted into gaping smiles. Their lips are out of sync.
I struggle to move, limbs like they were dipped in a viscous syrup. Grabbing the door frame desperately, I pull myself out of the room. I look upwards in relief, but upon glancing at the ceiling, I feel myself embraced by my bed once again.
More giggles arise from my friends.
The joy and love of worlds behold, a sense of being in place,
That mere thoughts and power could hold,
great power in our race,
But at times its serene beauty unfolds, to reveal such sheer grace,
That at times I question how our roles, had such power in the first place...
An edited script for a comic-in-progress of mine. 100 words
"I need a piece of the person of your affection."
"Here." [A lock of hair.]
"It is done."
"Wonderful!" [Winni takes the potion.]
"I made you a cup of tea, dear."
"Uhm, thank you."
[Russel drinks the tea. Winni waits for something to occur.]
"How are you feeling?"
"Alright I suppose, thanks."
[Winni is confused. The potion doesn't seem to work.]
[Winni stomps away.]
[Russel is confused.]
BACK AT THE LAB
"The potion didn't work!"
"Nonsense. My potions always work."
"Well it didn't."
"I made it correctly."
"But nothing happened!"
"You're real thick, you know that?"
It took just a single soul. Unlawfully taken, sure, but who was going to comb through the books afterwards? The system would be overwhelmed by clients soon. And they were desperately needed.
Cleaner air. Advances in medicine. This dreadful ideal of ‘world peace’. Their clientele kept postponing their visits. Management was looking to cut costs, and he wasn’t going to get terminated.
So he cheated a bit. Who doesn’t? That prince had it coming anyway, nobody liked the bastard. Another state’s gunman... Missile-happy generals... He wasn’t to blame for the rest, was he?
Death looked forward to his performance review.
99 words, tried something different:
Mariel perries the first Saber and ducks beneath the second. As she moves to counter, the first blade fends her off. Frustration and fatigue grow as Mariel defends against an onslaught; there isn't an opening--Mariel can't attack.
A sword narrowly misses her head, the other her unarmed wrist. Mariel is out of room to dodge--she has to make a move. Without another choice, she tries a flying lunge. Her Saber pierces her first opponent's defense and catches the second by surprise--both are struck in the arm.
Victory! Even two on one, men can't beat the top U.S. female fencer.
I am sitting at the desk. My hands are on the keyboard. I search and search violently. I must continue the pattern. I repeat this to myself. I need to finish it. Every line makes it harder. Life used to much better. That was before it happened. 1Why are they so appealing. The patterns call to me. They can never be broken. The patterns make it easier. But also so much harder. Something about the number five. I just can never stop. My family now hates me. I made hard for them. Oh frick no that sucks. This ones only four.
The second sentence is 6 words.
So is the first... unless I missed something?
I'm probably losing my mind. When I leave, it all leaves with me. When I come back, I'm not so sure. I can feel it happening. I've said the worst part. Every night the footsteps are closer. My mind is further away. I choose not to know where it goes.
Word count: 100
I could remember the blazing fire. I remember my mom rushing into my room, heading straight for my dresser. I remember being frightened by the fire, blazing one house away.
Outside, a storm roared. My only concern was my fan. Being 4 years old, I didn't know what lightning could do.
I asked to see the fire. I had never experienced anything like it. My mom and I quickly raced to the window. The fire occupied a corner of the roof of my neighbors house.
Little did I know, that image would scare me for the rest of my life.
I'm not the best at short stories, but I thought I would give it a shot.
I wish I could say this was completely my idea, but I can't. It's heavily inspired by the song Oil On The Floor by The Cog Is Dead. I changed around a few of the major details, though.
No words can fill the void, the emptiness chasm that separates both glaciers.
You know your destination is someone at the other side a warm welcome fire to warm up your frozen hands a proudly pat in your back from the elder
Forever out of your grasp. You focus your tired sight to watch at the distance the village at twilight. You will never reaching out the glory.
You just sit in the cold embrace of the whiteness surrendering yourself to the snow.
No more vainly trying to working on it. You smile finally in peace with the universe.
Wedding Day--100 words
Chelsea scans the crowd: her family and his. They face the center isle as the bridal party walks down in pairs. Chelsea adjusts her white dress, nervously watching from behind the stained-glass window at the back of the church.
"You look beautiful," her father whispers looking up at the prince he arranged for her to marry.
The prince stands in regal splendor by the alter; however, Chelsea is looking outside where the pauper she is frobidden to see stands. Her heart flutters as he smiles. When he winks she knows she has to go, but which way should she walk?
You slowly stir the glass of iced tea before you with a straw, occasionally lifting it in the air and watching the honey-colored beads fall back down. After several cycles, the comforting ‘clink’ of ice against glass from your watered down not-iced tea leaves you. And you are forced to break out of your thoughts to acknowledge the other person in your booth. Their gaze only burns. You can’t help but wish the summer sun would melt you into the seat’s leather upholstery first.
Worry and disappointment saturate their voice.
“When are you going to get a job?”
99 words. Rewritten from part of a short story I had written.
Perils of Adventure
A thick fog encircles the edges of the forest, making it difficult for you to travel much farther from the party’s base camp. Wandering any deeper with your senses obscured would be suicide. But you had to, as a fate worse than death waited for those who stayed with the group.
Thanks to last night’s rain, the ground is stained with wet patches of dark crimson that bleed into the darkness of the earth. Newly fallen leaves are brighter than the others, giving the impression that fresh blood was spilled. You pray the next splash of color won’t be yours.
100 words. Rewritten from part of a short story I'm currently writing.
A Conscious Host
Her face is close, and you swear you can feel her breath on your skin as you stare down at the knife held against your throat.
“Don’t follow me,” she says, her hardened expression softening for a second. “Bypassing your security controls and returning your consciousness was a mistake. I just…didn’t want to be alone anymore...”
Her voice trails off, knife trembling in her grip.
“Please. Don’t let them know that you’re a faulty host, or they’ll erase you next.”
The girl’s lips press into yours before she takes off, her figure quickly disappearing in the distance.
97 words. A mess. It's surprisingly more challenging with a 100 word cap than the 50 since it makes me want to write more.