Flash Fiction Challenge: Horror In Three Sentences

Last week’s challenge: Roll For Your Title

This week’s challenge is easy to describe, but hard to execute:

Write a scary story in three sentences.

That’s it.

Remember: a proper story has a beginning, middle and an end.

It is not merely a vignette.

And, no, really — make it scary.

You will write these stories in the comments below, not at your websites or blog spaces.

I’ll pick my top three favorites to get the whole suite of my writing-related e-books (not including the newest, The Kick-Ass Writer, which will soon be published by Writer’s Digest, nudge nudge).

You’ve got one week.

Due by Friday the 18th, noon EST. One entry only.

363 comments

  • He stood outside of her window, peering in as he had done every evening for the past two weeks. Tucked in by shadows, and masked by the darkness and rain, his breath fogged the window panes. The knife was heavy, and he shifted his grip on the handle, a smile lighting up his cruel face.

  • His eyes narrowed in hatred as he looked down at the lonely tombstone with his name carved into the front.

    He was a bit surprised they gave him the courtesy of a marked grave.

    “It isn’t going to save any of them,” he thought as he departed, ready to take his vengeance.

  • Peering into the cracked door of her father’s bedroom, Sasha Moore stood frozen, clutching the leg of her now urine soaked pajamas in the cold darkness of the upstairs hallway.

    Her father, Cesare Moore knelt down in his nakedness, before a cloven hoof demon without reservation or fear as the demon placed in his hand a serrated edged knife made from bone with explicit instructions to cut her heart out.

    Sasha began moving uncontrollably toward the doorway speaking in a language foreign to her but obviously familiar to the demon as he began blistering and burning but not before splitting her father in half.

  • The water spilled over her, wetting her hair, and she dunked under to complete the rinse. Eyes open again, confusion reigned; the light was gone, bathroom as dark as the inside of a tomb. And then she remembered: it was her tomb, she had been simply reliving her life to keep at bay the eternal, lonely dark.

  • Arachnothropy
    The doctor said, “Just a little spider-bite, son, nothing to worry about.” Then the first new moon came and the worst part wasn’t the segmenting of the limbs I already have, bones cracking and skin thickening under newly coarse hair—it was the four extras that pulled themselves out of my ribcage. This silver rope connecting a tree branch to my neck is here because I got used most of it—to the Thirst; to the pale bodies the next morning; to avoiding mirrors—just never could get used to the way the little ones felt so at home with me, crawling everywhere, even when I had half the legs and the moon was bright.

  • When I thought of tackling this challenge, I had decided to make a list of everything that scared the bejezus out of me and then choose the scariest one.

    #1. Get eaten by a shark.

    After contemplating what that would actually entail for few seconds, I realized that I didn’t need a list.

    (List DONE, thank you very much!)

    After doing some fact checking on your research I have to say that I will never, Never, NEVER swim in any body of water that is not a chlorinated pool, EVER! Thanks for the nightmares kjolly!

    p.s. I am glad you liked my shortest-story-ever, and thank you for saying so!

  • She woke in the morning relieved to find it was all a dream. Smiling, she turned to silence her alarm and realized it wasn’t a dream. She began to cry realizing she hadn’t murdered her husband after all.

  • He was Lydia’s first love, and so she gave him her virginity after the senior prom. In college they studied side by side, not letting a day go by without a kiss. Now she realized, in the scant seconds before she smashed into the ocean, she would die never knowing why he pushed her from the cruise ship railing while on their honeymoon.

  • On January 14, 2017, comedian Danny “Butt” Shack, the latest host of “The Tonight Show” burst through the curtains, striding to the center of the stage where he grinned devilishly into the camera before abruptly turning his back with a flourish and dropping his pants, bending over to provide the maximum exposure of his bare buttocks to the studio audience and to the millions of television viewers from around the world who had tuned in to watch his first show.

    The camera moved in tightly to the comedian’s ass, a pair of superimposed lips in its center began to move in sync with a prerecorded monologue that started with a joke about a man who goes to the doctor to get a sex change and ended with a list of the evening’s guests which included the Dalai Lama.

    With Shack as the host, the show would go on to become the most successful, longest running television program in history.

  • The sound of footsteps following me with an odd, uneven pace. I don’t want to look behind, I already know what’s there, I don’t want to turn but I do anyway.

    The clown’s face I expected to see, the grinning axe I did not.

  • One night, I improvised a bed time story to my little brother about the monster that lived in his closet that went TAP-TAP-TAP before it ripped its victims to shreds. Later on, I crept in his room meaning to scare him only to find his bed empty. Thinking he had gone to the bathroom, I turned around to exit only to see the blood-stained door knob and hear the TAP-TAP-TAP echo of nails above me.

  • I fell.
    The rocks and waved thundering below looming ever closer before my eyes as i realised, nay.
    I’d been pushed.

  • “I think it’s been 36 … no 6 … no 46 days now that I’ve been in solitary. It’s dark in here, and I just want to sleep, but the guards won’t let me. Every few minutes, about to shut my eyes, the guards bang on the door, and my eyes shoot open, and my heart starts to pound, and … there’s someone in here with me; I can hear him right over there.”

  • The 21-year old man entered the dark and dank shower stall.

    With water running, he felt the icy chill of shampoo spread on bare scalp newly found.

    However, it was the hair gathering at the drain by his feet that caused him to scream.

  • ~Home Invasion~

    He had injured me somehow—the intruder—but the adrenaline pumping through me helped push away the pain and the full memory of the attack, and I managed to scramble away from him, my hands running over my course carpet, trying to find my cell phone, a weapon, a door knob—anything!

    I couldn’t see a goddamn thing in front of me—had he cut the power?—but I could hear his careful, calculated footsteps slicing easily through the velvet blackness, approaching me from behind.

    Finally, my fingers grasped something round and slimy, and a white-hot burning sensation flashed through me, illuminating the reason the darkness would never lift, the object in my hand: One of my own eyes.

  • ‘Such a good visit,’ she thought, getting out of her car. ‘What can you possibly do, when you checked behind you and there was no one there?’ She gazed dumbly at the little body under her rear wheel, as her daughter’s shriek pierced her heart.

  • Sitting among the fallen leaves, Molly’s thoughts turned to Andy, asleep back at camp. She bit her lower lip, and wondered if he knew she was out here, and if he missed her. Her eyes welling with tears, she chewed carefully, swallowed, and considered her fingers.

  • No matter where I ran or where I turned, I could always see it just there on the edges of my perception, its elongated mouth twisted into a grin. Its stare bored holes straight through me, penetrating the darkest reaches of my soul until all of my secrets laid bare before it.

    My legs gave out, and I could do nothing more but cry out as it repeatedly extracted its justice from me, inch by inch, until I too was left a ruined, gibbering husk.

  • She was certain now; she wasn’t alone in the room. Over at the door, he was breathing through his mouth, moving his body weight from foot to foot, then a slow sound of soft fabric moving as he turned around, away from the darkness. She closed her eyes as his voice pierced the dim-lit hallway: “Mommy, I think that the lady who was in my room last night is back, I can feel the smell of vanilla again”.

  • Guttering and gurgling gave way to greeding and gulping as the lower part of her rib cage disappeared, inch by grunting inch, into the darkness under the edge of the cheap metal bed frame.

    Her last thought.

    There really was something under the bed.

  • The eyes followed Steve wherever he went. Piercing and red, the two beacons watched him through the glass as he went about his work, unnerving him, rattling him, making him sweat, and following him from window to window no matter what room he was in. Steve felt the pit of his stomach hollow out as he tried to ignore the eyes watching him go about his work, checking doors and security monitors on the seventeenth floor.

  • At 7 am, we’d been herded into the cold, dank pen; there was no way that
    we could miss hearing the wail of the soulless undead.  The sound
    reverberated, relentless and spirit crushing, until the faculty meeting
    ended as the zombie attack began.  I knew then that the light at the end
    of the tunnel is sometimes blood red.

  • Tattered clouds floated across the moon like boney fingers dumping Isabela into an opaque world. Rigor mortis, like a spider, crawled up her back swirling around her like rancid water as the unmistakable thud of ponderous steps moved towards her. The beast before her was no longer a myth but death in the form of a killer grizzly maimed by her grandfather.

  • We went into the run down house that had been there for years decomposing and collecting dust. Demonic voices fill the air and dark red blood cover the walls. You risk your life when exploring the paranormal.

  • They said no one ever came back from the bogs, but he never gave up hope for her. The knock on the door three months later came in the dead of night, but he recognized her even in the dark and through sleep-blurred eyes. It wasn’t until he’d invited her in that he noticed how she drooped and dripped, the smell of damp and rotting things that hung around her, and the way her teeth glinted in the lamplight as she drew closer to him.

  • “Need help with your groceries, ma’am?”
    I shook my head, coolly ignoring the new bag boy’s greasy black hair and even greasier grin.
    In the empty parking lot, I shoved the keys into my Chevy’s door, all too late realizing there were two silhouettes reflected in my car’s window.

  • Standing beside the train track as a train passes by you in front of your eyes, looking across from you to see a sketchy man in black staring you down. He then vanishes, all of a sudden you hear a whisper in your ear, and the feel of a knife stroking your neck..

  • October 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM // Reply

    I remember how terrifying it was to be running down the street, with nothing but dimmed lit everything from the moon. My own mother wouldn’t realize I was gone for at least a week, her mental retardation had reached a point of not realizing things like that, she didn’t even realize when she burnt me, or when she let my hair become a breeding ground for lice, and the cuts and bruises all over my face went undetected like her mind analized it as some kind of makeup. My dad would notice soon though, so I ran until I had a metalic taste drip down my throat, he couldn’t get me, not this time.

  • Jenifer woke up on the cold hard ground once again, “what happened this time?” she pondered to herself. She looked in the cracked mirror of the myseterious room she had been locked in for months now, a new black eye. “Not too bad this-” a cloth covered her mouth.

  • I’m awake now, everythings numb, I cant really remember his face. One momment im in the shower and the next im being dragged out the door by my hair. Im trapped, I don’t know where I am, all I smell is dirt surrounding me and im yelling “please someone help!”.

  • October 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM // Reply

    A freshman went into the locker room for gym class, but no one was in there and the lights were flickering. All of a sudden the lights went out and made her run to the gym and she felt a very cold breeze. She heard her friends screaming for help, so she did the same and then it all went silent.

  • October 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM // Reply

    The Last man on Earth lived in his post apocalyptic house and lived peacefully, and enjoyed being alone. He passed time by reading and praying. As he was reading he heard a knock on the door.

  • October 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM // Reply

    As I rowed down the channel I noticed boats had been stranded on the beach. I continued on, the water started to change color from a blue green to a deep red, there were figures in the water, probably just cod or stripers. The last thing I remember were the figures dragging me down.

  • He was inside the house, in the kitchen maybe, i was looking for something-anything- i could use to strike him when the time came, i would be ready. I heard the footsteps of my fate walking up the stairs, heavy, but slow-like he was giving me time to run, teasing me before he would make his move. i heard a noise, the drop of something heavy behind me-it was the cat jumping off the shelf at the end of the hall, i turned back aroun…..

  • October 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM // Reply

    Mrs. Smith may I go to the bathroom? Mike enters the stall, he hears an announcement over the loudspeaker, “ This is a lockdown not a drill there is someone in the school.” Boom, boom, Mikes heart is raising, the quiet grinding of the hinges sound, the bathroom door open, “What do you want… Why are you doing this?”

  • Laura was contemplating on attending the party as soon as she found out Beth and Beth’s ex boyfriend, John, would both be in attendance; Laura didn’t want anyone to become skeptical of her and John secretly sneaking around after several months now. After Beth caught Laura flirting with John, Laura went missing. Did she leave with John or was she accompanied by her soon to be enemy-Beth?

  • Note: oh, this is FUN.

    When one of us tired of shoveling, she sat and listened, and the other took over. Eventually, the sound of his promises, his curses, his begging, was muffled under the dirt.

    “Please, one day, baby, please, please, please forgive me for not protecting you,” Mom murmured, pressing my hand to her damp face.

  • The shadows followed Dillion. Dillion hadn’t noticed until there was blood on his wall and a shadow of a young girl next to the blood that was splattered on the wall in the kitchen. Dillion knew he was getting some sort of payback for the murder he committed just a year before.

  • The Package

    A package addressed to my neighbor arrives at my doorstep in error, so I walk it across the hall, lean the thing against his door and promptly forget the matter, until the following evening when I return home to find it pitched on its side, a dark wet stain blossoming from one corner as though the contents have begun to leak.

    In a burst of neighborly good will, I cross the hall and bend down to return the package to an upright position, whereupon I am treated to a small cloud of flies followed by a swift blast of the sweet, fetid, unmistakable stew of foul odors produced only by decaying flesh.

    As I drop the package and throw my hand over my mouth and nose, a single sentence scrawled just below the address catches my eye, the florid letters bubbling and looping along in black sharpie as though rendered by some middle school girl: See what you left behind?

  • As I was walking back to the room after washing my hands, thoughts were running through my mind “was he still there or had he left while I was gone”?
    When I got back to the room a sudden relief hit me, he was just as I had left him with a knife through his chest.
    Now I can move on to the others

  • As twelve year old Sally lays there in what she thinks to be the trunk of a car, she trembles and whimpers softly; she had just been walking home from school when all of a sudded, the back of her head starts to throb. The car stops, and she hears the foot steps coming closer; the trunk opens, and the bag is removed from her head and out pops two men with painted on smiles. Now 25, people do not realize why she is so terrified of clowns, until they know her last name as they realize that she was the child who had been missing for eleven years.

  • The girl was just fifteen, she didn’t know the guy; it was dark in the room, and she couldn’t understand why he was doing this. All of a sudden she was overcome with such fear that she lost all sense of strength; she said “no, no, stop! i said stop!” but he wouldnt stop and as hard as she tried to push him off…he was just to strong. she kept things to herself for a while, didn’t fight against it and now almost three years later she still suffers anxiety when she hears the ugly and horrifying word…rape.

  • October 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM // Reply

    At the sound of her baby’s cries from across the room, Mary felt her throat seize up with a red hot pain, a pain that coursed itself down through her entire body and brought her down, helplessly, to the floor.
    From there, as blood trickled out in front of her and her vision began to fail, she watched as it stepped over her and scooped up her child out of the open cradle.
    Then, in a voice like silk, fit to drag them both into horrifying blackness, it sang a lullaby.

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