January 9, 2021 at 5:21 pm #123610
Ray Bradbury said “Write a new short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” So technically this challenge starts with him. I think. Feel free to write a short story about that!
Anyway, the only rule is that 52 short stories are completed, with a preference for the horror genre. BUT any genre is acceptable. Building on previous short stories is acceptable. Going buck-wild and blasting us with a novella is acceptable (mostly because I think that would be funny over-kill). As for word counts, the short story must be at least a complete sentence, at least 6 words.
For convenience, I am providing 52 prompts. Use or don’t use. All I ask is that you number the prompt you are using.
Here we go:
- Retell a RealLifeTM scary / interesting story.
- TheDollRoomTM setting with a twist
- Character A is removing the evidence of their clone/doppelganger (Bonus: show your research)
- Animal born with extra limbs isn’t a portent of doom. (Bonus: genre is horror OR comedy)
- You walk in on your imaginary friend and your favorite toy talking about you.
- Scientists open a cave – there’s something alive in it.
- Your favorite weird fact. Just a short story about it. Doesn’t have to be horror just mind boggling.
- The Sun is actually an eldritch abomination
- Normal interaction, only you write it scary.
- This shouldn’t have human features but it does.
- Retell your favorite ghost story.
- Non-Standard Horror Setting (example: underwater cave system, middle of a desert, motorway full of dead cars, play spaces after hours, crashed aircraft carrier and abandoned/ruined military things in general, multistory car-parks, shopping centers gone under, dead malls, ghost towns as in Wild West, abandoned anything, That Spot in your neighborhood – come on, you have at least one!)
- Character A haunts the team producing a horror film in their area. (Bonus: the film is still made and Character A has an uncredited cameo in the film.)
- The weird noises at night didn’t bug you until after your pet died.
- A sci-fi horror story.
- After a strange weather phenomenon, the townspeople find the graveyard dug up and empty
- A story on your favorite cryptid. (Bonus: show your research.)
- There is something mundane and cheerful and happy – but it is at the bottom of the sea and shouldn’t be. (Goal: mood-whiplash!)
- Zombies – or what you consider a close second (like That Relative before coffee.)
- The Gothic of your stomping grounds.
- Retell that story assigned to you in school that kept you up at night.
- Your favorite haunted setting
- Character A is in a classic horror situation but has (and uses) more than two brain cells.
- The dog with a shadow of a wolf.
- Your cool talking toy is starting to get creepy. (Bonus: there is a perfectly natural explanation. Bonus Bonus: still horror genre)
- In the country, we ignore weird noises at night and don’t go outside. It’s smart. This time, it’s smarter to go outside.
- Fracture your favorite fairy-tale.
- The furniture is alive and scary (think dark!Beauty and the Beast)
- Grandma’s got a secret.
- “No, this isn’t a supernatural haunting problem. You did a stupid.”
- Retell a RealLifeTM scary / interesting story only Three Truths, One Lie.
- The formally locked room is now unlocked. You wish that hadn’t happened.
- Someone believes Character A is a changeling. (Bonus: show your research)
- It’s not a demon. It’s a cat.
- You’re selling a haunted house. It’s going… about as well as you would expect.
- Google the thing that scares you. Now write about it.
- The clock only goes to 11.
- Google “most dangerous islands” and set a story in one. (Bonus: show your research)
- A short story during your favorite historical event. (Bonus: show your research)
- Pull three key words from your favorite quote. (Bonus: cite it)
- The first personal object you spot in your room. (Bonus: why is it personal?)
- Retell ThatStoryTM from ThatRelativeTM. You know, moms’ kitchen story that only the women hear, grandfathers’ story when relaxing without making eye-contact, grandma’s strange story she tells like a joke and then you grow up and are 0.o.
- You just made friends with everyone in the haunted house – you learn it runs all year long.
- Character A is the new president. They are given new information: it is their worst nightmare
- Google the thing you love. Now write it scary.
- America is spooky because it is big. Europe is spooky because it’s old. Why is your imaginary country / continent (your Neverland) spooky?
- Set the story during Thanksgiving dinner
- Escaped science experiment. (Bonus: It is never mentioned directly.)
- Why is your favorite Christmas ornament WrongTM?
- Christmas Elves are creepy. They are not only always watching you, they are waiting for you to mess up.
- “You better watch out, you better watch out, yOu BeTtEr WaTcH oUt.”
- At the end of every year, you must fight an eldritch abomination that is stopping the new year from coming.
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Catholic Creed. Reason: link didn't work
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Catholic Creed. Reason: double checking the link revealed profane language. Created list based off original
When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.January 10, 2021 at 10:07 pm #123657Cathy@this-is-not-an-alien
‘K sis. Challenge accepted…ish!
Here’s something like a short story I cooked up…idk how long ago… 😛
See You Over the Edge
If you can read this you’re all alone.
The guns are in the graffiti locker, the one with the red star. Trust me, you’ll need them. If you hear a bump don’t open the door. We won’t be there, but they will. Under the bed are your instructions, which is how you found this paper, assumably. The TV doesn’t work but there’s a camera in the ceiling. If you’re in a masochistic mood there’s Ramin Noodles under the TV and a Rubik cube under the desk. But you can’t win the Rubik by peeling the stickers around; I spray painted them on to drive my partner crazy.
You’re probably confused, or you’re experienced enough you won’t need this.
Ok, so here’s the deal; about a century or so ago pre-modern scientists and behavioral-analysists developed a game chip that’s been introduced to our dictator AI. They’ve probably told you something about the Bystander-Syndrome where the average person does not intervene in strangers’ lives. The example has been a murder in a subway in front of approximately three hundred persons who did nothing; roughly half of these didn’t even realize there was a problem. However, the rare few who don’t fall to Bystander-Syndrome are the most dangerous segment of the population. Congratulations, if you’re here you fall into that faction and the government has deemed you a threat to national security.
You see, you’re the type more willing to question authority and notice inconsistencies. The Bystander’s Test is just a cover, naturally; it also tests your logical aptitude, your private moral convictions, your leadership capacity and basically the probability of you seeing that everything wrong with this system and rebelling.
Don’t worry; you’re the last of us. Nobody expects you to save the world and you just want to live, right?
First, test the computer panel that we hid it in the TV; it’s that green square-shaped thingy with the punch lines and buttons and the big sticky note that says “Computer Panel” on it (you’re welcome). Now take that with you to the locker. See the stupid mirror with the paper flower rim all over it? Look sharp and peel the cover; it’ll come off like nothing. See the phone? (If you don’t, sorry; you’re dead). Insert panel in mirror.
Can you read this?
1. Turn left. Head straight 10.46 km. Left. Further instructions contin…
2. Wait for them. They’ll break down the passage (:bump).
3. These are the r&eal 1nstru3tions
À’@€€€ÿÀÀÀÿÀÀÀÿ€ À’@ À’@ ÿÿ À’@ ÿÿÿÿ $@ À’@
Are you going to follow the 1. Instructions?
Load the gun; you’ll need it. If you hear nothing but static they’ve already found you.
If you can read this you’re all alone.
Congrats, you’re still alive! If you shot them, move the bodies into the lockers. Don’t worry, the lockers are emptied every fifteen minutes, if I explained why you wouldn’t like it. If you’re injured the first-aid kit is behind the hand-print in the wall art. Welcome to Room 666.
I hope you brought the Rubik with you; it’ll be a while. I don’t know if there’s any food left but you can check their pockets; grab the keys. Most likely they’ll have a knife somewhere on them; use it to dig the chip out of their wrist. It really stinks but wipe it off and press the chip in your wrist, don’t worry; it’ll push itself in. You can use strips of their cloths to stanch the wound(s)
Stay in the corners and you might survive the night. Depending on how much blood you’ve lost you’re going to need to drink a lot of water; there’s a canteen on every one of them. By the end you’ll need all you can get. If you’re out of bullets, steal them.
I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to help you so just remember if you hear a bump, don’t open the door. If you want to deep six now you’ve got plenty of bullets but I wouldn’t recommend it. Chances are, your nerve will fail and you’ll miss mostly, which means a very long painful death. It’s not worth it; you can still make it out of here. Try the Rubik cube.
Do you know what a mathematical matrix is? It’s a cluster of numbers treated as one numeratical entity. If you add one to any of the numbers you add to all of them. Same with subtracting and multiplying and rooting and cubing etc etc etc. Right now everything’s a matrix. Every action you make affects everyone. If you know anything and you’re captured, we’re all dead. Trust me.
Ca48 540e j49 ; —–44 4*/+
Can you k3–970=+21+/244 )9-
Can you read this?
1. Hack the main computer to open door. Step 1; initiate program instructions contin…
2. Surrender. Tell everything.
3. DON’T FOLLOW 1NST9UCT!ONS
ÍÀÝTÎÓ,ç’ÀL•Ù¿¿éüÚ¾ËÞÌ”§‹ö1à×ëþÀ!Šï?‡YüþÚIýÈ2`×Æ¶³üþMùuäßl~9 ›¸A6Ï§êO†?õ^†Ùçðg, Q‰~âTgl–Îhâo÷²ù“2o:¿•Æ×2ÿw•r01‡‡Œpl6öëa!’4éÀt÷òË7‘pXVÈjõ5-gù7›ß¿C.ÿ$
If you can read this you’re all alone.
Have you ever played Prisoner’s Dilemma? It goes like this; two (or more) people are captured and the bad guys give them three options. One; you betray your friend and bounce scot-free out while your friend holds firm and gets the devil’s due. Two; you both hold firm and get a light tap out of it. Three; you both betray each other and you each get half of what’s coming to you.
If I’m not here, it’s over. I can’t promise option two so don’t bother over your conscience too hard.
If you can walk, get out of here. If you hear the lockers or the slide doors bump don’t open the doors! I hope you found something to eat but I can’t help you there. Cloths are above the wires on the second door. Wear the cap. Keep your head down. Next comes the walk through.
Hold your arm out and let them scan your wrist. All your injuries; hide them!
By now you’re at Checkpoint 66; basically, nobody’s made it past here, so good luck! We think you’re close to the end but it’s a labyrinth in here (you’ve noticed?). The Tower has 6,666 stories according to legend. Talk about a bad omen. If the guards let you past there’s supposed to be a sky gate leading out. Take one of their machines; it’s your only choice unless you want to chill on the other side. If you get out you’re outside the cities. We don’t know what’s past that. But the government placed a protective field around the sky levels for a reason, so be super careful.
If you’re reading this I’m probably dead. It’s not that I have much of a legacy to leave behind and my friends are probably dead too. Just focus on staying alive, ok? If enough of you guys live, you can build a community outside of the walls. I know it. Don’t make the same mistakes we made. Don’t develop artificial intelligences to rule you; unexpected complications happen. People aren’t trustworthy but at least they’re human.
The machine has picked the best and the brightest people to live. That’s about to begin so anyone you leave behind will probably die. If you’re different or have any health issue they won’t let you take up valuable space. Just remember every person has a purpose and nobody deserves to die.
I’m rooting for you so don’t kill off on me. Tomorrow’s my sixteenth birthday! I’m also out of paper just remember if you can rea…
She fixed her stare on the handcuffs, focusing all her efforts on ignoring everything else. A slick slap of the doors sliding open caught behind her. Not looking up, she stiffened and smothered a cough.
“Name and purpose.” The voice above her required tonelessly so she matched the expression.
“Designated or preferred.”
She sighed and stretched her arms awkwardly, further bunching the wrinkles on her Mario T-shirt. With a half attempt to flip back her hood with the bill of her cap, the prisoner mindlessly twisted her cuffs.
“AB7489. Project Behavioral Analysis of Post-Trauma Disorders.” she droned
“Come with me.” The person didn’t bother dragging her to her feet and she got up of her own accord. Clip, clopping footsteps echoed deafeningly on the reflecting floors. She blinked back blurry lights that assaulted her adjusting hyacinth eyes. Counting tiles just made her dizzier so minutes or hours sifted by unmeasured. Everyone wore the same polished shoes with the same noisy steps so she derived morbid pleasure from her threaded sneakers with mismatched socks.
The elevator went up forever but nobody spoke. Words were scripted to meet etiquette. Mostly. These would be the last steps she took, wouldn’t they? Possibly, or possibly there was a place outside with the real sunlight and real people. There was–somewhere.
“If you can read this. You’re not alone.”
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageJanuary 21, 2021 at 9:17 pm #124159
Its the little things in life, you know? Thunderclaps, lightning strikes, a cute little brother in your lap, a quirky kid’s show on the TV. Little things.
It really puts life in perspective.
Especially when you realize you don’t have a little brother and you don’t know what day it is and this is not your house and that is not a thunderstorm.
When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.January 23, 2021 at 6:18 pm #124238Cathy@this-is-not-an-alien
Dang. That’s a punch story!
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageJanuary 23, 2021 at 6:20 pm #124240
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