Writers in the Storm

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October 25, 2013

The Two Sentence Horror Story Challenge!


Be very afraid.

I don't remember where I first found reference to this writers challenge, but I was intrigued. Writing a horror story in two sentences? How could someone DO that?

Well, it’s not only possible, the results are amazing!

Go read these twelve, and come back. We’ll wait . . .


After reading those, who could resist taking up the challenge?

Not the WITS Bloggers!

medium_1844962923Here are our two sentence horror stories. Our gift to you, for Halloween.

Laura Drake:

She loved Don, but Fear Factor? She’d thought she could power through, but love died when the first hairy leg touched her face.

Jenny Hansen (from my contemporary single title, A Bit of Intrigue):

Simon missed the personal contact of gutter-variety larceny; he missed the smell of fear that oozed off a person as he beat them.  Most of all, he missed that effervescent moment, when their pain-crazed minds finally understood: their fate belonged to him and depended on his mercy.

Orly Konig Lopez:

It was a closed casket funeral, there wasn't enough left of the body to piece it together into anything recognizable. I was the last one in the room saying good-bye, except for the person scratching at the inside of the casket.

Sharla Rae:

It was an old creaking house so every night I ignored the thumping footfalls coming up the stairs to my bedroom. And every night I’d sigh in relief when they abruptly stopped at the top; until they didn’t.

Fae Rowen:

For some inexplicable reason, every morning when she pulled back the curtains she gave thanks that the green gardens outside her bedroom window looked exactly the same as the day before. But as the heavy drapes slid aside today, large smoking holes in the dead landscape didn't slow the mutant army marching toward the thin glass wall separating her from them.

We know WITS readers are always up for a challenge, so now it’s your turn. Post your two sentence story in the comments! 

Come on, scare us . . . we dare ya!

photo credit: Stephanie Massaro via photopin cc

90 comments on “The Two Sentence Horror Story Challenge!”

  1. Okay, I'm game, even though I've never tried to write (or think) of something scary. I thought about what frightens me most, and this is what I came up with:

    Sara crouched beside the locked metal door of the windowless saferoom in her basement, peered into the compact mirror she’d wedged beneath it, and watched for her stalker. "I’m safe, I’m safe," she thought, until the first ribbon of smoke curled through the gap.

    Thanks for coming up with something fun to start my day!

    1. Ouuu, Jamie! For someone who doesn't think or write anything scary, you nailed it. 🙂

  2. From a WIP:

    I lay motionless on the cement floor and smelled the rot of him as he shuffled nearer. His shadowy feet moved toward my face, close enough for me to see the maggots crawling out from under his toenails.

  3. She stood facing the man she believed to be her husband, the dead thing in her hands still dripping blood. She had no idea what she had just given birth to, but it could not be allowed to live.

  4. The eyes that stared at me were full of hate; full of longing; full of fear; full of murder. I didn’t dare acknowledge to whom these nightmarish pits of despair belonged, until the mirror showed that the hand slowly driving a screwdriver into the side of my neck…was my own.

  5. Light footfalls followed me through the empty house, but try as I might, never saw who might be there with me. Certain it was my imagination I felt a surge of relief, until my gaze fell upon the open kitchen drawer, a gap left where the boning knife had sat only a few minutes earlier.

  6. Whoot ... both the comments and the post sentences are awesome. In case I never mentioned it Laura Drake, I have this thing with spiders. Hairy legs indeed 🙂 Here is something from an old mystery draft:

    He felt the warm satisfaction of the flesh on her face rip open, felt the bones in her hand crack, heard the crunch of her nose, flatten. When at last he reached for the bright silver tool in his back pocket, she had no ability to move, no voice left to scream.

      1. Wow Sharla, that's about as big a compliment I could receive, since Koontz -- especially The Watchers -- is my favorite writer; after you, of course.

  7. With homage to Ernest Hemingway's six word short story. "Baby shoes for sale. Never used." It projects the mind into a complete story. Most of what I've read on this -- including my own -- reads more like opening lines to a story rather than a complete horror story; yet, I haven't read a one I didn't enjoy and admire the writing. So, -- with apologies to the great one -- I offer:
    "Coffin for sale. Only used once."

    1. I have another variant on that - inspired by yours Bob:

      "Coffin for sale. Cleaned up."

  8. Falling into this dark pit, sitting in the gloom, is not what filled me with horror. It was the continuous clinking of knives and forks.

  9. As a romance writer, this is my version of horror…

    Harried and running late, as usual, I dropped my six bratty hellions at school and raced to the doctor’s appointment for results of my post-op bloodwork. The doctor, who performed my tubal litigation two months before, sat across from me, sheepishly red-faced and scratching his head, as he announced, “You’re pregnant.”

      1. That is true horror. Suggested third line. "I ran to the window, threw the shades back only to stare into the eyes of three kings, dressed in Eastern garb.'

  10. Not my "thing", but I'll give it a stab 🙂

    “Wake up, wake up,” I screamed to myself… as the man who had raped and attempted to murder me six months before strode purposefully toward me, reached into his chest and ripped out his own heart. I’d sent him to the morgue with a bullet through that mangled, warm, pulsing thing he now placed in my hand; how could I possibly be feeling the knife blade he held in his other hand cutting into my own chest?

  11. They said it wouldn’t hurt, and after it was over I would be powerful like them. But having your soul ripped from your body and flung into the depths of hell was excruciating.

  12. He was such a handsome man, tall and elegant, with a smile that filled my childhood heart with a warm hug. I should be thrilled to see him again, my grand-father, my inspiration, had not our twenty year separation been started by his death.

  13. I'd boarded up the mirror years ago, but I still faced that piece of plywood, old habit, as I tied my tie that morning. I could almost make out a ghostly reflection in the damp wood as my fingers wound the silk around my neck, tight and tighter still.

  14. Three feet above the ground I stood, on a wooden desk with a noose around my neck. At first, I wanted this but then I began to change my mind, until someone pushed me over.

  15. She ran to the other side of the bed and crunched down in the corner of the semi-lighted room. Seeing no one she thought that she was safe until she felt that hot breath in her ear.

  16. Sorry all, I've been in Vegas all week, signing at the PBR Finals - first chance I've had to check in! WOW! You guys rocked this one!

    It ocurred to me - see how you can convey a story in two sentences? By distilling your words down, and making every one count, you came up with awesome stuff...could you carry this lesson to your regular writing?

  17. The splintered wood pressed in from all sides, snagging at my clothes and scratching the bare skin on the back of my neck and the palms of my hands.
    "Sorry to bother you," a voice hissed into my ear, "but when you've finished dying would you mind budging over a bit?"

    Not great but great fun having a go. ;D

  18. How about:

    I used to love how my pet rat, Jerry, would lick and nibble gently at my fingers when I took him out of his cage in the evenings, looking at me all the while with with his wise, bright little eyes. Then I developed narcolepsy...


    I was delighted to be dating Peter for the first time without being in a foursome. I felt the first twinge of unease when Pete related with amusement how he had wrung the neck of a friend's cat that was irritating him.

  19. First, they shut down the government; inflicting immense harm to the nation's economy and international reputation... Then, they were re-elected.

  20. Mrs. Maple always grew the prettiest flowers, fruits, and vegetables; every year at Halloween, when the neighborhood kids came by, she was praised for her outstanding efforts. Although she had no children of her own to share it with, each of her five husbands remained (very) close by.

  21. For a few sleep dazed seconds he thought his wife was snoring. He turned over, and met the empty gaze of the blind child who was sawing off her head.

  22. One by one, we remove the items from our little son's room that frighten him: The tragic/comic masks over the bookcase, the painting of a clown, the stack of books in the darkest corner, the laundry hamper, the pillows... until, at last, he lies naked on the bare floor in the center of his sanitized room, saying, "Mommy, I'm still scared," to which I answer, "There is nothing left to be frightened of," and turn out the light. In the depth of the night I awake to the knowledge of a presence in my room and in the sudden glare of the lamp my son stands, head bowed, cupping his hand and says, "You were wrong, Mommy, but I fixed it--I removed the staring eyes that frightened me," and he reaches out his bloody hand to show them to me and raises his eyeless face to mine.

  23. "You're imagining things, there's nothing crawling under your skin," the doctor told me with confidence.
    I grinned as he shrieked, clawing at his own arm, realizing it wasn't just me and he was so very, very, wrong.

  24. The voices in my head have been arguing for years, and have finally started killing each other. The screams of the dying voices make me sad and terrified as I wonder who will remain, and who I will finally be.

  25. My husband, in the bed next to me, awoke me in the night by firmly squeezing my hand. I turned on the light, and he was sound asleep in the recliner by the door.

  26. I lit the candle before the mirror to see the shadow of my true love. I was not expecting to see the shadow of the Beast that arose on the wall behind me.

  27. It was the custom of the villagers to tie a bell around the wrist of a corpse before it was buried, in case the village doctor had been mistaken and the deceased was not truly dead. The boy, walking home alone late one night, took a shortcut through the village graveyard and as he made his way among the graves, he suddenly heard the ringing of bells, scores of them, the sound muffled and distant beneath six feet of earth.

  28. while sitting in my living room I heard my mom call me from the opposite side of the house, but, while headed that way I heard the same voice beckon to me from a nearby room. As I looked in, I saw my mom laying on the floor with a knife in her forehead.

  29. getting my daughter ready for bed I "Checked for monsters", but as I was giving her a hug she looked behind me and said, "Dad, theres a monster behind you". At that point I turned around and no one was there: Questioning her she replied saying, "I know, it ran in mom's room", and then all I heard were screams of both her and her unborn baby.

  30. I had heard about out-of-body experiences during surgery. It was interesting till I saw the surgeon cut my artery and I watched as I died.

  31. How about this one

    My wife used to laugh at the thought of ghosts. But now she has been dead for a year and I can still hear her laughing.

  32. A couple weeks ago a friend introduced me to 2 sentence horror stories. And i havnt been able to pull away from them, and knowing i had an addiction i figured i might as well try to create a couple of my own... here goes nothing;

    1) I grew up with this strange ability, an ability to see death; a tall slender figure, who would stand outside of a persons house waiting for them to be ready to go to the afterlife; and i allways thought it was a good thing, seeing him infront of houses. That was, until, i saw him infront of every house.

    2) I used to have mirrors all over my house, until i began to see a strange figure in them. Out of paranoia i removed the mirrors, and that fixed this problem... atleast... for a short period of time.

  33. This is I brilliant one that no thought.
    You are in a world engulfed in flames scared to death,when you see a face. You try to wake up,but you can't

  34. I found this website by just browsing around this two sentences stories are awesome!!. I'm going to be creative and do my own two.sentence story. We wish me luck thank you for having this.website for people like me everywhere!!!

  35. As the mother lays down her last dead child for a nap. She whispers smiling" We are all together again "

  36. I slept with a gun knowing I would never need to use it, until that night finally came. The long dark shadow slipped across the light under the bedroom door and I knew the gun would be useless.

  37. I steppd in from the storm into my creaky house, which usually makes screaches and bumps when you walk. I then observed how loud the creaking was getting and how close it was getting, and realized I was not walking.

  38. This one just hit me:
    I was taking a walk through the woods and found myself lost in the rain and darkness of the night. I stared ahead at the tall trees and when the lightning flashed and exposed everything ahead, I realized that the figure in the distance wasn't a tree..

  39. When I first slept at her place i could not hold myself from staring at the portrait on the opposite wall of the bed while I held her, sleeping in my arms. In the morning I shat myself when I realized that was not a portrait but a mirror.

    My first time writing something... And sorry for my grammar... This actually happened and I still don't know if it was just a dream.

  40. Every Sunday I would nag my wife to come motorcycling with me down the mountain so she can experience the same rush I get when I speed through my favorite corner, though she would always protest against it and make excuses to try and keep me at home.

    I eventually left her but I still rocket down that winding trail, wind in my face, bugs in my teeth and I pass her on my way, every Sunday, just like clockwork, as she lays flowers on the broken fence that overlooks the valley

  41. "Well, it's getting really late," she said on the phone to her boyfriend. "Alright then, good night, sweetie!" he responded. She tried to hang up with him but her phone was dead.

  42. Joanne called me again last night, asking if could pick her up from the bar. I might have gone this time, if she hadn't been killed in the head on collision while driving home drunk two years ago.

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