Salon has a small collection of tiny horror stories for Halloween. The only rule is that they can only be two sentences long: so you can go for Hemingwayesque brevity or a Joycean ramble, but you’re only allotted two periods.
So I wrote one. They’re easy!
We had lost electricity, gas, and supplies months ago, so no sound disturbed the gentle hiss as the flakes fell, no movement marred the scene, and our houses in this sleepy little town all looked like picturesque Kinkade cottages pillowed with untrammeled snow, except that there was no curl of smoke from our chimneys, nor any ruddy glow behind the windows. Behind those dark windows rimed with ice, we all stared admiringly with hollow eyes in gaunt faces at our neighbors’ lovely homes, and with cold-numbed fingers we loaded shotguns and sharpened axes, and we thought simple, homely thoughts of wood, and fire, and warmth, and…barbecue.
Now, it’s your turn. Leave a two-sentence horror story in the comments. I’ve got a morning of teaching ahead of me, but when I get some time around noon, I’ll promote the best of them up top.
Ooh, I thought of another one!
Scientists had mastered immortality, but there was no way around the limitations of the human mind. By the end of the century, the world was ruled by ancient old men who had shed their oldest memories, and lacked even the faintest recollection of their mothers, their childhoods, their first kiss…
So many stories…here’s a short subjective sampling from the comments.
Alicia was already bored, “you don’t have an PlayStation or anything?” she asked.
“I know a game we can play,” Danny said, running to his dad’s nightstand, “You can be the robber!”
From Crip Dyke:
His unfamiliar hands put down knife and fork with a bright clink that pierced me painfully even though my migraine had largely subsided, and then my date etched in my memory his admission, “Yes I’m that John Loftus, but you shouldn’t let what you’ve read concern you: I’ve learned so much lately. Have you heard of the Men’s Human Rights Movement?”
From Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe:
We stared up at it, watching the teeth dig in, the dark mass spread, rootlike, over its meal, and for a moment we imagined that we might be able to stop it.
Then someone (I can’t remember who) realized that, given the speed of light, this had happened eight and a half minutes ago.
From Rey Fox:
There are no jobs. Next, climate change.
From UnknownEric the Apostate:
Jack the MRAtheist was sitting in his hotel room, writing short misogynist screeds on Twitter, when there was a knock at the door. A voice on the other side said, “Hi, It’s Rebecca Watson.”
I knew it was over before I even got to the hospital: the pain was terrible and the bleeding worse, my fever was 103 but the contractions weren’t coming. The nurse came into the room beaming and said, “Great news: there’s still a heartbeat and we will treat you both with love!”
I rolled over in my husband’s arms to kiss him. I put my hand up to cradle his head and against my fingers felt the back of his face.
As I sit finishing reading some alarmist tripe about how a fungus like Ophiocordyceps unilateralis was in a position to turn zoonotic, driving people into open fields for spore release and some other miserable dreck that would never have the standing to be published any place respectable, I mourned the rise of clickbait journalism. I need to get away from this electronic glow for a bit, enjoy the beautiful crisp autumn air, feel a little nip in the wind in a place where I can cloudgaze for a while; it’s been forever since I’ve visited the park…
Looking down on her decaying corpse, the rotting flesh already falling from her bones, maggots crawling within her mouth and her eyes bulging from their sockets, I gave thanks that at least her pain was no more. Then she blinked.
The wiggeling mass of tentacles handed over the large bundle of dollar bills to the little boy and they shook hands – or better hand and slimy appendix of the netherworld – on their deal before it disappeared again into the darkness under the boy’s bed.
“Daddy, Daddy, there is a monster under my bed, you have to come and look and help me”, cried the boy, with a little smile on his face while counting his bounty.