Brevity

This year, Every Writer’s 50-word horror story contest exploded. Over 4,000 entries. From the website, it looks like the wild popularity brought some drama too: The comments were all still up, last I checked. Eh, coupling a $500 prize with no limit on the number of submissions was… ambitious.

But hey, the winners are posted: Congrats to them!

And you know what? I still think my attempts are solid (even though I’m not blowing $500 right now on beer n’ books). Since they’re otherwise buried in the landslide of submissions, I’m re-posting them here.

 

Five 50-word Horror Stories

ONE SHAVING OF A RAVENOUS CHILD’S CORE

Starving… buried to my neck. Ten days? Twenty? Soil settles between my hollow ribs. Her filthy ankles return… more venison, dripping grease, lowers to taunt me—voices? Rose perfume… “Is it ready, hag?” “Tricksy, love potions! The boy must lust for food ’fore I carve his heart.” Oh, I hunger…

 

PATIENT FILE: MALE, 47, COMATOSE

I’m a night-shift ICU nurse: I monitor sleeping patients through a small viewing window. Started last week—remote hospital, but good pay. Weird staff though… Head nurse said, “If a figure appears in the room, leave. Get coffee.” But my call light’s on. And the old woman… she needs me.

 

INVERSION

I’ve lived in this house 50 years. Why are the light switches suddenly opposite? Wiring? Up is off, but I flicked up—light’s on. I’m… dizzy… is the ceiling’s molding running along the floor edge? There, at the end of the hallway… a figure? backwards walking They’re. .enola evil I

 

INCUBACIÓN

Diego has been blind for three days, muttering nonsense even in sleep. The shaman arrives. “El huevo limpia,” he says. An egg cleansing ritual. But the first egg breaks. The second too. A third. “Otro.” Fetch another. Our chickens… dead. Eggs burst. Yolks stringy and red. Diego’s white eyes smile.

 

HE WAITS

My family thinks I have a phobia of yellow chairs. Silly, right? Therapist blamed a buried memory. But the truth is that every time I see a yellow chair, someone is sitting in it. A man. Thin. Smiling. He smiles wider each time. Today, his mouth opened… so many teeth.

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