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The Shortest Short Story Contest (Free w/Prizes)

Categories: Brian Klems' The Writer's Dig Tags: Brian Klems, online editor blog.

Over the coming month thousands of writers (including you, perhaps?) will take a stab at knocking out 50,000 words in just 30 days for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). But before the marathon hits, we wanted to do a short race—a super short race—and give you an opportunity to write The Shortest Short Story you can write. In fact, we’ll give away a prize to the best one. Here’s how it works:

Write a story in 132 characters (or fewer) and post to Twitter with the hashtag #SSStory (the hashtag is where those final 8 characters go) so we can track it.


Write a story in 140 characters and post it to this blog (bonus of posting to the blog is you get an extra 8 characters! — But I will count to make sure you stay within the character count).

Post your Shortest Short Story by 10/31/12 at noon Eastern time to be eligible for a prize. The Writer’s Digest editors will then read them all and pick our favorite, naming it The Shortest Short Story Winner of 2012! And the winner will get a free copy of Novel Writing, our 128-page guide on writing a novel. Check it out here.

ALSO AS A BONUS: If more than 300 people participate (either on Twitter with the hashtag #SSStory or by commenting on this blog or by tweeting the tweet below), I will unlock an Easter Egg download for everyone to enjoy.

Enter @WritersDigest Shortest Short Story Contest Today – http://bit.ly/Tq5lhl (It’s free & there are prizes!) #SSStory


P.S. – NaNoWriMo Help Is Here!

In honor of NaNoWriMo (and in celebration of the completion of our first ever Shortest Short Story Contest), I’m going to be offering free content every weekday in November to help all NaNoWriMo participants (and, really, anyone who is working on a novel) to make progress on their work. Each week will cover a different theme which include:

Nov 1-2: Creativity / Idea Generation
Nov 5-9: Story Structure / Plotting
Nov 12-16: Character
Nov 19-23: Inspiration
Nov: 26-30: Endings / Revision

So check back daily starting November 1! We’ll be giving away a lot of good stuff, so don’t miss it.


Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
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237 Responses to The Shortest Short Story Contest (Free w/Prizes)

  1. billfarkas says:

    She snuck up to the window, gun in hand. They were still tangled in each other. The glass shattered, along with her innocence and dreams.

  2. midnight writer says:

    Ira knew it was irrational as he stood his hand pressed against hers, the window between them. His wife always accused him of being a realist; he winced at the irony.

  3. midnight writer says:

    He let loose his pain, the words boxing her ears. He now knew about the affair so something would change. In the silence, she ached for the moment that had passed by them.

  4. iponder says:

    I’ve got everything now — you, kids and my health. I feel happy and weightless. I open my arms. But sly wind on the bridge lets me down.

  5. dmddeb says:

    Our eyes met through the wire fence. Hers mirrored sadness, fear and hope. “That one!” I shouted, and that’s how Honey found a home.

  6. levz says:

    I failed lit because I couldn’t understand the Odyssey. What was Ulysses thinking? If I could ever leave home I would never want to return.

  7. peter hood says:

    ‘James,Why all the questions about grandpa? You know he’s dead.”
    “If that’s the case dad, why’s he standing behind you.”

  8. gh0st0wl says:

    Sorrow fills her eyes, and a single tear tracks her pale skin. The latch closes on the case, and the lock clicks behind him on the door.

  9. eliza.davis says:

    Sunlight filtered through the bus’s grimy window and created a dappled leopard print pattern on her skin. She smiled. Fabulous is a mindset.

  10. Cathy says:

    Dan married Ann. Then he met Pam. He couldn’t marry Pam. He built a shrine in his mind. Pam married Bob. Bob beat Pam. Dan killed Bob. Now Dan lives large in Panama.

  11. Y2KindGal says:

    Fear. Panic. Hope. Love. Thoughts that pass quickly through his mind as he looks up into her eyes and says, “I do.”

  12. rose012082 says:

    Tammy gazed in the wolf’s eyes not feeling fear but something familiar. He looked back at her longing for the day he can tell her the truth about her best friend, the wolf.

  13. NotTheNorm says:

    Ringtone lets Blondie’s hung over hand find her iPhone beneath string waistband yet out of reach. A J.D. fog voice: Bet ya can’t swallow it

  14. KellieLThurman@gmail.com says:

    Oh! I get it…I miss-read….characters, not words!
    I’m the character!
    Now…that’s a good story in itself!

  15. Mari4 says:

    I was cornered. They surrounded me. My heart raced, my breath was shallow. My scream was stuck in my throat. The largest took a step closer.

  16. mscelice says:

    He falls asleep; my stolen dna on him. I nudge him but he never moves, so I do. One of us will die tonight, but it’s not me. This gun was full of bullets, and now, so is he.

  17. valerieormond says:

    She spent her twelfth year praying for dad’s safe return from the war. At thirteen, she learned the difference between safe and the same.

  18. KarenInSacramento says:

    We walk through the rustle of fiery leaves by Linden Pond, past that iron bench where we met. We were so young then, so sure our futures would be amazing. Janice still dreamed of painting every aspect of the sky, and I was halfway through a doctoral thesis of unparalleled brilliance.

    Our youth and our love made us brazen.

    Later, struggling to pay off student loans with Janice’s earnings as a graphic artist, we grew bitter and weary. The atmosphere in our apartment was cold as Siberian tundra, our conversations nothing more than cascading accusations.

    We divorced a year ago, strangers until today. Janice’s mother died; I am the passing approximation of a friend.

    We began here once, not knowing our future was merely a fable. But as I steady Janice along, I realize our story isn’t over yet.

  19. Originality says:

    Violins played, guests stood to honor the bride and groom. As he walked past me, the groom mouthed, “You were my first choice.”

    My entry. Hope it counts.

  20. Originality says:

    Writer’s Digest user attempts to post her competition entry. You are posting too quickly, slow down.

  21. mscelice says:

    He falls asleep; my stolen dna on him. I nudge him but he never moves, so I do. One of us will die now, but it’s not me. The gun’s full of bullets. Cock, aim, and now so is he.

  22. Storyteller says:

    I was engaged twice and escaped both times. The third was careful. He sealed the room as I watched from the bed. Pity he underestimated me.

  23. jbzeidler says:

    I forget why I came here. It wasn’t to see you. But since you’re here, I miss you. And I’m going to regret saying that later. I think I’ll go now. Say hi to your wife for me.

  24. NevadaDean says:

    The beast’s pleading eyes pierced his soul as only June’s could. Collapsing from the horror of this revelation, everything went black. June!

  25. AmPie says:

    “What the hell do you call this?”
    I tried lightening the mood: “I think, therefore I am?”
    “Stop thinking so much,” he snarled.
    And I disappeared.

  26. Sarah says:

    Those who know me just call me Wash. Those who don’t know me, don’t call, unless, of course, if they’re from the collection agency.

  27. nikosgrl4 says:

    Tensely standing on the precipice, Richard looked down into the murky waters. Closing his eyes, he inhaled allowing the rush of wind to take him to his new destination.

  28. Sam Cook says:

    She saw shadows in the mirror. Heard slow, dull thuds at night. Doors quietly rattled. Time to sell, she knew. And then in crept recession.

  29. mwaddle says:


    Wind ripped out the oak, reveled roots, mud and human bones. She smirked, her secretes untold, her story now so old, that even when uprooted, she got away with it.

  30. Austen says:

    Five years ago I vowed to love him until death parts us. Four months ago he left. Three days ago I had his son. Two hours ago I saw his grave. One minute ago I knew death won’t part us.

  31. Larry Hodges says:

    “Oops!” cried the witch. “I meant to write, ‘Sir, end her door fee.’ I want the wizard to stop charging Dorothy to enter the city.”

  32. JennD_18 says:

    His slim, green body waved in the wind. Many left for a better life. His body tore. He twirled in free air. Oranges, purples swirled around him. It’s not always greener.

  33. Sarah says:

    Last night, I had a dream that life was so much better than the life I’m living. But then I woke up, and the nightmare began.

  34. IULIAN says:

    This was mine up on Twitter:
    Go east, go west, I’m not your damn driver, he said pointing a gun at me. So, I blinked and he vanished. Being a wizard kicks ass. #SSStory

    PS: Thanks for the upcoming NaNoWriMo help, but it would’ve been even better if done during October :) :)


  35. adellshay says:

    Conjoined twins – one breath, one heartbeat, singular anger, four lips touching. Kim watched Ky’s last exhale and inhaled her own reunion.

    138 Charachters

  36. JennD_18 says:

    Pancakes, potatoes, and egg covered the table. The food fight didn’t spare the woman and her two daughters. But they were smiling. And they left with hands held tight.

  37. Sarah says:

    A movement behind me made me freeze in my tracks. I was supposed to be alone. I slowly turned around. My heart skipped. It was only my cat.

  38. cbradford61 says:

    As he surveyed the carnage left behind, a smile slowly creased Michael’s face. Next time, he thought, he’ll take the girl over the dog.

  39. NormaHuss says:

    Fast Eddie fleeced a dozen dowagers, then showered gems on Sweet Sue. Bang, bang, he’s dead. Sue beat the rap with airtight alibi, times 12.

  40. lrippe says:

    Noise Bullets Bombs Sand swirls Tense Stay alert Remember Training Find them Noise Child’s cry Incoming Break dive cover together we lie No noise

  41. warigia1 says:

    Nora the Psychic said he would be tall, dark and handsome. The mugger fit the description. Oh, to see him again – repentant. I’m desperate.

  42. Jourdan says:

    Ferociously, he loves. Like an ocean breaker touching down, rising, and crashing down on the beach face like the roar of a lion.

  43. EJF says:

    The crippled shoreline triggers memories of distant summers; sunburns, dunes reflecting the orange hues of a bonfire, and a June wedding.

  44. Awrighter says:

    Dr. Gray looks at the sky after a double ICU shift, prays a silent prayer & returns to aid those not fortunate enough to do the same.

  45. MJG says:

    We lean against your truck, sucking coke from a bottle we pass back and forth. You don’t do girls. This is as close as I get to your lips.

  46. preciouslv says:

    Addicted to him- 50 shades of grey
    Rehab- 51 shades of lonely
    Withdrawal-6 degrees of separation
    Relapse-New heartbreak, 31 flavors

  47. Larry Hodges says:

    A few apples a day kept the lion away, but only because of the strong throwing arms of the apple trees along the yellow brick road.

  48. ode2joy says:

    I’m sitting on the side of the road,waiting and wondering how they forgot me. Is that “my car.” No, it can’t be, they are passing me by. What did I do wrong?

  49. annepeterson says:

    At six, Julie won a bike. She proudly pedaled down the street so everyone could see her. One truck driver didn’t. The ride of a lifetime.

  50. Chilidip says:

    One step in the wrong direction; life changes in a flash. Peace comes for the price of unfulfilled dreams.

  51. I had to put the bitch down. I looked into her eyes as I held her neck still. She didn’t struggle too much. I wiped my eyes when it was over, and I thanked the doctor. What will I do with all that Kibble?

  52. Celestyn Zajac says:

    Samantha looked down at the cold still water far below.
    How had it come to this?
    She slid the gold band from her finger and watched it fall.

  53. Julia Byers says:

    The news is a wave; I am the shore. Someday it will take the rock that is my heart, wear it to sand and then nothing. He’ll still be gone.

  54. handyman43127 says:

    I play fate wins.

  55. BrynnaW says:

    The Pianist

    His fingers glide over the keys. His face is calm as he carefully listens to the instruments fine tune. The notes on the white paper become reality. It fills the air with a different feeling to every heart. The pace speeds up, his fingers move rapidly and yet, even more graceful. His heart combines with the tune and races along with the pace. The notes begin to playfully bounce off the paper. The fingers slow and delicately press each key. His heart is light, his fingers stop, he stands up and leaves his bench without a bow. Yet, it still lingers throughout the room, in every heart.

  56. PaulaMcC says:

    The card’s edge frilled from my multiple attempts – push it in, slide it slowly, forcefully … heart racing, the knob turns; I’m in.

  57. DMelde says:

    He showed the truth to Domen’s eyes who with rage and hate replied ‘You Lie!’ Now Domen hunts the boy of dreams throughout the world of make-believe

  58. ses7 says:

    Why is my comment still waiting moderation? Lame! ;-)

  59. Larry Hodges says:

    “I’ll sell my soul if Death’ll return me to my body,” said the president’s ghost. The Devil grinned. “You’re a politician. I own your soul.”

  60. wordstung says:

    I wanted to see the world. Zero budget. Decision: Rob bank, take first flight out. Keep going. Now I am in a small room – definitely not on my bucket list. World passing by.

  61. dlm014 says:

    “Hi,” I said. I thought it would last a week; but, he never called. Life goes on – another party, another day.
    “Hello,” he said.

  62. jewel35 says:

    Born a writer. Wrote. Stopped. Inundated with…school, work, husband, heartache, baby #1, baby #2, joy…. life. Stopped. Time to write.

  63. Kate says:

    Red gas swirls, tremors shake the room. I’m going to die. The door bursts open.
    “Dinner’s ready. Turn off that lame lava lamp,” my mom says.

    By Kate Staron
    140 characters

  64. lovescoffee87 says:

    I walked with the trick or treaters but no one saw me. Halloween was the only day I could assume spirit form to return to my family. I followed my son with dry spirit tears.

  65. davidl95 says:

    The ramp dropped onto the beach. I ran, the water filling my boots, sand on my pants. I was hit by a bullet and fell dead. That was my WWII.

  66. nicolaa says:

    Here’s my story
    At Whatever Cost

    She grew up in a place where dreams died young. Determined to win she gave blood, but it was neither hers to give nor take.


  67. Marie Elena says:

    “Who are you talking to, Mom?”
    “Mom?” my kids insisted.
    “You are so nosy,” I scolded.
    My youngest piped up, “Who’s the nosiest?”

  68. D2thaL says:

    Moments later, he realized he had planned on killing her at first sight. It was this, not love after all, that he had felt.

  69. KirstenB says:

    Splat! She giggled. Would Mittens ever learn about the window?

  70. Haypher says:

    My wife handed me the baby & left to get the bottle. Our 5 yr old looked at me and said, “Daddy. You can’t feed the baby. Your nipples don’t have broth in them!”

  71. beavis says:

    Today the streets are flooded with ghosts, witches, and pirates, their bags of booty in tow, smiling. Tomorrow is another day, and frowns grow from upset bellies, the smiles have moved on to the mouths of dentists.

    • beavis says:

      Too many characters, sorry, try this one instead:

      Today streets flood with witches and pirates, bags of booty in tow, smiling. Tomorrow frowns grow from upset bellies, the smiles have moved to the mouths of dentists.

  72. Marie Elena says:

    There used to be acres of nothing but corn, or beans or wheat. Fruit grew on trees. It tasted wonderful.

    “Taste?” Hmm, how to explain …

  73. ses7 says:

    Mom used my collection. Kids: sins are pebbles in your shoes. One by one Mom gave my rocks away. I guess my rocks were pebbles in her shoes.

  74. We loaded the van with our belongings. Excitement built as we drove to our new house. We lay there utterly exhausted after twelve hours of grueling work; we were home.

  75. sproctor722 says:

    Days have passed, but finally in the darkness of a cave, I give birth. I can barely see, but I hear her cry. I know we are going make it.

  76. Troutbum43 says:

    “As I sat down to write a short story, my only pencil lead broke”! The End

  77. As she stirred the pot of sauce, she thought of what she had gone through to get to this point. The sad thing was, it wasn’t even over yet.

  78. vrundell says:

    MJ’s squeal roused Jessie from the couch. Her tail swished as she lapped the delicious PB & J stain from his face. Life is sweet, she mused.

  79. KellieLThurman@gmail.com says:

    Drunk, I stumbled into the wrong bathroom. I could tell it was the men’s room as soon as my shoes stuck to the linoleum, and the smell of Roadhouse piss slammed into my nose, as I slammed into the wall.
    “For a good time call …”
    flashed before my eyes, as I went reeling around inside the forbidden.
    Realizing my mistake, I turned to leave. Through where I had been, I could see the soft glow of neon lights above the bar beckoning me,
    “come back out, have another …”
    but my spine turned soft, head fell back, and I saw the ceiling spinning around. My foot slid on a puddle of beer (I hoped it was a puddle of beer) and I fell.
    I had stumbled off that forever rolling wagon.
    And my tired, know better heart…stumbled inside me.

  80. lecadeau says:

    A prayer on his lips and rage in his veins fueled his descent towards the tower. The screams behind him, now almost cheers, as he prepared for his meeting with paradise.

  81. Angela Bonnaire says:

    “Left alone, sitting inside this deep, dark ditch; wondering how will I get out of here? The last thing I remember is Marty pulling into my house, bringing me a bag of golden crisp cereal,” Anna spoke quietly, looking around, trying to crawl her way through the dark, wet ground. “Oh no,” She whispered. “Someone’s coming,” Anna laid low with sweat dripping from her face. “I hear footsteps… There coming closer. I smell the scent of burning wood; it’s getting hotter,” she whispered. As the sound of chiseling leaves became closer, Anna started to sweat more. (Coughing, coughing) she looked up and screamed loudly. Falling to the ground she began to pray, “Father god, please deliver me… deliver me, deliver me,” she repeated over and over again. All of sudden she found herself in the middle of her bed laughing.

  82. lecadeau says:

    “He’s the best thing we ever did.” she sighed to her husband. It felt wrong leaving their son alone in his dorm room. Just as alone as she was…heading home with a stranger.

  83. luluwriter says:

    Screams and crying; oxygen masks flapped in the air as the cabin swayed. Passengers clung to seat rests paralyzed in fear. I took out my phone and keyed in, “I love you always…

  84. donunes says:

    He was underneath, thinking he should use magic to discover the reason of his marriage’s end. He went to Google. There he got the answer: Never is suddenly

  85. amckeever says:

    As tear-filled eyes looked up, I knew I had failed her. While that monster wouldn’t be hurting children again, her innocence had already died.

  86. Noemi Epresi says:

    “It won’t take long.” he promised…
    “I know.” she replied stroking his face. “Just kill me, that’s all I wish for.”
    And so he obeyed.

  87. naureen says:

    Day After
    The un-slept half of the bed- un-creased, cold- will be easier to tidy. She thought. When life enters a pause mode mode…it has to be lived moment by moment, in the making of the bed and the tea.

  88. Pedalpusher says:

    Stella rolled wildly across the hotel bed to answer the phone. “I’ve been waiting for your call,” she said.

    “You have?” said her husband, Jeb.

  89. doublequad93 says:

    It’s rude, y’know. To blind someone in their face. Where have those mannequins gone now? Oh, school? That was decades ago.

  90. kinrrataiyath says:

    There are those who exist in the time in between. The seconds gone. The minutes to come. Patiently enjoying the time you do not possess.

  91. ImTryingToSleep says:

    Full of righteous fury, a deity incarnate, I pointed the finger of scorn at them all—a doomed prophet for a dying generation.

  92. loftissimo says:

    For let: lead vest, one hole in chest.

  93. Masha93 says:

    I was alone.
    He slipped thru a door.
    I followed.
    He ran down dim halls.
    Where was he?
    I lost sight of him.
    Was I trapped?
    I tried to pull free.
    Spiderwebs held me.
    He laughed.

  94. Myra says:

    Whoosh across the roof. Wings. Massive. Puppy scurries, panicked by midnight flight.
    Whoosh; more massive wings. Pinions clash. Puppy quivers at chimney. Jump!
    “Pup! You are dusted in soot. Blood!”
    Above, lifeless talons; raptor down.
    Eagle soars. Refuge found.

  95. SimoneRobinson says:

    Amber liquid burns my throat, wind kissing my hair. He turns to me, at the edge. He’s still breathing, “Maybe, it’s just like flying.” I drop my glass.

  96. HuffmanHanni says:

    I dig a deep hole. A canyon for my evil thoughts. They wail as I shove them in. Fragrant earth buries them as I smile my joy.

  97. boneyardgypsy says:

    i returned home where i had left my heart. it was sleeping in the graveyard where i last loved anything. under stars i loved again.

  98. Taoran Prince says:

    Mom, Dad, everyone, I’m sorry. I’m sorry but I just can’t take this, this life anymore. Please forgive me.

  99. baybaybelle says:

    With eyes transfixed on the dancing stars, he couldn’t help but think that he was in a world with magic that made the impossible possible.

  100. Sarah says:

    He saw the masked man enter the building. He dove for Sue but was too late. A bullet ripped through her chest. He couldn’t let her go.

  101. Swordgrass says:

    Tear-sprang, she turned from the man at the door, looked down (just a little) to see a blue cap and upturned face.

    “Can I have his boots?”

  102. “I want to eat you?” Her ivory breasts heaved in her corset, she flashed her bloodied teeth; He hungrily kissed her decaying mouth as she groaned, “Happy Halloween.”

  103. barondry says:

    He didn’t know of what nature or world it was from. The misty thing did not move. It did nothing but watch him. That’s what was horrifying.

  104. A slammed door sealed my ending with Jake. I strolled home, unhindered by suspicion, unconstrained by parental expectation. Finally free.

  105. sean miron says:

    Not reading the rules properly, he began the contest:

    “You can only win if you stay inside of the ‘character’ count, not the ‘word’ count.”

    So he lost, shamefully.

  106. jcameli7 says:

    He screamed as the claw began to pierce his flesh, driving deeper into him. Oh god please just finish eating was his only thought.

  107. Leach55 says:

    To remember that night was only natural, but of course, who could forget her burning complexion as the stove did its job.

  108. ListlessWinds says:

    I stared down the abyss. Blinking, I watched a lone tear fall away into the darkness. With one last look back, I fell into the night.

  109. Zoe says:

    Tim saw Jay’s door ajar with smudges of blood, he went in looked at the dismembered body and screamed… “Wake up, it’s a dream!” said Jay.

  110. Renaythew says:

    Johnny dreamed big. He’d write a novel, soar above the clouds in a tattered balloon & cure cancer. Later. After this Pawn Stars rerun.

  111. cafegirl says:

    Sunlight turned your hair to burnished copper that summer day. Now I stare at the ruby drops of blood on the snow, filled with regret.

  112. TheOneMillian says:

    He had awakened in a different time to the same day, or worse to the same he he had been before his he now. Frightened, he left himself so a better he could be himself better.

  113. Yvonne Vallee says:

    I cried as I held you for the first time.

    There was no going back; I didn’t want to. Our eyes met and I realized your life was in my novice grasp.

    And my heart was in yours.

  114. Nunya Carley says:

    There once was a child who aspired to be a writer. Her adult profession was void of writing, but she did it every night before bed. Upon death, her words were discovered…

  115. chrystya777 says:

    A storm is coming, debris washes ashore, trampling the lives of those that survive. Shadowy figures stumble upon the beach, heading towards the masses, smelling life. Surprise surrounds the town as they realize what is about to unfold. We hear the screams and the biting, carnage on every corner transpires. Those not dying, flee, escape quickly and destroy what is in front, what they behold, told to trample all that stands in front of them, to burn anything that does not move. Alternately, fear ignites action among the hordes, all within sight, stumbling, but not falling, they are seeking refuge, but falling short, not able to keep life as it was, they look ahead, sadly. Escaping is foremost on their mind, ignoring the screams, death calls, they are running haphazardly, time grows short, future unknown.

  116. Frelisa says:


    Put The Money In The Bag And Stay Calm.

    After reading the deposit slip, the shaken teller grabbed the brown sack from the robber. Then she shoved two bundles of money into it. She kept the image of the white wigged male with rouge and thick red lipstick in her mind. His orange colored dress forced her eyes to blink. The thief pulled the bag towards him. He hurried towards the door.

    “He robbed me,” the teller yelled.

    The security guard socked the robber in the face, snapping his wig off. Before the robber fled, he blasted two bullets into the guard. Customers dropped to the floor.

  117. lucyrosem says:

    “Put your hands in the air.”
    “But I forgot to wear my deodorant today.”

  118. Tovli says:

    He called her ma’am, so she sat near his elbow. Every stranger loved him, but she was the exception, concealing a knife instead of her kiss.

  119. corriehaldane says:

    Our stories intersect like Venn diagrams, overlaping in the place that holds the life we made together. The rest of us don’t touch at all.

  120. avfang says:

    I can feel myself drowning in an unfathomable sensation as I, leaning over the balcony, watched her fall contently to her death, her kiss still lingering on my lips.

  121. ap63 says:

    Red said he didn’t want my mule. Mule wouldn’t ford the river. He bought a bay horse. Horse lost his footing in the current and Red hit his head. I still have my mule.

  122. handyman43127 says:

    Forgiveness jeopardized Jesus hung for payment.

  123. 1engelia says:

    With labored breathing, she jumped in and pried the box open. Unfazed by the stench, she gathered him in her arms. Welcome home, my love.

  124. mattyd111 says:

    Smoke rimmed room. Empty glasses, stained amber. I stumble into clean night air. Disgusted. Evading memories. Hit by a 18 wheeler. Success.

  125. Jess says:

    How am i supposed to write this? What counts as a character? Oh wait, I get it! Now I can start. How many characters do I have left? Oh shi-

  126. mpmellon says:

    I loved you! she cried, watching his back as he retreated from her. The knife handle made him look like a shark floating down the river.

  127. jrpbooks says:

    He sipped his coffee. Black, one sugar. He watched the people going past. Always in a hurry. Someplace to be and little time to get there it seemed.

  128. debraerfert says:


    Something’s wrong. Stop! Another click. I can’t breathe. Help me! I’m not dead. I can’t be. Please . . .

    “Doctor! Turn the respirator back on. Sarah’s crying!”

  129. sean miron says:

    He walks up the boarding ramp to the ship, both dressed and ready for departure.

    His heart is hanging heavily, knowing she’s finally in there somewhere.

    His feet are far away, walking on water to the past.

    A muddled mind haunts him, still human; with feet steady to the beat of the waves lapping up the dock, he smiled; the last man on Earth, stepping off of the shore to an Arc; across depths of deceit, dark with the memory of lost love.

    Crossing the threshold he sees her floating down the stairwell to meet him, a ghost.

    They embrace, willing the years away; squeezing away the last salty tears.

    They kiss silently, the energy between them speaking a language of its own.

    The gate draws behind them as the boat sinks to the ocean floor, finally seizing their souls.

  130. Michelle M. says:

    Natural Law

    Bird 1 chases Bird 2. Bird 2 carries hard-earned food. Bird 1 hollers and complains. Maybe begs? Bird 2 never looks back.

  131. titamibo says:

    Hot pink bounces hip to hip, shameless but for a passing boy. Old, blurry eyes shadowing her young curves go unnoticed. Out of the game, he sets fire to the stands.

  132. ryter222 says:

    They buried his highly-insured fingers yesterday. Cold ivory ached for his touch. Bare mahogany missed his martini water stain. McLean was right. Music can die indeed.

  133. The Golden Ticket

    The ad read, ‘One-way trip to 3rd planet, all expenses paid. No Q’s asked.’
    Can a life once lost be reclaimed? I would try.

  134. Yanaba says:

    Al saw a robbery; took a photo of the suspect with his cell phone, texted it to a friend as he was shot. He lived and the robber was nabbed.

  135. rustydude says:

    Boots on wood, squeak in door
    Clasped buckle, chaps on floor
    Kind woman, cold air
    Lurking shadow, up the stair
    Rifles fired, smoke blurred
    Still standing, love spurred

  136. mpmellon says:

    Another baby doll broken and left in the back seat. Too much crying, not enough cute. Maybe next time, she said, patting her round belly.

  137. aviseuss says:

    She gazed past that same window as a girl and curiosity took her out. Now, time has its hand on her somewhere between nostalgia and regret.

  138. Trula Varnum says:

    Once upon forever is a never ending story. Chapter after chapter draws me in and keeps me there. So, there I am, and there I’ll be forever. Amen.

  139. sara says:

    “Ran away with the circus?” Gus puffed his cigar.
    “What else can I do? I gotta face of an angel, and the body of-”
    “A horse.” Gus patted her rump. She swished her tail.

    by Sara Jacobelli
    135 characters

  140. DanieleB says:

    “105 birthdays. I wonder if I’ll have another?”
    “I guess that’s up to you and God.”
    She pretends not to understand. She’s not ready yet. I am.

  141. brumbala says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t sum up his life with an empty passport, but I do. My own is empty because of him.

  142. headrotguitar says:

    Spent too many nights here, anyway. Mind that train goin’ by, drown ‘til I can’t no more. That’s how it happened; I never heard her comin’.

  143. lucidscribe says:

    Fingers. All he could feel were fingers pushing, pulling, tugging- ah! A wet rip; a rush of pain, and darkness as another put on his face.

  144. angipanties says:

    I am the other woman, but I know he loves me. He is making his decision today. He said he would call so why do I keep looking out the window? The phone is ringing. Yes, it’s me!

  145. Xilo42 says:

    She held out an empty hand, full of hope.

  146. susiecc says:

    Frog watched silently as the sun nudged downward into the pond’s ebony pool. Soon fireflies would light the sky, like a candlelight repast. Dinner!

  147. glitterbug says:

    Timid fingers pressed against cold glass. So dark outside. Restrained by fear, she kept inside. His nature kept him out. Sweet darkness, his home.

  148. steveolson55 says:

    He flicked the butt toward the coffee can. Opening the door he tossed the car keys back onto the end table and took off his coat. The cat yawned.

  149. Mizzpr53 says:

    The birds paused their singing, the rivers ceased to flow, the Earth tilted and then collapsed, trapping us in infinite sorrow and we could not breathe and…

  150. bjfrye88 says:

    The desk shudders beneath me, its legs groaning a mahogany plea. Stop. Don’t break me. I want to cry the same but he warned before: this is the price. His pleasure for my A.

  151. gina22 says:

    I press my hands against my cup of tea, burning me. He sits there, saying apologies he thinks are sincere. I wonder if it will rain today.

  152. JRSimmang says:

    There was little I could do to keep her from crying. I was just as close to tears myself. Then, her perfume washed over me and I finally heard what they all said about her.

  153. limerickman says:

    I was alone when dark rains came & the water rose. The city & I pushed back against the tide & lived. When the sun rose, my city was people.

  154. ddtw224 says:

    “Think I’ll die?” Pa said.
    I pressed my hand on the wound. He smiled.
    “Ironic, huh?” he said.
    The gun was mine.
    “I love you.”

  155. abishop83 says:

    She covered me with a warm blanket and kissed me on the lips. I was happy that it was only a nightmare and the love of my life was still here with me and eager to become my wife.

  156. Lisa says:

    I walked on the sand with my head down, carefully stepping through the path of the thick sea grape hedge toward the beach. It was so hard not to look up as I heard the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline, but this is a tradition that Nonna started with me as a little girl.
    When I finally look up I see the most glorious image — the sea. The water is emerald green against the powdery white sand and I can’t wait to stick my feet in.
    As I wipe the tears off my cheeks I whisper into the salty sea breeze, “one day, when he is caught and I no longer have to run . . . this will be home.”

  157. yrobles says:

    What I thought was only a dream, was now my truth. The only life I knew was someone else’s fantasy. I live in someone’s dream. They wake up, but I live on.

  158. Tooks says:

    Detective James looked through the two-sided mirror. Five girls dead. Terry looked into the mirror side with a wide smile and gave a wink.

  159. Chaplain Debbie says:

    It was the beginning of the end. How did it come down to this? Love, hate, joy, anger and now…peace. Hello, Lord!

  160. Tanya says:

    I just looked at them for a few minutes. Silently, I honored the information that came to me. There was no right or wrong. All that remained was me, them, and our future.

  161. Sandra Kao says:

    Two years ago Natalia was standing at the crossroads of revenge and forgiveness. Today she’s standing at the altar saying “I do”.

  162. viii-ii-xciv says:

    Whilst contemplating his decision, mentally taking note of each individual he had come in contact with, his mind relapsed, to a person that continued to sit idly in the back of his head. He had made his decision, and now the attempt at pursuing such a person would be rather difficult…yet he didn’t mind. Had they rejected him, he would dismiss the request entirely and slither away into hiding where he sought comfort.

    With a note prepared, discreetly handwritten and folded neatly, patiently sitting in his denim pocket, he would start on the trail that would eventually lead him to his designation.

  163. MNappi says:

    My mind danced like a pagan under a full moon to the music of her words. Leaping over the edge I fell hard into her almond eyes, captured by her warm free spirit.

  164. writingmimi says:

    It was worth it! The nightmare she had lived was worth the eternal dream she was captured in. Purpose exposed. Nothing wasted. Finally free.

  165. MollieW says:

    He was mute backstage, eyes shut, fighting to stay upright. Swaying, he stepped backwards to rebalance and his right knee gave under him.

  166. TricksterShi says:

    “Something wrong?”
    “That’s the problem. It worked.”
    “It’s supposed to break, not work.”
    The missiles launched.

  167. PaulaCampos says:

    John curled in the corner as Jenna knelt to comfort him. Veronica struck AGAIN! Would her alters never quit? Could she fix things for love?

  168. She dreamed of an enchanted kiss. Lips touched. Bodies embraced. Eternity froze. Two soul’s ablaze, in unquenchable fire, of lust and love.

  169. Zol H says:

    Slight delay: He went out to buy a bottle of milk. Three years later he returned. “I’m home, baby,” he said and put the bottle on the table.

  170. m@rina says:

    -“Are you waiting for me?”, I asked my 5 o’clock appointment.
    – I don’t know. Am I?
    30 years, 2 children and 5 grandchildren later, it turns out he was waiting for me.

  171. Chelsea says:

    Winter was soon over. The quickness, the rushing laughter, the ghoulish smiles against a backdrop of brightly cold days were gone.

  172. Heart2Heart says:

    On November 30 Nana had a heart attack as she finished up her novel. Sad to say but NaNoWriNoMo.

  173. rawserocks says:

    He said”Tell me you’l consider me for next life,I’l die now.Say you’l accept me,I’l arise even from grave.”
    He’s dead & spirit now.

  174. Heart2Heart says:

    Without hesitation she defined success as being born in love, living each day simply loving others, dying having been loved by others, and returning to God who has loved you always.

  175. idealist432 says:

    Her son cried, “He said I caused the hurricane!” The mother responded, “The cosmos is not howling because of your love. Lack of compassion has made it come undone.”

  176. hopeh1122 says:

    He approaches. Deliberate gait. Gray hooded sweatshirt. Black leather heels dangle from his fingertips. My morning jog turns into a run.

  177. floridasunshiny says:

    He placed his calloused hand on the small of my back and pulled me close. Gazing into my eyes he whispered, “Give me your purse or die.”

  178. Matt Ederer says:

    I love her. Too much too fast. Of course she leaves. Now she dates a pizza man. It’s hard not to hate myself. Surprisingly, not mad at pizza.

  179. Olaburg says:

    A gunshot. A tear. Blood. Dragged by the feet, thrown in a box, in a hole. The last shovel blade of dirt. Moonlight winks out. Frantic clawing. Faraway sirens. Am I saved?

  180. photoquilter says:

    “What’s this?” asked Mom. “You never said we couldn’t make S’mores! “cried the kids. Mom sighed and added to the ever-growing list “no campfires allowed indoors.”

  181. fernnat says:

    Shattered windshield and blood, my car had bonded with the trees.
    The ambulance arrived, my auto was dead, but I lived on, albeit altered

  182. midnight writer says:

    She squinted to identify what pierced her heel. Her laugh, alien since her diagnosis, returned. She called out to the unwanted dog whose tooth it was, “I’m alive!”

  183. deborah101 says:

    I didn’t ask for this war. I didn’t want it. I only want it to end.” She cried out into the night as the missile hit the shelter. “just not this way….”

  184. zxt says:

    I have known true love, experienced it once, continuously. True love comes from the nudge of a wet nose, the warmth of a rough pink tongue, or the swish of a floppy tail.

  185. JCSever says:

    Waves crash the shore. Freedom glows on the horizon, molten fire melting into dark depths. A final memory. Cold, salty water fills my lungs.

  186. Ramsey says:

    “It weren’t the diggin that scared em,” Miner said. “Was what came up outta the holes.” Mr. Governor looked out over his Desolation, fuming.

  187. suesekar says:

    They each grabbed a spoon, hoping to find the coin in Aunt Sadie’s cake. They didn’t know this time she had added a special ingredient and they would all end up dead.

  188. lynnsavage says:

    The cold wind whipped around the small house. Cold and small, just like her heart as she sat and cried over lost love. He’d never come home.

  189. DStrout says:

    One winter, Pig made fun of Sheep’s coat.Sheep felt different and cried.The next day was Christmas.Sheep felt warm.Pig was dinner.You are what you are for a reason.

  190. monsoon says:

    The last Christmas card in the world read: once it was summer.

  191. rudykin says:

    Shaking, she set the gun down and stood in the dark. The man, barely visible, lay in a crimson puddle. His final breath, “Forgot my keys.”

  192. srunner says:

    The air’s down. Meeting in 15. Took my sweater off. Big ol’ grease stain! Choices: hot or be a slob? My shirt’s on wrong? Stain on back!

  193. RobCan121 says:

    Five cutlasses on each paw, an insatiable appetite for tuna trawlers to feed kittens in every port. We are the Pirates of the Catribean

  194. She wanted to tell him goodbye. But now the room was shaking. Under a table, he said, “I quit today.” She kissed him, “I hate you.”

  195. jarchi says:

    She let him go in winter. It had been seasons since their spring & she feared year’s end. Longing 4 another summer, she took a fall instead.

  196. foeaminute says:

    The crowd roared. I had never been so happy. I walked off stage and immediately felt empty again. I had never been so alone.

  197. hrcarp says:

    Birth was interesting, but I squeezed out. Yelling at the OBGYN, I took a swig from the milk jug and crossed number one off my bucket list.

  198. Russe400 says:

    Her husband expelled a stony sigh at the sound of his shovel’s first plunge. A sanguinary floral dress remained; many sleepless nights ahead.

  199. kovacsc2 says:

    Shattered glass hit the floor as he slammed the door. I flung the diamond on my finger into the sparkling chaos. One I love you, surrounded by a thousand good byes.

  200. Carole Caprice says:

    30 years went full circle. He said the music had a new sheen, though it was there the whole time – its only need was to be heard by an ear that could already see its glare.

  201. nerfhurder says:

    As if he knew that breath was his last,he looked at me and smiled. At that moment I realized he spent his entire life in that incubator.

  202. broncos01 says:

    Sadness engulfed him as he turned to go, circular lantern light showing him the way home, after burying his four-legged companion Max.

  203. Carole Caprice says:

    Short? Who U callin short?! U sayin I’m short on cash – I shortchanged ya – I got a short temper? & who R these 140 characters? A 4 ft. basketball player? a short-order cook?

  204. harpercrane says:

    I’m shattered – pieces of me under Michigan elm trees, mixed into Georgia red clay and rushing down storm drains with the Texas rain.

  205. harpercrane says:

    I gorged myself with our anniversary cake but still felt empty inside. Antacids in hand, I realized nothing could fill the emptiness inside.

  206. lagunarover says:

    “You thought the Fukushima disaster was an accident? Wrong. That was just a warm-up. How do you think we perfected Frankenstorm? Watch and learn, Mr. President.”

  207. JWLaviguer says:

    We carried that flag into every battle, and we had all made it out. The rest are gone now, leaving me to protect it. They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  208. humblebee says:

    Teehee, pardon my error…or possible Freudian slip?!

  209. humblebee says:

    Hi Brain,
    Is this limited to one entry per person?

    Thank you,

  210. daniellejet says:

    How did I get here? I don’t belong. I’m not this bad, I want to live. Wait, she’s frustrated like me. He’s grieving a loss like me. They understand me. I’ll be home soon.

  211. amarocco says:


    Frankly, I don’t like you. I really never have. The ring was beautiful. Sadly, it was not alluring or convincing enough for me to share your “once upon a time”.

  212. Cmpelchat says:

    Death was normal, it happened to everyone, didn’t it? Death explained that this was my end. The end? But I’m not done yet! Yes, you are. Shi

  213. Hi,
    should the story have a title?
    Thank you, Brian, looking forward to those November posts on novel writing,

  214. lbh100 says:

    He covered my eyes with a worn bandana before he killed me, but I recognized the roughness of his hands, my husband’s factory calloused hands, wrapped around my neck.

  215. JWLaviguer says:

    Do spaces also count as characters, or just letters, numbers, and punctuation?

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