There’s a (probably apocryphal) story that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a six-word novel, and he responded with, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Over at io9 they’ve been riffing on this extreme flash-fiction idea with a series of posts inviting commenters to write six-word science fiction stories: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
Science fiction and horror are kissing cousins at the very least, so a lot of the contributions skew in that direction. Some are outright creepy:
It was moving under my skin.
“The snow… it… it… got hungry.”
“Try to relax,” my parasite said.
— Claire B.
They ate dreams. Only insomniacs survived.
Some are really evocative:
The monsters cry in their sleep.
The outsiders killed us last night.
Walls had ears. Eyes, too, now.
The Old Gods come in peace.
Death machine works, but it weeps.
And some are funny:
Zombies placated! They just wanted hugs.
“The badger revolution humbled us all.”
Room for rent, cheap. NOT HAUNTED.
— Long Lost Albatross
“Chess?” scoffed Death, “no way. Candyland.”
(Most of them seem to be less “complete story” and more “really intriguing first sentence.”)
Want to play along? Write your spookiest six-word story and leave it in the comments! Here are a few to get you started:
“Believe in ghosts? I am one.”
The screaming isn’t real. Ignore it.
Tiny footsteps run into the closet.
“Mommy, why won’t it stop moving?”