The Art of Darkness

Write a Six-Word Horror Story

April 30th, 2014 by Cobwebs

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.
— Blalock

“The snow… it… it… got hungry.”
— fogelmatrix

“Try to relax,” my parasite said.
— Claire B.

They ate dreams. Only insomniacs survived.
— x84jdh

Some are really evocative:

The monsters cry in their sleep.
— JennyGirl

The outsiders killed us last night.
— spagornasm

Walls had ears. Eyes, too, now.
— Daryl

The Old Gods come in peace.
— Phos

Death machine works, but it weeps.
— Matt

And some are funny:

Zombies placated! They just wanted hugs.
— nootrac4571

“The badger revolution humbled us all.”
— interrogator-chaplain

Room for rent, cheap. NOT HAUNTED.
— Long Lost Albatross

“Chess?” scoffed Death, “no way. Candyland.”
— ColinGagnon

(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?”

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