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For some people, horror is all about building suspense. It's the slow ratcheting up of tension until you get a sudden explosion of terror, or a glimpse into the cosmic workings of some madman's universe. Two-sentence horror stories, though, challenge you to tell us a story without all that time and space. You have the space of a breath to reach into our brains, and hot-wire that fear response.
This Halloween season, I thought I'd take a crack at these short-form stories. If you enjoy them, please share them with your friends! And if you'd like to see more horror content from me, like 5 Famous Slashers (And Their Real-World Counterparts), then check out my Horror author page for yourself. Or if you'd prefer to see everything I've written here on Vocal, take a look at my complete archive.
Let's Begin, Shall We?
- My mother always told me there was nothing there in the dark that wasn’t there in the light. That made me wonder if she could see them, too.
- We always did everything as a couple. For some reason I was always the one who had to dig the holes when the fun part was over.
- He never listened to her when she told him no. That was why she made a batch of cookies with an extra ingredient, then told him not to eat them.
- The black robe, the chanting, the leather bound book, it was all bullshit. The only things that was real was Bethany’s knife, and her willingness to use it.
- You know when you think, “Why would anybody ever do that?” but then you do it, and you finally get it? Yeah… that’s why I need a new hacksaw.
- People always talk about feeding bodies to pigs, but no one ever talks about how cats will eat anything if you put it in their dish. I was thinking about that when old lady Mabel’s husband disappeared, and she set out fresh bowls for all her rescues.
- She said no. He heard yes.
- I used to think the sight of blood made me sick. Then I found out it was just my blood, because seeing other people’s gave me a very different reaction.
- Funerals have always been hard for me. After a while, I decided it was just easier killing strangers.
- I try not to pick up hitch hikers. Once I do, I almost never drop them off.
- I found the perfect place to hide a body. Someone else must have thought so, too, because I’d barely gone three feet down when my shovel hit bone.
- My wife is a liar. She said till death do us part, but I still can’t get rid of her.
- A kiss can send mixed messages. A knife never does.
- My dad always told me that if I was going to kill something, then I’d better be prepared to eat it. Between my mama’s old cookbook, and that extra large crock pot I got on sale, I’ve been able to manage so far.
- My mother taught me how to get blood out of almost anything when I was young. It’s proven to be an invaluable skill.
- My friend got five bucks when she put her first tooth under her pillow. I got this silver coin that, even twenty years later, no one can makes heads or tails of.
- I kept finding dead birds and rats on my front stoop. I thought they were presents from the cat, until today when I found the black Tom sitting on my welcome mat with his head twisted off.
- When I found a box of video tapes buried in the back of my dad’s closet, I thought I knew what they were. I realized how wrong I was when I hit play, and the screaming started.
- She was on her knees, driving me wild. When I noticed she hadn’t taken a single breath since she started, though, finishing was the last thing on my mind.
- I woke up in the dark. I reached for the nurse’s call button, and that was when my knuckles thumped against the cool steel of a morgue drawer.
- The pain in my head was starting again. I thought about the gun in my drawer... maybe the third time would be the charm.
- I hate dogs. I can never lie to them about what I am the way I can to their owners.
- When you need a transplant as badly as I did, you don’t ask who it came from. After the cravings started, though, I had my share of questions.
- Maybe money can’t buy love. What it can buy, though, is deafening silence.
- We wanted to get away, and go somewhere no one could find us. Problem was, we succeeded.
- You’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery than you do being the victim of a serial killer. Still, someone’s gonna be a winner, and it might as well be you.
- The cop said he’d let me go with a warning. At least until he heard the thump from my trunk.
- My parents always told me to stay away from the woods behind our house. They never told the things that lived in the woods to stay away from me, though.
- I used to wonder what would happen after I died. Now that I know, I do my best not to think about it.
- I heard my daddy sneaking down the hall. I closed my eyes, and checked to make sure the knife I stole from the kitchen was still under my pillow.
- The nurse tried to tell me I was going to be fine. I don’t know what was shaking worse, her hands or her voice.
- My uncle used to say that collections have a life of their own. I should have remembered that before I agreed to the terms of his will.
- The tide is the ocean whispering secrets to you. If you listen carefully, you’ll never go in the water again.
- Eileen thinks it’s cute that I stay in during, “My time of the month.” She wouldn’t think it was so goddamn cute if she saw the chains in my basement.
- The doctor warned me there would be some minor side effects. As I spit out another tooth, and tentatively tongued what was growing in its place, I decided he and I were going to have a discussion about what “minor” actually meant.
- “What the fuck are we going to do?” I asked the man in the mirror. “Don’t worry,” he told me with a smile that wasn’t mine, “I’ve got a plan.”
- “What sins have you committed, my son?” the priest asked. I picked at the crusted blood under my nails, and started at the top.
- I love going for evening walks with Michelle. Maybe one day I’ll get up the guts to let her know I’m there.
- People think the Internet provides them anonymity. It really doesn’t… especially if you piss off someone who knows how to look.
- Overpopulation is a serious problem. I’m doing what I can to help, but this is a solo operation, and you wouldn’t believe all the work that goes into disposing of just one body.
- God is always watching. So it’s my job to give him something to see.
- I took the doors off my closet, put my mattress on the floor, and shrouded every mirror in the house. Somehow they still keep getting in.
- I was falling asleep behind the wheel when I felt the jolt. I told myself it was just a deer, and drove a little faster.
- I hate getting up in front of the cameras. The lights are so damn bright, and they make this skin suit itch like a bastard.
- It’s just one drink, and he seems like a nice guy. What’s the harm?
- I accidentally opened a package meant for my neighbor. Once I was done throwing up, I called the cops.
- When I went deaf, I never thought I’d hear my grandmother’s voice again. After the funeral, she started whispering to me.
- There wasn’t as much blood as I thought there would be my first time. Turns out that’s what happens when you stab someone in the heart.
- Never ask what’s in your aunt’s secret meatloaf. Haven’t you ever wondered why she never has any?
- I was six years old the last time I blew out the candles on a birthday cake. When I heard the gunshot from my parents’ room, I knew I’d gotten my wish.
Would you like to see more?
This is the first fiction I've shared here on Vocal, but if you like it then it probably won't be the last! So leave a comment (or toss me a small tip) if you want to see more original fiction appearing on these pages.
If you don't want to wait for me to cook up something new, though, you might enjoy my dark steampunk collection New Avalon: Love and Loss in The City of Steam. Or, if that's not quite your speed, take a look at some of the other fine offerings on my Amazon author page!