Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Two Sentence Horror Stories: A Challenge!

In honor of Halloween, I've been looking at Two Sentence Horror Stories.
There are tons of them out there on the interwebs. Some are amusing:

 a few are quite good: 

but most are predictable: 


And very few are complete stories:

Think about it. You can imagine that entire short story, fleshed (pun intended) out, beginning, middle, and end. Would it be worth writing out in full? Probably not, unless the author was exceedingly clever in their execution. Again, too predictable. But, as a Two Sentence Horror Story, well done. 

But wait! Before I get all judgy in my judgebox - maybe I should try it myself. 

*some time later*

Oh, crud.

Not easy. 

But here's my attempt. 

Martha knew Janey's secret: the ever-growing belly she tried to hide under layers of boys' shirts and baggy sweaters.

As they walked deeper into the woods, Martha had a secret hidden beneath her clothes as well: their daddy's biggest hog knife. 

Cons: Not a complete story. Maybe too wordy? (Always my bugaboo.)
Pros: I think this raises a lot of questions, and gives readers room to speculate. I flatter myself to think all the possibilities are pretty creepy. 

Whatever you think of the results, it's a terrific writing exercise. You have to be concise, and you have to be very specific. With such limited space, I found myself carefully choosing every word to paint a picture of who these characters are, and what motivates them.
Imagine approaching every line in your novel with such care. Somewhat exhausting, but I imagine the results would be worth the effort.

So then. If you dare, post your Two Sentence Horror Story below. Let the games begin! 
This is hard, but fun. No one will judge you harshly. Give it a whirl!



Mark Teats said...

OK, here are my attempts. It seems like this morning a driving theme is on my mind.

The Chase
Eyes wide, open mouth panting in terror, Ian ran through the foggy orchard toward his car, the long foot strides of the gangly freakish brute crashing ever closer behind him.

At his red Prius he struggled with the locked door handles, clawed at his empty pockets, while the ten foot tall creature slowed to a stop, hulking over him, a huge smile cracking its jack o’lantern head as it raised on high a familiar ring of jangling keys.

The Lift
“Lock your car doors,” Claire’s Dad always said, but as she drove away to pick up Sandy for the party, she didn’t, one part defiance, one part laziness.

As she slowed to the curb in front of Sandy’s place a dark, hooded figure slid into the seat next to her, slammed the door and said with a deep, rasping voice, “You know, you should always keep your doors locked: Drive.”

Jon said...


"Nothing smells better than a newborn baby, right? Nothing tastes better either..."

"People tell me I have anger issues. I feel like getting their blood out of my clothing is more of a problem, though."

Qlaudie said...

Love it, guys! Who's next? <--not a 2 sentence horror story.