• Micro Fiction Challenge: Scared to Death

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 68 comments
    Oct
    12

    Discussion questions: In fifty (50) words or fewer, write a spooky scene or story that includes the phrase “scared to death.” Write or paste your story into the comments. The winner will get a free classic horror novel of his/her choice, courtesy of WriteByNight.

     

    After three straight fiercely competitive Micro Fiction Challenges, this month we wanted to give you an extra-spooky amount of time to write the most bone-chilling story we’ve ever read.

    Every Halloween season I work through a handful of horror novels, both classic and new. Last year I got an early start, reading Frankenstein in September for a Yak Babies roundtable discussion before moving on to The Phantom of the Opera, The Cabin at the End of the World (meh), and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    I haven’t made my choices yet for this year, but I do have some lovely little copies of a few horror classics, including Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and some Charles Dickens ghost stories.

    I’ll read one or two of them. But another one or two will be sent to the winner or winners of this month’s Micro Fiction Challenge… our scariest ever!

     

    What Is This Contest and How Do I Enter?

    In fifty (50) words or fewer, write a story or scene that includes the phrase “scared to death.”

    Enter as many times as you wish.

    Write or paste your response in the comments section below.

    Get your entries in by the end of Sunday, October 27. I’ll announce the winner on Halloween itself, Thursday the 31st.

    Our favorite story will earn its writer one of the adorable copies (pictured above) of his/her choice of Dracula, Dorian, Phantom, or the Dickens ghost stories.

     

    You’ll Choose a Winner Based on What, Exactly?

    Well obviously I’m going to choose the one that most terrifies me!

    But don’t be afraid to make me laugh instead, because that’s cool too.

    (Or try one of each, if you’re extra brave.)

    And I’ll take into account the number of thumbs-up each story receives. So if you’re really creeped out by someone else’s story, be a spooky sport and give it an upvote.

     

    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2019 writing project that you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. Join our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    stephen Glick

    Late last night I listen to the night sounds as they float into my bed chamber. Tinkle, tinkle , the sounds of small bells chiming. The sound floats from the ancient cemetery to the north .the dead awake I lay with the covers to my nose, scared to death.

    frances hill

    Gross examination: Body supine on floor, arms thrown back in defensive position behind head.Eyes open, bulging from sockets exposing blood vessels and connective tissue. Nostrils flaring. Mouth open wide showing uvula, particles of masticated food are noted, tongue over bottom teeth as it trying to yell. No carotid pulses, no visible respiration. Impression: Scared to Death

    KevinW

    Their footsteps echoed throughout the industrial freezer. At the correct drawer, they silently looked at the nameplate, “Reinhold Katz”.
    “Schrodinger was right?”, Merkin queried querously. He was scared to death. Carlyle smirked and pulled the handle. The drawer contained skeletal remains and a purple plastic pentagon.
    “Bonechilling”, Carlyle cackled.

    Kenneth Harris

    I sit on the edge of the bed; again cursing the oppressive heat, unrelenting rains and the unexamined decision to move to this tropical hell. I ponder news of a neighbor bitten in the night. Scared to death, I see a slithering black sheen of muscled scales behind the dresser.

    Kenneth Harris

    We had a gym set up in a bay in our garage in Texas. I was doing crunches one day and looked over to see a sizable snake skin on the floor not far from me. Body temp dropped 25 degrees in an instant.

    david lemke

    Nice and dark in the dusty basement
    “Let’s play a game, David, Scared to death,” she said, smiling
    “Happy Halloween. You go first.” He tries a sinister laugh.
    “Cute… Here I go.” She giggles.
    “Hey where’d ya’go?”
    “Davie, I’m up here.”
    He feel a noose around his neck. “Ha ha…Hey…”

    david lemke

    agreed.

    KevinW

    In the autumn twilight the door chimed. The ancient woman answered, clutching her broom. Recognition and horror dawned.
    “Sweeping the floor, or going for a ride?,” Carlyle chuckled. She shrieked and died, scared to death. Carlyle grinned. Wingtips, Armani suit and briefcase. This lawyer’s costume was the scariest thing ever…

    david lemke

    This is not 50 words long! Not Flash! 693 words. Please, please read any way. Trying To Read David William Lemke 11/15/19 I was home alone. That didn’t happen often, so I was looking forward to it; time to relax, chill, have a beer. Nothing was on the tube. There was a book someone had given me, and I was meaning to read, so I dug it out. I’d just opened the book to page one and was reading the opening line, ‘It was a dark and stormy night.’ when I first heard it. This is an old house. It… Read more »

    Susan

    One of the scariest things about this story is that you wrote it in the future, dated 11/15! I thought it was pretty scary, until the ending, of course, which did make me laugh.

    david lemke

    That was a typo, was supposed to be 10/15/19. Glade it both scared and made you laugh.

    david lemke

    HA!

    frances hill

    wrapping paper is so scary I don’t use it anymore, all the Christmas gifts are wrapped in Holiday print fabric, after they open the gifts the fabric gets returned to me for next year.I have saved a ton of $.

    david lemke

    For the most part, gift bags. How do you deal with different size and odd shaped packages? Do you sow or tape?

    KevinW

    I wrap everything in clear plastic Saran Wrap. That way everything stays fresh and ready to be regifted for next year…

    david lemke

    Are you sure your closet wasn’t, in deed, haunted?

    SusanH

    you mean it was empty as far as you could see. Dogs see ghosts.

    Elissa Malcohn

    My foot slammed the brake, too late. A frozen scythe cleaved my neck as metal screamed.
    My ruined head bled around a bony hand.
    I didn’t look scared to Death. A hollow, admiring voice mused, “You’re pissed.”
    He whipped his skull off, tucked me into his cowl.
    It’s a living.

    KevinW

    “My God…it’s, it’s…French”,
    “Truffle?”,
    “Le Blob!”
    Scared to death, Clouseau recoiled. The Blob reached for a skillet. It cracked three eggs…
    “Its…cooking?”,
    “Well, it IS French…”,
    “Omelette du Fromage?”, Dexter blinked.
    All it’s 720 sexes activated, the Blob wrapped itself amorously around Dexter.
    “Ah, the language of love…”

    Susan

    02:59. I pronounced her dead. I was scared to death to tell her aging husband in the waiting room; it could kill him too.
    “What are you talking about?”
    “We did everything, but she passed.”
    “No she didn’t.”
    Denial is sad.
    “George, she’s gone.”
    “Doctor, she’s standing right behind you.”

    SusanH

    Well, you can take all the credit for that because I only omitted because of the word limit! (Actually, David, a very, very good exercise for overly wordy people like me.)

    dennis boisvert

    I was scared thrill racing a seventy mile hour train The Bullet to bike across tracks. Peddling hard I looked up saw a lady on the main line. Her eyes locked on mine as I quick stopped then ZOOM The Bullet passed. She was gone but not her eyes.

    Susan

    10/18/19: Continuous video–dogs overnight; I’m at work. (Angry neighbor waken nightly at 3am by barking):
    10pm-2:50 asleep
    2:51-both pacing
    2:56- whining, one scratches at locked attic door
    2:59 one runs for cover under table
    3:00 crazy barking, scared to death. . . .
    HOLY…
    The attic door opens……
    static

    NOTE: You can disqualify this one if you wish because I didn’t create the story; someone told me about seeing a similar video online. I did write it and squeeze it down to 50, though.

    SusanH

    Yes, usually working during the witching hour. Have a couple of scary hospital stories, though. And if you feel like scaring yourself to death, google haunted hospitals once. If they still have the sanitarium in Indiana…hair raising) Also, one of the scariest things that ever happened to me occurred at 3am on the dot. Did you see the movie the Exorcism of Emily Rose?

    KevinW

    Sunrise. Dexter kissed Le Blob gently on the…cheek? and gave it money for a cab. After coffee and a shower he called Clouseau and described the encounter.
    “Were you scared to death”, Clouseau wondered.
    “Only…afterwards”,
    “Why then?”,
    “It asked me where I saw our relationship going”, Dexter shivered.

    david lemke

    Was she cute? Did he need a cigarette? What will the kids look like?

    KevinW

    Yes, yes and Danny DeVito

    david lemke

    Remember the over-sexed blob Yaphit, on The Orville?

    KevinW

    No…I was thinking of Le Blob, the creature with 720 sexes being exhibited at the Paris Zoo last week.

    david lemke

    I’d heard about that. We just got to get these two together!

    KevinW

    A matchmaker for blobs. There’s a story idea…
    “Blobmatch.com”…Brenda just wanted to meet a fungi for some weekend excitement. Little did she know what she was in for when she agreed to meet her online date at the Paris Zoo…

    david lemke

    Everything was rosy until she found out about the other blob. A dastardly plan formed in her twisted…

    david lemke

    Ever watch the TV sf series, The Orville? Yaphit was an over-sexed blob, that had the hots for the ship’s doctor.

    Elissa Malcohn
    KevinW

    Some things really are best left to the imagination…

    dennisboisvert

    From the desert I got in my car closed door was about to put key in when I heard a rattle. In the seat next to me was a rattle snake its head looking at me. I froze don’t move. Oh God I was scared. It’s rattling.

    dennisboisvert

    Karen awoke from her sleep hearing a sound. The dim hallway night light reveal an outline of a stranger in the bedroom. A flashlight brightened the face of a Steven King clown IT with a knife. The clown laughed hideously and left Karen paralyze scared out of her wits.

    Gary Bingham

    Levi jeans and a tee-shirt.
    Tennis shoes and a baseball cap.
    Sunglasses and watering eyes.
    Traveling down a country lane at 130 mph on a motorcycle.
    Too young and brave to be scared to death.
    Fondly recalling those immortal years of youth.

    Katherine Turner

    I wake to yowls from my territorial cat at 3 am, again. I sigh.
    Noises?
    I prick up my ears.
    Silence.
    No….Noises!
    Baseball bat in hand, I tiptoe downstairs.
    Rounding the landing, I see a behemothic man hunched over my cat, a fierce look and
    blood on his face.

    Kesstan

    From a small, dark hole in the wall, spiders march out and up her leg. On the other side of the door, the sound of her grandmother’s bones shattering sound like logs exploding and cracking in a campfire. They will find her soon. She is alone and scared to death.

    Jamie Arnett

    Once there was day and night. A shaft of light had pierced through the boulder at the entrance of the cave. That is delusion now. Truth is eternal darkness. The slow drip next to her is boring a hole through the rock with the magnitude of time. Scared to death.

    MC Maugeri

    “Go and see what the dead brought you!”
    “Look! He hid it under the bed.”
    “It’s a Barbie House!” I shrieked, “How did he know?”
    I wasn’t scared to death of my grandfather’s spirit coming back in the night.
    He just loved to bring me presents and play with me.




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