Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Six-Word Horror Stories--Staff-Written

For Halloween, some of the staff and associates of Flash Fiction Online wrote six-word horror stories, Pico-Flash stories. It is not as difficult as it seems. After you've assigned a word to character development, setting, plot points, plot resolution and style, you have a word left over to enrich the story, perhaps to comment on the horror genre, or deepen the character, or set up a sequel. One should be careful not to bloat the story with the last word, though.

In the way of an introduction, here is a six-word story allegedly written by Ernest Hemingway (who is neither on staff nor an associate of FFO). Wikipedia referred to this as a vignette, rather than a flash fiction story. It is rich in implication to make up for its paucity of words:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the Flash Fiction Online staff/associate-written six-word horror stories:

Oliver House

  • Carved jack-o-lantern teeth are soft -- usually.
  • Captured trickster, well-roasted, now a treat.
  • Found: a fragment of flight 2245.

Oliver has published a six-word story in one of the Smith books and which was reprinted in Reader's Digest.

R.W. Ware

  • Man walks into bar, says, 'Ow.'
  • No rest stops for eighty miles.

Wade Rigney

  • Tiny casket. Baby fangs. Feeding time.
  • Incurable sadness. Blood-slicked bathroom tiles.
  • You'll never beat me again, Daddy.
  • Carribean seductress's embrace. No one returns.
  • Gunfire. Sanguinary peace unites the fallen.
  • Darkness. Moving Shadows. Flashing blade. Blood.

Deb Hoag

  • Silken descent into lust and death.

big teeth
small fist
no contest

Sue Freivald

  • Executive horror: Made the late train...What meeting?

Anne Pinckard

  • Uncostumed today, blending in at last.

Gary Cuba

  • Teen squeals. Zombie's disappointed: No brains!
  • Hanging thought: I didn't do it!
  • One bullet left. My luck: misfire!
  • Forgive, Dearest. This'll hurt me too.
  • Unwise costume idea: Duct tape mummy.
  • Timmy squirms; doctor extracts; Mommy's charged.
  • Quicksand! Help! Don't stand there laughing!
  • Cop question: Who's in the deepfreezer?


  • Clown well done. Who's laughing now?
  • "New Moon's in theatres. Wanna go?"


  • Beady eyes, fangs, the taxman cometh.
  • Vampire in my bedroom. No protection.
  • For sale: daughter, shorn and shoed.


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