Gabino Iglesias suggested a hashtag for people to tweet a >280 character horror story every day in October. Villimey Mist curated a list of daily topics. I had a blast with this and am even in the process of expanding on one for an anthology submission. (I’ll let you guess which) So here, collected together, are all 31 stories complete with prompts.
October 1 – Seance
With the lights turned low, we held hands in the dim luminescence. I whispered sweet nothings in her ear, the language of love. She whispered back.
I signed up for a candlelit dinner for two, and it was going so well until the uninvited guests arrived.
October 2 – Mummified
They’ve found it. The staff of Amon Ra. I can’t see yet, but I can feel it. Every minute brings it closer, and when it arrives, I’ll finally be free of this tomb.
Yes, it’s nearly here. I feel my body waking from it’s long sleep. I hear my brothers waking too.
October 3 – Crematorium
Uncle Jeff stood by the side of my bed, blackened skin peeling down the sides of his face, like charred hot dog. It made his cruel smile almost unrecognizable.
“Back again,” he said. “Next time I expect you’ll want to turn the heat up a little higher.”
October 4 – Hex
For any of y’all who’d ever deign to call a woman the “b” word, or even worse, the one that starts with “c”, might I recommend you make sure she ain’t got no history of hexing people, lest she cast a spell that withers your “d”.
October 5 – Mask
“Take off the mask,” she said. “You look like a creep.”
“The hell you can’t.”
I tried to duck but she grabbed a flap and pulled. The wet, tearing sound told her she’d been mistaken.
October 6 – Pitchfork
Torches kissed the sky, illuminating raised pitchforks. The mob pressed forward, nothing on their mind but burning a monster.
I wonder what I did to deserve this?
October 7 – Wraith
Kenny waved from the side of the road as we pulled in the driveway, a sad half-smile on his face. I waved back and returned the grin. It was the last time I ever saw him, but a boon nonetheless, since we’d buried him two days before.
October 8 – Revenge
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but if you dig in immediately after you right the wrong done to you, the meat is still warm.
Trust me, it’s delicious.
October 9 – Occult
“Oh no, absolutely not. You are no longer allowed in THAT section of the library.”
“But please, I just need to…”
“No. Not after last time.”
“Fine… Did you ever manage to get that portal closed?”
October 10 – Satanic
My friends said stay away from Lucy. She wants more than just your time and money, they said.
But Lucy was hot, and I didn’t listen.
And I mean hot.
Now my heart and soul belong to her.
October 11 – Epitaph
Does it make me weird spending so much time in a graveyard? Maybe, but I don’t care. Some stones are so old you can barely make out the epitaph.
I pulled out paper and a crayon to decipher one particularly worn marker.
“Don’t look behind you” it read.
October 12 – Candy
“Look at that haul!” said Eric. “All my favorite kind of candy.”
I peered into his blood-soaked bucket, taking in the mass of fingers, eyeballs, hair, and teeth, a set of pliers and wire cutters.
“Unbelievable how many of them chose trick.”
October 13 – Skull
Trick or treaters run screaming down the street, having the time of their life while Merle sits in a dark living room, watching out the window.
He wonders if they’d be as joyful if they knew where he’d dug up the skull. The one with the sign reading TAKE ONE.
October 14 – Severed
Take the hand to prevent infection from spreading, they say. So I did. I winced, grimaced, but I chopped it off and found something to staunch the bleeding.
Hopefully it’s enough to keep the sickness from climbing up my arm, but why is the hand still moving?
October 15 – Eldritch
The eldritch god rises from the deep, staring down upon the dregs of humanity with condescension.
Meanwhile, Greg hides in his parents basement, watching live coverage on the news. He wishes he’d never tried to read those runes.
October 16 – Freakshow
J.D. convinced me to fork over my dollar and see the lobster boy, the strong man, the bearded lady. It didn’t feel right, but I listened and followed.
It was only when the steel door slammed shut behind me that I realized I was the attraction.
October 17 – Execution
Hunter squeezed the rails of old smoky, prepared to ride the lightning. The hate-filled eyes of his victim’s families waited to watch him fry. They wanted this, needed it.
But that’s only because they didn’t understand. Hadn’t seen the final form he would take.
October 18 – Bite
The plane rocketed into the sky and the survivors let out a cheer as we watched the zombie horde diminish to ant-sized then become indistinguishable against the ground.
I cheered as loud as any of them, but the bite on my ankle was really starting to itch.
October 19 – Cobweb
The little boy’s screams drew me into the deserted house. At least I thought it was deserted. In the dark foyer, he waited, wrapped in cobwebs.
Only when his screams turned to laughter and a series of soft clicks came from above, did I realize it was a trap.
October 20 – Clown
White paint covers my cheeks, a bulbous red nose honks when someone squeezes it. A garish red wig on my head. Without the disguise, you’d recognize my face instantly. It’s all over the news right now. But when I disappear into this character, I can go anywhere.
October 21 – Holes
What started as a nuisance, a few small holes in the backyard, is really starting to worry me. They just keep growing, black voids descending to God knows where.
I haven’t seen the dog since yesterday and the scratching from under the floorboards won’t stop.
October 22 – Fear
Bobby knew damn well not to set foot in Fear County, had heard the stories all his life, but the woman who visited his dreams had been so beautiful, so alluring.
“Come to my swamp. Meet my children,” she said.
Bobby set out first thing in the morning.
October 23 – Labyrinth
Ashley’s parents joked her room was so messy, you could lose yourself for days. A veritable labyrinth. While they laughed over glasses of wine, her blood ran cold recalling the musky, bestial odor.
They’d never seen the Minotaur. He only came out at night.
October 24 – Undead
The end of the world came with a bang, not a whimper. Lunch, just before fifth period and everyone but me dropped like a rock. For 30 seconds, I didn’t know what to do. The answer became clear when the first student clambered to their feet, eyes hungry.
October 25 – Moor
A low mist crept over the curves of the moor. On an otherwise silent night, mewling and muffled screeching overpowered the air. Something lived in that mist, just beyond sight.
Xander cocked the shotgun. One way or another, he’d find out.
October 26 – Carnival
Midnight under the stars and all the rides have stopped. Hulking metal masses cool down, waiting for the sun to rise tomorrow, so they might be useful once more. Skulking through the carnival are the shadows, forgotten memories waiting for the next day’s prey.
October 27 – Teeth
Picking through her basket on Halloween night, Polly put aside the usual. Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Twix for Dad. Scattered across the bottom were the teeth. The house on Maple always gave them out. Too small for adults, she wondered where they got them.
October 28 – Oblivion
With the machine cycling down, this coma nears its inevitable end. Black spots fill the edges of my vision. They leave me wondering what follows this life. Have I been a good man? Good enough? Or am I destined to be cast into oblivion? It’s getting so dark.
October 29 – Hide
Kyle’s boots creaked as he walked down the sidewalk, made from the finest hide he could lay hands on. Store-bought no longer did it for him. Maybe the magic was in their screams as he flayed them.
October 30 – Jack-o-lantern
The Freemans’ Halloween display always draws a crowd. A bowl of candy sits at the edge of the driveway, allowing kids a good, if distant, view. If they got any closer, they might realize the horde of jack-o-lanterns lining the porch aren’t carved from pumpkins.
October 31 – Trick
Ms. Barmore raised her mask, but I wasn’t fooled. It was a trick. “It’s just a mask,” my parents said as tears streamed down my face. “Nothing to be scared of.”
They were so focused on me, they missed her forked tongue darting from the corner of her mouth.