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81words - Stories Page 4

81words logo

An attempt to set a World Record for the most contributing authors published in an anthology

Full details about the 81 word writing challenge and the world record attempt can be found on the main 81words writing challenge page.

81 Word Stories – 301 to 400

Stories 301 to 400 are published below in the order they were received.

Story 301

Vampires Anonymous

by Daniel McClaskey

Everyone is staring holes into my pigmentless skin, so I should probably say something. I've been dreading this week forever.

Shakily, I begin, "Hi, my name's Ste... *cough* ...Abigor, and I've been fanged since 1884."

In unison, "Welcome, Abigor," drones from the room.

I look around and a lady in the back of the room catches my eye. She has those ambiguous green, brown eyes that I've definitely seen before. Her scent reminds me of a time before the bi...

"Mum?"

Story 302

A Toy Car

by Saras Ojha

A five year old saw toy cars on a street market stall. He started pleading for a toy car, but his mum refused to purchase one.

"A toy car is useless, you can't sit on it. Our car is better than a toy car."

He grabbed a toy car, sat on it and it broke.

"See, you can't sit on it."

Memories flashed back when he was standing before a huge crowd, waiting for the launch of a car he'd designed.

Story 303

From Behind The Curtains

by Kimberly Owen

He risked another look from behind his stained curtains. His garden crawled with them, making him itch. They were standing on his flowers. Damn, them.

All his lights were off, not that it stopped them. It never did. They always came back.

A cluster passed in front of his window, screeching. Wincing, he stepped back into the shadows. If they saw him, they'd never go away.

Their knocking scared him, even though he expected it.

"I hate blasted trick or treaters."

Story 304

Burn

by Chris Pritchard

The light was hot yet still so delightful. I couldn't resist it's lure. It drew me in no matter how hard I tried to resist it's sweet temptation.

Every time I touched it my feet were scorched, yet still I could not stay away. I knew that this was pointless but my brain wouldn't let me leave.

Suddenly, the light was gone and I was in darkness again. I could now rest my wings. It's a hard life being a moth.

NOTE: Stories 305 to 321 have been written by children and teachers from Northside Primary School in Cumbria - you can learn more on the school's website.

I'd like to say a big thank you to the school and all the children for submitting such imaginative stories to the 81 word challenge.

Story 305

Coffee Spilt

or

Me And The Teacher

by Grant O'Townson

What has happened to me? Where am I? Mankind is disgraceful… My shredded, smooth paper is damp and ruined.

Previously, I was in the best condition – the greatest of the great (brand new). I was the teacher’s favourite book. Nourish me with the warmest, smoothest, most luscious ink and I’ll create fantastic, indescribable adventures; you will never forget these memories.

However, hurt me like the teacher did (covering me in coffee and discarding me in the bin) and I am worthless.

Story 306

Who Could I Be?

by Byron Coulson

Wow, he’s really outstanding at this. How can he do it? He has most certainly won me this time. Nobody can stop him from taking me home.

Oh no, someone is catching up to him. No, please don’t. It’s astonishing. I don’t want the meanest and worst player out there to take me home; I want the greatest to take me home.

Yes, he’s finally triumphed; he’s taking me home. He’s going to put me in the trophy case he has.

Story 307

Me And My Owner

by Shauna Elizabeth Murray

Why did you do such thing? We were so happy, I thought you loved me. We were so close. I thought we would be together forever. You let me down.

I guess sometimes we have to be let down. No one will ever love me again (crying). At least I was loved for a little while. Is it because I’m the ugliest thing in the world?

I’ll never forget you or forgive you, my nicest, friendliest, loving owner. I miss you.

Story 308

Max And The Boom Box

by Levi Earl

Yesterday, I was sitting happily with Max, crooning, and his parents wanted to hear me sing too, so Max took me to his mother’s room and I sang for his parents.

Then, later that day, Max turned me off so that I could have a sleep to get my energy back. Then I became the greatest and loudest boom box to ever exist.

Now everyone is saying that they’re going deaf. It made me feel low-spirited, because they are getting deafened.

Story 309

Me And The Smart Robot

by Mckenzie Tompson

I found a robot, so I took it. When I got to my house, two days later, I learned nearly everything from it. I felt like I should be the top of my class. I wish...

All the robot was doing was learning with me and playing with me. That really was a lot of fun.

As I am being clear, I have had the best fun ever over the last few days. Me and the robot became really good friends.

Story 310

The Bulldog And The Poodle

by Keith Pearson-Sandelands

I’m called Scratch. I’m a bulldog. I’ve always wanted a dog friend – in human language, a girlfriend.

I’ve never known what it’s like to have a girlfriend. It must be wonderful. We could have pillow fights and romantic dates, if you know what I mean.

Ladies, if you want me, my phone number is 225678921.

But enough messing around. It was the big day. I’m not going to be lonely anymore. I went to meet her, and she was a poodle.

Story 311

That One Worker

by Madison Pickering

Finally, I’m done. I’m the greatest and best. I’m covered in sparkly white casing stones and as big as a gigantic sky scraper. Who else wouldn’t want to be like that?

Every day, for years, I got one tiny stone put on me (it took so long.) But there was a worker who ruined it. He knocked the full top of me down. That took months, and that is why I am so, so happy I’m finished.

And that’s my story.

Story 312

Why Me Again?

by Kelsey Juean Irving

What? Again? Racking my alarm, they are a lot of bullies – me always getting hurt, put new skin on me, and open my mouth all the time. They are really tight, so they are bullies.

Wait… don’t say they are shutting me down for two full weeks. That’s just not necessary. It is freezing, but I will be open in one more hour.

Look, I am open, come in kids. The jolly, kind, sweet school is open now. Come and learn.

Story 313

My AMAZING Friend Bill

by Darci-Leigh Robinson-Askew

My outstanding friend has an amazing name: Bill.

Every sunny and hot day, we go for long strolls in the park. He is the nicest friend I have ever had. The greatest of the great, the loveliest of the lovely.

One day, me and my great friend went for an amazingly long jaunt. Suddenly, I fell. My smooth, flat tires were broken. Bill was hurt to. It was like my childhood all over again (it was hurting me badly). STOP IT.

Story 314

The Pen And The House Of Terror

by Harley Logan Thompson

Once there was a glamorous pen who lived in a tidy pot. He was sick of getting his dreadful ink out of his body (his lid).

He missed his precious friends; they had all died. He got put into the house of terror and for him it was hideous.

Heart- broken, hurt, wistful and glum – he didn’t want to die alone. In the house was a big black bag. He wanted to say, “Goodbye cruel world,” but he couldn’t speak now.

Story 315

Fashion Life

by Paige Murray

Why am I in this unprepossessing, dreadful yet puffy toy box? I should be on the red-carpet, in the spotlight. Can it be the light to fashion heaven? I don’t need it, by the way, but still…

Ugh, it’s that sinful beast; I don’t want to see you. No, not now – my nicest dress. Don’t change; it’s so special to me. That dress is old, rotten and stinky. I need my clothes back. I’m the most alluring doll in the box.

Story 316

Spring's Near

by Josh Joseph Dixon

Spring is near; I can’t move, I’m stuck. Forlorn, I’m leaving. Stop spring, stop.

It has been the best year so far, I don’t want to leave. I met the perfect person. Why is everyone dynamiting everyone’s hearts? Stop please, stop.

I want to stop, I’m crying. I like snow and I don’t want snow to go. No sun, don’t want the sunlight ever. I need more time to improve my snow sphere, because I was just a pile of snow.

Story 317

Me And My Lonely Life

by Layla Calarco

Hi. I am a frog (who is nice). I live on my own in frog land. I have a very unusual addiction for looking for a friend.

Wait a second, there is a beautiful frog over there. I should actually call her a lady. She is coming over. I think this will be the start of my best. I am timidly very.

Hi. Please can I stay with you, please? Yes, we are having the best life ever. Yay. Bye bye.

Story 318

Abandoned

by Finlay Thomas Tweedie

Once, I was an intelligent, high-tech computer. I had four main parts: the monitor (my body), the pc (my flesh, bones, heart and brain), the keyboard (my arms and legs) and the mouse.

My owner used me for years on end; I was the best computer (in his opinion). Until, he had another companion… He deleted my most predominant files. Where was I? I was no more.

I have one message. “Mankind is the worst and most degrading species on Earth.”

Story 319

Who Am I?

by Keian Murray

I was the shiniest in the house, until I got thrown into the basement with some other stuff. They had a shiner thing and I was on the largest shelf where there was lots of dusty stuff.

The next day, and nearly every day, stuff was getting thrown into the basement. Then the humans came, put us in a bag and took us outside. They put us in a bin, until the bin men came, but I managed to get away.

Story 320

Spooky October

by Thomas James Busby

People believe I’m the spookiest thing existing. But people think differently.

Yes, I’m invisible, but it doesn’t make me terrifyingly spooky.

I can see your every step but you can’t mine. Perhaps I float, or maybe it’s just a lie/fiction.

Do you dress up as me for candy/sweets? Or do you not? Maybe you don’t dress.

You may think I’m the cutest, nicest existing thing, but whatever you do, prepare for a spooky fright on the spookiest night of frightening October.

Story 321

Life Of A Box

by Ryan Fell

I'm resourceful to put things in. Yes, I’m a box. I’m a mat black box made from tin.

My owner (who is nice / awesome) uses me to keep his massive Yu-Gi-Oh! collection, like: Watt Kid, Dark Magician, Feral Imp and – the best card on the planet – Exodai. He also has the slick, smooth and shiny blue eyes of a white dragon.

My favourite place to be – Yu-Gi-Oh! It is awesome being a black box.

I’m serious, it really is everybody.

NOTE: End of stories written by children and teachers from Northside Primary School in Cumbria

Story 322

Fear

by Layla Ahmed

As I reached for the handle my hand was trembling. Fear was soaring through my body. My veins began to pulse as my heart race quickened and I could feel every hair on my body stand to attention.

I slowly turned the handle until the door opened a fraction, allowing a stream of light into the room. Every ounce of myself was telling me to slam the door shut, but I was determined.

Today, I would finally step outside my house.

Story 323

A Place To Meet God

by Helen Matthews

Mum hands me a dog-eared flyer and says, "Rock concert. Your chance to meet him."

The venue stinks of sweat. The lead singer's face is craggy, his hair unnaturally black. But the drummer's new: polished, arrogant – and young. I fix my eyes on him.

Guitars pluck faint childhood impressions, but the mellow voice has faded to cracked falsetto.

As I queue for merchandise, he smiles, uncertain, memory misfiring. I stride past the rock god – my father – and head towards the drummer.

Story 324

Uncowed

by Kolade Ajila

The cow bounded towards me as I turned a sharp corner, two burly butchers hot on its heels. I turned and fled.

The enraged cow charged at an old, weak-looking man working in the vegetable nursery nearby, bent and absorbed in his occupation. He looked up suddenly, saw the approaching cow, its horns poised. Calmly, as though he had spent eternity in anticipation, he grabbed the horns and twisted, bringing down the cow, its pointed horns buried in the soft earth.

Story 325

And The World Will Burn

by Kimana McCallum

When the fire bloomed inside of her, burned deeply from within, then it was too late for the world. This was her destiny; to destroy the world as it was and create a dark world, ruled by the gift of her flame.

She was destruction. She was anger. She would be God. She would be punishment. She would be all that there ever was, and all that was meant to be. Her name is Angelica, and she will bring the end.

Story 326

And The Dogs All Barked

by L J King

The miniature Lurcher started it, a high-pitched, "Raow, raow," her muzzle pushed through the gap in the gite's hedge.

Hidden behind, the Labrador added his deep, "Woo, woo."

Babette and Bijou, lazing in the barn's shade, wagged their tails. "Ow ow, ow ow."

"MAIR-duuuhhhh." Metal banging rang from deep inside the barn. Him was underneath his beloved Claas, repairing the sabotage. "Ta gueule."

But the dogs kept barking until Irina reached the lane.

She smiled, mounted the bike and pedalled away.

Story 327

Sandwiches

by Ally Cook

Brenda shook raindrops from her umbrella and left it blocking the porch beside her muddy patent shoes. She hung her coat and removed her black pillbox hat, teasing the veil back into place. At her age, she'd need it again. She lifted her glossy black handbag and padded into the kitchen.

"Brian." Brenda’s hand flew to cover her mouth.

"Want lunch?" Brian waved the butter knife.

"No," Brenda said, passing her hand through her husband. "I had sandwiches at your funeral."

Story 328

Don't Wish For What You Want

by Jane Sleight

"I love you, Chrissy."

"Enough to leave Sarah?"

"You know I won't leave the girls."

"I won't wait for ever."

"Just until they're old enough."

"For what? A pension?"

Gab's eyes narrowed. "Don't pressure me, Chrissy."

"You're right." A penny dropped. Did she want him all to herself? In her home 24x7? No freedom to see other people? Holiday alone? Eat garlic bread without guilt? "You're right. Let's just stay exactly as we are."

She'd never seen him look so afraid.

Story 329

Don't Travel On A Friday

by Shirley Muir

She's dodging suitcases and tripping over baby buggies as she dashes for the 10:06 to Leeds. If she misses her sister's wedding, she'll never be forgiven.

Escalators are mobbed with Friday crowds jostling to descend to the train platforms. Squeezing through the gap she slides into the barely-used passenger lift, breathless. Its doors swish shut. The lift's lone passenger, she presses 'Down' and leans against the wall.

"This lift is now out of service," a voice announces. The power flickers off.

Story 330

We Wanted Him To Be Happy

by Mary Prior

"We wanted him to be happy," his mother said. "He wasn't very social you see, didn't make friends easily. Didn't like fluffy things either, so we couldn't have fluffy pets."

"We thought it would be good for him to have something to look after, to be close to. He used to sit watching the TV with her," said his father.

"She wrapped herself round his neck, you see," said his mother. "She didn't mean to hurt him. Pythons are like that."

Story 331

Conditions Of Entry

by John Cooper

To enter you must ensure:

  • You know why you are doing so.
  • Your work must have taken you many days, even weeks, to complete.
  • You are proud of it.
  • You don’t want it back.
  • Your work is original or at least not derived too closely from a previous winner.
  • You are able to negotiate the tortious payment methods used to pay the entry fee.
  • You accept the judge’s decision is final and,
  • You are OK with the disappointment of not winning.

Story 332

Nectar

by Ruth Pedley

Pale lemon with a hint of grass.Pétillante.Fruity on the palate.

I stretched strong roots into flinty soil.The Rhenish nuns in the Abbey of St Hildegard tended me: a tendril trimmed, rotting grapes taken.

In the mornings I was woken, chilled and saw white mist in the valley.

Then months of daylong night in cellars, lulled by lauds and vespers. Now a spider fingertips octaves across the barrel.

I am pulled into slim bottles.And poured.

Swirl. Savour. Slurp.

Story 333

In The Name Of The Father

by Simone Wallace

One by one, they trickled down the aisle, each holding one object.

"A tie for the businessman," said the first.

"A set of car keys, his hobby," said the second.

"His favourite novel, for his love of reading," said the third.

"A photo with the family," said the fourth.

"A copy of The New Testament," said the priest.

They placed these memories of who he used to be on the closed lid of the coffin.

"In the name of the father."

Story 334

Be Thankful

by Carolyn Ward

Get to the body within three minutes of death, and she could suck life back in. Her 'reverse-vampirism' tasted like a frozen cobweb. She travelled the world and was heralded as a goddess, a miracle worker. Grateful, tearful family members pushed money and gifts into her eager hands.

Nobody asked the dead-borns how they felt about it. If they wanted another life. The blood in their veins was sluggish, their eyes dull. But they always managed to smile, in the end.

Story 335

An Extraordinary Life

by Lisa Miller

Dan seemed to have lived an unremarkable life. His obituary read: Dan Jones died at age 78. An accountant, he's survived by his wife and a son. He cherished his dog, Blue, and grey sports car.

At his funeral, an unknown homeless man stood up and spoke. "Dan was a remarkable man," he said. "For over 20 years, he brought me lunch to eat with him in the city park. Never missed a day."

A surprise for all who knew Dan.

Story 336

Eco Chic

by Wendy Roe

I used to spend money on clothes without thought beyond my immediate impulsive desire. Sometimes I think of all that money spent on things I never wore and I can imagine it piled up high in a mound on my floor. I would like that money now.

I have since become an eco-conscious person and have learnt wearing something over and over again is sustainable. Less shopping means I have more money in my purse, instead of imagined on my floor.

Story 337

Drunkard

by Charlotte Ward

I hear him shouting and peer into the living room. He notices me and begins demanding another drink. I refuse and walk away – surely he has had enough?

He follows me, hiccoughing madly into the kitchen, then slides on the floor, bashing his knees. He howls in pain, but won't let me help him up.

"No more," I say, firmly, then relent as his face begins to crumple. Resignedly, I fill up my toddler's juice cup and give it to him.

Story 338

A Way Out

by S Thomson-Hillis

You go to the woods, you find a body.

Here are the rules. Walk away. Head up, eyes front.

They'll be here soon, the bone collectors.

Instead you stop.

Death is the only escape. After a thousand years of nothing, you've been punished enough. You need to try. This is your chance. Who killed him? How? Kneel. Touch. Examine. Be careful, they're coming. Footsteps, lights and crashing, they're here.

But you have your answer and there's only one question.

How much?

Story 339

Memorials

by Anita Goveas

Fiza's last jump forward is to her brother's funeral. Hundreds of people crowd Hyde Park, silent but weeping. There're only open-air cremations in this time – no more space for all the bodies.

Ibrahim stayed to look after people, but she never stood still, zooming into future lives, going back to learn lessons. She'd thought that would be how she'd use her power, leave her mark. Searching out triumphs, bringing back wisdom. Warning of dangers.

No one listened. They won’t mourn her.

Story 340

Breakup

by Stephanie Ngoei

The letter lays open for the 37th time in two weeks.

She thinks she might have memorised every word by now, but, pathetically, she's only managed to recite up to the first three words before the rest deteriorates with a gyrating blur that sends her mind reeling in an unescapable direction, smarts the corners of her eyes and tightens the vines around her heart to the point of utter strangulation.

She can't memorize the letter, so she memorises the pain instead.

Story 341

There’s Something About Anne

by C.R. Berry

"We have to go back," said Juliet.

"What about them?" said Fred.

"They'll have to come with us. They certainly can't stay here."

"But Juliet... we love her."

"I don't care, Fred. Come on. Let's go clean up your mess."

Juliet opened the hatch to their time machine. Fred climbed inside, followed by Fred, Fred and Fred, then Juliet herself.

As the time machine dematerialised, Queen Anne Boleyn entered the room, accidentally kicked her husband Henry VIII's severed head, and screamed.

Story 342

The Struggle

by Andrew Perry

When I've lots of jobs to do, time passes incredibly slow. When I've nothing to do, time stands still. What I needed was time to go slow when I'd lots to do and time to go fast when I was bored.

So, on a day when I had lots to do, I did nothing. Success, I had all the time in the world. Unfortunately, I now have a long list of things to do and no time to do them in.

Story 343

The Visit

by Dean Hollands

Despite the warm spring breeze and dancing sunshine, the cemetery was eerily silent.

Drifting leisurely between the headstones, Dean paused and reflected upon the epitaphs and dedications to those now resting below.

A voice croaked, breaking the silence.

"Who you are looking for?"

Still scanning the headstones before him, Dean replied, "My father, William George Hollands, born 7th April 1945."

"Plot 24. Row C3," came the reply.

Turning around, Dean faced the voice.

"Dad?"

"Hello, son. I've been waiting for you."

Story 344

Why?

by Sophia Manubay

Why do people believe in religion?

Why is A before B, and B before C?

Who thought of the alphabet and number sequences and how?

A lot of things in life make me curious.

Like, why do people prefer certain animals over others?

Who defined what 'normal' is?

These sorts of questions go through my mind every day.

It's kind of like a computer running the same code, over and over again.

Computers always find solutions and find new problems.

Why?

Story 345

Black Maria

by Christian Obaitan

She was an abomination. How could such a lowly woman give birth to the king? And not by her husband, but an unseen spirit. Surely, she must be mad and unfit to raise a child.

Her fruit was taken from her. She was banished to a camp for people like her – helpless, condemned womb-men.

She never opened her arms again for, even in death, she cradled her child.

Mother and child, torn apart, would reject life to be united in death.

Story 346

Threedom

by Oort Kuiper

"Freeze," he said.

We didn't move.

Three scared individuals.

We were squaring things up when the situation escalated.

The soldier’s radio amplified the urgency, "Nein, nein, nein."

27 words had taken us to that heart-stopping moment.

A selection of syllables, transformed into words and sentences.

Now it was certain, they had uncovered our scheme.

Three 18's. Barely adults. A combined age of 54.

One runs. 9mm flies. Body plummets to the floor.

Graffiti reads, 'The price of freedom.' Berlin wall, 1981.

Story 347

Surprise

by Ian James Stewart

South Kensington, Saturday, walking. Clouded night.

I stop at the corner under a street light. Car, contents in darkness, stops opposite me. From the edge of the driver's door – closed – projects a droop of skirt, dragging. Car begins to move.

I point, without expectation of effect, at the trapped cloth. The door opens. I imagine the emerging right arm will belong to a tattooed tart who fingers me as she retrieves.

Wrong.

Hajib'd gentlewoman says, "Thanks," closes door and drives off.

Story 348

Being Dad

by Gowravy Ravanan

He wakes me up with a cute smile, caressing my head. He carries me to the bathroom. He cooks me delicious food. He gets me ready, like Mum does. He drops me at school, wishing me good luck.

He picks me up. On the way home, he buys all the candy I want. He reads me bedtime stories. He kisses me on the forehead while I pretend to sleep.

These images flash in my tears, as I look at his coffin.

Story 349

King At Heart

by Thatchayani Ravanan

Years ago, a man found a creature. It was about to die. The man tried to help the creature breathe.

The creature attacked him. Man dropped the creature, due to the pain.

Again and again, he tried to help, but each time the creature attacked.

Sea was watching. Sea asked, "What are you doing, man?"

Man asked, "Why is it biting?"

Sea replied, “Because it's in its nature.

Man said, "Similarly, it's my nature."

Man once was a king at heart.

Story 350

OK, Puss

by James Byrne

"OK, puss," I smiled at the neighbour’s cat, "you can have a snoop around the house, but only under my supervision."

It darted up the stairs.

"No, wait. Come back."

It sniffed at something in the bedroom, saw me, and then scampered under the bed.

"Damn it, out from under there."

I beckoned. It lay down.

"You're not allowed in the house, my wife's going to kill me…"

The key turned in the lock downstairs. The wife.

"OK, puss, stay there."

Story 351

Revolving Doors

by Christianna Sahadeo

Tyrol hated revolving doors. The first time he encountered one, he was five and somehow jammed the door with a shoelace. He had been stuck for four hours.

On his first date, one had smacked him in the face so hard he was required to go to the hospital to stop the nosebleed.

When he stepped through a revolving door and landed in an entirely different world… that was the last straw.

If he saw one again, he was destroying it.

Story 352

The Day

by Laura Day

Today is the day. We've been anticipating this for quite some time. We've assessed the outcomes of every scenario. Reviewed every detail.

My hands are shaking as I answer the phone. "Hello... Yes, this is she."

My mind starts racing as I try and grasp the news. I know I have questions, but no words come out of my mouth.

How do I tell him? Do I even tell him?

Oh god, he's only five. Will he even understand? Diagnosis sucks.

Story 353

Glasses

by Helen Merrick

"That's an 'N'."

"Is it?" Squinting at the fuzzy blob, I'm forced to face facts: I can't see.

"Most people need reading glasses eventually," says the optician.

I'm sure they do, but my vision's always been perfect. It's age, isn't it? I'm getting older.

"Try these. They'll suit you."

Actually, they do. The glasses make me look intelligent. Wait a minute... I peer at my reflection. Are those grey hairs?

Swiftly removing the glasses, I take another look. Ah, that's better.

Story 354

Taking Care of Business

by Cameron Crebs

They met at a wooden bench in front of the Wendy's on Manatee Boulevard.

They didn't look at each other as they sat. Nick had gotten there first.

They both had paper bags from the Wendy's. They both sat them in the space that divided them on the bench.

After a few minutes Nick picked up Michael's bag, full of cash, and walked away.

Five minutes later Michael picked up Nick's bag, full of Dextromethorphan, and left in the opposite direction.

Story 355

The King's Birthday

by Lucy Camilla

The king jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. Today was his birthday. He was going to receive his presents sitting on his throne and he needed to polish his crown.

The King opened the crown cupboard, got out the polish, but somebody had moved the crown. The King looked in the bedroom, the throne room, the speech room and... in the kitchen.

There on the table was his crown, filled with presents, balloons and birthday cards.

The King was happy.

Story 356

The Collection

by Lynn Gale

Gas lights flickered, then went out, one by one, as he walked by.

Doors and shutters closed and bolted, as he walked by.

Mothers cuddled their children and prayed, as he walked by.

"Who had he come for," they cried, after all their suffering lately.

Stopping at the last door on the left, he stepped inside.

"No," cried a voice within, "not now, you promised me immortality."

"You will be remembered," smiled the Devil. "Jack the Ripper has a certain ring."

Story 357

Small But Resilient

by Isabella Rae Wharton-McLellan

Hell is not a place where anything could survive, obviously. The tortured souls, hellish demons and the rivers of molten lava make the place extremely inhospitable.

But one day? Eternity? I stumbled across a single seed. It was small, but that didn't matter.

I planted it. There was no sunlight, no water to nourish it. But eventually there was a shoot clawing out of the earth. It was black and ashy, but it was alive.

Maybe Hell was hospitable after all.

Story 358

Cats And Dogs

by CB McCall

There are cat people and there are dog people. He'd fudged the issue, saying he was an 'animal lover', but he was a dog person through and through.

A cat person would have delighted in her independent nature. But dog people need creatures they can own. Who enthuse at their every homecoming, slobbering devotion. Growl at strangers. Beg for treats.

Disillusioned, she did what any cat would do. She transferred her affections to a neighbour and never thought of him again.

Story 359

Chase Me

by Christine Hursell

Hello, dog. I'm friendly. You have ball. I want ball.

Look, My Person, ball mine now. We have game. Chase me.

No, not that trick, too close, you chase me. Don't run away, you must follow.

I'll go to car, this is good game. Ball mine. Chase me.

Here is car, no, not inside, play my game, chase me. Fields over there, you follow.

Cars. Zooming quickly.

Screech, bang, screaming. My Person lying down. Someone comes.

Ball, mine. Someone chase me.

Story 360

The Robot

by Wanda Wright

The robot rolls over the jagged planet with ease, created for it.The hot star above beats on its metal body as it scans the terrain for other life. It had been left here, 1,000 years ago, and was certain it had been forgotten, but its duty remains a relentless call.

Flames roaring transform into a spaceship. The robot darts over, hopeful it will be freed from its solitude. Hope of rescue turns to horror when it is scrapped and dies.

Story 361

Call Me Clementine

by James Braun

The art of peeling a clementine is a forgotten practice.

You labour away, scraping with your manicured fingernails at the solid exterior only to make slight openings, revealing the juicy insides. You pick away until nothing remains. Until the outer shell has fallen away to reveal its exposed orange self.

And as you sit across from me, biting into your hard-earned reward, I can't help but marvel. Because you are the outer protective shell, and I am just the fragile inside.

Story 362

Manners

by Pamela Pope

The Edwardian ladies had the vapours.Debonair actor Peregrine Blackmore was visiting, frock-coated, his top hat set jauntily over dark curls.Lady Finchcombe had invited him to tea with her Ladies Friendship Group.

"I'll take your hat, Mr Blackmore," fluttered the Honourable Daphne Pratt.

"Thank you, I'll keep it on," said he.

Surprised looks were exchanged, whispered murmurs of, "Manners."Then a forceful wind through an open window sent the hat flying, along with the curls.Peregrine Blackmore was completely bald.

Story 363

The Door On The Wall

by Joe McMullen

The door had not been there before. Its small rectangular frame jutted out from the wall above my bed, covered in crusted crimson paint.

Running my finger along the wood confused me, for it was warm and throbbing against my skin. Fear took me. What if this door was somehow sinister?

Opening the door to find out, I found myself awake and discovered the door was absent. Stupid dream, I thought, and with that I rolled back and returned to sleep.

Story 364

The Note

by Maria Noble

The note lay beside the body. The officers were trying not to contaminate the crime scene. It looked like murder, but it wasn’t.

The women, who took her own life, was an actress and going through divorce. The note read: 'If found dead, my husband did it.' He had recorded all conversations.

She decided to end her own life and ruin his. A chill ran though the room. Her passing thought was of her leaving the stage of her own death.

Story 365

The Plot

by Valerie Fish

Sue never bothered telling her husband where she was going. He was constantly ridiculing her, making her feel worthless.

Thursday mornings were a welcome escape. People were actually interested in what she had to say. She was thrilled when it was suggested her latest work was good enough to be published.

Maybe now was the time to tell him what she had been up to. After all, he had been the inspiration for her story, 'How To Commit The Perfect Murder'.

Story 366

Passive Resistance

by Marie McGinn

She sits.

He stands.

She speaks.

He paces.

She speaks again.

He stops.

He rants.

She weeps.

He storms.

She dries her eyes.

He threatens.

She turns away.

He gives a warning.

She shakes her head.

He holds her shoulders and turns her towards him.

She meets his gaze.

He shrugs.

She folds her arms.

He stamps his foot.

She looks at the floor.

He turns away.

She is silent.

He leaves.

He slams the door.

She sighs.

Relaxes.

Stretches.

Smiles.

Story 367

The Witch That Exists

by Lidia Giusa

"Witches don't exist." My gran's words echoed around my head as the horrific visage grinned at me through my window.

But, I know they do.

She sits outside my window every night, staring right at me. Sometimes she will wave at me. Sometimes she will call me over to the window, encouraging me to open it.

I don't know what she wants, but I do know I'm the only one who can help her, the only one that knows she exists.

Story 368

My Hero

by Kira Inglis

My hero doesn't fight crime, she isn't a fireman or a police woman. She can't climb walls like a superhero or even run that fast. Most would say she's not a hero, but she is to me.

My hero is my mum, of course, my superwomen who kept me safe from the scary monster under my bed, who made sure I had a full belly and was never, ever late for school. My protector with unconditional love, my one true hero.

Story 369

Day

by Victoria Gaylor

Life was not going at all like she had planned. She was failing school, unemployed, had a lack of true friends and been through a difficult break up.

She couldn't see a point to life anymore. Was there a point if you weren't achieving the things you want, or at least somewhat happy?

Then she saw it. Something that gave her hope again in the world. Joy in the things around her. It was the most magnificent day of her life.

Story 370

1942

by Ani Martin

"Whatever happened to Charlie?"

"He jumped ship at Liverpool – said he couldn't do another convoy – said he'd had a premonition that the ship would get hit."

"Blimey. He never seemed the sort to abandon his mates. What did you say to him?"

"Just wished him luck. I'd never seen his eyes look so wild. Terrified, he was."

"They caught him then?"

"Oh yes, the shore patrol arrested him and threw him into Speke Gaol."

"Court Martial?"

"Prison got bombed – he's dead."

Story 371

Tuna Industry

by Jessica Turnbull

Cats are perfect killing machines.

Their sharp claws, long teeth and lean bodies make them the ideal predator.So the world thought, Why not make a house cat the size of a tiger?Nothing bad can come of that.

But, they were wrong.

Cats had been waiting for an opportunity to strike back, to rule the world with an iron paw. Yes, they liked being fussed over and given treats, but they wanted more. Much more.

They wanted the tuna industry.

Story 372

The All-New Automated Customer Service Line

by Mairead Robinson

"This is Death," the voice said. "I'm calling to remind you of our appointment on Friday." His voice was eerie, as though he spoke from a cave, or an empty room. "This is an automated message. To speak to me in person, please call 000000."

I called the number. "I haven't made an appointment," I whined. "And I'm busy on Friday."

"Didn't you get my email?" he replied.

"Well, yes, I think there was an email."

"Friday then," he replied. "Goodbye."

Story 373

Generation Gap

by Rachel Smith

With a sip of tepid coffee, I press the home button again. Just wallpaper, a screenshot of a beach, waves gently lapping at the shore. Date and time clearly on display. No message.

"What do you think it was like before mobile phones?" I overhear the boy say. "How do you think they sorted stuff out? Must have been really hard."

Yet I sit, waiting for that text, that call from you. Phone by my side, anxiety rising.

Quiet, I think.

Story 374

The Nothing

by Constance Bourg

The birds have been with me since age 11. I say birds, but they are more of a blindness contained by scraggy bird-like boundaries.

I tried to drive them away by reciting nightly incantations. I had to make the recitations ever longer, until I fell asleep with the light still on.

When I was older, I tried loud music and scoring my body with protective symbols.

Now though, I just leave them be and I look to where they are not.

Story 375

The Adventures of Amelia Borgiotti, Ghost – Meeting Amber

by Patrick ten Brink

"You can see me?" I said, floating in the rose-window light.

"Yes," said the girl in front of the alter.

"Why don't you flee?"

"I'm not afraid of ghosts. And you seem familiar."

"Do I?"

"Aren't you Amelia Borgiotti, who died for the orphans?"

"That is why I grace this church."

"Can't you leave?"

"I'm bound here, unfortunately."

"Unfortunately?"

"Eternity within these walls is not my chosen afterlife."

"Is there a way out?"

"One – if you allow me to possess you."

Story 376

Clouds

by Nam Raj Khatri

Clouds were covering the east, at the point where the sun was expected to rise from. Clouds made a beautiful shape to welcome the sun.

Sun rose from behind the clouds. Clouds became bright at the edges.

A boy just watched from his rooftop. Clouds disappeared and sun continued.

In the evening, he observed, in the west, that clouds again surrounded the sun. Clouds were red while sun was sinking.

The boy was confused. Were the red clouds happy, or sad?

Story 377

A Puff Of Magic

by Carrie Hewlett

The genie rubbed his hands gleefully.

His millionth wish. Hopefully it would be memorable.

Why didn’t people think through the actions of their wishes, he wondered?

How he’d laugh as they realised the consequences of their actions.

"What is your final wish?"

"I wish to be President."

Whoosh – it was granted.

The genie vaporised back inside his lamp.

Flicking the kettle for a cup of tea, he peeked out.

Fame could be such a two-edged sword, as Donald Trump would discover.

Story 378

The Gath’ring

by Jamie Welch

Lo, 'pon yore-days there stood many creatures, wand'ring, roaming lands unknown. And yet, as time passes, they passed out of this world.

Hléowlora, and yet hope did come. Gath'ring 'round was thus, the defenders.

And yonder the green lands where Herne roams was the great-men, being whom would stand beside those creatures of yore-times. Fighting off the threat, among all Sidhe and Fae did they stand and become andfeng, bewerigend in ancestor's homes.

And thus they ne'er died, but did gelibban.

Story 379

The Epiphany

by Mary Papageorgiou

Sally was returning from work. However, this day seemed different. To her surprise, the grocery shop she was heading to was closed and outside there was a beautiful pink flower with a note:

'I had an epiphany, go find yours.'

She stared at the note with curiosity and then decided to go back home. She opened her closet and pulled out her old violin. She started playing, trying to remember the chords.

And there it was – she had her own epiphany.

Story 380

Starting At The End

by Susi J Smith

"You killed her."

"What makes you say that? Maybe she died of old age."

Alice looked around the small room. Cream-coloured walls were flecked with dark droplets. The once pride-of-place portrait of Sam was smeared scarlet. On the floor, Grace's head lay a foot from her body.

"I don't think this is how a natural death happens."

Rich shrugged. "Shame."

He grabbed her, throwing her down onto the body. "Have fun with forensics."

Alice screamed. The door closed. Rich was gone.

Story 381

A Madness

by John Holland

"It's a madness, a sickness, a weakness. What on earth can I do with this so-called 'love' you say you have for me? I can't bake a cake with it. I can't dig it in the garden. I can't take the dog for a walk with it. I'm busy. And it's your problem, not mine."

"But I can't put it back. I can't un-love you. No matter how harshly you treat me."

"Sorry. Was I being overly-negative?"

"Not overly, my love."

Story 382

Taking Flight

by David McTigue

Kieran's Mum greeted him at the door.

"You left your skylight open, there's a pigeon up there. Get it out. NOW."

Kieran ran upstairs, leaving his mother cursing in the hall.

She soon heard him clattering around in pursuit of the terrified bird.

"Vermin. I'll have to change the bedding now," she spat.

Just then, she heard something that froze her.

"BAT."

"A bat as well? How?" she shouted.

"I said I chased it out with my baseball bat," answered Kieran.

Story 383

Her

by Olivia-Ann Saxton

She was there again, watching.

I saw her distorted shadow in the doorway. As I cautiously leaned over and flicked the light on, she disappeared. Maybe I imagined it. The nightmares were not as frequent. I told my therapist that I was sure of it.

I could hear the faint noise of unnerving, childish giggles echo throughout the room. I was home alone. Thoughts of her swarmed around my head like a hornet’s nest, each idea's sting slowly paralysing my brain.

Story 384

Brainless

by Heidi Vanlandingham

I awakened, lying on brick pavers. What happened? The clammy sheen of perspiration coated my skin as I watched the mesmerizing motion of a zombie's bobbing head near my stomach.

Panic welled inside my chest, my recently eaten honeybun helping it along. I'd read the stories growing up. Zombies ate people. I tried to recall details from the childhood fantasies and found… nothing. My brain was empty. Wait a minute... Oh. My. God.

"You ate my brains, didn't you? I'm brainless."

Story 385

Felinity

by Peter J. Corbally

The pair of them are at it again, arguing. Over what? It's always trivial.

This time, he's being accused of not washing up properly. A smear still on the gravy boat.

I stir uneasily. She strokes my head and says, "Now look what you've done. Toby's upset." She picks me up and cuddles me.

"That stupid cat," he exclaims. "I'll be in the garage." He storms out.

She croons in a baby voice, "It's just me and you pussy, wussy, pussy."

Story 386

Devil In The Detail

by David Heaton

The bank robbery went well and no one followed his getaway car. He started to relax but suddenly his vehicle skidded on ice, flipped through the air and he remembered no more.

When he awoke, the air was hot, the sky orange and the smell of sulphur was everywhere. A smartly-dressed man with dark hair and a neat beard was standing nearby, watching him.

"Welcome." He smiled.

The thief stared at him, confused. "Who the devil are you?" he asked.

Story 387

Goodbye Mr F

by Sarah Everett

The beautiful morning was still and bright. It felt good to be alive.

But then the ground began to shake. The silence was broken by screaming hounds. Thundering hooves. Which way were they going? Closer, definitely getting closer.

Oh, how I ran, with my heart pounding and blood rushing. I RAN.

As exhaustion took hold, I glanced behind me and they were there.

With nowhere to hide, they were on me and, amidst the howling of the hounds, I was done.

Story 388

Secret Revenge

by Sarah Stephenson

"It's gorgeous," she squealed, proudly holding it aloft to show the room. They all murmured appreciatively. "See, Jane," she continued, "it is possible to buy good vegan leather if you really put your mind to it." Her followers nodded in unison.

"You're so right, Charlotte," I agreed, brightly, and poured a glass of wine. I drank it quickly and finished with a satisfied sigh.

When I got home, I threw my bag on the sofa. A label dropped out: 100% leather.

Story 389

Plum Job

by Olusanya Anjorin

John was a blood donor known throughout the medical centre for his generosity. His blood group was O positive. Blood donation was a plum job for him.

The last time he donated blood, the doctor warned him to take care of himself.

He was answering the call of death when the doctor plucked him out and saved him. When John was revived, the doctor asked what he was doing in the brothel.

"I was donating blood to angels," he said sarcastically.

Story 390

The Pocket Universe

by Jack Purkis

I was raised in a pocket universe; a green valley shaped like a bowl. My friends and I played amongst its fields, woods, and streams. Joy was pure, our lives seemed eternal; we knew nothing of what lay beyond our sphere. We played to the sun, and when it called time, we slowly, reluctantly, withdrew.

At some point, we went out together for the last time. One by one, we left the universe, and when we looked back, it had gone.

Story 391

Piece Pipe

by Chris Espenshade

Faith-keepers unwrapped the classic, 1870s, plains pipe. A meter long, it was carved catlinite, embellished with beads and eagle feathers. It had passed among chiefs and US representatives. Its smoke sealed promises of peace and land security.

The archivist swelled with pride of repatriation. "Your heritage." The museum wanted a public ceremony. The tribe declined.

The traditionalists placed the pipe on a basalt slab, lifted cobbles, and wordlessly took turns smashing it to dust.

Each fracture, a broken promise. "Our heritage."

Story 392

To Longer Bad Movies

by Aishwarya Harikumar

It was their first date.

She looked ethereal in a yellow floral sundress, bringing out the golden glow of her sun kissed curls.

The movie had bored him to tears.

She, however, was in tears for another reason. She'd gasped quite a few times and, clasping his hand in sheer terror, she whimpered as she hid her face in the crook of his welcome neck.

He smiled through two hours of blood and gore, and wished it would go on forever.

Story 393

Cross Purposes

by Christine Kingshott

"Do you want ham or cheese on your sandwiches, Dad?"

"Do you mean the play about the witches?"

"Not witches, Dad, sandwiches."

"It was called The Crucible. It was on last night, Liz. In England, though, witches were thrown into rivers – innocent if they sank,guilty if they floated – then executed."

"I'll do cheese and pickle then, Dad."

"Yes, I know. There's been just a trickle from that tap all day."

"For pity's sake Dad. How much were those hearing aids?"

Story 394

Untitled

by Misa Hennin

Sitting on the doorstep at the back of 13 Woodhill Avenue, experiencing a nostalgia for a childhood which wasn't mine. A childhood which differed so greatly from my own, yet created somebody who fits me better than I fit myself.

It's nearing midnight, but rays of sun are still visible on the horizon. The air is fresh after a day of heat, but mild enough to sit outside. The murmur of the freezer is the only sound which entertains my ears.

Story 395

Perfect Pie

by Kathryn J Barrow

I needed an apple for my pie.

Mr Barlow had an apple tree in his garden, next to mine. I'd try to take one, every day, but he'd catch me.

"Get off my land," he'd bellow.

Today, I knocked on his door and asked, "Sir, could I have an apple, for my pie?"

"Wait," he said.

I did. He came back, handed me an apple. "Manners, lad, is all it takes."

"Thank you, sir." I went home and made my pie.

Story 396

Table Talk

by Rajagopal Kaimal

Babs (studying the menu): What are Queen Lobsters?

Arnie: They are broiled lobsters served wearing crowns.

Babs: What? Lobsters with crowns?

Arnie: Not just crowns, but with scepters in their claws as well.

Babs: Wow. And what is Musical Ice-Cream?

Arnie: When you have the ice-cream, they will play tunes for you.

Babs: Double wow.

Arnie: Don't you want to know what We-Scream Soda is?

Babita: What?

Arvind: Girls will come to us and scream when we are having the soda.

Story 397

Crime Of Passion

by Andre Othenin-Girard

She's asleep, drooling. Her nose twitches. I used to find it cute. Now, I want to retch. I hold the razor-sharp slicing knife behind my back.

I could regret this. What if excessive nagging was inadmissible as a self-defence plea? I am told prison's grub is yuck. Long term, I could be repentant for the consequences, maybe even the crime.

I think I'll use the knife to make myself a chicken sandwich instead, toasted, with pickles, mustard, salt and pepper. Yum.

Story 398

Be Careful What You Wish For

by Lucy Morrice

I wished for love, for someone to be with all the time, for all eternity.

But not like this. Not to be controlled and monitored, chastised and quashed.

I obeyed but I did not honour. I nurtured the hate until it was strong enough. I smiled, I kept house, I submitted to his whims.

I sharpened my wits and my kitchen knives. He didn't see it coming.

It didn't kill him. But I will not be in this jail for ever.

Story 399

Rotten Love

by Lauren Raybould

Layla knelt in her garden, re-planting her chrysanthemums. She shovelled the soil around her bright purple flowers, her brow furrowed in concentration.

"Why did you try to leave, sweetheart? You won't be able to find someone who loves you as much as I do." Layla spoke quietly, but her words were coherent, despite her early morning chardonnay.

"Will you, Evan, sweetie? No." She giggled, smiling as she intertwined her fingers with the corpses, its rotting arm protruding out amongst the flowers.

Story 400

Infant Ambition

by James Smart

World leaders gathered around a simple laptop, their sole interface with their new A.I. Great men and women reduced to biting nails and sweating brows. They prepared themselves for the demands of a sentient cyber being which was holding the world to ransom. It had control of every nuclear warhead on the planet and access to all human knowledge stored on the web. Everyone held their breath as letters forming words appeared on the screen:

I want to be a train.

 

End Of Page Note

I hope you enjoyed reading the third page of 81 word stories. You can find links to hundreds more on the main 81 word writing challenge page.

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