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81words - Stories Page 5

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 – 401 to 500

Stories 401 to 500 are published below in the order they were received.

Story 401

Curse You Gladys

by Matthew Galic

Of all the times to upstage me, Gladys, this was the worst. I told you weeks ago that I was making pancakes for the picnic. WEEKS. And yet what do you do? You saunter, all smug-like, up to our table, placing the most beautiful looking blueberry pancakes right in front of us.

This was supposed to be my time to shine.

And no, it doesn't matter that I forgot to bring my pancakes. After all, you're still in the wrong.

Story 402

Cat's Eyes

by Neil Phillips

What is my cat looking at?

Staring – no, stronger – glaring into space behind my head, like a harbinger of doom is lurking there.

I glance over my shoulder. Perhaps a fly upon the window? No.

Perhaps a mote of dust in sunlight? No, it is England, there is no sunlight.

I glance around nervously, ears straining for sounds only cats can perceive, but all the while he is staring at the space behind my ear.

My cat is making me paranoid.

Story 403

A Cigarette

by Sam Freer

I am a cigarette.

My purpose is to make you feel at ease, all the while filling your lungs with countless toxins. Ironic, I know, but I feel I perform my job well regardless of the consequences. Nobody ever questions my abilities, so I persevere as I am. I continue to poison those who consume me, and then come back for more. They see me as a cure, not the blight I am. Foolish.

I am a cigarette, bringer of death.

Story 404

Chance Encounter

by Catherine Cade

I slipped into the wake of a goliath, barrelling through the shoppers. We made good progress until I saw the couple gazing into a jeweller's window and felt a thump inside my chest – not unlike the ones in my stomach now baby was big enough to kick.

I passed her father. Should I break up their happy tete-a-tete? Show them my souvenir? No, mine was a better revenge. He would never know his daughter. 

She and I continued on to Mothercare.

Story 405

Kristoff Was Lost

by Oscar Kenway

Kristoff was lost.

He was also alone.

So Kristoff was lost and alone which, as you could imagine, made him quite scared.

So Kristoff was lost, alone, scared and couldn't even remember how he ended up in this mess in the first place.

So Kristoff was lost, alone, scared, forgetful, and was getting rather overwhelmed by everything, so he was becoming rather sleepy.

So Kristoff was lost, alone, scared, forgetful and quite sleepy.

So he decided to sleep.

And he did.

Story 406


by Val Chapman

"Hello, Beauty, how are you doing today?"

He had been coming to visit every day, sometimes several times.

Especially in the beginning.

Carefully, he bent down and tenderly brushed away a speck of dirt from her delicate skin.

He was very pleased with the way things had been progressing, and after all these years, he felt he finally stood a chance.

The County Show was nearly here, and he was certain that this year he would win the 'biggest onion' prize.

Story 407

Mind Games

by Blerina Kapllani

Get closer... this time I won't step back from you. We're playing out a mysterious plot in our own game.

You provoke me by carving ashes in the fire, lit by the full moon. I feel... my desire is like a beast, trying to escape from a cage and infect its victim with the power of fear. Yes, fear of an empty cage.

Thus, we continue to live out this plot, where the silence is crossing every inexistent boundary of absurdity.

Story 408

Saved By Zero

by Jordis Fasheh

'Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things that do appear.' Heb 11:10.

The tribal leader stands at the water's edge, in front of his starving and subdued people, arms outstretched, hands with palms wide open, praying for help.

When that which is unseen engaged heaven and earth, summoning being, the water rose, providing sustenance to the village.

Zero, the center of an atom.

Story 409

The Germans Are Coming

by Alyson Faye

Me and Dad are watching a war film, cosy with mugs of tea and chocolate Hobnobs.

"One of them's a double agent. Working for the Germans. Now, which one is it?"

I know, but I stay silent.

The film's two stars, in camouflage whites, shoot guns, steal trucks and dice with death.

"Bloody Germans." Dad stands up. Pointing. Red faced.

"That's not PC, Dad, now, come on."

I follow his finger.

I see, in his immaculate garden, two German Shepherds, fouling.

Story 410

His Curse

by Chloe Frost

I don't know why I dream of him, but every night, under the cover of darkness he always seems to find me.

He has found a way to slip under my eyelids and burrow his way into my head.

I try to dig him out, to reach into my skull, pull him off and throw him away.

But try as I might, my grip is not tight enough, my will not strong enough. Thus, I am cursed to love him. Forever.

Story 411

81 Words

by Anne Copeland

How many times had she been hurt?

How many times had she been assaulted?


How many times had people spoken ill of her?

How many times had she run away?

How many times had she tried to end it all?

Today would be different.

Today she stood, her arms slightly back.

She looked up toward the heavens and she knew she was ready.

Her body began to lift from the ground and, as she rose, she realised she could fly.

Story 412

It All Comes Back To Bite You

by Francesca Pappadogiannis

"Johnny. Did you tidy up all your toys?"

"Yes, I did, Mummy. They all have a home."


"Johnny. Why are all your toys in the fridge, washing machine, oven and toilet?"

"Because, Mummy, you told me to tidy them up."

"This is not tidying up. They belong in your bedroom."

"No, they don't. Daddy always says that it's all tidy as long as Mummy can't see or find them."

A lovely note left for daddy: Babe, there will be no...

Story 413

The Value

by Murodova Marjona

I have a close friend. I was her confident listener. She had an extended family of nine people. But she always wanted to be alone without her two sisters. She never thought about the disadvantages and menace of extreme loneliness.

It was her only dream. Days turned into months. Months into years. Unfortunately, she did not realise the opportunity God had given her.

As her destiny showed, one of her sisters entered a foreign university and another died of a cancer.

Story 414

The Big Yawn

by Alan Barker

I sit in my garden, staring at the fence.

I stare at the fence because there is nothing else to stare at.

Unless I stare at the patchy lawn, riddled with weeds.

Or at the sky, full of unbroken cloud.

Or at my ramshackle bungalow.

I yawn.

I glance at my watch.

Time has moved on.

A little.

I resume staring at the fence.

I yawn again.

A wasp flies into my mouth.

My day is no longer such a yawn.

Story 415

Last Days, Few Words

by J. Rosina Harlow

In the last few days of the Glorious New Regime, the burble of running water was our only music. The slap of feet on concrete, barking dogs, slamming doors, these were our most treasured conversations.

Language was strictly rationed.

People crowded around their radios to hear the announcer clear his throat and tell the time. Such precious, sparse jewels of human expression filtered through our memories into radio silence.

Dead air.

But somewhere, the birds began reading their poetry out loud.

Story 416

Unconditional Love

by Fiona Campbell

Summer evening, when the light lingers and the sun sets late. Hues of lemon, gold and flaming orange paint the sky, as the silhouette of the moon rises. Creeping into bedrooms, planting kisses on foreheads and watching chests rise and fall. A heart full of  unconditional love. Pondering on how amazing they are. From new-born blank canvases to troublesome tweens and teens. Forming opinions, making choices and following dreams. Sun sets on a Summer's day. One step closer to the future.

Story 417

The Voice

by Robert Wood

Light flashed before my eyes. My surroundings were all blurry and would not stay one size. I tried to get up to see everything more clearly, but I quickly fell back down.

I was in a small clearing, surrounded by trees and it was humid, really humid. As I got up, I heard an eerie voice in my ear.

"It is time," whispered the voice. I felt a chill run down my spine. I never saw the light of life again.

Story 418

I Love You

by Sarah Ann Hall

He challenges her to convey her feelings without words.

She contorts her face a dozen ways: lips purse, cheeks twist, eyes bulge, ears rock up and down. Whatever she does isn't enough.

"I don't understand," he shrugs.

His refusal to comprehend infuriates her. She jumps on his back and slaps his shoulders playfully. "You can be so dense," she laughs into his ear.

Deafened, he pulls her into an embrace and they dance.

"You could have just kissed me," he says.

Story 419

The Joy Of A Cheerful Greeting

by Amisha Bansal

"Help," the poor man shouted.

It was dark inside. Workers had already left and he was locked inside the lab. The musty chemicals made him feel like his end was near. The next day was Sunday, a holiday.

Suddenly, the guard unlocked the door.

"You alright?" he asked.

"How did you know I was in here?"

"I wanted to hear the greeting ‘Jai Shri Krishna’. Out of all the people I see daily, only you say this," replied the emotional guard.

Story 420

Masquerade Society

by Skylar Kim

Everyone is born with a mask that grows with them.

Yours doesn't fit.

The mask bruises your face, but you don't dare take it off.

One day, rushing late for work, you crash into someone and your mask falls off.

You freeze. Terrified. Exposed.

Cringing, you wait for the inevitable disgust, every second an agony.

Instead, she wordlessly hands you your mask back, along with a note.

When you arrive home, you open it.

You are not alone. From a 'he'.

Story 421

It's All Your Fault

by Jenny Butler

While staying with me you contacted your crazy, abusive imprisoned ex and ran up a very high phone bill. On seeing that you put a return address, he came here when released and has absolutely destroyed my entire life.

He started stalking me, continuously asking about you. I have lost my job, my home and my dog who is not allowed refuge in the women's shelter where I now reside and I want you to know I will never forgive you.

Story 422


by Patricia Mudge

Tom's heart banged in his chest. He'd expected Toby's usual exuberant welcome, but instead he found him lying flat out on the kitchen floor with laboured breathing and a bloated belly. Tom lay down next to Toby to comfort him.

"What happened here, mate?" he asked as he scanned the room for clues.

The penny dropped when he spotted, screwed up in the corner, the newly opened but completely empty bag of kibble.

"I get it, self-service and self-inflicted," he said.

Story 423

Losing The Game

by Neil D Cross

"Which bit of the rules didn't you understand? After you use up a billion words, you’re excluded from The Game."

I stared at the avatar sullenly. I knew his sort; trying to trick me into using my word quota.

"I need you to speak to me, sir."

I panicked. "I thought it was only my words that counted."

"I'm afraid not, sir. If you'd read the small print…"

I shushed him. "How many left?"

He held up 2 fingers.


Story 424


by Karen McClure

"Do you want the bad news now, or after your shift?"


"You're on a final."

"A final, final, or a just a final?"

"A final, final."

"Why aren't I fired?"

"We like you."

"You can fire me if you want."

"We don't want to, we like you."

"But I'm on a final, final. I should be fired."

"You have to be good for 6 months."

"Is that even possible?"

"You've done it before."


"On your final, final, final."


Story 425

Umbrella Manifesto

by Brianna Damplo

Have you ever considered the fact that I might hate the rain?

Why do I need to bear, stoically, all the cold, dampness in my wings, when you shiver at the first drop of water?


I’ve talked it over with the others. We’re done; done with being forgotten in restaurants and movie theaters. You think we enjoy being propped up against hard, dirty concrete? Forget it. We’re through.

And if you don’t like it, then you can just get wet.

Story 426

Ricky The Border Collie And Ira The Cockapoo

by Linda Scogings

"Why did she bring that ugly, smelly puppy home?" asked Ricky.

"I am not ugly or smelly. I'm your new friend."

"I hope you don't bark too much. I like to doze in the afternoons."

"Life is for fun and playing," Ira said, in a squeaky little voice.

"Just behave. The rules are, don't eat my food or lie on my chair or sit with Mum. She is mine."

"I just want to be your friend. Let me be your brother."

Story 427

This Is The Way The World Ends

by Charlotte West


Sweet music speckled through the dust which settles on broken bricks and shattered glass.


Intertwined with the melody, a baseline of deep sadness, throbbing like a heartbeat.


The harmony, dripping from clouds, suffocating the sickly yellow sky and bleeding into the ground; scorched, bruised, aching with the pain of what it had to endure.

But that birdsong keeps playing. Piercing its way through the smog, clean and determined, it tries to bring back light to the dying land.


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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