Revised from earlier this week.
I was first introduced to the concept of the two sentence horror story by poet Jeff Stumpo. He may not be the originator of the concept, but he gets the credit for getting me into them — or the blame, depending on your point of view.
Here are ten such stories…or perhaps it’s only one twenty sentence horror story.
I wouldn’t drink the charcoal-filtered whisky they serve here if I were you, friend; the distillery is next to the crematorium. May I suggest instead a blood-orange Margarita?
The poet Rilke once said that every angel is terrifying. Based on your expression, I must be an angel indeed.
The four teenagers warily approached my stray pug, unaware that they had little to fear. Daisy had just eaten and wasn’t feeling threatened — lucky for them as they’d barely be a small mouthful to a hungry, anxious Devourer.
Dark brown stains developed on the blade of the hunting knife as it lay in the Justice Machine’s chamber. I smiled, pressed the button that would cause Maria’s fingerprints to form on the hilt, and started to think about where to plant it when the process was complete.
I raised my head from the battlefield to see hundreds, perhaps thousands of shattered faces doing the same — each in an enemy uniform, each one looking directly at me with hatred as they rose from their own places of dying. Each one murderous, each one ready to die again — and as if this were a field of mirrors, each one could have been my twin.
My dirty little secret isn’t that I know what it feels like when a knife enters a human body. My dirty little secret is about which end of the knife taught me that.
I stared at the painting, hoping something in that dark puddle of black pigment on the upper left corner would move and reveal itself as The Meaning. Then something popped, and I saw it — a crowd in a museum gallery, shrugging their shoulders and turning away from my gaze.
There’s nothing new under the sun, friend. Last week, though, something new developed behind it, and it doesn’t like us.
I woke up. “Damn,” I thought.
“I…I don’t know what I’m doing,” I stammered. I agreed, then continued doing it until I couldn’t deny it anymore.