“He woke up frightened and reached for the matches and the matches were put into his hand."
The shortest ghost story ever written, Somerset, England. Writer Unknown.
(1) As I fumbled around the side table, trying to locate the lamp, I soon realized that there was another presence standing near me in the dark. Of course, I couldn’t see anything, but my shaking fingers, feeling the jumbled pile of books, sketch pads and drawing utensils, suddenly came in contact with something soft and cold that was immediately withdrawn.
(2) Imagine this, you’re up late at night, trying to calm your frazzled nerves by reading, howling winds were rattling the storm shutters on your Brandon Estate Tower Block; suddenly you hear a sharp rapping at your apartment door. Nervously, you tiptoe up and peer through the peephole, and peering back at you are gaunt faces the color of bleached bone with sickly orange-yellow eyes.
(3) A fluttering swarm of whip-poor-wills gathered near the dower window, while rooks and buzzards by the thousands swarmed above the gable roof.
Death is drawing near.
(4) Out came the duckling from deep amid the marsh weed. Reluctant heron food.
(5) Dust clouding its eyes, the doll’s head stared forlornly from the littered floor. Slowly, it began to blink.
(6) The midsummer sun shone brightly on the backs of four black dogs. The only shadows in the yard.
(7) After a week of asking questions to the dead, and divining ultimate truths of the universe through various crystals and a Ouija board; we soon got bored of the usual basement/game room and went off to find a suitable deserted house for a better setting for our occult experiments. Since the old Griffin Place burned down in a fire accidentally started by a reefer a clumsy stoner had left in an old mattress, the only other haunted place available was the now deserted Brady House on the edge of town.
(8) Lori Nelkins had the kind of voice you wanted to listen to--calm, thoughtful, and compelling. She drew you in, and you wanted to catch every word even though the story she was telling probably involved horror that iced over your spine and shriveled up your godforsaken soul into cold ashes.
(9) As the last gleams of sunlight faded from view, other figures began to emerge, slinking out of the growing shadows until a multitude of them followed the black slimy fetid substances that dripped and pooled in the teenager's wake.
Tourists and curious residents hovered a discrete distance away, some wondering why there was a parade of shadowy people in Victorian period and plague doctor apparel strolling down the main avenue.
(10) Doug stuck his hand in the banana box and immediately pulled it out with a yelp.
“Dude, something just bit me!” he said.
(11) Gabrielle clenched her stained teeth as she gripped the porcelain seat. She took a deep breath and said, “You have two choices, you can either leave on your feet or on a gurney.”
(12) “I love you,” she whispered into her hot pink cell phone. Nothing but faint harpsichord music and the dry rustling of leathery wings returned her reply.
(13) I don’t know how I am going to get home. Worse yet, I am alone and have to walk through Lichwell Street in the dark.
(14) Finding yourself between two men who are at odds with one another is a bit complicated but when one is a three-thousand-year-old Egyptian priest and the other is a fifteen-thousand-year-old Druid it can be downright chaotic.
(15) Many things get the hair on the back of my neck up, but nothing more so than Many Pirsig’s Princess Twilight Sparkle costume. The primping, the flashing of garishly-purple and red dyed hair nearly caused me a massive panic attack.
(16) He opened the old tome to the yellowed folded pages. That was when the centipede wriggled out.
(17) Amanda Wright took a deep, controlled breath before she tentatively lowered her gloved hand into the murky tank. She recoiled with horror as it wriggled away from her grasp.
(18) It was raining cats and dogs. Seriously, the wallpaper in Emily’s room was literally raining cats and dogs.
(19) I never got a chance to see the 1986 remake of The Fly or The Phantom of the Opera musical when it first premiered. Instead, my mom dressed me in the most hideous pink tutu with puffy sleeves and dragged me to ballet class.
(20) He could feel its prickly wriggling tendrils poking through the thin cotton of his denim pocket. He wanted to remove it but was afraid Mr. Underhill, the study hall moderator, would see it.
(21) The sweet scent of lilac mingled with greasy food and massive BO made me want to retch. I bravely fought the urge as I looked into my pimply lab partner’s direction.
(22) June was never particularly exciting in our heavily rural, non-gentrified neighborhood. Not until the summer the O’Breen family moved in next door and the stray cats and dogs started disappearing.
(23) She kept picking at the scab, digging deeper and deeper despite the increasing pain. Logically she knew she should stop, but the darn thing kept itching.
(24) “Stop yanking on my arm!” screeched Alice as she pulled her tender right arm across her chest.
Jeff groaned irritably, “How the hell can I be yanking on your arm when I’m on the left of you?”
(25) Reba lay on her side, face to the window. The blind was drawn down so the creeeping gray shapes couldn’t peer in at her while she slept.
(26) Winter was rather eccentric on the Gillingham Coast. It was not unusual to have a rain of speckled frogs and toadstools, and more often than rain, there were days of flying goldfish and colorful glass floats full of eyeballs and memento mori pendants.
(28) I hate surprises. No, I really hate surprises, especially involving clowns and first-graders hopped-up on sugar from cake frosting and soda drinks.
(29) My life as a legal guardian. The worst mess I ever had to clean up.
(30) Something in the bed of the rusty pickup was covered with a mud-stained tarpaulin. It moved slowly, but there was no wind blowing today.
(31) The door burst open and in walked something over ten feet tall and covered with shaggy blonde hair.
“Where the hell’s my diary?” it bellowed.
(32) “You have got to be kidding me. He actually compared your hair to a drowned poodle?”
(33) A frigid November wind blew around the old gabled house, rattling the small dormer windows. Outside, two distant figures danced across a snowy field, creatures neither man nor beast.
(34) An empty blue kitchen looked out over vast empty fields, brown and withered like old bones. All was quiet and then with a brisk rustle, a tattered broom moved from one dark corner to another.
(35) Fallen snow piles up on an old, bloodstained mattress. A cat wanders in.
(36) Baby swallows chirp inside a decrepit skull. A circle of life.
(37) “Dying breath will fail now that darkness comes,” so chirps the grim whip-poor-will.
(38) Although the sun was shining, it was still rather chilly; Timothy had put on a floppy Astrakhan cap to keep his snakes warm. However, a few kept slipping out to do a bit of sightseeing, mostly they watched Kes; they seemed to like watching her a lot.
(39) It was at the Metropolitan Museum of Arkham; I was spending a quiet evening looking at the exhibit of antique calculating machines when, all of a sudden, I heard this crash of breaking glass and a hoarse eldritch croaking. I ran to the main entrance just in time to see an animated tentacled mummy heading down the main staircase.
(40) Ralphy looked out of his bedroom window, hoping for impassable snowdrifts guaranteeing a school-free week. All prayers for frozen precipitation fled his tweenage mind, however, when he was greeted by the sight of two Victorian-looking gentlemen digging a hole in his front lawn.
(41) “I don’t know about this green stuff. Maybe we should test it on something small first, a spider or that damn pug from next door.”
(42) Jasmine held the small human skull, looking at it closely for a moment before putting it carefully in her coat pocket. Walking down the school hallway, she worked over the various schemes on how exactly she was going to sneak it into Luffy Dayou’s Pikachu backpack.
(43) Mike hadn’t known about the hidden camera...until he heard the faint snickering.
(44) The guys at school were wrong. Blood did not look like ketchup and it was a hell of a hassle to clean up.
(45) The double set of metal doors had been chained shut with several heavy padlocks along with a scrawled warning in red spray paint: Don’t Let Them In! I wisely backed away from the doors which immediately began to bulge and shake, violently shake.
(46) It wasn’t that Natalie didn’t love her little brother; she did, she really did, but he was just so loud and demanding, not to mention a real pest, and she really hadn’t been able to take it anymore.
She hadn’t meant to hurt him, just wanted to make a point, and maybe scare him a little, but that was all; certainly not this.
(47) I awoke to my cat kneading my shoulder and purring in my ear so I go to pet her, and felt damp moldering fur. That was when I realized my cat just came back...after being buried for nine months.
(48) Simon looked sideways at his older brother Ferris, who was staring fixedly at his Heavy Metal magazine, before returning his attention to the pumpkin spider perched on his cereal spoon. In a single, deft little stroke, he flicked the spider into Ferris’s cornflakes and then watched intently as the teenager unknowingly spooned the small orange “tidbit” into his mouth.
(49) The postcard arrived in the mail today, slightly singed around the edges and accompanied by a strong odor of burning electrical insulation along with the sulphurous smell. “Wish you were here,” was all it read and it featured a massive-walled city wreathed in flames.
(50) At first, Greg thought the thing was just a bundle of greasy rags that had blown onto his lawn during last night’s gales. That is, until he saw it using its long bony hands and arms to drag itself forward.
The Second Act of the Tale:
“The man set his quill back in the inkstand on the desk and stared at what he had written--what the match-bearer told him to write before slipping silently like blue smoke into the corner wall. A thin yellow light trickled in through the window, lighting the room like a candle... yet still he sat there in a state of rigid wakefulness, never taking his eyes off the yellow sheet of paper.”
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Written by Mmpratt99 deviantart