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The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written

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(Read the book "The Complete Horowitz Horror" for best effect)


I want to tell you how this story got included in this book.

About a week before this book was published, I broke into the offices of Orchard Books, which are located in a rather grubby street near Liverpool Street station. Maybe you haven't noticed but the book you are holding a this very minute was originally published by Orchard and I wanted to get my hands on it because, you see, I'd had an idea.

Generally speaking, publishers are stupid, lazy people. Orchard books has about twenty people working for them but not one of them noticed that a window had been forced open in the middle of the night and that someone had added a couple of pages to the collection of horror stories that was sitting by the computer, waiting to be sent the printers. I had brought these pages with me, you see, because I wanted to add my own message to the book. Nobody noticed and nobody cared and if you are reading this then I'm afraid my plan has worked and you are about to discover the meaning of true horror. Get ready- because here it comes.

Twelve years ago I desperately wanted to be a writer and so I wrote a horror story (based on my own experiences) that was rejected by every publisher in London because, they claimed, it wasn't frightening enough! Of course, none of them had the faintest idea what horror really meant because they had never actually committed a murder, whereas I, my dear reader, had committed several.

My uncle Frederick was my first victim, followed by my next-door neighbor (an unpleasant little man with a mustache and a smelly cat), two total strangers, an actor who had a bit part in EastEnders and a Jehovah's Witness who happened to knock at my door while I was cooking lunch. Unfortunately, my adventures came to an end when a dim-witted policeman stopped my car just as I was disposing of the last body and I was arrested and sent to a lunatic asylum for life. Recently, however, I escaped and it was after that that I had the wonderful idea that you are reading about at this very moment and that could be summarized into three simple stages. Drop into the offices of one of those smarmy publishers in London and slip a couple of pages into somebody else's book (with many apologies to Anthony Horowitz, whomever he may be). Exit quietly and stay hidden until the book is published. Return only when the book is in stores and then wait in the background, until some poor fool buys it and follow that person home...

Yes, dear reader, at this very moment I could be sitting outside your home or your school or wherever you happen to be and if by any chance you are the one I've chosen, I'm afraid you're about to learn a lesson about horror that I know you'd prefer to miss. Orchard Books is also going to wish they'd published me all those years ago, especially when they start losing their readers in particularly nasty ways, one by one. Understanding will come- but I'm afraid you're going to have to read this whole story again.

Start at the beginning. Only this time look carefully at the first word of each sentence. Or to be more precise, the first letter of each first word. Now, at last, I hope you can see quite gloriously, hideously mad I really am- although for you, perhaps, it may already be too late.

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