Friday, November 1, 2013

Two-Sentence Stories

Mark Twain once said, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead"  Twain speaks succinctly about the difficulties of concise writing.  When words really count, composition must be precise.  Magazines and Internet sites alike have created competitions for short writing.  In 2008, Smith Magazine challenged its readers to write their life stories in six words. The magazine was inspired by an anecdote in which Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a novel in six words.  The result?  "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."  While the validity of the Hemingway story is questionable, over 760,000 writers have published their own six-word memoirs on the site.  In a similar manner, the two-sentence story has gained popularity.  When Reddit asked writers to come up with their best two-sentence horror stories, the Internet was abuzz.  Check out these creepy tales.

 You hear your mom calling you into the kitchen. As you are heading down the stairs you hear a whisper from the closet saying “Don’t go down there honey, I heard it too. — comparetivelysane

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, 'Daddy check for monsters under my bed.' I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, 'Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.' - justAnotherMuffledVo

I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again. - therealhatman

What better occasion than Halloween to try our hands at a few two-sentence horror stories?  It was the perfect opportunity to teach about word choice, conciseness, and brevity.  Armed with bags of treats and listening to scary sounds playing in the background, students created some of their own.  Frankly, many were downright frightening.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

She saw the power went out and then she heard a blood-curdling scream, getting closer and closer. When she reached for the flashlight there was a hand on it already.

I started watching a zombie movie. Until the zombies started watching me.

I was alone in the house when I heard my sister’s footsteps coming towards my room.  Then I remembered that my sister was out with friends and my parents were at a talk.  

I heard a scream coming from the bathroom.  I went and opened the door to find it was empty.

photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~ via photopin cc

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