Right before Halloween, one of my sixth grade teachers sent me a post on Facebook leading me to an aggregation of two-sentence horror stories. She still teaches sixth grade and thought that while these stories might be a little too much for sixth-graders, as a high school English teacher, I could have some fun sharing these with my students. And I agree with her. So I did.
I told them how I came to find these stories and some of them commented on how neat it was that I stayed in touch with my sixth grade teacher still and that it was sort of cool and sort of creepy that she would send me a link to such scary stories. After I read through one of them, my drama students insisted that we turn the lights off. With my AP English students, we just went ahead and turned them off from the outset. The reactions to the stories were pretty good in that I think some of them legitimately creeped out some of the students, which was, after all, at least partially, the goal.
The other goals were to practice brevity in writing. How can we deliver a power-packed story with only two sentences? Which word choices will give the most bang for the buck? Which would be more effective-short sentences? long ons? a combo of both? We had an opportunity to analyze some of the sentences’ grammatical structure. Are some of these run-ons? comma splices? long, grammatically correct sentences? We also talked about formula. Was there a trick to making a short horror story work? Was there a pattern that tied all nine stories together? Which stories were the scariest? Why were they scary?
After reading through all nine of the stories, and having a wee discussion comprised of the aforementioned questions and their responses, I gave the students time to compose their own two-sentence stories. Then we shared them aloud in Drama class. (We had other things to do in AP English, so they just submitted them to me to be shared on a another day.) Oh, and I wrote one too! You will see some of the results below.
from Morgan Z.
That creep was still standing by the bus stop the next day. Even after running him over twice the day before, there he was, standing there.
from Hannah C.
He woke up from a nightmare in which a creature was in his bedroom. He drifted off, while staring at two yellow lights outside his window, except they weren’t lights …
from our foreign exchange student from Holland
De donkere nacht is nog maer net begonnen. Er tyn al 10 lyken geuonden …
(If you read Dutch, you are probably really scared right now…)
from Shaylee M.
I walk down the hallway toward the bathroom, only to see a light coming from a crack under the door. I slowly open the door, but I see no one there … until I turn around …
I woke in the middle of the night and heard a girl singing beautifully. I follow her voice to a pond outside, but all I can see is my demonic reflection.
from Jax C.
Marry had a little lamb; it’s fleece was white as snow. Now Mary’s dead and the lamb’s fleece is red as blood.
I couldn’t move as thousands of their little legs crawled up my arms, legs and into my moth. I screamed, waking my self up only to feel the little legs crawling up my neck.
from Sophia V.
He whispered, “Go to sleep.” So I did … forever.
I was walking though the forest as the sun was going down. I saw a tall man with a white face and now all I can give you are signs from my own blood to stay away.
She was only four years old and dressed in white. But she managed to kill me anyway.
from Tanner P.
One day I came home from school and had a hankering for some oreos. When I opened the package, it was empty.
I was walking through the forest, hopelessly lost, and my phone was dead. Then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted him: Shia Labeuof.
It is a tough job being a mortician nowadays. It is getting harder and harder to hide the claw marks inside the coffins.
Supper is the one time that my family all comes together. The only bad part is the main course will not stop screaming.
from Maria B.
Every night, the old woman would say goodnight to her dead husband before crawling into bed. One night, a scratchy, dark voice responded from under her covers, saying, “He’s not here anymore.”
As they lowered my little sister into the ground, i just wanted the funeral to be over. I couldn’t help but wonder if the coffin would supress the screams that were sure to start at any moment.
from Devin N.
It was Halloween night and it was pitch black outside when out of the corner of my eye I saw something on the ground. To my horror it was a person tearing the flesh from a dead rotting corpse and as I looked closer I said, “Mom!?”
And finally … MINE:
“Lullaby, and goodnight,” she sang in her raspy coo to the children. “When did Fluffy learn to sing?” said the boy to his little sister.