In the spirit of the season and prompt challenges everywhere, I welcome you to 13 Stories: 13 days and 13 prompts to create flash fiction, short stories, poems, or whatever writing that you can cast forth from your hearts, minds, and fingertips in celebration of Halloween.
The idea for 13 Stories came about as many things do—in a flash of inspiration at the very last minute while diligently trying to do other things. When sharing my idea and brainstorming with my friend and author, A. J. Vrana, she mentioned that it reminded her of the Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (100 Tales). And there, at that moment, 13 Stories emerged fully formed in my minds eye. We were going to make this happen.
ANYONE can participate in 13 Stories. All you have to do is wield your writing tool of choice and begin.
How does one participate?
1.) Write a piece for the day’s prompt. It can have whatever form you wish.
2.) Post it! (please use the tag #13Stories so we can and enjoy each other’s work!)*
Note: You can choose to participate in whatever capacity you wish. Do you want to write every other day? Only want to write a few of the specific prompts? That is fine. You do what is best for you, though I will encourage you to be consistent with whatever you do choose! I hope this can be a way of growing not only our writing in fun and interesting ways but our connections as a community as well.
*When posting to social media, since these are writing pieces, feel free to use screen caps and post images, or link to a blog post, etc. It can also be a good way for people to see your other work!
At the end of this challenge, it will be All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Samhain—the night of the “thinning of the veil” that allows the spirits to walk among us. I will set up 13 candles in a dark room and read stories that were created during our challenge, blowing out a candle after each story until the room is dark. Perhaps we will see if the spirits are evoked through the safety and power of our words. 😉
Without further ado, the prompts!
1. A witch/wizard owns a mirror that displays every act of mischief in the world
2. One astrologer does not read the stars, but can speak with them. The stars tell them of something coming.
3. Trick or treating from the perspective of pets/squirrels/rats/bats/birds/etc. trying to stage a candy heist.
4. You are walking alone. You look at your reflection in the lake you are walking beside and see someone is holding your hand.
5. Pick a nursery rhyme. Turn it into a Halloween story.
6. Awoken at 3 AM by the sound of an ice cream truck, you peer out your window and watch in horror as every child in the neighborhood sleep walks out to it.
7. A town baker bakes people’s souls into bread and feeds them to unsuspecting shoppers.
8. An undertaker starts a company that streamlines hits for hire, then sells undertaking services to the victim’s families
9. Tourists on a ghost tour are possessed by the ghosts they are there to see
10. There is a poem that causes anyone who reads it to turn into the monstrous embodiment of their soul.
11. A girl falls in love with the moon
12. The monsters and myths of Halloween convene a meeting to discuss how to inspire belief in them again.
13. “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” —Edgar Allen Poe