Every writer knows that inspiration can be elusive, and sometimes writing prompts are so useful when writer’s block is upon you.
Elle Gato (@elle_em) came up with a great idea while procrastinating on Twitter one day- to ask her followers for writing prompts. Asking for just one word, Elle figured she could write a micro horror story about the word to help her ‘get in the headspace to write’.
Occasionally creepy, very often atmospheric, Elle’s micro horror stories were inspired by words such as ‘dumplings’, ‘pugs’, ‘kerfuffle’, and ‘Brexit’. That last one is a nightmare in its own right, to be perfectly frank.
Check out some of our favourites below, and then head over to Elle’s Twitter page to see more!
"Remember," grandmother says, stirring the boiling soup. "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
I hand her the salt-shaker filled with white powder that I know isn't salt.
The front door bangs open, slams shut. Grandfather's home.
"Oh good," grandmother says. "Soup's ready"
She dreams of the raw skin on her arms sloughing away, a woven heavy wreathe of pain. When she jolts awake she looks at her arms & they are the same patchwork of scars but the heat's died away. She can still hear the laughter though, the echo of that wet-awful, guttural laughter.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 6 February 2019
The sea would swallow it, like the blaring carnival lights from the boardwalk, the heat smearing it all to a red & yellow & blue whorl. We hurried to the Inlet where were could watch the jagged foam-tipped teeth emerge, the white of the moon bleeding out into the black— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 6 February 2019
"We're playing make-up" Abby said to her mother. "Me and the pretty girls."— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
"Which pretty girls, sweetheart?" Abby was always inventing new imaginary friends.
"The glass ones. They bring me blush and lipstick." Abby said and she grinned wide, showing off red-stained baby teeth
The little dog is awakened by a frightened human noise. Not its human though. Its human is humming, breathing heavy & eager. The dog pulls in scent through it's flat nose unbraiding blood & cooking meat & marrow. It hears its name from the kitchen & hurries, in hoping for scraps.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
The noise comes from the backyard & pulls me awake. I go to the window and flinch as heat lightning threads the clouds like a glowing vein. My brothers are fighting again. I see them on the back lawn in a whorl of blood & foam, lurid green reflected in their smooth carapaces.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
He wakes twisted in his bedsheets, hair in sweat-tangled mats, salt stinging his bleeding palms. The same whispering again, his mouth filled with fire and when he leans over to retch, he brings up only red dust, the drought-poisoning dragging eternal hoof-beats through his skull— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
Anna sips her coffee & winces at the burn. The train shifts. rattles beneath her & then stops sudden. Her coffee spills on the man beside her.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
"I'm so sorry!" Anna cries
The man turns, eyes unblinking, bright red, a lipless smile curling over uneven teeth.
"Thank you," he growls
When he visited mother, my brother & I were hushed upstairs & locked in the bedroom, but we still heard the thudding heartbeat of his music. Sometimes it'd sound like screaming & sometimes like prayer. In the morning we'd find candles stubbed low on the stained tile floor.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019
The x-ray specs Eddie ordered come in when only Father is home, staring into the still silence like he does so often. Eddie slips on the specs & nearly screams: there is father, but half his skull is blown away & a pulped kid-shaped smear lies in front of him.— 🌻Elle 🐈 Gato🌻 (@ellle_em) 5 February 2019