Short short story.
October 25, 2007 6:05 PM   Subscribe

I need an extremely short suspense story.

I will be reading a suspenseful story at school on Halloween. I need a school-appropriate, suspenseful short story. Unfortunately, it's a short short story. It can't be any longer than about three minutes to read out loud. The time constraint has eliminated all of my usual stories, so I'm in a jam.
posted by Hargrimm to Writing & Language (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
How about Poe's Tell Tale Heart?
posted by Atreides at 6:09 PM on October 25, 2007

Jean Cocteau's Death and the Gardener is pretty darn short. Dunno how suspenseful it is, though.
posted by dobbs at 6:14 PM on October 25, 2007

The stories here are really short. Might have something that works if you can get a copy.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2007

Shortest horror story Knock, in its entirety:

"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."

by Fredric Brown.

More here.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2007

I can do it in fifteen words, and it has money, family, religion, sex, and mystery:

"God!" said the banker's daughter. "I'm pregnant, and I don't know who the father is!"
posted by 4ster at 6:36 PM on October 25, 2007

Response by poster: Atreides:The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favorite horror stories of all time, and it's what I usually read for things like this, but it's about four times too long. It takes 12-15 minutes to read in its entirety.
posted by Hargrimm at 6:43 PM on October 25, 2007

Whups, probably not good for school.

My wife (the teacher) recommends for smaller children The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything.
posted by 4ster at 6:43 PM on October 25, 2007

Agreeing with Pater and 100 Malicious Little Mysteries for stories that are nasty, brutish and short.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2007

I've recommended this to someone on here before, but try a version of The Teeny Tiny Woman. It's a great jump tale. Here's one version on Amazon if you need a book to work from, although it's just as easy to learn it by heart.
posted by MsMolly at 7:53 PM on October 25, 2007

To be, or not to be: that is the question
posted by travis08 at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2007

Some short campfire tales here.
posted by rob511 at 8:08 PM on October 25, 2007

I remember having one of the stories from either this book or its sequel read aloud to an assembly when I was in elementary school. I can't remember which one, but I recall it going over well.

There are some "Man with the Golden Arm" and "Taily-po" type ones where you jump on someone nearby and scare the crap out of them, but I'm pretty sure there are also some that don't require proximity and small groups, and some good short ones.

Also, the illustrations are great. I remember being afraid to touch them when I was little, and holding the pages very gingerly.
posted by felix grundy at 9:41 PM on October 25, 2007

Robert Bloch's "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 PM on October 25, 2007

Augusto Monterroso is usually credited with creating the world's shortest story: When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.
posted by hatmandu at 3:11 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Have you visited my site yet? (SELF-LINK!!!)
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:20 AM on October 26, 2007

An Occurrance at Owl Creek Bridge.
posted by saladin at 5:01 AM on October 26, 2007

The Open Window.
posted by weebil at 8:55 AM on October 26, 2007

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