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Four Hundred Sixteen. That’s all it takes to tell a story. A scary story. At least here. Every tale of horror and suspense in this book is exactly 416 words long (you can spend your time counting or reading, that’s up to you). Every story was written by a member of Authonomy.com.
Stephen King takes 1,200 pages to tell a story. We do it in half a page. Sometimes we do it better.
From Arachnoids to Zombies, “416” has it all. The first fifty four stories were submitted as part of my weekly Flash Fiction Friday contest. Always a treat for the readers, this particular contest was an outstanding success. We got a lot of “new” writers as well as the old standbys. Many wrote outside their comfort zone and they did it well.
So, now we have a collection of horror worthy to be on the shelves of whatever bookstores are still in business (another horror story in itself). Unfortunately, timing is everything and my Ouja board tells me that there is not enough time to get “416” on the shelves. That shouldn’t stop you from putting it on yours, however.
416 words is less than two pages. But you won’t believe what we can fit into those two pages. I know I didn’t, and I still believe in Obama.
When I first asked myself to edit this book, I thought “who wants to read a bunch of stories that aren’t even written by me. But after reading the submissions, I can almost see the logic of it. Besides, there are two stories that are by me, so everyone wins.
Now, here we sit. You, me, and fifty-something tales, tailor made to be read on a cold October night. Short, intense and eerie. You can take them in small doses or plow through with one eye shut and one open. It’s up to you.
Don’t be shy with feedback and comments. After all, a zombie can live on brains but a writer needs attention if he or she wants to thrive and survive.
Finally, if you think it’s easy, feel free to give it a try. Send me a 416 word horror story before October 30, 2011, and I may add it to this lovely tome. Thank you to Authonomy and Rachel Authonomy for inspiring all of us to rise to this challenge. Mr. King and Koontz have set the bar. You tell us if we cleared it.
And yes, this introduction is exactly 416 words.