Short Stories With Surprise Endings


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Oh What A Twist: 29 Writing Prompts

Updated on July 23, 2016

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Trina Lynne


Trina Lynne has been writing, editing and consulting writers for 8 years. She has multiple websites you can find here: about.me/TrinaLynne

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When it comes to a story, I always love one that has a little shock value. Sometimes I love a lot of shock value. All in all, here’s some prompts to add some shock value to your writing. Go where ever you want with your story and think outside the box.

1. You receive an anonymous note that tells you to come to the pier at 9 o’clock. When you arrive on the pier that evening, you find a picture of your best friend tied up in your bedroom.

2. Growing up you were an orphan and the only thing that connected you to your parents was an old photograph of your father. Walking into a job interview the interviewer looks like an older version of the photo.

3. You have been anticipating the annual flower show for months to see your grandmother’s prized roses. When you arrive at the flower show, there is a gaping hole in the side of the building, flowers have been trampled and your grandmother’s prized roses have been stolen.

4. Exhausted one evening you head to bed just to wake up hours later in an ambulance.

5. Two men sit at the bar sneaking glances at your table. When the waitress brings you and your date drinks she places a napkin in front of you with “RUN” scrawled on it.

6. A man and his granddaughter take their usual Saturday drive. He decides to take her to an open field to show her a very special and unusual surprise.

7. Early one morning there is a report of the President’s plane being attacked and going down in a remote area. You are the head of the search and rescue team.

8. A meteor is scheduled to hit earth in less than 32 hours. As a police officer, what are those hours like.

9. You win a contest to be the assistant to one of the hottest movie stars. When you arrive on the set of the new movie the star is in you are made aware that the movie star is missing and everyone is blaming you.

10. After meeting a nice guy/girl at a coffee shop, the two of you decide to double date the next weekend. When you and your friend arrive you realize the person you met is an identical twin.

11. A letter comes in the mail stating that you have been asked to speak at a seminar. When you arrive at the venue you realize that it’s a sex seminar.

12. Every morning you seem to ride the elevator with a young girl from the mailroom. The two of you share small talk usually until you reach your floor. She confides in you briefly that her boyfriend is a little overbearing. The next day she the mailroom girl isn’t anywhere in the building and doesn’t come to work everyday thereafter for a week.

13. A colleague asks you to house-sit while her and her husband go away to Europe for 3 months. While watering the plants you begin to hear strange noses coming from the basement door which is blocked by the refrigerator.

14. You are meeting your best friend, whom you haven’t seen in a few years, at the airport. However, a shocking surprise is waiting for you at the terminal.

15. Delilah’s Diner is celebrating 25 years of business. At the ceremony someone unexpected shows up to claim ownership.

16. Driving along on your way to take your uncle’s ashes off the coast of California as requested. The song on the radio goes off and your uncles voice replaces it saying, “Help Me.”

17. You visit a pet store to buy a puppy for your 12 year old daughter. When you get it home you find that the puppy has an odd talent.

18. Sitting in deliberations, you are the final juror that has to decide the fate of the defendant in a case Half the jurors have given the guilty plea, the other half not guilty.

19. You’ve been chatting with an ‘online friend’ for a couple of months. After some reluctance, you decide to finally meet and he will wear a white tie so she will know it’s him. When the ‘white tie guy’ arrives, he is someone you know.

20. You’re excited to move into your first apartment. On moving day the owners call and say, “We’re sorry but you can’t move in. There’s been a murder.”

21. Cleaning out your parent’s attic, you find a shoebox full of postcards from a person signed X.H. addressed to your mother that date back to the day of your birth to your 18th birthday.

22. You are sent to your aunt and uncle’s estate for the summer. On the first night you witness them disappear into the forest some yards from the residence. There is no real access to the outside world and the two do not return for a week.

23. A pen pal who you’ve had since the age of 11 in finally coming to the states. You have fallen in love with this person sight unseen through the words exchanged over the years. When the taxi arrives at your home, you find that your pen pal is totally “different” from you.

24. A reporter at the newspaper you subscribe to writes a story about your best friend being behind a multi-million dollar jewelry heist and you’ve been named as a possible accomplice.

25. You are invited to try a new virtual reality game. The inventor informs you that things in the game are from your past and you have the opportunity to change certain outcomes.

26. While traveling on a country road, you see a small house with a tree in the near distance, a swing hanging from the branches. The scene looks very familiar to you. As you slow your car down, the mailbox at the end of the driveway has your name on it.

27. Trying on some outfits in a department store, the lights suddenly go out. You realize the store has closed, leaving you inside. No sooner do you pull out your cell to call for help, than a gang of masked men begin to emerge from the heating vents.

28. There is a knock on your door one afternoon. There is a woman in a suit and two large men with white coats on. The woman hands you a form stating that you have been committed by your family and will be escorted to Belton Asylum for evaluation.

29. Surfing the web one evening you stumble onto an Insomniacs chat room. Immediately you begin getting private messages claiming they are your long lost twin. Only problem is, your twin died at birth.


Have fun twisting these prompts into stories full of shock value. Good luck!!!!

How did these prompts work for you?


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    Darlene Bishop 

    2 months ago

    These are great prompts! Very creative. Thanks for sharing!

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    2 months ago

    Thanks, this is great!

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    5 months ago

    i love number 19

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    5 months ago


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    8 months ago

    Number 16 kinda gives me the creeps

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    9 months ago

    this helped me a lot I am going to use the one about the lost twin but my twin dosent dieat birth

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    9 months ago

    it was amazing advise

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    12 months ago

    Very useful! Thank you!

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    14 months ago

    This totally helped! I’m combining two of the prompts to create a story!

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    Marissa Sanders 

    23 months ago

    Number 13 be like yaaaaaaassssssssssssssssssssssssss

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    White Fang 

    2 years ago

    Very interesting. I quite like Number Twenty. Bombshell much….

  • TrinaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

    Trina Lynne 

    8 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

    I was aiming to make everyone think. I’m glad I accomplished that. Thanks and I’m happy you enjoyed the hub.

  • lisa brazeau profile image

    lisa brazeau 

    8 years ago from Canada

    This is great! It sets the imagination off in a million directions. Thank you for a great hub.