Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Horror

Forget to Smile

by Chaser

As the knife smashes against the mirror, time seems to slow down. Shards of silver glass break free, spinning in the air. In their reflection, he can see the wall behind him, covered with notes. Why is that? They’re memos, telling him to pick up milk, pick up milk, pick up the slack. Bills from the therapist; another memo about mental exercises. Smiles. Remember to smile.

Loopy handwriting covers the wall. Nothing like his own jagged script, engraved into the darker corners of the collage. Dark to light. A light in his darkness. It’s someone he knows. Who?

Smiling, again. Her smile. He is smiling. Why was that? It slips out of his mind like a silk ribbon. It was important. Remember to smile.

Why did he throw that knife, anyway? It’s perfectly sharp, if a little wet and messy. The mirror was a gift, and she wanted him to recognize his own face.

Slashes are carved into the wall with a knife. Torn plaster and wallpaper hang in gleeful smirks. The carpet is red. Is it supposed to be?

The knife is falling with the mirror, stained red. Someone’s blood. Not his. A wall of notes behind him, blood on the carpet. Smile, smile, when everything else fades, smile! Who?

The world of the mirror holds hell for this man. In that split-second, he can’t remember anything, losing his mind in the images flashing before him.

But with relief, he sees as they crash to the floor, he still has not forgotten to smile.

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar

Points: 261
Reviews: 3

Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:16 pm
ShootingStarzy3 says...

User avatar

Points: 261
Reviews: 3

Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:14 pm
ShootingStarzy3 wrote a review...

this is great! i love a good chill down my spine!
Its like some mad man who murdered what seems to be a friend. but he doesn't forget to smile.
its creepy/horrifying/murder-mad but at the exact same time its like he still has a heart.

it really portrays a mad persons feelings. they don't know why they do it. they are confused (of course they might realize later and hate it) it really puts you in the dudes shoes.
its a near master piece...yet still

yea I agree with ShadowVyper. i got kinda confused at the "pick up milk, pick up milk." part. if you could fix that...?

all in all i really like it but there is just something about it thats incomplete. If you could describe the scene a bit more it would help me and your readers a lot, i think.

Random avatar

Points: 134
Reviews: 21

Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:21 am
Eve wrote a review...

*still recovering from chills*
Geez, maybe YOU'DE better forget to smile sometimes... (just kidding). I got the image at " he still has not forgotten to smile" of a man holding a dripping knife, chaotic notes swirling around in the wind, a body laying twisted on the ground and amidst it all... a bright, shining, maniacal, evil smile.
I loved the idea of the crazy man, my only wish is that you put in some 'tell-tale heart' style guilt and agony for killing and/ or getting angry. LOVED IT!
*chills return because I re-read it*

User avatar
804 Reviews

Points: 31662
Reviews: 804

Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:16 pm
ShadowVyper wrote a review...

Hey Chaser,

Shady here with a review for you. My style tends to be to got through and comment on whatever catches my eye as I'm reading, then give a general opinion overall at the end. Let's get started...

They’re memos, telling him to pick up milk, pick up milk, pick up the slack.

Did you mean to write "pick up the milk" twice? It just reads a little odd, like there's a typo and you meant something else instead.

Loopy handwriting covers the wall.

Which wall? You just said that sticky notes covered the wall. Is the loopy handwriting under the sticky notes? On the sticky notes? On a different wall? Give us a bit more here so we don't struggle to imagine the scene.

But with relief, he sees as they crash to the floor, he still has not forgotten to smile.

Well that's creepy. Well done.


Okay! Overall I really liked this! I tend not to read much horror, but I've been branching out more recently, and I enjoyed this piece. It's definitely got the mystery and intrigue that pushes readers to want to read more; and I think the pacing is very well written. Just enough description to give us information without bogging us down.

One thing I would recommend is possibly adding a bit more substance to it. I like the sense of intrigue you created. At the end I kind of am thinking that he killed her for some reason, and it's pretty obvious he did it with the knife -- but why? Who was the girl? Why did he kill her? What did he do with the body?

There are a ton of questions that this piece raises, and since it's so short right now you could easily elaborate on those questions without making this piece unreasonably long. I think your story would benefit if you took more time to delve into the character motivation and even possibly some potential repercussions.

Overall, it was good, though! I enjoyed it!

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)

User avatar
119 Reviews

Points: 10789
Reviews: 119

Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:17 pm
Clairia wrote a review...

hi it's londone--holy i am disturbed


let's begin v

That was dark. I was actually was a bit spooked. Very good writing, though! I enjoyed it for that reason (nothing against the piece, i'm just not into horror, usually).

This short story has an eerie feel to it, which I enjoyed, honestly. It's not often that I'll take that element to my liking, but you honestly made it work.
The physiological element that you incorporated also intrigued me. Holding that "smile" when things seem bleak is crucial, apparently, if you want to be accepted socially. It's honestly unfair and I think you truly expressed the broken(ness) that in can cause in a person here.
You also hinted at that the behavior the main character is acting upon may be caused by a woman/lover;

Smiling, again. Her smile.

Possibly a relationship that broke him, his self image destroyed, slipping into this place of self-hate.

I did enjoy this a lot. Sorry for the brief review, but I hope some good comes from it!

thanks for sharing,


I’d heard he had started a fistfight in one of the seedier local taverns because someone had insisted on saying the word “utilize” instead of “use".
— Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear