Write three ideas for a story. Add conflict in those ideas. Create a story with the ideas.
Short Story Ideas with Conflict:
- Two friends go for a hike
- They fight
- Only one comes back
Carl tied his hiking boots tighter, looking forward to the hike he was about to go on with his best friend, Kyle. They hadn’t been hiking in a while because of all the rain they had been getting on and off for the past three months. The sun was just peeking over the horizon and Carl was already packing his bag with snacks and water for the hike. Kyle would be at his place in a few minutes to pick him up so they could go to their favorite breakfast diner before the hike.
Carl’s phone buzzed as he zipped up his bag and saw that Kyle had texted. He unlocked his screen and opened his messages. Kyle was outside and ready to go. Carl grabbed his house keys, bag, hat, sunglasses, phone, and headed out the front door to his apartment. After he made sure the door was locked, he slipped his phone into his bag and ran out to the parking lot. He saw Kyle parked in the visitor parking spot for his apartment, rocking out to some music. Carl laughed at his friend and opened the passenger door to hear nothing.
“Kyle, I saw you rocking out to music.”
Kyle laughed and hit play for the CD he had been listening to and the music came back on. “I wanted to trick you.”
Carl laughed and opened the back door of Kyle’s Navy Blue Expedition and tossed his bag inside. He closed the door, climbed into the passenger seat, and buckled up. “Let’s go! I need to get to the hiking trail and go hiking already.”
Kyle packed out of the parking spot and soon they were on the back roads, headed for one of their favorite hiking trails, Singing Winds Trail. Kyle and Carl laughed, told jokes, sang to the music, and chatted about life. They hadn’t been able to see each other for a while, not because of the weather, but because Kyle was traveling for his job as a computer engineer.
They reached the parking lot for Singing Winds Trail after a 30 minute drive, both chomping at the bit to get on the trail. There weren’t a lot of cars in the parking lot which told them that the trails won’t be crowded, just the way they liked it. Kyle parked, and the two jumped out of the cars, slinging their bags on their backs, and nearly ran to the trail. They skipped down the trail for a bit, holding hands, and just being goofy, glad to hang out together again.
After almost a mile, they stopped to watch the sun rise in the sky more, the cool air now growing warmer with the sun’s rays. Kyle talked about his trip and how he had to leave in three months for another trip for work. Carl told him about his job working at the bank and how he was growing tired of the job. Carl told him how he wanted to try something new, like being a bartender or something totally different.
“Ha ha yea, become a bartender and then I can get all my drinks from you,” Kyle said and slapped Carl on the back. “I think that would be a fun job. Shoot, open your own bar and become a business owner and bartender.”
Carl grinned. “That actually wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
The two friends continued their hike, making up names for Carl’s imaginary bar, laughing and crowing at the names they had come up with. Kyle became quiet for a moment before he turned his chocolate brown gaze to Carl. “Hey, Carl, I need to tell you something, but please don’t be mad.”
Carl looked at him, his hazel eyes squinting in the sunlight. “Sure, Kyle, what’s up?”
Kyle let out a slow sigh and headed over to a handmade wooden bench that overlooked the valley below. He kicked a rock over the edge, listening to it bounce off the sides until it came to the rest at the bottom. He then sat down and Carl joined him, looking at his friend curiously.
“Okay, so you remember your ex, Tabitha?” Kyle asked, fiddling with his hands. He didn’t dare look up at Carl when he said her name, already knowing that Carl was glaring at him.
“Yea, what about her?”
“I met up with her in New Mexico. Apparently, she moved there like some four years ago after the breakup.” Kyle said as he picked at a scab on his hand he hadn’t seen before. “We met up at a coffee shop just to talk since you know, we had been friends before you all dated and then disaster struck.” He kicked another rock over the edge.
Carl clenched his teeth when he heard that his best friend had met up with his ex. But he brushed it off since she didn’t live here anymore. “Okay…”
“And I am not traveling for work. I am actually going back to see her and I wanted you to know. Don’t worry, I won’t bring you up or anything. And this will be the only time I will talk to you about it, I swear.” Kyle held up a hand and said, “And before you say anything, I know you might think she will do to me what she did to you, but I know she won’t. She has changed a lot since back then, Carl.”
Carl threw his bag on the ground and shook his head. “Tabitha cheated on me, Kyle, with Rick. You remember him? Our once third musketeer?” Carl stood up and walked over to the edge, glaring down at the rocks below.
Kyle dropped his bag on the bench and walked over to Carl. “Come on, man, don’t be like this. We are best friends and we always said we wouldn’t let a woman get in between us. Let me try things with Tabitha. It’s been 5 years since I last had a girlfriend.”
“Then find one in another state that isn’t my cheating ex,” Carl growled as he turned to face Kyle.
Kyle cringed when he saw hatred and betrayal in Carl’s gaze. “Hey, if I find a better girl, then I will, but right now I want to see if there is anything between me and Tabi.”
“Tabi? Oh jeez, and here are the nicknames coming.” Carl turned away, wiping his mouth before he spun back around and punched Kyle. “I cannot believe you would do this to me, man.” He shook his head and turned his back on Kyle. “I can’t forgive you for this, man. I just can’t. She hurt me deeply, and so did Rick. And you are now dating my ex?”
Kyle wiped his mouth, blood coming off onto his hand. Kyle glared at Carl, not having expected him to punch him. He had actually thought Carl would be over what had happened. He hadn’t expected Carl to still be hurting after all these years later and with a new girl. “Dude, Carl, chill man. You have Stacey now and you two have been going strong for two years now. Why would me going with Tabitha bug you so much? She is from the past and should stay that way for you.”
“And for you!” Carl said as he looked back at Kyle. “You bastard!” He rushed at Kyle and launched himself at his friend.
Kyle put out his arms and caught Carl, but the force knocked them both down. They punched and kicked at each other, hurtling insult after insult. Kyle was able to push Carl off of him and he rolled away, stopping just inches from the edge. “You are psycho, Carl. You shouldn’t care who I date.”
“Bro code, Kyle, you never date an ex,” Carl said as he scrambled to his feet. “You are breaking the bro code by going out with Tabitha.”
“There is no bro code, Carl. You just made that up.”
“Then don’t date her for me,” Carl begged.
Kyle groaned and threw his hands up. “Come on, man. Just let me see how this next date goes and…”
Carl didn’t let him finish what he said and attacked, knocking into Kyle. The sudden attack made Kyle lose his balance, and he gasped when he felt himself all backwards off the cliff.
The Next Day
Carl went into work, straitening his tie and didn’t make eye contact with anyone. His boss saw him and called out to him, but Carl ignored the man and hurried to get his office. He looked up and forced a smile on his face when his boss finally caught up to him, doing his best to hide his black eye and busted lip.
“Carl, I wanted to talk to you about the loans you are in charge of,” Ted said, but froze when he saw Carl’s face. “Carl?”
“Oh, don’t worry about this. I went for a hike and had a scuffle with uh…” Carl stopped and thought for a minute. “Kyle, yea, that’s it. We had a fight. I can’t remember what, but this was the aftermath.”
Ted was about to say something else when a police officer appeared in the doorway. “Carl?”
Carl looked over at him. “Oh, hello… officer. Can I help you, officer?”
Ted stared at Carl for a minute before he looked at the police officer as well. “Uh yes, is there something wrong, officer?”
“I need to ask Carl a few questions. We found a car parked at the Singing Winds trails and we found two bags, yours and your friend’s, Kyle.” The officer narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “How did you get home?”
“I actually don’t remember. I remember waking up in my bed the next morning, but I remember little of anything else. Oh, and I remember the fight,” Carl said matter of factually. “But other than that, nothing up there in the head.”
The officer stepped out of the room, followed by Carl’s boss. They stood with their heads close together, talking about the mess and about what they had heard from Carl. A crackle on the radio catches the officer’s attention, and he turned away from Ted to take the call. Ted turned to watch Carl return to his desk and grab a folder, flipping it open to read it.
“This is Officer Jackson. What did you find?” he said into the walkie-talkie on his shoulder.
It crackled for a moment and then a voice came on. “Officer Jackson, this is Officer Sherry. We had a rock climber go down to the bottom of the cliff where we had found the bags and we have found Kyle Thornton and Carl Simpson at the bottom, both deceased.”
“Wait, can you repeat that?” Officer Jackson, thinking he had heard wrong.
Ted looked back at Officer Jackson and moved closer so that he could hear what the officer had said about the hiking trail and finding two bodies at the bottom of the cliff. “Did they say…?”
“We went to the bottom of the cliff where we found the bags,” Officer Shelly repeated. “And we found both Carl Simpson and Kyle Thornton at the bottom, deceased. Their bodies were very mangled, and it was hard to tell it was them at first. But I can confirm that it is both Carl and Kyle here.”
“But then that means that they both fell down during their fight. And if they both fell and both are dead, then who is that in the office?” Ted asked as he slowly turned to look in the office, Officer Jackson right beside him.
The office stood empty, Carl having vanished. The file he had been reading sat on the desk opened and even had a few papers askew. They looked at each other, then back at the office, both shaken to the core.
The front door to the bank opened, and Officer Jackson stepped outside. He fixed his shirt and held the door open for a few people headed into the bank. He nodded his head at them, then let the door shut before he strode away from the bank, a grin on his face. His golden brown eyes turned into a muddy black color as he looked around. He walked behind a tree, but when he walked out from the other side, Carl reappeared and he shoved his hands into his pockets before he walked off.