Friday, November 07, 2008

Very short stories

The late, great Ernest Hemingway once wrote an entire story in just six words:

For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.

Extraordinarily clever. And Hemingway reckoned it was one of the best things he ever wrote. So recently a group of pro writers were challenged to write a story using just six words. Among my favourites were:

Alan Moore - Machine. Unexpectedly I'd invented a time

Frank Miller - With bloody hands I say goodbye.

Rockne S O'Bannon - "It's behind you! Hurry before it ..."

Kevin Smith - Kirby had never eaten toes before.

David Brin - Bang postponed. Not big enough. Reboot.

You can read the rest here at Wired Magazine's website. But can you do better? You're going to have to go some to beat Hemingway's mini-masterpiece. But let's all have a go, shall we?

Six words. One story. Run around ... now.

16 comments:

chris hale said...

Ninety nine. Bonk. Centipede. Wooden leg.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wanted. Deaf, dumb gravedigger. No scruples.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Very nice! I've been having a think and I have:

Her rocking chair, now so still.

and

The coffin, just two feet long.

or

Martian invaders thwarted by common cold.

doctawho42 said...

Family mourns mum, dad dead also.

or

Thud, thud, thud. "Oh, my God!"

hah. This is fun.

Stevyn Colgan said...

DoctaWho42 - Addictive ain't it?

Then I heard "Release the Raptors!"

The diamond ring sparkled. They kissed.

Persephone said...

The Bluestalking Reader has been running this contest for more than a week. She's offering prizes, so my entry is there....

Stevyn Colgan said...

Persephone - What a weird coincidence. I posted this after accidentally coming across Wired's 2006 competition. Well, I've entered my five now. If I beat you and win, you only have yourself to blame for telling me about it! x

Planet Me said...

"Pressed The Red Button. Self-Destruct!"

"Try? Fail. Love? Fail. Hope? Always."

"I thought I loved you. Sorry."

"End Of The World.... Next Target?"

Chip Smith said...

"Second Coming: Jesus descends from mothership."

I'll get me coat...

Janet said...

It's all over. I warned you.

Tony E said...

"Cupid's arrow flew, she ducked. Goodbye"

Plus the famous short version of Tolstoy's War and Peace:
"The enemy advanced. The enemy retreated."

Stevyn Colgan said...

Yay! Excellent stuff all of you! I wrote a few more today during a tedious train journey from London to home. Here we go:

"Oh God! What have you done?!"

The door is sealed ... oxygen is ...

She would never be hungry again.

Upon wakening, James was now Jane.

"They can't hit us from there ..."

It's over ... they're at the door ...

Five, four, three, two, one. BOOM!

His final scream echoed far below.

Six words: A story in miniature.

Floral tributes obscured the crash site.

She was now forever an orphan.

The axe fell; Her reign over.

The shark cage was torn apart.

The ejector seat was found eventually.

"Oh my God! You're a man!"

All hope is gone. Signing off ...

Christmas was history. Santa lay dead.

He held her cooling body close.

The clown sheathed his carving knife.

Olympic gold! And only one leg!

The Ape growled. "Now we Masters!"

He clawed at the coffin lid.

"Never drink acid!" cried the dissolving man.


And my favourite:

"Let's use the convertible today, Jackie?"

I'm so sorry.

Debby said...

Husband's constant rage was her fault.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Debby - Philosophy and humour and human behaviour all in six words!

Debby said...

It's an old story, actually. Not mine, thankfully. Many women make it their life story. Many men need a good shaking. Many women could find some benefit by same.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Debby - Wise words from a sane woman! (6 words)