Thursday, September 08, 2005

Who Wears Short Shorts?

At last, a meme that actually requires a modicum of creativity! The idea is to write a story in fifty-five words or less. I believe it is called "micro-fiction" or "short shorts", although it sounds more like one of those competitions where you have to explain in under fifty words why Weet-Bix is your family's favourite breakfast cereal. What you end up with are fragments, but it's better than doing actual work, so I had a quick go.

(i)

Dust obscured the man's robes as he went down on hands and knees. The king approached and paused, placing one foot on the abject man's back. Don't they know who I am? thought the man, clenching his fists in the sand. The king smiled, stepped up onto his horse. They knew precisely who he was.

(ii)

He ordered a loaf, watched as she slipped it into a bag, twisting the top with a wrench of her wrist. He imagined her shifting in his arms. Their eyes met as she handed him the change: coins released from chubby white fingers, porcelein dusted with flour. Then she moved on to the next customer.

(iii)

The criminal mastermind eyed his captive. "Doubtless you expect elaborate torture," he said, "during which I, out of hubris, will reveal my nefarious plans, thus sealing my doom when you inevitably escape." He raised his gun and fired, twice. "I can't say I'm sorry to disappoint you."

(iv)

Mingus plucks the lazy line of notes, the last of which rises to meet the downward shifting piano, which in turn merges in motion with the wandering trumpet. At a nod of his head the band kicks in, and Mingus joins the congregation as they shout to heaven: "Oh yeah!"

3 comments:

Mel said...

I like these immensely, and I know what you mean about the pleasure of fragments.

I write 160-character (including punctuation) stories for Is Not Magazine (which you can too!) and I find you can only capture very brief moments. But I think that's just how such moments are in life - brief and fleeting. And that's why I enjoy them so much.

Mikey_Capital said...

Adrian smiled wetly as he bobbed up and down in the fetid water. Unblinking eyes staring into the murkiness. Then, he moved backwards. His feet lifted up and over the side of a boat. With a heave he was in.

'That's the capacity,' said the skipper. The boat and bodies headed back to the depot.

Ruby said...

Absolutely love # 1.

Writing well is something I've always wished for, but it has never happened for me.

I'm training to be a scientist at the moment, and boy is that killing any ounce of creativity I've ever had...succinct, objective, precise, NO emotion, and NO 'flowery' language...that's what makes a good scientist our lecturers tell us!