Friday, February 24, 2012

On Goodbye, Stories in 25 Words or Less

Someone started a thread on the Amazon forums. Can you tell a story in 25 words or less? The theme was goodbye. The following are some of my contributions to this clever writing exercise.

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Down the trail he trode and trode through snow and drift and mud. Would he return? No one knew. But not without loss of blood.

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Wing healed, strength regained, she knew it was his time. Yet still a tear she shed while smiling at his climb. Goodbye, eagle. Soar high.

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Soft snow slowly fills his tracks. The icy air kisses her hot streaming tears. A gust, a final sob, every trace of him is gone.

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Her lip quivers at the emotions unexpressed. What if he never calls?
Knock, knock.
"I forgot to say goodbye."
He missed work that day.

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The solemn look. The pomp and circumstance.
The fateful knife plunged in and out, waved to and fro.
"Goodbye sammich," said the boy.

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Resounding bang. Muscles explode. Like lightning I am off. Goodbye suckers. See you at the finish line.

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As I end the call, I can hear her crying, alone. The ocean between us cannot sooth the way I feel. I am an ass.

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As I began to walk, I could not see the yawning gulf of homelessness and fear. Bright, welcoming freedom made me blind.

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As the final threads parted, my heart leaping into my throat, our eyes connected and I mouthed my final I love you. She survived.

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Three years he had watched this one but today she watched him back. He could taste his growing excitement. Tonight, we rise again.

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Turning away, bright eyes glistening, she takes in the sights. Shimmering sunlight burns a morning road across the lake. Her new life beckons.

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Before, after, since. Who were these people? As the first shovel full of dirt fell, she cried, alone in the crowd. And then, she died.

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I once met Ned and Fred
Who both would soon be dead.
They drew their knives
To end their lives.
Fell off the roof instead.

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Evoking his last sigh, the poet sets pen to desk and waits for ink to dry. His work is done. Goodbye.

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Roaring orange flames blossomed from the tail of the ponderously rising craft. As it faded into the darkness of space, a small boy waved goodbye.

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As the last crenelations vanished into the rising surf, Henry happily ate his chicken fingers, unassailable fortresses of sand long since forgotten.

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Twenty five words is a potent format. What would you write? You can see the original thread, along with many other spectacular twenty five word stories here.

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