Also known as very short stories (posted to my Twitter feed as #vss or sometimes #storystarters) or hint fiction, these are usually meant to suggest a story to the reader rather than actually tell one. It’s an interactive experience where the reader can’t help filling in the details, whether they realize it or not, creating something different in each person’s mind. These were inspired by Hemingway’s most famous six-word gem: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Some are jokes of sorts, and most are disturbing. Rather than stockpile them to publish a pamphlet in ten years, I now share them with you here, for free, and will update this page periodically.
Glances. Names. Cuervo. Whispers. Gooseflesh. Taxi. Capsule. Tongue. Blackness. Lights. Camera. Inaction.
They screamed in horror as millions of their brethren were cut down in the field. And next week the lawnmowers would come yet again.
Being born again proved a death sentence for the former child actor who portrayed Jesus.
As the machine breathed on his behalf, she kissed his stitched brow and straightened her tube top for another night’s work.
He spent the entire morning in his cubicle wondering how secure those knots had really been.
A shadow of his former self, the lensman’s pictures had devalued to 700 words before he accepted f8.
The reservoir tip failed to capture the soldier’s essence, but an IUD absorbed the explosion and international relations resumed.
I didn’t even hear the verdict granting my freedom, only the jury foreman mispronouncing my name.
You’d have chewed yours off, too. Cuffed to her radiator while the so-called victim dialed the sheriff? Window shrinking and life draining from the both of you? And don’t act like you wouldn’t then perjure, because with such commitment you’re bound to hug yourself in a room this soft.
The gristle of that zed’s voicebox between a limping wolf’s teeth was the fanger’s last sight before the shiv splintered her atria.
The hourglass expired, she placed her least-favorite finger upon the block and prayed for his ringtone.
He could write a book about not letting severed arms dictate the course of his life.
The miscarriage was actually a blessing to her presidency.
These days, Gino’s bat shatters more knees than records.
She lied about his gender to make himself feel more feminine.
It all worked out in the end: the boy got the girl, then she escaped and filed charges.
He was the sweetest little pyromaniac in the orphanage.
“Lose the dress, keep the shoes,” he said as he squeezed the clown’s nose.
The faster he ran, the nearer the hellhounds nipped, stained as he was with the heretical blood of their master.
She’d never imagined marrying an older man, but he was only three years from parole, and she could always move away from that school zone.
The shutter clicked, and he knew he could never again work for PETA.
They made rent by breaking windows and vows, until one night found them at the same house. Now she’s an avowed widow.
The candles were lit and glasses filled, the rag soaked in ether.
Four shots of whiskey and she was ready to get that grade changed.
The wrestling ring proved to be the wrong place to try out those new sexual positions.
The night was young, but tomorrow would bring the same old day.
The coffee had too much sugar and too little arsenic.
When push came to shove, he had to hand it to her.
A woman walks into a bar, says, “I’ll have a Mind Eraser and a job application.”
His curling team had disgraced the dictator for the last time.
She fell in love with her neighbor’s twelve-year-old son the moment he answered the door, mere days after her release.
They first met in an erotic origami workshop.
His disappearance from the theater wasn’t the magic trick; it was eluding the bail bondsman for three years.
“I’m running out of patience,” the medical transcriptionist typed as Dr. Hook paced the room.
It took losing his voice to find his tongue.
Evelyn bristled when the serpent still called her Adam, and vowed to have her throat shaved.
She moistened at the whirring servos of the Redbox.