With jagged fingernails, Wormwood eagerly ripped through the obituary-wrapped gift.
“A candle!” he exclaimed, unscrewing the lid and breathing in deeply through his piggish snout. “Sulfur. My favorite! So pungent, really rotten. Whom do I thank?”
Bezoar blushed scarlet as sin, and raised a claw. “Me. I’m your Secret Satan!”
This is Alexandra’s sixth 50-word story. All she wants for Christmas is Tom Hiddleston and a cup of tea (the tea is optional).
Gentle wind off the Mediterranean
flutters their white tablecloth’s overhang,
softly touching her bare legs.
“It was fun – we had such a great time!”
Jerking her hand free from her lover’s surprised fingers,
she brushes aside her wild windswept hair,
exposing fierce brown eyes,
and cheeks salty with sunlit tears.
Matthew lives in Maine. He wishes everyone freedom and that no one be left behind or imprisoned or tortured or hungry or suffering in any way. May all beings be happy.
For the finale of the show, the emcee swings a live chicken around by its head till the neck breaks. It calms the audience, which considers this the essence of free-range. The chicken gets dizzy but feels grateful for the applause. Its last tiny thought: “I’ve never felt so alive.”
Cara Lopez Lee is the author of the memoir They Only Eat Their Husbands (Conundrum Press, 2014). Her stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Rivet Journal, Connotation Press, and Pangyrus. She’s an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has collaborated on more than twenty books. She has been a faculty member at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a writer for HGTV and Food Network, and a TV journalist. She lives in the beachside town of Ventura, California.
If I said I’d been on holiday, the next week he’d been somewhere more exotic.
Driven a nice car? He’d have driven one better.
His one-upmanship rankled.
So I told him I’d lost my job, dumped my girlfriend, and fallen down the stairs.
I never saw him again.Jon is an aspiring writer from the North West of England, currently working in Local Government, with a background in Newspaper Journalism. The best parts of his current job, which sadly lacks any creative stimulus, are lunchtime and hometime. And sometimes, at these times, he writes.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for November were:
The Multiverse Says Hello by Stephanie Selander
Fortune Teller by Candace Kubinec
Carry On by Debra Pascarella
Palindrome by Pontius Paiva
The winner of the November 2016 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
The technical achievement of this story is almost worthy of the prize on its own. Its artistic merit adds a whole new incredible layer.
The snow was falling softly as I packed my last bag and closed the trunk. Seventeen years of my life and it all fit into a 1997 Toyota.
The porch light suddenly came on and I saw him standing on the porch with no slippers.
I turned off the ignition.
Susan Gale Wickes spent many years in the newspaper industry, but is now devoting her time and energy to writing poetry, songs, and short stories. She has been published in Haiku Journal, Sleeve, and 50-Word Stories.
As he fumbled to open the squeaky back door, he cursed himself for not having used WD-40. And there she was, just staring at him, with her revolver at the ready.
“Thank God,” she said. “I thought you were a burglar.”
He smiled in relief as she pulled the trigger.
Fred Vogel is working on a collection of short stories as well as a third collection of poetry. He plays bad guitar but sings like a bird. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
I didn’t get the warmest of welcomes when I started at the new branch. In fact, it was downright chilly!
Months passed before I discovered that Frank, my best work buddy and inveterate office joker, had phoned ahead to warn my new colleagues about my kleptomania and willful fire-raising tendencies.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. He once flew in a UFO but was sworn to secrecy by the Men in Black.
There are many ways to die on stage, but I never expected this.
Sleight of hand at the props table, the audience blissfully unaware. As the cool blade pierced my skin, a searing pain forced me to my knees.
The knife had been switched. My co-star finally had her revenge.
Anna is a performer and writer from Nottingham, England. Follow her creative journey on Twitter
The story of the week for November 21 to 25 is…
My Fortune by David Rae
I’m always impressed when a writer can pack this much complexity into a 50-word story. David made excellent use of symbolism and simile and nursed tons of meaning out of every word.