I don’t know what possessed me to do it.
I was tired, feverish, losing my voice. That night, I’d had the audacity to ask for help with the boys at bedtime.
His words stung; I was very angry.
But I was smiling as I swished his toothbrush in the toilet.
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and was a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! In 2018, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com, and @MichelleDinnick.
Fifty-word stories force you to find the heart of communication.
My therapist was less than pleased when I explained to him I had found my cure using this process.
It took him fewer than fifty words to present me with his final bill for seventy-five dollars.
Charlotte has been writing most of her life. Fifty-Word Stories gave her the courage to submit her work.
Ken believed our scoutmaster when he said adding dry leaves would give the stew a nice “hickory” flavor.
We couldn’t stop Ken in time to keep all of the leaves out, but when we won first prize for “Best Camporee Meal,” no one mentioned the secret ingredient to the judges.
Ran Walker remains perpetually amazed by what you can do with fifty words.
On Monday, the Cassie hivemind forecasts a global superflu, ninety percent lethal.
On Tuesday, Aspasia predicts five percent.
The differing projections hinge, it appears, on the mathematical solution to Rostwick’s Paradox, on which the AIs disagree, and which no human can understand.
Quite in the dark, we’re rooting for Aspasia.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and 50-Word Stories. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
When I said crafts were therapeutic, I meant something like crochet or pottery. He settled on taxidermy.
True, he’s sleeping better now. He’s less stressed. But I can’t get comfortable with six glassy eyes staring at me.
And sometimes I think the kids were more rewarding when they were alive.
Hannah Whiteoak has no children and a large collection of stuffed animals.
Now a time-worn 22-year-old, after ten successful years hunting monsters under beds, Tommy was washed up and ostracized, no longer hero but villain.
His insatiable appetite for monster flesh and increasing expertise in the slaughter had brought his prey near extinction.
A protected species, the last monsters cowered in zoos.
Alison would like to give thanks to Ran Walker, who made her think about those poor monsters under the bed in a different light.
Editor: This story is a follow-up to Ran Walker’s “Hunting Nightmares.”
I spotted his plan immediately: rook sacrifice, then discovered check, skewer, and finally mate. A brilliant, inescapable plan.
I sighed and softly tipped my king over. Obviously I had vastly underestimated my opponent.
Don, for his part, was taken aback, since he could only see a potential rook trade.
Nelson Scott is a student who is brand new to writing fifty-word stories, and thus has no idea what he’s diving into whatsoever.
I’ve always wanted to put a snowball down a pretty girl’s neck, then have her end up in my arms kissing me.
So, I tried that out on Penny St. James. She was flirting with my brother, but just enough to make me jealous, right?
Knee to my groin: WRONG.
Shoshauna Shy loves how micro-fiction and poetry require the writer to condense.
The World Hide-and-Seek Championships happened only once. The losers were soon found in garages, trees, outbuildings.
As the months passed, interest ebbed: nobody search for the last competitors. A starved body was occasionally discovered in loft or sewer, but it mattered increasingly less that a winner might never be discovered.
James Burt is based in Brighton, England. He runs the Not for the Faint-Hearted writing workshop and has a website at orbific.com.
“Honey, shouldn’t you clear the driveway?”
“Not today. Doc recommended no more shoveling the white stuff for a while.”
“He was referring to forks and spoons and your carbohydrates intake! Potatoes, pasta, refined sugar…”
“Maybe so, but I’m taking no chances… There’s a shovel just your size in the attic.”
John H. Dromey’s short fiction has appeared in publications ranging from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to Z-composition (June 2012 issue, online).