Ice and snow pouring from heavens, light from the sun glistening into vibrant colours. All saints day, the feast was tonight. With heavy thoughts, ring held in hand. “She’s so pure and gentle, her soul more beautiful than the moon, her voice reminiscent to a nightingale. I hope she agrees...”
Everyone else is free to add their own 50 words story too.
I stare lustfully at the trays of food, my stomach aches from the malnutrition. I begin to feast on the meat, the taste feels strange yet right. After my decent into gluttony, I look around to look for my brothers. they are gone. I feel a chill race up my spine
Yeah I did it on my phone that time and autocorrect fucked me over and changed it to decent, Thanks for the feedback anyway
The sight of a corpse, the sound of a crying girl.
"H-how did this happen?"
The feeling of an unvarnished wooden handle, the smell of freshly dug dirt.
"We have to come clean! We can't hide this!"
The taste of vomit. Shaking hands clench a shovel.
I bury two bodies.
Ended up perfectly! I love how the story switches between what the POV is experiencing, and dialog.
A 50 word poem would probably be a quatrain(poem with 4 lines). Depends on the type of poem, if your aiming to form a sonnet type quatrain that’s not easy to rhyme, but yeah a meaningful one can be made.(Best example of a quatrain that I can think of is Humpty Dumpty). I’ll probably try making one and post it here.
Does it have to be exactly 50 words or can it be less?
A quatrain fills a little space,
Although it’s pretty small,
And often times, as in this case,
It has no point at all.
(Credit: FranklinP. Adams)
Oh no, I would’nt be the most reliable person when it comes to poems. Only reason I could make anything good was due to the influence of my over-enthusiastic English teacher, but I’ll try to let’s see. Thomas would surely be good for this though.
Wow, that just goes to show that creativity does not depend on formal education. The poem is so good at description.
Thanks for the shout-out, mizal. Don't know how much of an expert on poetry I am, but I appreciate your high opinion of me concerning such matters. I mostly limit myself to free verse.
“We have a traitor among us,”Dini says. “To prove your loyalty, say one thing you hate about Mizal.”
“I hate that she hates me,” Drk says.
“I hate how she treats you guys,” Minnie says.
“I hate how she sent me to infiltrate you guys.” Ebon says idly.
Oh, missed this. Good one, Eb. Great days these were.
Yeah, I have a bad tendency to often mess up the meaning of words. At times, if I’ve never heard of a word I try to interpret it myself and it comes out wrong most of the time. Oh there are so many ways to reduce the word length without compromising grammar, thanks for reviewing.
She awaited her beloved as he approached the bed. She was nervous, but also excited to finally give him her most precious gift; her purity.
“I love you Francis.”
“I love you Semra.”
And with those words they embraced.
After all they had been through, their love truly was ETERNAL.
SPOILER ALERT: Semra's father was also known by the name of Francis.
It was a joke, but I choose to believe that is what is being referred to.
The thought just came to me when I needed something to soothe the squick, and it worked somewhat.
Nice symbolism. I think the format would look better if the two stanzas were differentiated. The rhyme scheme of the second stanza, i.e. ‘a b b b’, sounds a little off. Try making it like the first stanza’s ‘a b c b’
I tried making one, but the ending was a pain, and thus I tried for another, this time with an attempt at choice. However, now here I am, with two sub-par 50 word ‘stories’, and nothing to do with them. So here, read if you wish:
Amid the trees, two figures meet. One obscured, one dressed to weep.
“The bird escaped,” says black, “but the sender’s dead.”
“Will hunters be sent?”
“Likely, but not with conviction, for a nobody hardly matters.”
“Then lay low, till they come and pass, and then, the plan shall commence.”
The village still far, so it’ll be awhile before you get to prove yourself to the appointed mentor.
The mentor cares not, %%ZC1%=%1%only tells you to shut up.%%%%ZC1%=%2%their apathy great.%% A long journey awaits you tomorrow, %%ZC1%=%1%what a hassle.%%%%ZC1%=%2%but no matter.%%
The first one is a good introduction for a story but I feel like it leaves too much unanswered, even considering that it's flash fiction.
The second one was funny and you deserve some praise for writing choices into a 50 words story.
Tonight, my love, you will not be forgotten.
Taken, as you were, from me;
as one, united, we shall be.
In mine, your hand grows cold, so must I stay close.
Now as the night grows old, we give up our ghosts.
Tonight, our love, it will not be forgotten.
I specifically liked the part where the punctuations sort of indicate the pause required for the poem to get in rhythm. Good use of inversion in the third line, but I think that “united” is an extra word and not required. ‘As one, we shall be’ could get across the point equally well and sounds sweeter. ‘Tonight our love, will not be forgotten’ sounds better the ‘it’ sort of interferes with harmony.
This is a classic "Romeo and Juliet" tale but it's not badly written. I like the repetition in the first and last line and the "we give up our ghosts" phrase.
There are a couple of awkward points: this seems to have had a metric and rhyme structure in your mind, but it's a bit confused and not very well executed, particularly in the middle part. And the word order in "must I stay" should be reversed I think.
I like your interpretation, it's romantic.
Wait, this wasn't a romantic story?
The real question would be 'By whom?' and where you answer it would make a difference.
The speech ended in an awe-inspiring silence. Millions stood, sharing the same feelings. Hate, toward the alien invaders. Guilt, remembering the ones that fought for peace and met unending hostility from their own kin. And finally, determination, eyes fixed on the countdown that would end life on earth eternally.
This was really well done, you managed to tell the whole story behind the scene just by describing the feelings of the characters. This is what good flash fiction is able to do.
I don't know if I'd feel determination when facing the end of the world, but maybe I interpreted this the wrong way.
Oh I hadn't thought about that, I imagined it was already too late and they were bravely facing death.
Glad you liked it! Well I pictured them feeling some kind of "last stand" pride, given they hate their enemies and that the speech helped them steel their heart for what's to come.
Yeah, that's the case ; might have misused "last stand" , mb
I like this one quite a bit.
The Taste Of Defeat.
Like a bow fiddling an Irish reel,
That she was on the verge to be,
With the moxie of an adolescent teen,
She stepped forward for victory.
Then came forth procrastination,
Drawing her close with temptation,
She tried to resist but was meek,
Alas, the taste of defeat.
(Yup, managed to make a double quatrain with 50 words.)
"Adolescent teen" sounds redundant. You could swap "adolescent" for another adjective, maybe a shorter one that fits the metric better. "That she was on the verge to be" means that she's going to be like a bow playing an Irish reel right? In that case you should probably modify the punctuation of the first stanza so that it becomes clearer. All in all it's a nice description of most of us expectations and failed projects.
How does ‘juvenile teen’ sound?
I think simply ‘young teen’ sounds better.
A two-syllable adjective like "youthful" sounds a little better to me but "young" is fine, definitely better than "juvenile".
Enigmatic teen’ ? Teens are difficult to understand...(according to adults that is)
I'd consider an adolescent someone who is not yet an adult, so the concept varies with country and culture. If you consider 18 the age of maturity at which one stops growing, then no a 19 yo isn't an adolescent but an adult.
I have to admit I counted them ...
The second strophe was unexpected, I was picturing a duel and even misread procrastination as provocation , and understood "drawing her close" as literal close range where she lost the fight in melee ^^
Ha ha, that could be a good twist.
Oh and fun fact, after searching the net I realized that the poem is a (Strambotto)Sicilian octave... I did not expect to unknowingly follow a rhyming system :-p
Very intriguing, this could work as an introduction to a horror based fantasy game. ‘No child’ seems a bit strange, if you were trying for an antithesis I think ‘No angel, but a demon unleashed.’ Could be better.
I think she meant that the invaders were expecting to find the corpse of the child prince when opening the tomb.
I thought the prince had performed some sort of ritual to summon a demon as self-defense that involved a sacrifice of a lamb.
Edit: Oh yeah it involved a shroud, sorry.
I liked it, it was a fun to imagine the expressions of the invaders at the end. I also appreciated the crude and mysterious atmosphere. If this was a longer story it would have been nice to have more descriptions of the ritual, but in 50 words this is all that's really needed. I don't know why but I think "small" was unnecessary there, but it's just a minor irrational preference and I don't actually have anything in mind that could replace it.
“Diminutive shroud” ? But that won’t suit the context I guess.
Oh that makes sense. I thought the prince had died from natural causes and then they performed the dark ritual with the lamb to protect the tomb. Kind of like a pharao curse. Sacrificing the prince itself to summon the demon is more interesting for the story though.
This one was pretty cool, good job.
“Today I start my new storygame,” David promised. “With ninja pirates and cowboy robots, and whatever else I think of as I type… Ooh, what’s this? ‘The most addictive game you’ll play this year. Click here!’ Well, my storygame can wait fifteen minutes.”
Thus another day without any writing passed….
I normally prefer drabbles, which are 100-word stories, not including the titles, as that gives you a little more wiggle room. Fifty words is certainly doable, though, as I've seen by some excellent entries above. Another challenge you might enjoy is Twitter Fiction, in which you are limited to the number of characters you can fit into a Tweet.
Lol I have a feeling that more than one person will find that relatable.
As for the length, yes 50 words is a really tight space but it's also a fun exercise and comes with lower expectations compared to a longer work.
I enjoyed this one, and it's a hilarious old man thing to see a pop up ad and actually go to click it.
Best story ever! ^_^
He typed a few sentences. Copied and pasted some pictures from a file, his face showing some slight disgust seeing the thumbnails. Clicked on “train_background.wav” and grabbed his phone.
“hello, I would like to report something …”
That nosy journalist would be surprised to see policemen waiting on the platform.
Good luck, he's behind 7 proxies!
well... calling from his computer would have been harder to write in a few words. Besides, if the computer is a laptop, and the phone prepaid , if the character is not too far from the victim (say, in a van parked in the station's parking) it would be less weird than having a voip / tunneled call. A foreigner could have bought a prepaid phone at the station where he took the train and the call would come from the right antenna. Especially If the mc is working for a gov that can botch this part of the investigation.
OK, maybe I'm retarded, but I don't get it.
The mc frames a journalist by uploading some pictures, and by making a anonymous report to discredit him and probably prevent him to write an article . The journalist is in a train, hence the opportunity to make an anonymous report, and to be sure cops can arrest him easily. The public wifi in trains is also know to offer no security at all.
Oh, OK. I thought there wa some twist I was missing.
Fear suddenly becomes numbness when you see her body.
You guess she’s been dead for some time, most likely from asphyxiation whenever the power in this shelter malfunctioned.
“I tried to get here as quick as I could. I’m sorry Becky.”
You wipe away a tear and unzip your pants.
I should have seen that ending coming. XD
I’m just going to assume this is canon now.
She’s the girl you talk to in one of the experimental shelters. A lot of people make the mistake that she’s the main love interest in that path and complain that the arc where you’re going to go find her ends prematurely.
Well here’s the outcome. Hope it was worth the wait!
Something's wrong. There's an itch on my mind that I just can't seem to scratch.
It's starting to get to me- what could it be? Fed the dogs... watered plants... what the hell am I forgetting??
A noise from downstairs startles me and I can't help smiling.
Now I remember.
Now, while this does have quite a good horror vibe, I am going to have to point out that this could easily not be a horror and be an incredibly mundane story if we follow on to it past the 50 word limit.
"Now I remember! Mr Johnson is coming over for tea! That must be him at the door!"
"Now I remember! I forgot to get the kettle! I run down to answer it's noise!"
"Now I remember! I didn't feed the dogs! That must be them barking!"
oh, the character evolution is interesting . Good moment and place to have an existential crisis :p
"Look at you, crying. You thought you were the predator, but you're just another victim. Tell me what you said. 'Come here, bitch.' Here I am. You think you're afraid? Wrong. Let me show you what a real monster is," the little girl said, black tar dripping from her eyes.
Good feedback, I agree.
This one was pretty good. Besides the criticisms already mentioned, everything else was great.
Eyes of olive and chocolate lock with mine.
I see fire inside; I see a pain.
A kind word, a kind gesture soothes our hearts.
We need one another so deeply it hurts.
With soft kisses, I brush away her hair.
I look into those eyes and see our love.
Perhaps, but the two colors do in fact look good on the eyes I'm talking about.
I hear footsteps outside my bedroom door. The floorboard creaks and the movement ceases. This is it; they've finally found me. The pump of my shotgun echoes in the night. I unload both barrels screaming, "Die you fucking terrorist bastards!" Through the holes in my door, I see my daughter.
While the idea itself is solid and interesting, I feel the actual language could've used work. Cut a bit to give m you more of a word count, focusing less on the actions and more on the general PTSD-stricken mind and paranoia.
As a side note, I'd take out the "Die you fucking terrorist bastards!" line, because it seems quite childish and lacking. Words like "Die!" or "terrorist bastards" just seem very iffy. I don't really see anyone outside a cliched action hero in a bad film or a kid playing a video game saying it. Saying or shouting anything in a real life or death situation seems kind of unrealistic. It can be cool as a quip or something, but even then it has to be funny or at least badass, and that's not the mood you're going for.
As a sign of a fucked up mental state, if that was what you were going for, frantic mutterings seem better, or even just something more simplistic.
That's a good point. I agree that the line is pretty weak (especially seeing it a day later, yikes). I wanted to display a sudden outburst as if a switch was flipped briefly taking him back to his traumatic experience; like any moment he could go from a normal father to a paranoid, trigger-happy Joe. I included the "terrorist" part as small hint that he was a soldier and not some psycho with a shotgun, but I guess the first idea doesn't exclude the other.
My issue with terrorist as an exact phrasing was more its general usage as a kind of general "Bad Guy" thing. Something akin to another war, like a Viet Cong, might've worked if you focused on the quick-paced reactive nature, or a flashback potential, rather than just reacting to someone in the house, but in 50 words, I see the issue you had.
It's interesting you mention that because I toyed with throwing in some Middle Eastern adjectives like "turban wearing" or "camel humping". The second one is obviously a joke, but ended up not including any since it always came off like a confederate flag waving redneck.
That could've worked. I feel an issue is that there isn't really many insults for terrorists you can use that haven't been directed towards Muslims, but you could use "Charlie" or "Viet Cong" for a Vietnamese veteran.
A Shakespearean sonnet style poem is very tough to rhyme so good job! In the first line of the concluding couplet the ‘so’ can be removed to improve flow but otherwise it’s nice.
Lol nice dystopian piece. The length itself here works in your favour by highlighting how short-lived and futile that act was.
Never played Alpha Centauri but I've just watched that cutscene and yes, it would definitely take a long and elaborate storyline just for a dissenter to make it out of there alive. Better to simply sketch the idea with those 50 words.
Over the world, causing chaos.
With his two wings,
Weakness he brings.
When love is pure, he yields pathos.
You think, he must cause aversion
And surely he’s hateful,
Maybe he’s deceitful,
and truly a frightful vision.
Well, he never terrifies,
It’s simply a butterfly!
NB: I didn't choose the subject. also, I should tag @Mayana and @lordkarstark too, because reasons.
Never do that again
The idea is nice, butterflies seem to have some overly serious connotations for being such innocuous bugs.
The execution isn't the best but, in your defense, it wasn't an easy task. The meter is slightly wonky and chaos and pathos don't actually rhyme but are only assonances. It's weird but interesting seeing butterfly written as a masculine noun.
The bind, a deadly part of swordplay. Swords striking after an overhead strike, fear and determination in his eyes. He pushes down with the strong of his sword and goes for the kill...alas, a failed attempt, for the opponent stabs mercilessly at his breastplate. The bloody dagger is sheathed.
I was quite disappointed with the video. After the warning on how it was only for mature audiences, I expected more from it. A broken axe thing and a cut hand is hardly heeds for a disclosure. I thought that when they were rolling around one would die, but no.
All-age category winner P.W. Bridgman
"I was conceived in a field at Woodstock while Jimi played that reverse-strung Strat. My father’s tattooed backside appears briefly, 91:16 minutes into the movie. It’s all we have. He disappeared next day. Mom’s now a semiotician: successful, embittered. Him? Still searching. I pace, ever vigilant, all along the watchtower."
This won for November. I quite like it for including Jimi
Eh, I don't like it. It seems fairly generic and bland, and not really much of a story, and certainly not really saying much with its word count, which I think is the most impressive thing. All for it to end with a pun or a play on words or whatever, quite annoying.
I don’t post often and I don’t usually feel comfortable sharing my work, but at least it’s with some stories and not some silly comment. Constructive criticism and feedback is appreciated, I’m still learning and I’d like to learn more!
The dragon unfurled her wings, unleashing a torrent of flame from her maw. I desperately shielded my eyes from the blinding light, only daring to open them when the screams of agony around me subsided. My vision danced, but it soon became clear that I was unharmed. They were right.
Icy wind slammed into his face. The ship’s deck was flooded, but the captain managed to reach his first-mate.
“You know I trust you, Captain, but I don’t see how binding the crew will help us beat the storm!” she shouted.
The captain grinned. “Not the storm, love. Sirens.”
I ran through last night’s conversation in my head. One flash from Brody’s flashlight meant it was safe to find him. Two flashes meant there was danger. We should’ve planned more... I pushed the thought away. We’ll be okay. With a deep breath, I peered over the ledge. Three flashes.
Unlike Danaos, I think the first one is as well-written as the other two. I liked all three of them but my favourites were perhaps the first and the last one, as the second didn't describe a situation that was particularly unheard of (even if it can be a good start for a sea adventure). All three used the last sentence to turn the story around but managed to feel complete even with these open endings.
“I feel weird.”
“But you said I could put it in your…”
“Not that. That felt good.”
“Whenever I visit, we end up doing this. The first time was an accident, but now…”
“Hey it’s your idea too.”
“I know. Just stop calling me Tanya during it, okay?”
What about Yvette, who’s part celestial? You can literally choose Mara, who is basically your daughter. There’s Zalmora, Annah,( I start forgetting names here) your ancestor, the follower of the knowledge goddess, whatever the girls name is that you have a shadow kid with. Why would you choose a demon?
Goddamn, you're devoted to the 50 count.
Nah, Tanya is the best.
It’s not Isabella, Lisa or Vera is it? ( sorry about this not being 50 words.)
Go reread epilogue ten.
I didn’t consider the sister, I’m not sure why I didn’t though, it is End. I only felt awkward vibes when they were talking, but it happened before, so I guess it could happen. Since its End’s story and he wrote the 50 word, I guess it did happen now.
I just played RPS and lost every single time. I lost all 8 games and all of the useless points that I’ve accumulated through rating games in a matter of seconds. I think this is a sign. I have no purpose. Some rope and a boy scout and it’s done.
Lol this is why I don't duel.
Yeah, the funny thing is that this actually happened to me, and now I don’t feel safe with the RPS bot knowing what my fate is. Either the bot can somehow watch my every move, see what I’m thinking, or I’ve been punished with terrible luck by some higher power.
This would make a good prompt for a story. So did the board tell him to do that or did he cause it by himself just to get the promotion to a higher position?
Unfortunately for you guys, the perfect 50 word story has already been written.
The Elephant and the Balloon (by... Well, I'm not quite sure who wrote it, but it's read by Bill Bailey)
There is the elephant. He is happy with his balloon. Oh, no! It's gone! Where is it? It's not behind the rhino. Look in the alligator's mouth. It's not there either. Ohh... the monkey's got it in the tree! He brings it back. They all drink lemonade. The end.
It did. Don't you know how bad lemonade is for your teeth?
I was happy once. We were happy once. But love is a fragile thing. It breaks. Mom, Dad, they loved each other. Her and I, we loved each other. But everything dies eventually. The wind rushes through my ears, blowing away the memories as I jump into the great unknown.
“You look nervous. First day?”
“Just don’t overreact to weird requests. Some men have strange… taste.”
“What if I can’t do everything?”
“Try your best.”
A man with slicked-back hair approached. The gold chain at his neck was barely visible through his thick chest hair.
“One large coffee please.”
The inspiration came from my fourth cup.
Nice description, I think the ending was intentional. Just when I was getting excited about the protagonist exploring beyond the world's end by crossing the dry sea embarking on a new adventure, they turn around and leave. If that was the aim then it was successful. Good post, perhaps my favourite one.
My new favorite.
She's wearing that sexy, black corset from your wedding night. She's dancing to a song, but you don't hear it. Her hips sway seductively; her hand trails down the bedpost. As she turns toward the window, you exhale deeply.
Clear sight picture.
Slow, steady pressure.
Well you and Mizal posted two of the best stories of the thread one right after the other. Reading this really seems like following a movie shot, it's very well described and carefully paced.
[disowned this because I didn't drink my coffee]
As I head home at midnight, I await
My kids' joy at gifts, and soon-to-be-eaten cookie plate.
The towers become familiar houses.
Now lit, trees draped by light.
As I approach, I see a sight.
Tripped wire turned fire.
My house a prison for my family, died without a fight.
Haven't been active... at all for the past few months. I just had to focus on academics for a while, my exams are over and my Christmas break is coming soon so I'll likely have more time to spend here now.
“Time for me to go.”
“Wish these moments were longer.”
“Eventually it will be permanent.”
“The work never ends, I question if that day will ever come.”
Her ghostly hand touched his skeletal face.
“It will Azrail. It will.” Catalina said with a smile before returning to her designated afterlife.
Oh shit, so that's the Necromancer's name? Very fitting.
I thought you were going for a different kind of fanfiction, but this is actually heart-warming. And yes, Azrail is a very fitting name for the Necromancer.
What the fuck, a fifty word story? I don't fucking know how to count, I am simple doggo.
I snoof, I boof.
I chopped my dick off and put it into a blender and made some people drink it.
The boy awoke to someone banging loudly on the door. The boy felt a chill in his spine, but he made his way down to the front door. Once he got there, his hands begun to tremble, he slowly opened the door. It was his friend Tim, the boy felt a wave of relief and invited him in.
The repetition of 'the boy' is unnecessary (*cough* God of War) and the punctuation is wrong in some places (e.g. there should be a period or at least a semicolon between 'Tim' and 'the boy' in the last sentence). Other than that, it sets the right amount of light tension and it looks like one of those moments in movies that make you relax for half a minute before having the killer show up behind the boy.
"Read it boy." Joking aside, thanks for the feedback
The Festival of Lights, a day replete with jubilation and enthusiasm. Sweets and delicacies, with opportunities to dress up dashingly. Children, exulting over holidays, adults, hoping for respite and elderly, appreciating memories. From dusk to dawn, the azure welkin is painted in radiant colors; fireworks symbolizing the celebrations.
This is for the new prompt? If so then well done
I was literally just thinking about the January prompt lol. Well anyway, good job on it
That actually sounds like a neat idea!
The Festival of Lights.
The Festival of Lights,
A day replete with jubilance,
Sweets and delicacies,
With opportunities to dress dashingly,
Children, excited about holidays,
Adults, hoping for respite and
Elderly, appreciating memories.
From dusk to dawn the,
Is painted, in radiant colours.
Symbolizing the celebrations.
The workers surround parliament, once it was a shining example of freedom, now its an empty husk of tyranny. The fireworks brighten up the sky, signifying the time for change. Now the revolution has begun.
I will fix this up later, just putting it down so I don't forget
Looks good, not exactly sure if one would have fireworks in a revolution since mostly they are a symbol of happiness and peace; but at the same time there never is a restriction to creativity and point of view.
Well, they were used as a signal. One could also argue that getting rid of a tyrannical government would bring peace(after the revolt of course)
Star Wars would argue otherwise.
Maybe it's because of the parliament-fireworks combination, but I'm getting V for Vendetta vibes from this one.
That was one of the things I was thinking about as I wrote it. I have never actually seen the movie, just a bunch of clips.
Edit 1. To be more specific I was thinking about the gunpowder plot and how there is a day for remembering it the 5th of November, which is my birthday. Guess I will become a treasonous son of a bitch
Off topic but wasn't the movie inspired by Guy Fawkes and the plot to blow up parliament?
Well V for Vendetta was originally a comic published in the 80s but yes, it was inspired by Guy Fawkes. The protagonist's mask also represents Guy Fawkes.
As a side note, we were taught the '5th of November' rhyme in primary school when learning about Bonfire Night, so it was nice knowing it already when I heard it in the movie.
The floorboards creak as I step into the dark warehouse. I want to turn back but I need to know if he’s still alive. As I venture into the shadows I trip over a body. I see him with a knife through his stomach. Shit, someone else got here first.
True, but I like creepy warehouses.
Or maybe the dead person lives in the ware house, for some reason. Maybe the narrator was the dead-person's spouse and they both lived in the warehouse. I left a lot up to the reader's imagination.
"The paint covered his scars from wars long forgotten. The man gazed into the mirror, staring back at him was an unrecognizable figure. He limped away and picked up his rusty longsword to defend his home."
This one was my winning entry previously
The world was being torn asunder. Demons ran amok, humans started to rape and kill, elves began a crusade against humanity. Their only hope. A retarded monkey.
Just thought I would put this small retarded story together, while I struggle with ideas for my 100-word story for the 21st of this month
HEY! I am a retarded frog, not a monkey
"All-age category winning story by Ian McLaren
Aunt Agatha's Christmas present to Joan was another seasonal disaster....this time an ugly old china vase.
A charity shop might get a couple of quid for it thought Joan.
Months later a headline in the local newspaper read .....'Two pound charity shop vase sells at auction for two million...'"
This one in 2013, it did get a chuckle from me
Your brother wrote that land was good in America.
Now you cower behind the mast, bloodstains on the deck before you evidence of the morning's slaughter.
A shadow falls.
Trembling, you venture to look up. Before you looms the soulless eye of the cephalopod.
You should have stayed in Sweden.
Release the cuttlefish!
Good one. I also liked that the last line has the same grumpy tone of someone who's just moved, like "Bah, another nuisance in this Gods-forsaken country."
"Young Writers (5-11) category winning story by Cameron McBain, age 9
All 13 witches gathered stealthily around the long oak table.
"It's time to have our winter feast!" said the leader.
"How dare you kill our makers!" shouted a voice.
10 snowmen came in and stabbed all the witches using their carrot noses and stick arms.
"Feast time?" said a snowman.."
This kid has potential on becoming a serial killer when they are older
We call ourselves angels, but we are born like everyone else. The Power chooses us, the Corp shapes us. A global sisterhood. Freedom for all, peace for the peaceful. The Power is ours to make it so.
But we aren't born like everyone else.
Our Life starts at Mach 1.
Inspired by my vague plans for a novel tentatively called Angel Corp.
Ready to go, awaiting the gun. The race will be long under the sun. Then a shadow falls across the field. The race is forgotten. The gun remains silent. The restless dark covers the sun, and the race course. Silver snow falls, and the race begins in the opposite direction.
I like this one a lot better, a more complete story!
Answering everything would be impossible in 50 words unless you are only conveying something that can fit in that many words, which would probably not be that interesting, so while this does raise some questions, the reader can think about it and (probably) reach some pretty satisfactory conclusion, one which follows on from the actual writing.
I won't get too into it, because I don't really trust myself all that much in analysis, but suffice to say that I feel that plenty is mentioned here for a decent short story. There is a set up, conflict (or event), and ending. Things can be modified and even omitted (tho best of luck with omission) but I do consider these things pretty important for having a complete story, so it is good to see it all here.
However, I will say that it lacks a certain... degree of engagement, like it could be better. It might be that I am expecting the wrong things from a 50 word story, it might be that I can't appreciate it properly, but I will try to at least guess at why it feels like it is lacking something (if only to me):
Eh, look, I said I wouldn't try to analyse too much, so I'll stop here. The thing is, I don't feel that this is bad, far from it, and I could be misunderstanding something after all, however, that doesn't change the fact that currently, to me at least, it does lack a certain appeal despite being a more coherent story structure wise. So, I will go with a combination of not having a clear character, and the lack of detail. The former isn't inherently bad, characters don't have to be at the center of a story despite being plenty popular these days (and my preference), and the latter is a bit of stupid complaint given the style of story (namely being, a 50 words story, and no longer).
I will say, it will definitely be interesting to see what you can do with more words at your disposal. Short stories, let alone 50 word ones, have their unique challenges, and I'm not the best judge of them (as you might have gleaned), but I do feel I can still appreciate them somewhat, or at least try to. I would be curious to see others thoughts (even yours, as the author) on this short story, since I wonder how much of my current views are being unfair as opposed to reasonable. After all, I'm no authority on the matter, and if I could reach a better understanding, I see no reason not to.
TL;DR I like it better for being a story, but the other was more interesting (yet felt more like a teaser). I do feel this is lacking something, but I'm not the best when it comes to stories as short as this, so I would be very curious to see other people's thoughts on it, to help me better inform my own. I wouldn't mind seeing what you (as the author) think of the story as well, since while there might be some bias, a glimpse into the writer's mind can be useful, specially when I do not feel too concretely about my own views.
EDIT - Eh, I typed to slow so some of this will not make as much sense (namely because someone else has given their thoughts on it now), but I won't have time to edit it more, so... whoops. Hopefully still something to think about.
“Forgive me, father, for my lust.”
“Forgive me, father, for my avarice.”
“Forgive me, father, for my pride.”
“Forgive me, father, for my laziness.”
“But also my wrath and my envy…”
“To end my prayer, thanks for the meal, dad.” I say as i sink my teeth in his liver.
While I'm here trying to do whatever my above responses can be called, I might as well keep going.
Dialogue! A character! Things I like, but I'll try to avoid bias.
Repetition would normally feel like a bit of a waste when the word limit is strict, but because the story feels complete, despite being something that could be an ending to a bigger work, but, as it is currently, it would lose the surprise factor, and thus, once more as is, it stands better on its own. So, I feel the repetition is actually used well and ends up enhancing the experience. Initially as reading, I ended up thinking along the lines of, 'oh no, so much repetition, what a waste of words, could have just said "Forgive me for my [seven] sins", no way that this'll be whole story', but then boom. You done it, you done a twist in the style this thread loves, and I'd say for good reason, as it helps story feel more impactful, and having a twist in such a short story allows for a strong 'set up, subversion & end' style, a style which can work great within the 50 word limit, as evident by this thread.
I feel it is humorous, due to the nature of the twist, since generally such behavior would be considered pretty bad, and considerably darker. Repenting for sin sets a certain tone which gets quite the turn around with the sudden territory of 'nah m8 I'm actually eating my papa', and I think this dissonance causes me to find it funny (in a particular way). I'd say humor is a weak point for me, so I won't try to talk about it more, especially considering that analyzing humor can kill it (or so I hear).
Writing wise, I'm believe when you have multiple paragraphs of the same speaker you do not use the closing quotation if the next part will still be them speaking. So rather you'd have:
"Forgive me, father, for my lust.
"Forgive me, father, for my avarice."
(Assuming that was the whole thing, which it is not).
Also, I think, according to my current understanding, the final sentence in the quotations would end with a comma, because it is followed with "I say", and the sentence of "I say as i sink my teeth in his liver" fails grammatically because 'I say' without the said part makes no sense, what did you say!
Also I notice you didn't capitalize that last i, so proofread I guess? Tho to be fair, I somehow didn't notice it either till I went to quote the part.
Ultimately, this works, and it works well. However, due to the nature of this story being more comedic, I do not know how to judge it as well, as I may have a bias against stories that simply aim to amuse. There is no more depth to it all barring the sudden twist, so I ask myself, is this really a story, or is it just a joke? There is nothing wrong with a joke, and comedies do exist, so this is probably a case of me not being well versed in the relevant area, thus causing me to try and judge this as something that it is not.
So good work, I liked it, feels complete and like the words were well spent. My complaint is that it appears more like a joke than a story however, but it may just be a story where humor/comedy is a major element, in which case calling it 'just a joke' is far from fair.
TL;DRI expect people to like this one. I certainly did.
Thanks for the correction. I'll copy that part somewhere to keep these rules in mind.
Getting a Witcher vibe here. Somewhere between vampire and succubus, but nice way to imply a lot without telling it.
Hmm, has characters and, as one would say, starts right away in the action.
Discarding her words and the ashes part, this could easily be about someone who tried to stab you to loot your corpse, but you end up stabbing them. The ashes could fit in that, but that is a more interesting (supernatural/magical/extraordinary) element of the story, and as I saw Nalix's reply, I'm definitely thinking vampire.
Yet on closer reading, the idea of a vampire is a bit lacking of an explanation to me, as I'm one of those who is under the impression that vampires turn to dust in sunlight. But then you could read this as the 'vampire' collapsing outside, and then pleading to not be left out to die, yet the word "floor" ruins this for me, as it implies indoors, which I feel I ought to assume it is, if I have no reason not to (such as a mention of a hole or window, or even just sunlight or even light). I guess maybe she was stabbed by a stake in the heart, but there is no mention of direct violence on the protagonist's part, and in truth, weren't there steps to killing a vampire that would also include a decapitation?
Uh, utilizing common knowledge of vampires could be a good short cut, but I feel things are not confirmed well enough for the reader to assume the things necessary for the story to fit together well enough if that is the intent. There is more than one way to represent a vampire after all, so I feel some confirmation or just a bit more concrete allusions beyond being dangerous and turning to ash (might have been a witch who got burnt, you might be a kid who is escaping her to not get eaten, and the floor is that of a human sized oven) would be nice, and go a long way. This is obviously difficult, given the word limit, but I stand by these thoughts.
Yet this does look like a complete story to me, even if you help yourself to a shortcut by having it start in the action with the 'vampire' collapsing. Granted, nothing wrong with utilizing something like that, but I do want to mention it.
However, while it is not written badly (as far as I can tell), and you do utilize multiple things, such as dialogue, actions, occurrences, and character thoughts, I feel it could be polished better. Like there might be a way to tell a more concrete story, one which feels more solid. I'm guessing the detail and implications don't all line up well enough in my head, which is likely the root of my complaints. Yet even outright vagueness is not bad, if handled well, and I do not think you mishandled something badly. In fact, I like the details and things that are implied, it leads to a richer story, but I feel it wasn't executed as well as could have been, but as I am struggling to place exactly why, I'll go with me having some preference you have failed to meet.
TL;DR Good story, but something feels off to me, like it is just too short of enough detail and implied things to make the story make enough sense to be truly compelling. It feels like it is just on the verge of being great, but is instead stuck as good (although a good story is still good, but I consider striving for improvement good as well, which is why I mention all these things).
P.S. I should probably mention that using second person ('you') is interesting as it is not the most common way to tell non-branching narratives (as far as I'm aware). Granted, I feel it is well handled, and it helps make me feel more invested as the reader, to care more for the protagonist despite their motives potentially being questionable, but as I am them, I feel more inclined to just agree with what I'm supposedly thinking. I likely have some bias, what with being pretty used to second person given what site we are on, but I do think it was well handled, however, I will mention that the overall tone could likely have been tuned to something a bit different if the story were written in third person instead, and I only mention this in case such a tone might've been more akin to what you were aiming for. However, the first instance of "You" would likely have to be replaced with "A (wo)man/figure", for establishing the protagonist, which is 1 word extra, and actually matters when that is 2% of your total.
Come to think of it, there are more elements that I didn't mention which were in the story, and probably should have at least been acknowledged, given my goal was a look at the entire thing. I didn't mention what I thought of the "lured in" aspect, or the damnation/salvation sentence pair, or the quick forgetting and moving on by the protagonist.
I imagine that this is in part because I did not see anything wrong with those aspects, and that I wanted to avoid analyzing too much for fear of being wrong (yet analyzing some, and not all, would be far more likely to end up with me reaching wrong or incomplete conclusions, so whoops, a mistake I didn't even realize I was making).
Anyhow, I suppose I wanted to focus on the other elements that I considered less ideal, but thinking a bit more about some of these things which I skipped (in a way, for I did still read them, just didn't give them enough thought), the story does hold together better than what I had given it credit for in my initial post. After all, some of these sentences could be seen as hinting at additional things, things which then help give that detail which I was asking for. So I should have just thought about it all a bit more.
Yet, as reader interpretations can obviously differ from that of the author, there can still be useful things to take away from that post (even if the reader's thoughts may be incorrect in some manner or another), and given your response, it seems you did just that, and so I'm glad it was helpful in some way.
EDIT TL;DR Can't believe I forgot this. Anyway, glad you found the feedback helpful in some way, also I realize that the story fits together better than I gave it credit for initially, so apologies for that.
P.S. I guess part of my worry was also in attributing too much to the author (in this particular case you, but applies for all posts), as over analyzing writing is possible, and this could lead to finding meaning that may be completely accidental or unintentional, and I guess I do not want to give credit where it is not due (primarily because it would make me look bad, which is a bit odd of a grievance, as I'm pretty sure it'd only do that to me in my eyes, as I doubt others would care much for it). Yet, obviously, such a view has some flaws, and thinking about it, I'd say it is surely better to give more credit than too little, especially if I have no reason to suspect the author of not putting in the 'effort', or something like that, as is the case here (that is, there is no reason to suspect you of not putting in the effort). I guess I got tripped up because everything is 50 words, and for some reason length = quality, despite that not actually being the case, and everything having to be very short here (given the thread).
P.P.S. Forgive the wordiness/style of the above post script, or maybe the whole post even, as I'm experimenting a bit with writing style in an attempt to keep it a bit more engaging/interesting and, oddly enough, distinct. As such it might sound better to me than it is.
(I read a bit of some older book and the way it was written really stood out to me, and while I imagine some elements are no longer grammatically correct [or at least no longer widely used], that did not stop me from finding it very interesting, and to wish to try and adopt some elements of that style in my own.)
Bitches be disposable.
“You need to stop drinking.” Finally said the witch before she opened the door.
I have been going around this irritating maze for what feels like an eternity. I have the feeling something isn't quite right before I stumble upon a fountain.
“So thirsty.” I kneel to drink some water.
HMM!!! Is this a loop!? I think it is a loop. I find this amusing, but not in the same vein as the previous story you wrote, but that might be because the humor which I perceive comes not from a shocking twist, rather a more lighthearted one. In which case it probably would be in the same vein after all, huh.
Worth mentioning that if one wishes to stretch their thinking a bit, this can be plenty grim on its own as well, but I do think any such grimness would be much more open to interpretation compared to the more concrete grimness of eating your father.
Anyway, because the flow feels a bit disjointed (or a little more than just a bit), namely, the witch mentions drinking which gets dropped immediately, then opens the door and you immediately complain about going around the maze for "what feels like an eternity", so I will definitely assume it is a loop, which can explain the disjointedness as this is a second person story, and so if I, as the reader, feel it somewhat disjointed, or should I say, that "something isn't quite right", then it makes sense narrative-wise while also having a small meta element, which is certainly unique, and well handled, as it also makes the reader feel what the character who they are in the story is feeling. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
At any rate, as a whole story, it lacks a real conclusion, which is why I again assume it is more humorous in nature, as then the lack of a strong ending beyond 'stuck in loop' can make sense, as that is pretty much the twist/joke, and it would be undermined by a different ending, and you wouldn't want that.
Obviously, if it is not a loop, the disjointedness is bad, but I shall continue assuming it is, but feel free to call me out if I'm wrong. The feedback will be a bit different in that case, aha, and would mainly be about why it feels disjointed and what could potentially be changed.
As for the writing, the first part ought to be one sentence, since as far as I'm aware, and similarly to before, 'Finally said the witch before she opened the door' is not a complete sentence... well, maybe kinda, because of the finally sounding like that is what she said, but than you'd imagine it would be in quotations, and the finally is there to show the conclusion of the witches dialogue instead. Anyway, point is, you want a comma for the quoted part, as that makes it one sentence and thus something that is grammatically correct (as I understand it).
With that said, the last sentence is correct, as 'I kneel to drink some water' is a complete sentence on its own, without the quoted part, so ending the quoted part with a full stop does make sense grammatically (again, as I understand it).
Anyway, I'll leave it at that, since I don't want to harp about the way it is constructed, as it does what it is supposed to, given the unusual circumstance of the story being a loop. But now I wonder... does that mean it is an infinitely long story, rather than just 50 words one? Is that against the 'rules'?
TL;DR Nice twist, different to many others in the thread, and messed me with well. Still, as it shall be a story I dub a comedy, it is something I cannot give the best feedback regarding, so take the things I say with an extra grain of salt when it is in regards to these type of stories. I still liked it.
Another one i just made before going to sleep:
Such a gentleman. Always opening the door for the lady.
Such a gentleman. He never permits her to cook for the diner. It needs his personal touch.
Such a gentleman. He brings her upstairs when she falls asleep.
Such a gentleman. He makes sure the death is quick and clean.
Similar to the first, even if the twist didn't catch me off guard... until I realized this may be much better than I was expecting.
All these can be looked as sinister and not gentlemanly at all!Always opening the door = she is locked up, cannot leave if he doesn't open the door.Never permits her to cook + personal touch = lack of trust, potentially drugs the food (as it can tie in to the bringing upstairs).You can see where I'm going with this.
Granted, the last is the most obvious, and I see two potential reasons for this.
Now, this story is potentially the most grim one, as the whole story can be read as dark and thus the humorous twist is discarded for the shock value, making it less of a comedy, and more a dark story (tho I suppose aiming for shock could still be viewed as a type of comedy), however if this is the case, it has gone against my expectations due to the other two 50 word stories of yours I read.
However, writing wise, I do think the first 3 could have been written a bit better if the intent was for the double meaning. The first one I have no issue with, opening the door is considered gentleman behavior but can also easily make sense as keeping someone locked up. The second is a bit more vague, I feel, it is not as concrete and the 'personal touch' doesn't fit well with gentleman behavior as it seems a bit out of place (to me). Maybe it just feels off (to me) because it is two sentences rather than one, so it makes it stand out more without really delivering something extra. I might be missing something. Finally, the third one seems pointless if he is just going to kill her afterwards, besides, won't he have to take her back down anyway? So my issue with it is more in regards to the whole story, rather than on its own.
If it is not supposed to have double meaning, then the second one still sticks out a bit due to, again, being two sentences instead of one. The third one is still in a bit of conflict with the third one.
I'll mention that the third could be viewed as him taking her to where she will be murdered, but this doesn't mesh well for me because then I'd be taking all the things as a story, which means: Open door, have her NOT cook, he does instead, she is asleep, carry her up, kill, quick and clean. The issue with this narrative is that it feels... odd. I think because it explicitly says she is not permitted to cook it ends up not fitting well with the others, something like: "Such a gentleman. He even cooks for her." (I'd go with a bit longer, so it is closer in length to the others, plus 50 word limit is something to keep in mind).
Also, the first one says "always", and this also doesn't fit if you are going for a narrative, because the others can be interpreted as being done once (barring the never lets her cook, which does fit with an always [sort of the opposite, never, you know]) but this all means that you have 2 being always/never, and 3 being once (counting one half of 2 as its own thing).
As such, looking at the way the entire work fits together is my suggestion, specially if you have elements that cause readers to look deeper into what you wrote, because the smallest thing could be interpreted as important then, so you want to make sure it is all polished to a sufficient degree. With that said, I still like this one, it is well written and interesting, and I might have been nitpicking a bit with the above, but I'm trying to really go in depth, and offer thoughts on why I don't like something as opposed to just saying I don't like it. This is all still for you to think about, as these are just one persons thoughts after all, and mistakes are certainly not impossible (plus the subjective nature of this sort of thing doesn't help me either, aha).
I think this is a good one, but that some more polish could have gone a long way in helping it become something even better. Granted, it might just be my preferences, or I might have misunderstood something.
Yeah, i wanted to invest in the double meaning but 50 word limit didn't help the prose. Originally, it would be like this:
Such a gentleman. He always opens the door for the lady.
Such a gentleman. He never lets her cook for the diner. He adds his personal touch.
Such a gentleman. He brings her upstairs when she falls asleep and covers her with the blanket.
Such a gentleman. With a single stab to the heart. Quick and clean.
To remedy this i could either take the "Such a gentleman" repetition away and take the narrator humor off (and potentially make my story fail to achieve what i wanted) or i could try to find a compromise and take some elements off/reduce them to preserve the original meaning somewhat.
TL; DR: Number 2.
Ah, glad my suspicions were correct, I can now safely say that the story is definitely very neat. As for the feedback, it does mostly ignore the 50 word limit (barring the few nods towards it), which is probably not the best idea on my part, seeing as the limit heavily impacts what you can actually do, due to such limited space, so at the very least I should probably mention it more and potential ways on working within its confines (but that is a great challenge which I didn't do too great at myself, so not too much to say, regrettably).
This longer version does feel better connected, but hey, more words is not what the thread is asking for, and the other still clearly does work. Still interesting to see this one tho, and the many similarities (but also few differences).
At any rate, I hope there is some useful things in the previous post, seeing as you appear to have read it, but I do regret not having paid more head to the 50 word limit, given how important it is. Oh, also, your tl;dr puts mine to shame, but I'll console myself because this is a writing site, so longer tl;dr's must totally be fine!
You also talked about the story, but i don't see how there's any contradiction within it.
He invites a woman inside the house for a "date", opening the front door as a "gentleman" would do. Or he could have kidnapped her as you said and locked her up. (Triple meaning?!)
He cooks for the diner, so we know it's night and the possibility of someone being around snooping is quite slim. This also ties with her falling asleep, as he drugged her food.
He brings her upstairs to kill her, meaning there would be no evidence of her murder at the ground floor. The "blanket" at the original text was also a complement, along with the "clean" part, as a way to preserve upstairs in the case of a police search. It still works well without that part, i think.
He could dispose of her body in a myriad of ways, and it's still an unnecessary detail at the end of the day. He could get rid of her with chemicals (a la Breaking Bad), he could bury her body, he could throw her in the garbage for shits and giggles... I prefer to leave the aftermath to the reader's imagination. Also because 50 word limit :(
Fair, and yeah the part about bringing her upstairs being unnecessary was pretty 'unnecessary' on my part (heh) and more a pointless nitpick than anything (if you can even call it that, as nitpicks tend to still have some value by pointing out a tiny thing, where here what was being pointed out didn't really warrant it).
I could have worded some things better because it isn't so much that there were contradictions, more that it felt a bit off to me, not by a lot either mind you, and then I was trying to figure out why that might be, and attempting to offer suggestions on how it could've been better. Granted, I likely did go a bit far because the 'feeling' wasn't that strong, and looking back on it now I think I got a bit carried away. I'd say the issue for me probably stemmed from the word choice & order more so than the narrative being conveyed, yet I get the feeling this might be because the style is not exactly like mine, so I'm looking at it a bit wrong.
But the word limit does mean that I should probably think about how it limits what can be shown more, which I scarcely did, so it'll be something to keep in mind on my part.
Nice little complete story. The following is pretty opinionated, but hopefully you get something worthwhile from it. I'm trying something new in being a little more specific on what one could try improving on for the future, but this is no simple undertaking, so just consider it to be an extra type of feedback.
Name dropping Amy Schumacher makes it harder for me to try and analyse this, as pop references (as I'd call this) are generally not for me, since I'm an uneducated fool. However, obviously, this lack of understanding is on me, pop references have their place after all, so instead I'll say that by including a real person's name in your work without explaining to some capacity who they are within the work means that the story will date badly into the future, where more people won't understand it.
Granted, being a 50 word story and using the name as a twist also conveys extra information without having to type it up, which puts the whole story in a weird place as you can't exactly go about explaining it. Further, explaining the twist in the work sort of ruins it, or it would in this case at least (I imagine), so I'd say you utilize it well, even if this won't be capable of becoming a classic. I'll mention that the pop reference also makes this a story that would fall under a comedy, following the strange classification system I'm developing for myself, but depending on the nature of the reference I could be wrong (but I get the feeling I'm not).
I still don't trust myself to analyse stuff properly, especially here where I don't even get it all, so this'll be short. Morning cup of coffee stared at as a badge is removed. Then, killer information, who is now 'had'. Knife to killers throat, pop reference can rest, makes it sound like person who is being killed is related to them (unless it is a lol random moment, but I doubt that). Then killer killed, eye for an eye.
The first part leads into the killer being apprehended weirdly, and I don't understand the significance of the badge being removed. Again, me not understanding the reference is a big issue as it leaves a big hole in my knowledge, but this transition from: 'Morning coffee, taking badge off' into 'Killer caught, then killed' just doesn't flow well in my head. Due to the way you say that the killer has 'been running for weeks' and immediately follow it with 'now I had him' in the same sentence makes it a pain for the transition between the initial set up to this, as it feels sudden and somewhat nonsensical. Having the 'killer has been running' part its own sentence could at least hint at a deep thought which masks a time skip, but being the same sentence with catching them just makes it a bit strange to me.
The badge being removed stuck out a bit because I imagine the protagonist to be a cop/someone with a badge that they would wear for the day, so them taking it off in the morning seems a little odd, as either they had it on all night and only took it off now, or they put it on earlier today only to take if off when they went to drink their coffee.
I might be overthinking it or missing something obvious, so I'll leave off with this: my issue is with the flow from the beginning to the latter part, it doesn't fit well or isn't very clear.
POST ADDITION - On reading the story again, I imagine it could be that the killer has been caught, and the coffee happens to be nearby and they are taking the badge of for some reason before they kill them. The issue is that if this is the case, it seems like things aren't ordered as well as they could be, as you would imagine the caught killer to get mentioned before the coffee, however mentioning it in this order can still work if you want the reveal to catch the reader off guard (more so). Then I'd say the issue stems from "the killer has been running for weeks" as this is not an in the moment thing, which ends up breaking up the scene. I'd advise trying to imply that the killer has been running for weeks instead of out right stating it, maybe something like: "the murdering bastard is coated in dirt". I hope I'm making sense here.
I still like this, it feels like a complete story despite my grievances with the transition from start to end, but what I complain about is more a small thing (it isn't something that really stuck out to me, but it is what I'd suggest on trying to improve if that were your intention). If you plan on writing more latter (which I hope you do) I'd say keep in mind the flow of scenes but also the entire work (so pacing). Handling these two things well is plenty of a challenge, but can lead to some amazing results when done right.
I do wish I understood the twist tho, as I imagine it may make it all a lot better.
TL;DR This is a good one but I don't get the name drop, which is on me, however it does make it harder to appreciate. Regardless good work. For the future I'd advise paying close attention to flow and pacing of the scenes + entire work, as polishing it up a bit more could lead to better reading experiences.
P.S. I forgot to focus more on the 50 word restriction, so the feedback once more doesn't take that adequately into consideration, so instead, while reading the feedback, I implore you to take it into consideration yourself, as it is pretty darn important. It also saves me the trouble of doing it myself... heh.
Huh, guess it sounded like a real name, and when I googled it there was a person, so I've gone down the wrong path. Amy Rose Schumacher is a comedian, which didn't help me, but as you didn't mention the middle name I should have probably realized something was up. At any rate, this does change some things, just discard some of the now irrelevant aspects which are mentioned, but other than that, it also means I could have analysed it more if I didn't assume it was a real person.
Further, that explains why it all fits together well without a humorous twist as well, since there actually isn't one, it also makes the name drop a more weighty moment, as it is the victims name. At least it means I didn't fail to understand some reference tho, aha.
The name not being an outside reference makes it better my view tho, since it keeps the story its own thing. The tone also works well, it is consistent and all, but I didn't mention it before as if it was a reference it would've meant the tone would be getting subverted at the name part.
Odd that the name threw me around so much, probably because it stood out on account of being a very specific detail, where other aspects were a bit vaguer. It is more personal to use a name as opposed to something like 'the dead can now rest'. However, I do wonder if my confusion was something others also had, because if they did it would mean something should probably get modified to alleviate the chances of it happening, but because I'm more inclined to believe it was an error on my part, I'll just go with: it is a strong narrative, despite me misunderstanding the intent behind the name.
EDIT TL;DR Whoops. The story still works without the reference, probably because there wasn't one in the first place, so good work!
Anyway, I know about Amy Schumer, but to be honest the similarity wasn't in my head. If I ever actually write a CYS about that, I'll change it to Annie or something.
Weeks have passed since the war started.
I did everything i could to aid my kingdom and reclaimed this castle, but this war had only begun.
A courier arrived. “King Harlaus has decided to grant this fief to King Harlaus, ” he said “He also called for a feast in Praven.”
Didn't really get it. There didn't seem to be any twist, or anything really, and to paraphrase the great, almighty Axiom, these things need twists.
It's half a reference to Mount & Blade and half venting because that happened to me recently on my campaign.
I am assuming that you are some sort of lord, and after working hard to take back your territory, the king seized it. However, the mention of aiding your kingdom is a bit confusing. It sounds almost as if you are the king. Perhaps calling it your nation or your country or even the kingdom would clear that up.
He took small, shallow breaths and closed his eyes. “You’ve got this, you can do this.” His hand reached for the holster, closer to the six-shooter. In a swift reflexive motion he drew and...blam!
Nothing but darkness.
That wasn't bad, kid. The twist was fairly good, although even though it was 50 words it felt comparatively short, and the word usage could've been better to give us more information and more content.
I'm not sure if he died because he was in a duel and someone shot first or if he just killed himself. Maybe the thing here is that both are possible and we can't be sure which one? Or maybe i'm overthinking this and it's just the latter.
I was thinking duel, but then you made me think he just killed himself. The closing the eyes part makes it seem less like a duel.
True, but he could also be in panic. Maybe he was being punched, closed the eyes reflexively and was knocked out?
Of course, this is all a theory. A story theory.
If he was armed, I don't think he'd be getting punched. Perhaps the six-shooter he reached for was on an assailant's hip? I think closing your eyes and breathing like that are signs of building up to a single action and not something that could be done in combat (or a duel). It reminds me of mentally preparing yourself in the weight room for a one rep max. It wouldn't be effective to do while in action already. Plus, I wouldn't recommend taking your eyes off an opponent in a duel. He did lose though, so maybe it is a duel after all.
For the breathing, shallow breathing could be caused by a panic attack (plausible) or some disease. He could be trying to calm himself, which is why they were smaller than normal. Still, it could really be either way.
The hand reaching tentatively for the holster and then the swift reflexive way in which he drew the gun made me immediately think of a duel. I don't think that would work that well for a suicide. Besides, the fact that it didn't even say that he was the one who fired is another thing in favor of the duel hypothesis.
I was going for a duel and imagined both the shooters to be facing each other. This guy closed his eyes only for a millisecond to calm his nerves. Then he drew the weapon but before he could pull down the hammer of the revolver he was shot in the head. I guess I didn’t explain that properly :-p
Oh, I got that wrong, I assumed you were trying to get the reader to think it was a duel, but then you revealed that since firing his weapon led to his death, it was actually some dude trying to find the guts to kill himself. I take it back, then, lame, no good twist.
Ah, come on. Well I was gonna put “He” as Jack Marston, in order to continue the trend of the death of all outlaws in the red dead series. The word count restricted that part from being added though.
The twist is that there is no twist.
If a story's this short, it needs to have a twist to be good. All good stories have irony, and at 50 words, a twist is one of the only ways to use it.
Well, this could be read as the schizo only referring to the woman all throughout the story, but the wheel caressing made me think that his true love was his car. This might be an hilarious mistake on my part though.
So, unless I misinterpreted (something that I tend to often do with your stories), the twist is funny and I would definitely read the romantic adventures of a schizo and his beloved car. The only gripe I have (if this is the correct interpretation) is for "I love her, but this bitch won't shut up." Now, this sentence is crafted in order to make sense when you still think he's referring to the woman with "I love her", and it plays on that ambiguity. Once you've understood the twist though, "I love [my car] but this bitch won't shut up" doesn't make much sense anymore. It's not as if he damaged the car to make the bitch shut up, and the woman speaking doesn't prevent him from loving his car.
If he's indeed only referring to the woman though, this is a nice and funny representation of loony logic.
Lol I knew it; it's become a tradition of sorts for me to mess up when interpreting your stories. I'm going back and forth between those two interpretations but I'll try and take a closer look to find what I'm missing. In the meantime, I hope someone else gives some feedback on this because they'll probably see the things that I can't.
Farmer Konrad was in love with a beautiful german princess.
He collected wildflowers and learned to write his own name!
Farmer Konrad escalated her tower, sneaking through the guards, and there he placed his gifts.
So he escaped and avidly waited for her response!
But Princess Margarete had a brother...
This is great for the amount of different continuations it can set off in your mind. Just one thing: escalated is wrong in that context, it should be climbed or scaled.
Shit, these false cognates still confuse me from time to time. Scale would be the proper counterpart to escalar.
That aside, I'm glad you liked it.
I know, it's the same for me. "That escalated quickly" helps me remember that there's a difference in meaning lol
That's pretty alpha to give yourself two shelves and only leave one for the roommate.
Ohhh it all makes sense now. Lol. I literally reread it six times just now before it clicked. I was imagining a four shelved fridge when it's actually five total. I don't think it's a problem cutting out "two". That part just stuck out to me because most of my previous roommates have been annoying with fridge space. I was thinking "Damn, that's one way to assert dominance". Clearly, everyone else knew what you meant (or just not commenting on it).
I like this one, the reversal of stance is done well and sets an interesting opening for a bigger story. The first plot twist (the plague on the ship, everyone dead) seems to be the one the story is focused on, but the second one (the malicious joy at the thought of spreading the plague) is what really flips the perspective and makes this a good example of flash fiction.
My apologies if I did this wrong but this seemed like fun.
A little girl cries next to her destroyed home, her parents nowhere to be found. In a wasteland she once called her town, gunshots have replaced the songs of birds. Pained screams fill the once peaceful nights. A low rumble fills the air. Machines approach. And a little girl cries.
You didn't do it wrong, this adopts the "suggest rather than tell" approach typical of flash fiction and gives a cohesive and symmetrically balanced picture. What is maybe the only criticism I can make is that this is, in fact, just a picture, a description of the background. It is well written but there's no action (the crying is continuous and part of the framework) or change taking place to give movement to the story.
I agree wholeheartedly with your criticism. The story was actually based off of one of my old journal entries and with the 50 word limit I found it difficult to balance painting a vivid picture and advancing the story. Thank you very much for the critique though. It has given me some insight into what I can work on should I give it another go.
You remember wanting her. Her smooth thighs were thicker than you had thought underneath her pants. You never wanted to hurt her, but she fought, kicking you, and you lost control.
The curtain opens. Strangers peer through glass. "Last words?" he asks. You shake your head. He flips the switch.
Oh que, this is pretty cool, I guess. I have some questions, but I guess that’s what 50 word stories are supposed to do. This is kind of a weird situation, as I can’t say that I like it without seeming pro rape, so I’m just going to stay neutral.
I am also neutral when it comes to rape.
Don’t look at my username.
Oh wow, your comment is haveing 50 words also. Ja ja ja! I find this amusing do to the fact that this thread is all about things having 50 words, and despite it not being a short story, it has 50 words. Prime comedic literature.
Nicely done, though I don’t see how a joke that probably never would have been recognized for anything other than a comment lose comedic value. Also, I know it has been done, I did it 4 times 2 months ago. I’ve always been neutral on the topic of rape anyways.
Yeah it’s fine to have no feelings on the topic, but the phrase “neutral about rape” is poorly worded. My sarcastic comment above was supposed to point that out. Saying you’re “neutral” is pretty much taking the position that you are indifferent if someone gets raped or not.
Getting back to the 50 word story, I thought this one was the best at creating an entire story instead of just one scene. I haven’t read these in a while, but I don’t remember anyone using past events to explain why the current one is happening. It was a nice cause and effect type deal. If the story was simply a man getting the electric chair, you’d ask “Why is he there?” or “What did he do?”. This shows us why he’s getting executed and the logical conclusion makes it a satisfying 50 word story.
Maybe I am indifferent to rape. I am pretty sure that I have the right to my own opinion, so if I want to be on the fence about something that most people immediately deem immoral, I can. The victim should have been more cautious, and the rapist shouldn’t rape.
You certainly have the right to your own opinion on any topic. Morality doesn’t affect that. The simplistic viewpoint of your last sentence is either your attempt at trolling or trying to be edgy. Either way, arguing with an ignorant 9th grader on his mom’s shitty laptop feels like a loss in itself, so I’ll refrain from addressing it in-depth.
While I’m glad that you have set me free from my 50 word curse, I feel obliged to correct you. I’m actually on my school’s iPad.
Yeah, I was initially planning on saying how it's an edgy thing to say, but as that alone would be a pretty shitty argument, I decided to think about what exactly they meant, and thus I decided to go with a more optimistic outlook on what they meant.
Regarding the story, that is a good way of putting it; it definitely is different to the ones which were either incomplete or relied on a twist. Nothing wrong with a twist, but it is interesting since (as mentioned) this one had more than one distinct scene, which is somewhat rare.
I do not have a care in the world, as I have created something beautiful, albeit kind of time consuming and useless. However, I did not feel like subtlety was needed at the time. Also, you definitely cheated by looking at the username, so all opposing arguments are now void.
Considering the place is infested with (and partially run by) edgelords, the term “too dark” barely has any meaning here.
You remember raising her. You waited two decades. You thought it would pass.
It never did. Temptation won.
Your eyes open when you release. You look down upon her and know what you must do.
“Any last words princess?” you ask.
She sobs pitifully before you slit her lovely throat.
Temptation can still win again, and this time, she'll be obedient.
If his freezer is big enough, that is.
Temptation couldn't wait for Valentine's Day.
Can't spell Nutella without "nut".
This is almost as relatable as End’s. Reading this just makes me feel even more like a terrible person for only writing a couple of sentences every week.
Truly touching...and relatable. Too relatable.
Feel free to use anything I've posted. Which ones were you planning on using?
I gave permission for any of mine to be used, which is basically saying yes without actually saying the word. Not trying to be sassy even though that sentence sounds like it.
High roll on the perception check.
Need to sleep.
It's so hot.
We should have stayed at base camp a while longer.
Ugh, I need to take this jacket off.
That's no better than before.
Can't even move.
I should just lie down.
Yes, that's it.
I’ll keep going after the storm has passed.
This should be commended.
I play that old voicemail until its etched into my mind. It always ends the same way, the message never changing. But fear makes me play it. Fear of forgetting his voice. The last sentences play.
"I miss you bro. We'll see each other soon."
Soon is never soon enough.
This could either be interpreted as him just missing his brother/friend that he hasn't seen in a long time or (what I initially thought) the brother being dead and him wanting to die to see him again. In any case, apart from the "its" typo, this is a good one. I liked that the cause of his fear is revealed in a separate sentence, making you think it's a different kind of fears that he feels at first. Oh and you could have used another verb with "sentences" instead of repeating "play", but this is really a minor observation as I didn't really notice it when I first read this.
I always mess up "its" and "it's" to be honest. English isn't my first language, and while I like to think I do pretty well, I still tend to slip up on the minor things.
As for why he misses the person, I left that up to the readers interpretation. But one of your guesses was correct. I can say that this was definitely a more personal story, if that helps at figuring it out.
Thank you very much for the critique and finding that typo. I like to think it helps me to improve.
One of the best so far.
"No, you idiot!" Also best Maya line.
Very ominous at first until that last line. Had me for a sec there. Great job building up suspense.
Perhaps there was a summer's day
Where I once was in love
But the moment has now faded away
With nothing but dreams it is made of
And now I pour my heart onto the page
So I shall not forget
My love, flown away to the heavens
This poem consists of two stanzas each of four lines, with different couplet rhyming schemes; hence I personally think you should’ve left a little bit of space between the two since they tend to somewhat interfere with each other if read as “one single stanza of eight lines.” A few commas in the first few lines at appropriate positions could’ve made it sound and “feel” better, but that’s just me nitpicking. The length of these lines are not in symmetry making it sound a bit off at places. Like, for example the third and fourth line are almost the same in length, but instantly after that the fifth line is much more longer as compared to the sixth line. Either follow “one long and one short” or “only long” lines to maintain symmetry in your poem. Unsymmetrical poems have a tendency to go out of rhythm.
Other than that, the poem does a good job in expressing the main emotion and has a tendency to resonate with the reader; which I think was your main objective.
I steady my shaking arms and raise the sights to my eyes. The barrel tip brushes a leaf, brittle from autumn. Raising his antlered head, the stag glances towards me. Alert, he steps forward twice. Two steps before falling to the leaf-littered ground. In a ever-growing puddle, he lay still.
Oh, I will. Gonna make me some sausage.
I wait there for him, between the shadow of the soul and the cold numbness of stone. He meets me here once every year. He’s here today, with a handful of flowers. He always looks so sad. My hand brushes his. “I miss you,” he says. “Please come back.”
Nice choice of perspective. The only error is perhaps the first "there", since you use "here" multiple times afterwards.
“That’s it, just one more.”
You hold a silver steel knife laden with blood. Golden sparks pass through the window rails; faintly illuminating the dark blood oozing out of the fist-sized hole in her stomach.
These girls should’ve thought before getting a restraining order against you. You loved them...even more than yourself, but they broke your trust; you’ll make them suffer.
Nice imagery with the flash of light illuminating the blood. Classic horror movie scene. It's a bit much to use both "silver" and "steel" to describe the knife. I know what you're going for, but it's overkill to use two different metals to describe one item... even if they are colors as well. This may be wrong, but I assume the "golden sparks" are from a flash of lightning. Is that correct? Lighting flashes are usually blue, so I got to wondering if the sparks came from another source.
Could be a kid outside holding a sparkler. The cold blade in contrast to the warm flow of blood would be oh so sweet. Or cruel, as you put it. Not quite sure what 'vermilion of the life' means. Care to explain?
Vermillion is like a bright red, and blood gives life to the body. I think he’s just trying to flex by using unnecessarily large words.
Vermillion is originally a French word, so I think that’s why he used it. I think that anything that sounds normal in French and is used in their daily language always sounds complex in English.(Most of the time with the exact same meaning too, like rendez-vous, being used synonymously with meeting in English) If I wanted to impress my English teacher, I would sometimes use words from French in order to show how good my vocabulary is.
Yeah, I had originally described it as being at night but it became a bit too long, so I used golden sparks to inform the time of the event. Ah, yeah that’s a good idea I’ll try and make one more using that.
I wanted to describe the knife as being shiny and reflective, but I couldn’t come up with a good word so I used silver. On second thoughts though, something like “cold steel” or just simply “steel” would’ve been better.
The others already talked about the knife and the sparks, so I'll go into nitpicking mode and tell you that there should be a comma instead of a semicolon before "faintly".
On the whole, I liked the description in the first paragraph, it turned out well. The second paragraph was alright, listing the events matter-of-factly, but it's the first one that would draw a reader in.