>> Friday, July 2, 2010
Another classic. I liked doing these short and sweet short story exercises. I'll probably do some more over the course of next week just for fun.
My good friend, David Rochester (who is well worth reading) put up some 50 word stories he had written some time back. Presumably, they were part of a recurring challenge to convey something meaningful in a tidy package of 50 words. (I’d recommend reading David’s far superior work if you find any of these intriguing.) I have done some recurring 100 word challenges before, but I’d never tried 50 word challenges. So I did.
A careless spark and it had burned to the ground, the walls his father once designed, the art his father had created and collected. He wandered through the charred bones of a once great building, eyes dry. No lives lost, but a man’s lifetime lay in ashes at his feet.
He knew her vulnerability, had sensed it at first sight. He had been drawn to her weakness, her susceptibility, and had known instinctively how best to exploit them. Now, she lay beneath him, desperate for him and the soft lies he’d whisper and immediately forget. Tomorrow, he’d find other prey.
He kissed her sweetly, his mouth minty. Instantly, she was taken back to a dark room, trapped below a man so much larger, his hungry mouth hot and wet, filling her senses with cloying peppermint as he filled her young body with unspeakable pain… She had to run. Again.
Thirteen candles. She placed them on the ugly cake she knew he’d love, orange and blue. She thought of cleaning his sty of a room and dismissed it. Not yet. She lit them, thirteen candles. Dead now as many years as he had once been alive. Only then, she wept.
She followed him, they promised, risen from the dead if he could but believe. His ears strained for her footfalls, a breath of sound to reassure his faltering faith. At last he strode into the light, then turned to see her still shadowed shadow slip back into the depths. Forever.
She closed her eyes and felt the wind on her face. Beneath her was the powerful horse she had raised from birth. Around her rode other women, her sisters, as formidable as she was in battle. No one would dismiss an Amazon… “Mom!” She sighed, eyes opened. Back to reality.
Mother and Father, they loved this new creature. The face was small and squished, the head bald. With his finger, he poked the tiny hand. He felt nothing when tiny fingers gripped his. She opened her eyes and gave him a toothless grin. All at once, he fell in love.
I’m not sure what it means that they almost always convey negative emotions. Perhaps it’s just easier to make short works powerful with the dark sides of the force…
Oh, yeah, I'll be back.