• 55-Word Story Rules

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 3/3/2021

    55-Word Story Rules

    All stories have to be happening someplace, which means they must have a setting of some kind, even if it's the other side of the universe, the inner reaches of someone's mind, or just the house next-door.

    Characters can have infinite variations. People, animals, clouds, microbes. Anything.

    By conflict, we merely mean that in the course of the story, something has to happen. The friends argue. The deer flees. The astronauts wait in anticipation. Even in this last example, something is happening, even though no one is moving or talking.

    There is conflict, which leads us to: 
    The outcome of the story, known also as the resolution. This doesn't necessarily mean that there's a moral ("Justice is its own reward," "In the end, love triumphs"), or even that the conflict itself is resolved. It may or may not be.

    A few other important points to keep in mind:

    • You can write about anything you like, but you can't use more than 55 words. Yes, you can use fewer if you'd like to, but we don't know why anyone would--don't shortchange yourself even more than we already have.
    • And what, exactly, is a word? Simple. If it's in the dictionary, it's a word.
    • Hyphenated words can't count as single words. For example, "blue-green dress" is three words, not two. Exceptions to this are any words that don't become two complete free-standing words when the hyphen is removed, like "re-entry."
    • Also, please note that your story's title isn't included in the word count. But remember that it can't be more than seven words long.
    • Contractions count as single words, so if you're really seeking word economy (as you should be), keep this in mind. If you write, "He will jump," it's three words. But if you write, "He'll jump," it's only two. Very economical. By the same token, any contraction that's a shortened form of a word is also counted as a full word. Like using "'em" for "them."
    • An initial also counts as a word (L.L. Bean, e.e. cummings, etc.) since it's basically an abbreviation of a full word. The only exception is when it's part of an acronym like MGM, NASA, or IBM. The reasoning here is that the wide use of these acronyms has in effect made them into single words.
    • Remember that numbers count as words, too, expressed as either numerals (8, 28, 500, or 1984), or as words (eight, twenty-eight, etc.). But keep in mind our hyphenated-word rule. "Twenty-eight" is two words when written out, but only one when expressed as 28. Don't cheat yourself out of an extra word that you may need.
    • Any punctuation is allowed, and no punctuation marks count as words, so don't worry about being miserly with them if they work to some effect.
    Comments (-1)
  • Manuel's Ill-gotten Gain

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 2/20/2014

    “Judge Miller, sir?”

    “Yes.”

    “I’ll be leaving your service, sir.”

    “What…quitting my employ?”  How?, the judge wondered, but only managed, “What will you do?  Where will you go?”

    Manuel, hadn’t thought far enough ahead.  “I been savin’ up, sir…I’m…I’m startin’ on my own.”

    The hesitation told all.  The judge knew he hadn’t paid that well.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Sartorial Adjustment

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 2/20/2014

    “Hi.  Welcome to ColorStylesTM…” expectantly.

    “Billy.”

    “Welcome, Billy.  What brings you to ColorStylesTM?” 

    “Judge…I mean, Doc said I need a change of attitude.  Says changing my look would start changing my attitude.  I’m not sure I…agree.” says Billy, sheepish and annoyed.

    “Well, you look ready to be made over.  Let’s start with that red sweater.”

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Fall Story Contest Entries

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 12/12/2013

    Sleeves

    by Sophi Corizzo

    I sing the songs of the deep as I make my way out.  Throw everything in my bag, no take-backs. Run.  Run.  Run away.  Away from this evil in your soul.  And I almost forgot my heart, but I realized it was on my sleeve, always.

     

    Lightning

    by Julia Quist

    The rain falls from the crying clouds in loud crashing sheets.  I spread my arms wide as I twirl like a tornado.  My hair whips in my face stinging my rosy cheeks.  Roars of thunder join in the fun, bringing illumination to the sky.

     

     
    The Path to Fall

    Nicholas Martinez 

    I walked the path, leaves spinning slowly down to the dirt. Sunshine coming through the trees, oh so dimly. Many beams of light fell upon one spot in a shape of a spotlight, only shining upon a single maple leaf. That one spotlight surrounded by stones, I thought to myself: what a wonderful world.

     


    Resting Place

    By Camille Pereira

    Hanging in suspense as I envision my final resting place.  Cringing at the thought of drowning in the gutter, or being harassed by the bustle of trick-or-treaters. Watching those who fall before me get trampled by the herd.  A gust of wind blows and I slip from the branch’s grip, and fall towards my end.

     

     

    Fall

    Emma Jo Duddles

    Fall is abstruse in life

    From the autumn colors so rife

    It’s as if it were on an endless quest

    Traveling the world without any rest.

    But the effulgence will sometimes fade.

    And the white will hide the jade.

    For next fall, we shall wait,

    And always be seeking the next fall’s date.

     

     

    The Circle of Life

    By Julia Gehring

    In the summer, I’m waiting.  In the spring, I’m growing. In the winter, I’m resting. Fall, though, is my season. I’m alive! Colorful! Swaying, drifting. Then, it’s my turn. Slowly, I fall, say goodbye and sit in the gutter, waiting for spring, so I can begin again.

     

     
     
    Note Dancing

    By Linda Salinas

    As I looked at the music sheet smiling I saw the notes dancing to an intricate and beautiful dance.   I looked away for a second for someone had called my name, but when I turned back, the notes were back into the sheet.  All that was left was one note that fell on my palm.   

     

    That One Hole…

    By Anonymous

    I fell down a hole.

                It was ever-darkening, as you fell, you saw symbols from every generation and people.

                Eventually, I hit a cold metal plate.

                There was a door nearby, in the floor--I opened it.

                Behind it was a ledge, and looking over, I saw…

                …the same hole I fell down.

     

     

    Nature!

    by Madison Sherbahn

    A baby deer galloping in the forest, trying to find a friend.

    A baby deer galloping in the forest, trying to find its way home.

    A baby deer galloping in the forest, BANG!

    A baby deer left fallen in the forest.

     

     

    Fall Leaves

    by M. Sherbahn

    The change color and fall from the tree.  They dry up, and crunch under your feet.

    But you better save one before fall is done.

     

     
     
     
    I’d like to call it Nature

    by Savannah Phipps

     

    Amidst the forest I sat high

    For years I survived here

    I was the best of them

    Now after all these years

     I’m being hunted

    They approached me

    And circled me

    Chattering all the while

    One of them hefted an axe

    And cut at me

    I fell in agony

    My years as a tree ended

     

     


    Fallen

    by Kennan Garcia

    Every day you don’t hear about a fallen soldier’s that died for our country.  But all you do hear about is how much better a superstar is getting.  They never talk about a fallen soldier in battle, fighting and getting killed for our freedom and for our safety.  But I salute to our fallen soldiers and veterans.

     

     

    Fall

    by Devan Woodrow

    Falling down like leaves, or even like trees.  There he goes.  Down like a waterfall, or even water rising.  Flying like a bird. With its eyes closed. And going, and going. Falling down like rocks and glass from buildings.  Still up there? Down like planes, or like choppers, or like splat!


     

    Upside Down

    by Jake Meyers

    I wait in anticipation for when it’s time.  I’m going to do it today.  I’m going to shine, but life gets in the way as it usually does.  When I’m ready, it’s too late.  As I realize my mistake, my hope has fallen.

     

     

    Fall Roars in Like a Tiger

    by Ebony Bryant

     The bright refreshing colors of spring begin to melt away.  Ever so slowly autumn transcends on Mother Nature’s canvas.  Leaves fall lazily as the cold breezes break through the sky.  Holidays and festivals roar through the streets as fall as around the corner.

     

    Fall

    by Michaella Amamillo

     I’m glowing.  A freshly crisped green…wait, I’m fading.  Ombre maybe?  Guess it’s the new style.  I’m yellow now! I don’t think I like this color.  Orange now!  It’s getting kind of warm—AGH!  I’m sunburnt and now I’m red!  Oh, I remember…it’s fall!  The life of a leaf.

     

    In Love

    by Carson Kurtz

    After losing the person I care about I wondered if I’d ever fall in love again.  But then she came along.  I’d never seen anything like her.  Her smile and eyes could pierce a man’s soul.  She had my tongue.  I was looking for words but none came out.  I was falling in love again.

     

     

    Oh No!

    by Kayla Grindstaff

    IT HIT ME!  I jump off the couch and go!

    I walk then I run up the tall long carpeted stairs.  I open the wood brown door, slam it closed and lock it.  I sit and squat and then a splish and a splash! 

    EW, GROSS!  HELP ME!

    I had fallen into the toilet!

     

     

    Angelec

    by Angely Tagomata

    One day, she’s happy, joyful,

    Not letting anything get

    In her way.  But the next,

    She can’t stop crying.

    No one knows why.

    She’s just so sad.

    Until the realized,

    She’s fallen in love.

     

     
     
     
    Wonderland

    by A. Colina Tagomata

    She looks so lovely in blue,

    But she doesn’t care about a thing in the world,

    Not understanding life.

    She lies around in the beautiful meadow,

     She’s falling,

     -THUD-

     As she’s on the floor, she says to herself,

     “Alice, you’ve fallen through a rabbit hole.”

     

     

    Freaking Mr. Milton Out

    by A. C. Tagomata

    Just singing my song,

    “3 little birds, sat on my window

    And I don’t need to worry.”

    Then BOOM! Julia comes out of nowhere.

    Pushes me, and eats the birds.

    I’m falling.

    I’m dead.

    The End.

     

     

    Horrid

    by Daniel Weaver

    As I walk into the room, my mom yells, “DANIEL, GO PICK UP LEAVES.” 

    I yell back, “OK.”  At the top of the yard, I remember that I should bring a rake with me.  While walking down to the shed I see leaves falling.  As I survey the yard I remember why I hate fall.

     

     

    Trolling


    By Brian Choi

    Thunder silences the heavens,
    as the presence of the king shatters the peace.
    Kingdoms raise their armies to stop him,
    but they fall to his allies because they cannot find him.

    For he resides beneath the surface,
    behind a wall once treasured by man,
    while he laughs at the misery he causes.

    He was and is...
    The scrublord

     

     


    Edge of the World

    by Virginia Davidson

     

    "Row, men, row!" The captain rasped.

     "We're going to fall!"

    "It's hopeless!"

    Sailors were reduced to weeping children. Some jumped overboard, some kneeled and prayed, for all the good it will do. They all knew it was futile.

    There is no one to hear their screams as they fall over the edge of the world.

     

     

     

    Do I have to eat this?

    by Collin Faulk

     

    Crunch, crunch, crunch

    I see the leaves fall

    Crunch, crunch, crunch

    As all the kids played

    Crunch, crunch, crunch

    I’m inside while all the kids are playing

    Crunch, crunch, crunch

    You thought that was the fall of leaves

     No…that was the turkey!

     

     

    Colors

    by Caitlin Kaempfer

    Colors!  Inspiration.  Leaves falling wet and damp.  Coldness not felt all summer.  Breezy air.  No more spiders or bees.  Gone. Like the grass covered in leaves.  Colors.  Everywhere, in the trees and on the ground.  The sparkle of the frost, the drops of dew on the leaves.  It all reminds me fall is here.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • The Underdog

    Posted by A. Milton on 12/10/2013
    August.  Unranked.
    Week after week, victory after victory, up in the rankings until,
    beyond belief, the final game of regular season--biggest rivalry in all the realm.
     
    Can they do it?
     
    In the lead, back and forth--will they do it?  Nailbiting, the final second.
     
    Down the field--Done!
    Amazing!!!
    To BCS Championship Game!
     
    War Eagle! 
     
    S. Milton 
    Comments (-1)
  • A Math Story

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 10/2/2013
    The Dreaded Proof Homework Problem
     

    Once I had to prove that segment AC ≊ segment YP; given:

                     C is the bisector of segment AB.

                     P is the midpoint of segment YZ.

                     I couldn't solve it--until the next day, 5th period, when correcting our homework, I heard Ms. Yuckert read every given statement plus:

                    Segment YZ ≊ segment AB.

     
    Ammon Quackenbush 

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Personal Stories

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 9/27/2013

    “Right,” the older man tearfully said.

    The younger man dabbed his eyes.  Taking his leave, he returned to his son’s table.

    “I saw you with Grandpa….you were embracing, and weepy.  What did you say?,” the grandson tenderly asked.

    “I said, ‘I love you.’”

    “That’s sweet, papa,” said the boy. “And Grandpa loves you, too.”

    “Right.”

     
    Author Unknown
     
    Comments (-1)
  • Red Scarf Girl 55-Word Stories

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 9/25/2013

    Mirror Mirror

     

    Mirror mirror on the wall, I'm smart, I'm pretty, I have it all!

     

     

     

    Mirror mirror, down with fourolds! I watch the sign as it crumbles and folds.

     

     

     

    Mirror mirror, my world is dark, why did my ancestors leave such a mark?

     

     

     

    Mirror mirror, I've grown so bitter; the cruelty around me once seemed to glitter.

     
    Virginia Davidson 

     

     

     

     
     
    The Mirror Sees All
     
    White shirt, red scarf
    Each day is the same.
    White shirt, red scarf
    Her outfit does not differ.
    White shirt, red scarf
    her reflection is distorted.
    White shirt, red scarf
    her eyes are now open.
    White shirt, red scarf
    she starts to see.
    White shirt, red scarf
    The girl is no more.

    Kai Sorem

     

     

    I hear my name getting called by my best friend. I watched her worried face come closer. "Ji-li, come on. Come to school now. Someone's written a da-zi-bao about you. Come on let's go." I isolate myself from everyone and everything. Those things said about me are all lies, just like the ones I wrote.

    Rebecca Cooper

      


    I stumbled upon this book.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.
    This horrible person!
    Who would ever do such a thing?
    Invade privacy, take meaningful belongings, cut off pants in public, make them walk home in socks.
    Then I read...the book’s about me.

    Kaila Valenzuela

     

     “Get down!” I yelled.  The stubborn counter-revolutionary would not listen.  I pushed him down.  His old wife runs out with a cup.  Dumb woman.  I kick it.  Something in my head says, “Why?” I shove the thought away.  We wait hours.  Then, Mao wins, capitalism dies.  The main fainted.

    Julia Gehring

     

     
    That dang Ji-li, always getting good grades.  Why can’t she live in a shack like the rest of us? She lives in those fancy apartment complexes.  I’m gonna write a lie about her in my dao-zi-bao about her.  That should teach her…but she moved to...where was it?

    Jonas Habte

     

    Ji-li watches outside on her balcony as an old man gets beat because he refused to give a Red Soldier his bike. Ji-li went back inside and a couple minutes later, she went back on the balcony and saw his wife next to him. And Ji-li felt sick about what happened to the old man.

    Avianna Burgio
     
     
     

    Ji-li, a girl soft as a pillow on a cloud. Delicate as glass. Tears down signs, stores, and land. Wanting to join the Red Guards. She make things new and amazing things everyday. Smashes houses Anti-Maoist. All hail Chairman Mao. Wants to get rid of fourolds. Loving her family a lot. She kills An-Yi’s Grandmother.

    Anthony Vallejo

    Comments (-1)
  • World's Shortest Stories, Contest Winners

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 9/18/2013

    Hide and Seek

    by Douglas L. Haskins

     

    At last he would really show them. He'd picked the very best place to hide. They'd all say he could play the game better than anyone. When they found him, they'd clap their hands.

    The dopes. How dumb can they get? They should have looked here first! It's so obvious!

    Here in the abandoned refrigerator.

     
     

    Chameleon Schlemieleon

    by Patric S. Tray

     

    The Brainiac. The Nerd.  Not anymore.  A midseme­ster move to a new school.

    A chance for a new identity.

    Algebra. First day. First period.  Sitting in the back with the cool people, hoping to clique,

    I finish my exam long before anyone else.

    Doubting my calculations, the teacher grades it aloud: 100.

    I've failed.

     

     

    In the Garden

    by Hope Torres

     

    Standing there in the garden, she saw him running toward her.

    "Tina! My Flower! The love of my life!"

    He'd said it at last.

    "Oh Tom!"

    "Tina, my flower!"

    "Oh, Tom! I love you, too!"

    Tom reached her, knelt down, and quickly pushed her aside.

    "My flower! You were standing on my prize-winning rose!"

    Comments (-1)
  • 55-Word Story Rules

    Posted by Andrew Milton on 9/17/2013

    55-Word Story Rules

    All stories have to be happening someplace, which means they must have a setting of some kind, even if it's the other side of the universe, the inner reaches of someone's mind, or just the house next-door.

    Characters can have infinite variations. People, animals, clouds, microbes. Anything.

    By conflict, we merely mean that in the course of the story, something has to happen. The friends argue. The deer flees. The astronauts wait in anticipation. Even in this last example, something is happening, even though no one is moving or talking.

    There is conflict, which leads us to:
    The outcome of the story, known also as the resolution. This doesn't necessarily mean that there's a moral ("Justice is its own reward," "In the end, love triumphs"), or even that the conflict itself is resolved. It may or may not be.

    A few other important points to keep in mind:

    • You can write about anything you like, but you can't use more than 55 words. Yes, you can use fewer if you'd like to, but we don't know why anyone would--don't shortchange yourself even more than we already have.
    • And what, exactly, is a word? Simple. If it's in the dictionary, it's a word.
    • Hyphenated words can't count as single words. For example, "blue-green dress" is three words, not two. Exceptions to this are any words that don't become two complete free-standing words when the hyphen is removed, like "re-entry."
    • Also, please note that your story's title isn't included in the word count. But remember that it can't be more than seven words long.
    • Contractions count as single words, so if you're really seeking word economy (as you should be), keep this in mind. If you write, "He will jump," it's three words. But if you write, "He'll jump," it's only two. Very economical. By the same token, any contraction that's a shortened form of a word is also counted as a full word. Like using "'em" for "them."
    • An initial also counts as a word (L.L. Bean, e.e. cummings, etc.) since it's basically an abbreviation of a full word. The only exception is when it's part of an acronym like MGM, NASA, or IBM. The reasoning here is that the wide use of these acronyms has in effect made them into single words.
    • Remember that numbers count as words, too, expressed as either numerals (8, 28, 500, or 1984), or as words (eight, twenty-eight, etc.). But keep in mind our hyphenated-word rule. "Twenty-eight" is two words when written out, but only one when expressed as 28. Don't cheat yourself out of an extra word that you may need.
    • Any punctuation is allowed, and no punctuation marks count as words, so don't worry about being miserly with them if they work to some effect.
    Comments (-1)