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Five Short Short Short Stories

Updated on January 16, 2012


This is a new venture for me. I hope you enjoy these short, short stories, and I greatly covet your feedback!

The Yardsale

A recently widowed woman, impoverished by her dead husband's poor horticultural investments, held a pre-eviction yard sale. Her lawn sported furniture, clothes, linens, dishes, books and an exquisite blue orchid, in full bloom, priced $1.00. A cardboard box sat nearby, labeled, "Fertilizer - Free With Flower." The widow smiled inscrutably as she watched the young mother who purchased the orchid tenderly load it and the box into her mini-van and drive away. A week later, the younger woman noticed a sticker affixed to the box's bottom. It read, "For Crematorium Use - Contains Human Remains."

Seed Pod

I dive from the top of the tree, spiraling downward, a flutter, a spike, a once upon a time link to the future. Below, children play in the dirt, with plastic babies, toys, dishes, metal cars, pistols, men. One little tow-headed chap observes my landing and picks me up by my bottom, examines me, twirls me around. Then, toothpick fashion, he stabs me into his sister's arm. She cries.

The Greeting

"Good mornin', Mr. Dean! How you been gettin' on?

The greeter, emerging slowly from her curb parked car, was a plus sized black woman with thick glasses, a flashing smile, and support hose.

Dean Bullard, middle aged and system dimmed, sat on the bench by the post office, scraping his nails with the point of a knife.

"Not too bad, Miss Emma," he murmured softly. "Fair to middlin', I'd say."

Then, being a man of few words, Dean put the knife in his pocket, stood up, touched his hat, and shambled down the sidewalk.

Home Repair

Edna was the kind of woman who believed in keeping things up, and that everything should be done a certain way.

Her husband, Milton, left her one clear autumn day, after sixteen and a half years of marriage. He neglected to take with him his tape measure, his toolbox and his power tools, but left behind a half mounted bric-a-brac shelf, not quite centered.

Little changed.

All winter, Edna continued adding to the honey-do list on the refrigerator: re-caulk bathroom tub, put insulation in attic, paint garage, replace mailbox post. Instead of nagging the honey-gone, she became the honey-who-did. She watched DIY shows on TV and worked through her list her damn self. Martha Stewart helped.

Edna, alone now, was pleased with the work.

The Prodigal

His name was William Arthur Linton, and he left his small, Southern town of origin at a young age, having discovered early that his was not an exact fit.. He did not return until his diagnosis of cancer, at the age of fifty-six. With him came a lady-friend from New Orleans, Pascaline Bertrand, a French woman of indeterminate age and tittering laugh, who asserted her identity as a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte. While William Arthur awaited death, he occupied himself giving large parties, coloring Pascaline's graying locks in the back yard with the water hose, and inviting neighborhood children to color his living room walls with crayons.


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    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      Herb, I'm so glad you like them! I consider praise from you to be praise of the highest order! Thank you! Hope all is well your way ....

    • profile image

      Herb Ryan 6 years ago

      Brett, very nice. You're approaching the brevity of "Appointment in Sahara", a feat I've never been able to accomplish...and you're actually getting feedback on your writing!

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      Thank you all so much for your kind comments! Jennifer, I can see us finding such a sale. Wordmasher, your encouragement is is always so genuine, than you. Gloria ... I hope these do even half for you what your stories do for me!

    • profile image

      Granny Gee/Gloria 6 years ago

      I enjoyed the short stories, and I think The Yardsale is my very favorite. Very nice.

    • wordmasher profile image

      wordmasher 6 years ago from USA

      These short-shorts remind me of those one-trip salad bar artists who can pack an amazing amount of food onto a teeny, little plate. Enough to feed a family of 6 here. All good, with a nod to the yard sale widow.

    • grandmajennifer profile image

      grandmajennifer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Those were absolutely great Brett! The one about the Yardsale is near and dear to my heart. It brings back many wonderful and fun memories, and also reminds us that our circumstances can change so quickly.

    • InterestCaptured profile image

      InterestCaptured 6 years ago

      keep doing good things : )

    • profile image

      Rachel 6 years ago

      What delightful short stories! I must say, the story of the widow was my favorite. Good job!

    • pjpitts profile image

      pjpitts 6 years ago from United States

      I liked these stories alot! I liked "Yard Sale" the best. Thanks for the great quick reads!

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      SomewayOuttaHere and rgspruill ... thank you so much for your kind comments and encouragement. You guys are the best!

    • profile image

      rgspruill 6 years ago

      These are wonderful! My favorite being 'The Greeting' Made me think of Mayberry and wonder what the rest of the story would be...

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...excellent!....great approach

      luved them all - yardsale stood out for me!

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      knottlena ... your sweet comment has made my heart just glow! Thank you so very much!!!

    • knottlena profile image

      knottlena 6 years ago from Connecticut

      I too think that these short-shorts are wonderful. I believe that you have definately found your calling! I wouldn't have thought someone could make so much out of so little. Voting up! Great job!

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      DIMIR, JaeWisdom and rebeccamealey, you guys are simply awesome. You commented within minutes of my posting, and you know how eager you are for feedback when you just posted something new! I found a book at the library last week called 420 Characters Stories by Lou Beach. Apparently there is a Facebook group dedicated to stories that fit within the number of characters allotted for a status update. I was quite taken with them, and they've helped me break a barrier in my personal writing. Thank you SO MUCH for your encouragement!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These are great! I tend to be a bit ADD so these shorts are nice for me.My fav is Edna and the Home Repair. I love it when I can actually fix something by myself

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      You are very good at writing the short, short story! I enjoyed them all, but especially THE YARDSALE (so funny) and HOME REPAIR, which carries a bold lesson within a brief tale.

      I hope you keep writing the short-shorts and sharing them with us on HP.

    • DIMIR profile image

      DIMIR 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

      These were really cool. I liked the last the most, I think. It would make a really great writing exercise, and it proves that as a writer you can create with so little! Awesome writing, seriously.