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Write a 55-Word Story
Enter Your Short Story into a Contest!
From winningwriters.com: Sponsored by Tom Howard books, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest is hosting its 18th annual contest. Any type of original short story, essay or other work of prose is eligible. Prizes totaling $5,550 will be awarded, including a top prize of $3,000. Click here to read winning entries from the past.
Entries accepted July 15, 2009-March 31, 2010 (postmark dates). Early submission is encouraged.
The reading fee is $15 per entry. This covers your submission of one short story or prose work of up to 5,000 words. Contestants may submit as many entries as they like. Please note: Generally entry fees are not refundable. However, if you believe you have an exceptional circumstance, please contact us within one year of your entry.
From the insistence of my good friend Brenda, I decided to hold a workshop in which hubbers can submit some of their works. Back when I was in college, this idea was given to my class as an assignment. Many have struggled with the assignment but the means did have an end and that end was developing a compact, straight-to-the-subject writing style that editors and readers alike will thank you for. I've been told by the best writing professors to NOT WASTE WORDS. The best tasting food has just the right amount of ingredients, so the best stories should also follow the same recipe. Too many words are unnecessary. By the way, I'm not asking for a lot. Most of us write AT LEAST 50 words when posting on Hubpages forums! To enter, you need only do the following:
1. Write a 55-Word Story
That's right. Write a 55-word in story form, no more, no less. I will be checking so no chearting! Please take the time to check for spelling and grammar (do what I say, not as I do!). And just as in any good story, try to create a plot, develop characters and establish a scene. I realize that it's not easy to do, but that's why we're on Hubpages and not Oprah! Write On!
2. Submit Your Story
It's easy. Just e-mail me your story by simply clicking in contact me at the top right hand corner of this page and send your 55-word story as either an attachment or as e-mail. I'll be sure to then post it onto this Hub for others to comment on. Should you have any questions please ask me.
3. Give and You Shall Receive
So long as you follow my instructions, your story will receive comments by myself and others. However, please be advised to use Constructive Criticism. Please don't throw sand at one another's eyes as it's not very nice! In addition, please respect one another and so hopefully, this HUB will be somewhat of a sweet success for us all! Keep on writing everyone! I'm looking forward to all of your stories!
I couldn't think of an appropiate pic, so...
Untitled by mirandalloyd
"How was breakfast?"
She smiles in response. "Fantastic." Just like always. David leans forward to kiss her cheek and leaves.
Anna dresses. The hidden scrapbook is in her hands. "Man Killed in Tragic Accident." The page turns. A receipt. "Thank You for choosing Paradise Robotics."
When he returns he doesn't know why she is crying.
The Gift by Dohn121
She was going to be late, but he insisted.
“I wanna give you this,” he said. “I want us to start a family.”
She pushes his hand back as tears begin to swell.
“You know I can’t….You know we can’t. It won’t work.”
And just like that, she was gone, taking only a small memory.
Untitled by RooBee
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, letting
his head drop into his palms. Cold, she gave no response. He peered
discreetly through the cracks between his fingers, hoping she’d relent
and look at him. Nothing. Not even now, the last time they would meet
like this. Still, he stayed with her until after they unplugged the
Untitled by Bryan Robertson
Parrying the slashing silver arc Albert reversed, burying his blade.
“You’ll have to do better than that, brother.”
Terry clutched the mortal wound, pajama top staining red.
“Okay, Albert gets the top bunk. God, I hate this machine!” said Dad as he turned it off, the deed erased.
Terry slunk into the bottom bunk, sulking.
Erin's New Home On the Beach by Brendascully
"You can afford it," he smiled,
handing her an envelope,
"No strings?" she asked.
He kissed her tenderly..."It's just a gift,"
"Will you come again soon"
Oision looked at his watch, he was in a hurry as usual.
"We will always be under the same sky"....
And once more she was left all alone
Untitled by eaglekiwi
God is great ,beer is good ,people are crazy! These were lyrics to a song I heard today. A simple melody telling the story of two guys sharing a beer in a bar.Three simple statement we have all heard before, God is great ,beer is good,people are crazy!
Going? by CrisA
Again, he is early. Like yesterday, and the day before that, he has an hour to spare before the train arrives. He looks at the yellowing brochure that says “Edenburgh:The Paradise Destination” and walks away. This time it’s the house, it needs repainting. Probably white? Something always comes up. Always when he’s decided to go.
The Dumb's Tale by fierycj
Everybody called him a dumb kid, even his Mother for god's
sakes. He was fed up, so He walked over to his Mother's drawers, he pulled out
the old revolver in it. He smiled mischievously to himself; now everybody would
know just how much of a genius he really was.
Untitled by saimi_89
"Well, what can I say to them?" Jeda asked Frenrir.
"Say what is on your heart, since that always seemed to work for you when we came out here all those years ago," Frenrir replied.
Jeda nodded and looked at their gravestones, remembering coming out to the graveyard so much after the fatal car accident that took them away from her, yet she had lived.
Sarah by KEckerle
Sarah couldn't bear the sadness on the deputy's face
and sought refuge in the rest room, away from all those sympathetic
In the stark coolness of that tiny stall, the sweet smell of their morning lovemaking rose on the heat of her urine. And Sarah inhaled deeply all that was left of her Brian."
A Moment of Serenity by Useful Knowledge
An old man sits the porch swing and stares at the star light sky. The gentle breeze dances on his ear arousing his senses. The beautiful melody of crickets in the background reminds him of home. For a moment, he is at peace. Then, reality hits as he walks down the hall to room 209.
Testament by SpyderBytes
He turned and slowly surveyed all within His sight. He knew he was
supposed to be certain, yet always there was the lingering doubt.
This time, will things turn out differently? Will His new creation prosper and multiply, remaining pure, avoiding the destruction that had come before?
Screw it, He thought, and smashed it all.
Assassin by SpyderBytes
Amai was certain she could hear the blood sliding down the blade of her
sword before falling gently drop by drop to the white snow beneath her
The man looked deep into her eyes, gripping his gaping wound, seeking understanding.
"Why?" he asked.
Leaning close, as his death approached, she whispered, "I don't know."
The Fire by QueenHelene
Fires burned nearby, the scent of ash heavy on the air. A lone figure
emerged from the blazing bricks and blackened wood beams. White legs
hung limply over the crook of his arm, flimsy nightgown playing lazily
around her ankles, twisting in the hot breath of the inferno. Tears
escaped their singed eyes, falling slowly.
Shane by flavorofair
“I don’t know, baby. You know it’s not because of your work, we just haven’t got anything and last month was just awful,” I said interrupting him.
“It’s all right.”
The tears were choking me on the inside. I took the checks from him, but then tears started flooding my eyes. That’s why I left.
Posse by Wannabwestern
Blinding light. Sweat dripping onto granite. He crept toward the sliver of darkness. Six shooters gleamed far below.
Still as the summer air, he waited. Barely out of range.
Skidding fast, the rocks betrayed him. A piercing scream.
A red tailed hawk circled near the narrow opening.
At last, The way out. Obadiah squeezed in.
I Laid an Egg by nutuba
“You what?” she asked, incredulously.
“I laid an egg on the counter before frying it for breakfast.”
“Shouldn't you call those guys who write about world records?”
Before I could respond, Aunt Ruth dozed off again.
At that moment, my pet chicken Amber hopped in through the window and settled comfortably on Aunt Ruth's head.
Untitled by Dink96
“Wait!” She begged him as the car slowly pulled away from the curb. “I forgot to…”
She cursed silently, knowing they were already late and that he would refuse to turn back. “We HAVE to be on time,” he replied as he pressed on the accelerator.
“But I left the water on in the bathroom!”
Hot Rails by DarkSinistar
The hobo sprinted across the yard, careful not to be seen as he boarded the boxcar. Once again, his escape was almost complete. A sound in the shadows caused him to turn. As the creature lumbered toward him, it took him a moment to recognize his latest victim. The second ghoul was the victim before...
Death of Regret by Anita
She woke again with numbing regret for waking; sadness that the dream had not been true. Mark was alive. There he was, drooling on his pillow.
Her mistake, her idiocy, for marrying him were as alive as he.
There are three of us in this bed, she thought-- me, Mark, regret. One will die.
by Susannah Wollman
“Write it,” she insisted.
“I can’t,” he whispered. “It’s too personal.”
The sun streamed in the window and lit up the paper on the desk. His hand shook. She gave an impatient sigh and tapped her foot. “You have no choice. Sign.”
Tears flowed as he put pen to the paper and signed his name.
For Better or Worse by sharongail
The doctor turns his chair around backwards and looks his patient in the eye. "You can look at this as your cup being half full or half empty, just know she is doing the best she can." The patient held his wife's hand and said "till death do us part." "I'll take care of you."
Fifth Grade Note by stuffabuff
Not sure what to say, she reaches for the pen. She writes down the simplest gesture and pushes the napkin across the table. He smiles and stretches out for the answer. Never has his heart pounded so quickly. On it, the answer was “yes.” In fifth grade, he got himself a girlfriend the note way.
Omega by skaman
The sun was blinding to her eyes,she tried to block it with her hands.The impulse was there but her hands were gone.Panic stung her brain with questions, whats happened to me? Where are they? A dark figure stood over her.The voice, hoarse ,spoke."If I tell you,will you forgive me?"
Please Come Back by Cayenne_Pepper
Mike stared out over the horizon thinking he may never see her again. He couldn't figure out what made her change her mind all of a sudden.
The sun began to set in pale shades. Then out of the corner of his eye appeared a feminine figure, walking toward him.
Welcome to Burger Barn by SpyderBytes
The masked man ran off with the cash from the register. Laura leaned over and picked up the wallet she had seen fall from his pocket when he pulled his gun.
Glimpsing at his ID confirmed her suspicion -- the robber was Ralph, the jerk who had dumped her hours ago! She smiled.
Revenge is sweet.
Untitled by Fredrica Faye Brooks
I look across the table, scream and grab the cell phone. No signal. Tiffany's pleading eyes stare from a bloated face.
"O God, please help me", I beg.
Gently lifting Tiffany's plump body, I stagger to the road and wait. Darkness swirls; and my feet ferry me through endless tunnels.
The Predator by Ann Mason
The dense fog impeded Joe greatly. Bella was trying to flee and stopped
briefly to hear his movements. He was closing in fast. She ran through
the thicket, looking for safety, barely drawing breath. Joe's long
strides gave him momentum. Turning the last corner, Bella dove under
the fence rails, to her puppies kennel sanctum.
Untitled by Alice Clearwater
The light turned on, then off.
He raised his eyes as he felt the hair on the back of his neck raise. It was time.
The unintelligible call came from above. He raised his weapon, said a quick prayer, and jumped onto the platform. He was now more ready to face the enemy than ever.
Reality by Hack Retis
Down the road, at a gas station I see God. With a friendly
smile he assures me a safe journey. Thought God helped everyone, didn't know he
was working personally with me. Looking across the street now; see a new
Not doing too well, I think God used a smut advertising campaign.
Untitled by dansimpson
A phone rings while a couple lies in bed.
"Who was that?" asks the husband after she hangs up.
"No one." She then turns away with a gleeful smile then drifts away to sleep.
"Wonder who called last night," the husband says as the wife grabs the phone and walks into a different room.
Aunt Ruth and the Time Machine
The sign said, “Welcome to Florence, Have a Nice Day.”
“Nice going, hotshot,” muttered Aunt Ruth. “South Carolina?”
The time machine had screwed up.
“Mama Mia,” exclaimed a man, staring at Aunt Ruth. “I must capture this beautiful smile!”
They left together and returned the next morning.
“Mona Ruth,” he sighed.
“Leonardo, farewell,” she smiled.
WOW, 55 whole words! So generous of you! With all due respect, a jingle is 55 words, but a story in 55 words is more than a stretch. Suppose the choice of only 55 words has something to do with our shrinking economy, deflation on the value of words? My own opinion in about 55 words.
On a Walk With My Dog by ugina
Where? by Dheeraji
I was waiting at the pier to see the fabulous sunrise from the Far East.
“Where’s the sun?” I asked myself. It was scheduled to rise an hour ago.
The land remained engulfed by the darkness and confusion rose inside me. As bizarre as it sounds, the sun had somehow disappeared...
“How can this be?”
She is the Rain by dohn121
It only happens when it rains...Thinking of her. She looked into my eyes while lying there in my arms mouthing the words I'd so many times before took for granted. But I couldn't hear her and God knows I tried and God knows I do love her so much everyday...It only happens when it rains
Untitled by Raggits
She had that pert, perky, quick-paced style. Her sun streaked hair
pulled back in a banana clip ponytail, trailing behind as she made
another perfectly timed turn. She worked on instinct; flawlessly,
catching each manifest coded-operation without conscious thought. Her
concentration was obviously very deep, but it just wasn't on her way to work.
The Chase by Illuminatii
The pungent darkness settled around her. Would they find her? She hugged her knees and shivered. Strange shuffling sounds echoed in the distance. Shadows were fast closing in upon her…Closer and closer…Pressing. She closed her eyes and tried not to breath. They were coming! Should she run? Then, they were upon her. “Tag! You’re it!”
Eye of the Beholder by tambourineman
“I’m not crazy,” Eloise pleads, as the givers drag her back to her room.
After the fourth attempt to escape, she slumps into the red velour davenport,
forlorn. “I will find you, Harold,” she weeps, raising a withered hand.
But the needle drip drips Lorazepam and as the drug takes hold, her
lover is lost.
Friendly Neighborhood Bulimic by tambourineman
Rudy’s face knots in concentration, recollecting what he heard leading
up to last November. With great certainty he spits, “He’s a dangerous
socialist like his buddy Ayers!” Decisively, his ears shut tight to the
ramblings of an equally deaf Brian, eager to regurgitate the nonsense
of his left-leaning media pundits. Chances are, they’re both wrong.
Lawn Job by Mighty Mom
They stood together, looking out over the vast
expanse of emerald lawn.
Where Miles saw a metaphor for the empire he’d built on Wall Street, his trophy wife saw …something quite… different.
“Darling,” she cooed, “I simply cannot abide such inattention. Do be a love, and ask Pablo to come an extra time this week.”
Wrap It Up by Mighty Mom
“They’re too short!”
“Are too. See? My ankles show!”
“That’s the style, stupid. They’re Metal Pushers.”
“Nuhn uh. The tag says “Kha-Priss Pants.”
“Fine. Don’t get them. Dress like a contestant on ‘What Not to Wear.’ See if I care!”
The sisters looked around for a referee, but couldn’t even find a clerk.
Here's Mud In Your Eye by Mighty Mom
Leaning across the table, he plucked a popcorn
shrimp off her plate.
“Mmm,” he smirked, chewing as seductively as he could.
She cringed, looking discreetly at her watch. An interminable hour later, she begged
off -- headache. As her taxi screeched away, splashing his face, he was reminded of why it’s called a blind date.
Stay Lady Stay by Mighty Mom
He was beginning to think himself incapable of monogamy. Over the years
there’d been a bevy of colorful beauties, each one lovelier than the
next: their names exotic; their siren songs irresistible; his
wanderlust profound. But all that changed the minute he
laid eyes on Lady Lee. He knew he’d finally met his dream boat.
The Revenged by Dohn121
Motionless, he waited high in the treetop hidden from view. His patience rivaled a mountain. With his finger ready against the trigger of his rifle, his thoughts consumed him: Peter deserved better, Eddie. My son’s innocent, you son of a whore! He fired…CLAP! Eddie screamed in horrified agony then felt his neck—It was pink paint.
Clean Up on Aisle 11 by Mighty Mom
Susan, an expert label scrutinizer, stood thoughtfully perusing the jellies. Low sugar preserves -- or Simply Fruit? Reaching for the “just plain jam” (to complete her comparison), she accidentally jostled an adjacent jar. She watched transfixed as it shattered and spread, making a marmalade mess. The clerk was very sweet about it, seemingly naturally so.
Untitled by AEvans
Approaching the garden gates, Alyssa became frightened by the rustling of the leaves directly behind her, who was lurking there? Her heart was racing as she frantically ran for the iron arches only to find that they were locked, trembling with fear she fumbled through her purse trying to find a key to the gate.
Two For Dinner by RevZ63
Dark night in a bright city, badly lit alley. This was not my usual haunt but I was hungry. I am not a dumpster diver just your average bloodsucker. I knew she came this way to get to her car, alone. She never knew, this was her first time, I was gentle. She is sweet!
Her New Life by theduckie
Sara looked at her mother and shouted, "But that’s what
you want me to be not me!"
Sara's mother looked at her in shock.
"Don't be silly Sara. This is what's best for you…Now get ready to go." Sara's mother walks out of the room. "That's what you think," she says, while watching her leave.
Hot by mystixsprings
Nadine woke up when sunlight and heat invaded
her sleep. She turned on the air conditioner, nothing. She called
Freddie, her landlord, to complain. He said he'd bring a fan until George
could fix it.
Freddie brought the fan, it worked, until it got hotter. Before it got unbearable, George brought the new air conditioner.
Untitled by Duchess OBlunt
Glancing quickly side to side she runs. Blood
pumping, adrenaline rushing, and excited thoughts chasing through her head.
“I can’t miss him again! This is my last chance to find him.”
“Please,” she prays, “Don’t let him get away from me again.”
She runs and vows, this time he is not going to get away.
Smoke by Words Cocktail
Walking into her office was beautiful to me.
Ever since I got to know Tanya, I wished to see her workplace and there I was!
But before I could hold this wonderful feeling of happiness,
I grew faint while being consumed by all that smoke in there...
Oh, I’ve always hated the smell of smoke!
Smoke 2 by Words Cocktail
Yes, I have been here before…With Ashton, thought Jessi. He’s one smoky memory I’ve never been without…Her mind was engulfed with similar smoke, even today. Wondering where this will take her now, she closes her eyes only to reopen them amidst the smoke of a smoldering ashtray at a coffee shop!
Heck! What a daydream!
Faulty Finger Tester by gary777g
I stood on the ladder, about to touch the wires.
"Are you sure the power is off?" I asked
"Yes. I tested it." my grandfather said
"OWWW! I thought you tested it!"
He looked curiously at his fingers.
"I guess these only work for 220 volts now. It's not so good to get old."
Untitled by Chris Eddy
“Don’t touch me!” The woman said. Her high piercing screams shattered the quietness of the dim room. The doctor tried to calm the frantic woman lying on the bed.
“Shh…Shh”, whispered the doctor. He gently placed his hand on the woman’s upper arm. “Everything is going to be ok. This is a perfectly normal delivery.”
Denim Dress by words cocktail
Kelly waited while her mother slowly opened all her presents. Please let it be a denim dress, she thought. One last gift to open…And wouldn’t you know it, there it was! Just as Kelly was walking over to request that she have the dress, her mum gave the dress away to Maya, the maid’s daughter.
Lost Time by Truth from Truth
My eyes burning, I looked over the cliff. There was no time, should’ve already made the decision. The smoke was confusing me now. It’s not like there’s a choice. I would soon be engulfed by flames. I stared down at the river that I would probably miss when I jumped. I thought of my wife.
Left Behind by dohn121
Their Honda Civic turned the corner and regained momentum.
“Turn around, Jake!” Billy said. “I can’t leave my little brother!”
“He almost got us all killed. He got Duke over here shot.”
“You know that’s not true.”
Suddenly, an explosion rocked the entire neighborhood. Both Billy and Jake looked back. The Sunoco Station was burning.
Who Is Minnie Moore? by Nite Writer
It was Chris's fifth birthday! He had hardly slept a wink in
anticipation of the birthday party. They were now singing
Happy Birthday to him...BUT WAIT! Who was this intruder, spoiling
HIS day, honing in on HIS fun???
They finished the birthday song with "...And many more!!!" Chris very confused, asked, "Who's Minnie Moore???
A Memory by Green Lotus
She was 23, she was a looker and she spent the night with Frank Sinatra...
It began with a wild cab ride to the Riviera club in Jersey where she got an earful of insight into the young performer's curiosity and vulnerability.
The rest is there Mom. Write it down, before like breakfast, it's forgotten.
A Love Story by Tammy Lochmann
Longanimous in my desire for you. Salty, sour, and sweet-how can you be so? There you are, let me taste your perfection. You are the paragon of concoctions. I can feel your sorcerous magic coursing through my veins, numbing me. Always there when I need unwinding...My margarita.
Imagine That by MBP42
She sat staring at the screen. It was shocking to see his face again. Facebook suggested they become friends…Like he'd ever know: After all, she was using a fake name and didn't have a picture. His pain-inducing memories would tempt her. She wasn't sure she could resist. He'd never see it coming…Too bad.
Doc by MBP42
Burning creepy crawling all over her skin. The light breeze so painful. Options were limited. Accept doc's advice or refuse it. He was angry she had questioned him. She would love to see him survive one day. Would it change him for the better? The serum was ready was doc? She packed her purse...
The Appointement by a. lohr
I am frightened and so afraid. We are at the doctor's office, for my fate. Will they last-minute change their mind? I am older now, but so are they. I give them love. I give my all... I guess they did decide...
Here is the Vet with the needle to put me to sleep.
Untitled by Seageant Pariah
What spirits haunt this parcel of deserted land? Djinns or worse? Do they watch, crowded at the window? Do they crowd over shoulder? Do they reckon among themselves the sum of my comings and goings? Do they care? I swear I heard them, I swear they closed that door. Nay, not the wind, but them.
A Swan Coach by Amevie Ameline
I went to the lake next to my home.
I'm not very athletic but I was determined.
I decided to run for 30 minutes.
But I ran 2 hours fact.
A swan, ran away from me and I maybe ran 20 kilometers.
If you don’t know if you are athletic person, make a swan test!
Neighborhood's Secrets by Eve Rihouey
_Welcome to the neighborhood, I'm Elizabeth!
_Where do you come from?
_A small town, why do you want to know that?
_Why don't you want to tell me?
_It's no big deal it's just...
Just like that, Elizabeth knows: Maddy has a secret.
Everybody has a secret.
The Man Who Was Waiting by Nadaud
The man who was waiting
He was waiting for something because he had to write something.
A story? A joke? Maybe.
But he was waiting. Something would happen in his head, something will happen!
He doesn't have any idea of what to write!
But have I said you that "he" was me?