I took on the challenge of writing three 55 word stories. The idea is to write a story and then cut it down to exactly 55 words. The story has to make sense, have a plot, a setting, a protagonist, etc. See this post from Georgia Tech for the rules.
I took on this challenge with trepidation as I tend to be quite flowery in my writing. I can generally be counted on to employ a lot of words (especially adverbs). So, this exercise was hard for me, but I hope you enjoy these stories just the same.
In the Park
Susan swayed while rock music blared through her earbuds as she power-walked through the park.
At the third turn of the track, she sees movement in the trees. Curious, she investigates, imagining a wounded animal.
Surprisingly, what she thought was a large dog was instead a furry man. Unafraid, Susan comforted him with soothing pats.
Dominic is handsome and rich. He owns a bar where he meets people. Quincy arrives and wants a piece of the action. Offered a choice of splitting the profits or death, Dominic chooses life.
Later, Dominic develops a conscience and leaves the organization. The party is over when Dominic is found floating in Lake Michigan.
Gretchen looks around her empty apartment. Full of sadness at a life wasted, she finally feels relief.
As a tear falls down her cheek, she ponders the unhappy memories of love gained and lost.
Bravely, Gretchen wipes the tear away, smiles, and leaves. She is ready to start her new life as a star journalist.
Each of these 55 word short stories had a different focus. In The Park was meant to have a twist in the story. Chicago Sorrow’s focus was to have a clear protagonist who faces a life or death crisis but has a moment of growth. And last, Moving On was meant to sow a seed that could be turned into a longer short story.
Do you think I accomplished these goals in the exercises? Please leave a comment to let me know what you think. But, please remember that these are my first try, so be gentle.