Isn’t it cool how you can do so much with so few words?
I love it. 😁
It started as a mark.
By lunch, it burned, snaking past her wrist to wind ‘round the elbow and onto the bicep.
At day’s end, it spanned shoulder to shoulder, a wide band of flaking grey weeping crimson and cream.
Come morning, she stood,
swallowed head to toe,
in the bark of a ravening tree.
If anyone ever asks me how I get past writer’s block or get myself ready for the day, I’m gonna lead them to these 55-word shorts.
I love ’em.
Dainty girls break too easy.
Which is why, after the effortless snapping of bones
and easy tearing of too-tender flesh,
he craved a Stout Girl.
One with meat on her legs, a heft to her stride.
Pudgy arms, thick wrists.
Yes, that’s the ticket,
as Stout Girl bashed his head with a brick.
Just another little something I wrote – a fairly complete, hopefully intriguing story with a 55 word limit – while loosening the ol’ writing muscles for the day’s work.
I do think I’ll compile these into a collection someday. 🙃
I’ve knitted a shroud.
Or perhaps sewn is the right word.
Dollar store linen and bone-white thread beginning at my purple feet, past my arthritic knees and swollen stomach, onto my weeping breasts and blackened throat.
My knuckles knitting my sins into seclusion and shadow
once the smell becomes toxic,
I will be found.
See? You don’t need a ton of words to tell a good, creepy, screwed up story. Fifty-five words – maybe even less – is sometimes all it takes.
Perhaps I should publish a collection. 🤔
Anniversary. Apartment 1D. The fourth story in Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast.
After the grand scope of Lucky, the gut punch of Bullet and the nightmare of Click, I desperately needed a change of pace. And so out came Marta and Benji and Mr. Peabody. Out came levity and a bit of humor. Characters who share truly horrible experiences with a sense of aw shucks fun. The focus of the story more condensed than the others with the action taking place at a kitchen table during a meal, the narrative driven by dialogue.
Having cut my teeth on screenwriting, I’ve found it helps to shift from prose-driven stories to dialogue-driven stories once in a while. It snaps the senses of the reader, throws the rhythm a bit, and keeps them engaged and on their toes. Plus I suspect they enjoy it when a writer surprises them by landing a playful left hook.
But, as with everything on Eidolon, there’s a twist. And with Marta and Benji, considering it’s their 50th Wedding Anniversary and they’re celebrating it by finally getting their decades-long murder/suicide pact right (with Mr. Peabody’s help) I needed to take the carefree lightness and levity of the story and not only turn it on its head, but paint it darkest black.
I needed to take everything good about Marta’s love for Benji — and Benji’s love for her — and, by revisiting what’s been said, alter the context, revealing the reality to be something entirely different.
Then I needed to allow the building to exact its price. And, in Anniversary, the cost for what’s been done is chilling and haunting and, in the end, sad.
Again, after the grand scope of Lucky (1A), the gut punch of Bullet (1B) and the truly living nightmare of Click (1C), Anniversary, for me, hit the right blend of fun and frightening.
And it was a blast to write.
She watched the stain. “I’ve been bad a long time, I think.” She traced it, running her finger all around the edge. Wondered if it tickled. “I can say that to you because you’re a friend. I think that maybe sometimes I can be sorta bad. Sometimes.”
– Umbra, Eidolon Avenue, Apt. 1D
Jan 2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing
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