The challenge is to write a complete story in exactly 81 words.
You can see how other people have done and rank their stories. Can you do better?
Why 81? It’s just long enough to allow for a story to develop but short enough to mean every single word needs thoughtful weighing. Mostly though it’s just a nice number, ask a mathematician.
Scroll down to read stories, or register / log in to vote and submit your own stories.
The Love Seat
“That’s it. That’s my dirty nurse.”
She slips the scrubs down, around her waist, lays her perfect body in the perfect light of her love seat. That little lace thong. That small excuse for a bra. She looks like sex should look, he thinks. Not the kind that makes love, he reminds himself, but capable of making a love lovemaking only wishes to.
The cold window he watches her through each night, through her own, fogs as he leans in closer.
In the Drink
Edie tried not to panic, and recalled her swimming teacher’s advice:
“Head down, pull your arms through, breathe every other stroke”
However, the consistency of the sticky beer was more viscous than any swimming pool she’d experienced. As she disappeared beneath the surface, Edie was suddenly grabbed from the tank to safety.
Instantly relieved, she recognised her boss’ voice:
“Good. That’s everyone out. The brewery insist on these Health & Safety Assessments, but frankly, I think they’re getting out of hand.”
“Mummy, close the curtains, please.”
“Don’t you want to see the lights?”
“No, the lights are bad.”
“But you like to watch them run around the wall.”
“No, I don’t want the headlights.”
“You funny boy. Why don’t you want to see the lights anymore?”
“Mrs. Johnson said a lady is coming to the school tomorrow, and she’s going to look at our heads. And if she finds headlights, she’s going to cover us in white powder and send us home.”
Miracles Don’t Come Easy
The cart hurtled too fast through the busy marketplace, a woman smiled with her eyes at a young lad then was struck down. The lad knelt by her, unseeing a crowd forming, felt the love and light of the universe enter his heart, stream through his hands as he touched the woman. Love is all. The woman rose, unharmed, the crowd was in uproar, clamouring to get to him, wrenching, demanding.
Dusk that night, Jesus left home to follow his path.
She looked across the bar. She couldn’t find her friends, in her current state that seemed of no importance. She’d find her way tomorrow. Tonight was about living, feeling, being; not introspection.
She caught his eye from across the smoky room; timid he looked away. This would be her prey, tonight’s salvation.
She lifted he drink to her lips, circled her tongue against her dry lips and stared into her preys eyes. The night’s end beckoned; thick with sweat and salivation
Nick almost called Alice back to demand she explain herself; pinpoint when her feelings had changed, and what he may have done to sway them in the wrong direction. He knew better. Relationships failed without reason. If ever one wanted to prove the existence of magic, Nick knew they needed to look no further than the scene of a break up; witness the way in which people vanished from each other’s lives as if via the wave of a mystical wand.