I’ve had this idea in my head for a while, but I didn’t know where I’d actually go with it. I was thinking of writing up some kind of army story, but I don’t know enough about the military to write something that hasn’t already been done. Instead, I decided to work on my long, David Foster Wallace-like sentences. I noticed in many of my stories that I tend to write the same kinds of sentences over and over again. I never push the boundaries. I want to change that. Does this one-sentence story work? Would you rather it be broken up into many sentences? Do you want to try and write a sentence with at least 100 words?
I was only following orders, said the young private, who stood before the emotionless judge, while the jury, who couldn’t remove the images of the small, burned bodies from their minds, thought it was ironic that the jury was going to determine his fate; he knew it was sealed when he signed up to go fight; he thought, as he stood, unaware his legs were trembling, he was born to fight, which meant long before he decided to pull the pin on his grenade, before he heard the screams of the women and children, before the silence set in, his fate was already set in stone, which also meant that there was a God, and if there was a God, he could be forgiven; however, he wasn’t looking for God’s forgiveness; he wanted the children he murdered to forgive him, knowing damn well he wouldn’t get one; he decided when he was given his guilty verdict he would not apologize for his actions.
Sorry for the delay! Here’s the second part to the last post!
I decided to finally try during one of these races. I was off to a good start, but I couldn’t keep my balance as I flew down one of the hills along the bike path. I felt my handlebars shaking and knew I was going to go flying. I hit the front break by accident and went right over the handlebars. My friends said I slid at least ten feet on the asphalt. I screamed as loud as I could when I saw the blood dripping down my arms and legs. My elbows and knees were completely scraped up.
When I finally got back to my house, my mom freaked out. She yelled for my dad and frantically asked what happened. “I fell,” I said. She rolled her eyes. “Again?”
My father heard me sobbing in the kitchen all the way from his bedroom down the hall. “Come,” he said. My cries grew even louder. I’d been down this road before. He had a bottle of peroxide in his hands.
“You’re going to need gauze strips.”
“But, Dad!” I yelled!
“Regular band aids won’t work, Nick. You really did it this time.”
“But, Dad! It’s going to hurt when you rip them off!”
I was a big cry baby back then, but my father was right: the cuts on my arms were filled with dirt and rocks that needed to be cleaned out. I would have rather dealt with the infection. The stinging was unbearable. My father always told me to be careful, and I would listen, but every time I didn’t, I paid for it. Every part of this process hurt.
Ripping the gauze off was next. As soon as I started feeling good, that was when we knew it was time. “Take a deep breath,” he said. I feel partly responsible for his hearing issue.
This is a short, slightly exaggerated memoir piece. Anyone who knows my friends and I knows that we used to go all over our neighborhood on our bikes. This is also the first part of a two-part story. There’s a little bit more substance to these, so I’m spreading them out. Be sure to pay attention!
I was racing through the streets of Farmingdale, New York with my friends at the time. We often tried to beat each other to the end of the block; however, we sometimes had marathon races around all of South Farmingdale, where we would start at the local park and drive to Boundary Avenue (a busy road which required us to ride in single file on the sidewalk, so positioning prior to reaching the road was significant), then go down a hilly backroad that went along the Bethpage State Parkway bike path, up another steep hill to the west on the Farmingdale/Plainedge border, and then back around to the park. In other words, it was a giant, horribly-shaped circle similar to what a four-year-old could do at preschool. I always remembered “Slow and steady wins the race,” so I would try to pace myself because I often saw my friends tire out right at the very end of these long races. The reason, though, why I saw them tire out right before the end, wasn’t because I was watching from the finish line, but because I came in last regardless. I always underestimated what my friends were capable of; I never learned that if I wanted to get better, I would have to try; I couldn’t rely on my friends to let me win. That wasn’t how life worked. “You’re ten now, Nick,” my father would always say. “You have to start doing things on your own.”
I was originally going to post these stories as a three-part series, but they aren’t all that suspenseful; my intentions were for the reader to read them all together. I think it works better like this. Write your own three short stories like these! Make them all connected to each other. If you want, give yourself a word-limit to make the prompt tougher.
He walked happily in the little pen on the farm down the road. There was a small mud pit to roll around in, a nice hay bed to sleep in, and a fresh supply of food and water. The old farmer acted as if it were an honor to be taken out of the woods. He had lost his mother and father in the process at an early age, but he knew that one day, he would find someone just like her, and be the pig his father would be proud of. He fanaticized about playing with the other pigs in the woods as he listened to them rattling their cages from across the room.
No one saw the bullet coming; it was a perfect shot. Their heads exploded like water balloons. The old farmer used his old M1 religiously. He said a prayer before and after every shot, asking for forgiveness, thanking the Lord for a quick and easy death for the animal. In this case: animals. The shot went clean through the mother’s ears and into the father’s heart. It reminded the old farmer of JFK’s assassination. Their baby, covered in blood and gore, tried to run away, but he was already cut off by the howling dogs.
The pig, now grown up, who’s old enough to understand what really happened to his parents, seems to have finally been given his wish. He assumes the farmer is giving him mercy as he unlocks the gate. For the first time since being captured, the pig is allowed to walk on the grass outside the pen. The young farmer ties the pig to a fence post across the property and stops inside the house to grab something. When he comes out his face looks more grave. His body is more slouched over. The pig, who hadn’t realized before, saw the old farmer’s face in the young man’s. Most pigs don’t realize what’s about to happen, but this one recognizes the M1. The young farmer did a great job maintaining it. He ties the rope tighter, then pulls the trigger.
Sorry for not getting a post out yesterday! I’m hoping to get back on track with this. It’s a little different from what I’ve been posting. This is a one page (double spaced) play I wrote for the same tiny text class. I loved this assignment because it forced us to make every description, every line, and every word count in order for it to fit on the page. These kinds of assignments are great for anyone who has trouble cutting their work down.
NICK is running late for work in Queens. He lives in Farmingdale with his father, who is a retired, New York City public school teacher. NICK grabs his clothes and goes to take a shower.
Dad, is it going to rain today?
Well, let me check. It could be fine here, but you never know in Flushing. It’s always changing.
FATHER realizes the TV remote is missing. NICK prepares his lunch and bag in the kitchen.
What did you do with the remote?
Nothing, I’m in a rush, Dad! Don’t worry about it; it’s fine!
Just hang on. You’ll get there on time. Do you have an umbrella? What did your mother do with the batteries? Mumbles to himself: Always fucking around; nothing is ever where it belongs.
No. But traffic. Dad, It’s 2:15. There’s always traffic. Dad, please! I have one in my car.
She always does this. She must have taken it. Let me check my room. You need a jacket. Make sure you have your books and a lunch. You two always forget everything. I can’t keep doing this.
Hey everyone. This is the follow up (it was part of the same assignment given in class) to the previous post. Again, the title is the prompt. The idea with this and the last post was to write short pieces with only one sentence paragraphs.
A Place You Once Lived
I lived in an upstairs apartment on 28th Street in Astoria, Queens.
I hesitate to use the word lived because I moved when I was four, and I didn’t have enough time to remember it.
I’m only twenty-four now and I still feel like I have only just begun to live.
One day, I’m going to go back to my roots, and I’m going to bring my girlfriend with me.
Hopefully, it will never be a place I once lived in again.
This is another small flash fiction piece that I did in class. The title is the prompt. Write your own stories in the comments below or email me. I would love to start showcasing all my followers’ work here! Make it as long or as short as you want! Here’s mine:
A Place You Are Just Passing Through
A small town is filled with a million different things going on.
It seems uneventful, because I’m only passing through, but it is its own universe for some.
Everything they will ever know and love is there.
They could be coming Home.
It deserves to be looked at more closely.