Who doesn’t like a good story? There’s nothing like curling up with your favorite book, or eReader (still seems weird to me), and escaping into a world of rowdy cowboys on the cattle drive, a conflicted detective trying to solve an impossible case, or the desperate struggle for existence as the people of the planet Zilfho battle their imperialistic overlords, the Hicputis.
Short/flash fiction, sometimes called micro-fiction, is becoming more popular these days as people find they have little time left in the day for reading. This isn’t a new idea. My book shelf has several volumes of anthologies that contain short stories. One of favorite writers, Edgar Allan Poe, was known for his short stories, as well as his poetry.
I enjoy the craft and skill that it takes to write a short story. The author must make all the pieces to fit with the least amount of words. It’s the epitome of “doing more with less.” The more frugal the writing, the more difficult the task. Some writers can even write a complete story while only using six words. That’s right, six words.
What fascinates me about a six word story is the relationship between the writer and reader. The point of view and the task of storymaking is shared. The writer provides the catalyst, the middle, and end of the story and the reader fills in the details from their imagination. One six word story, complete with beginning, middle, and end, has the potential to yield an infinite number of stories in the minds of readers.
Here are some of my favorite six word stories.
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.” – Joss Whedon
“With bloody hands, I say good-bye.” – Frank Miller
“It’s behind you! Hurry before it- ” – Rockne S. O’Bannon
“The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.” – Orson Scott Card
“K.I.A. Baghdad, Aged 18 – Closed Casket.” – Richard K. Morgan