Ten Word Stories

Yeah, this picture is completely unrelated to the post, but I like it.

This year the Storymakers writing conference was virtual (of course). Yesterday, I listened to a class on using nuance in writing. One of the exercises the instructor suggested was writing ten word stories. So, being the obedient and dutiful student that I am, I composed a few. Some work better than others and with some I explored what a different feeling I got from changing a single pronoun. Anyway, here they are. If you have suggestions for improvement, let me know in the comments.

The ticking clock echoes in our…my empty house.
My day began with bliss and ended in agony.
Your friend request has been declined.
After the accident, my second call went to voicemail.
Unsigned, the papers on my desk screamed failure.
I stare at the papers awaiting my signature.
He slams the front door. Tires squeal. I’m alone—finally.
Trembling with anxiety, I open the envelope and shout for joy.
The question hangs in air between us. Yes, she says.
My father’s shoulders slump. I could offer comfort, but I don’t.
I chamber a round. Almost finished. I won’t miss again.
The monitor line flattened. He is free at last.
The monitor line flattened. I am free at last.
Puzzled, I considered the stranger. “I’m your sister,” she said.
“Can I help you young lady?” “Hi dad,” she said.
Across the crowded room, he mouthed the words: “I’m sorry.”

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