Micro Fiction:
Stories in 25 Words (or Less!)

Not a Magnum Opus
Just Micro Fiction

There are writers who assert by their example that stories must be full of words, fat with detail and florid with introspection. In contrast to the writer of the magnum opus (let me use this phrase just this once to mean a great big one not merely a great one) is the story-teller who masters the targeted phrase, precise sentence, tight paragraph. Melville and Hemingway each wrote fish stories but without counting, I'd say that Moby Dick's word count exceeded The Old Man and the Sea's by a bunch.

We Cafe Regulars have challenged each other to write tight. We must compose a complete story in exactly twenty-five words. Micro Fiction.

We've observed that the results are all fraught with mayhem or lust. Perhaps this form requires drama to succeed? Here are a few of our first attempts. If you try try it you'll discover that it's addictive.

Contributions from cafe Regulars and Guests

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Mama stuck up the broom and jabbed the clog. Ash clung to her housedress. “Plenty of room for Santa,” she assured. “Now go to bed!”
(Erin, Louisville)

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Celia loved him. He loved her sister. Sister loved God. So, Celia got him. Still, he’s got a picture of the nun in his wallet.(Mo)

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The microwave blew. Cell dead, no charger. Computer screen froze. Jenna went outside, sat in the grass and watched an ant crawl up her leg.(Mo)

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“Be proud of who you are,” Rose told her granddaughter.“Don’t know who I am,” the girl said.“Then remember this. You are a miracle.”(Mo)

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Butterscotch cat in a second story window. Loose screen. Cat falls. I struggle awake, heart pounding and grab the cat as the screen falls.(Ginger, Belle Center, Ohio)

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A day in the life of a Midge Fly. Swim, meta-morph, fly and die.(R. Albin, Kentucky). (Ed note: extra points for using only about half the word count to tell a complete story.)

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Baby at Spaghetti Factory dressed to "the nines" in Polly Flinders. Spaghetti all down the front. Hurry out so they don't charge for take-out order.(Gretta, Illinois)

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Suzanne walked Charlie to first day in the Big Kids Room. “When you were a baby…” she reminisced. “Shhhh,” he whispered. “I don’t want them to know I was a baby.”(Mo -- 6 word overdraft, will make up in subsequent stories.)

~~~

Her heart said yes. She dreamed of "Blue Beard," and her gut said don't marry a man whose first wife disappeared. She gave back the ring.(Mo)

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Up dark basement staircase slowly, sensing, hearing footsteps. Creeping along blindly, terrified. Light goes on from above. Basement door opens. My husband is home early.(Gretta, Illinois)

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She hit “send” and wondered whether he would care. He called later and cried. “Read your email,” she said; “I can’t talk about it.”(Ginny, Cincinnati)

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After church, Darla said she loved circus peanuts. Later at home, Ray lined up peanuts between toothpick flags and confetti, and imagined their future together. (Erin, Louisville)

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The dog barked repeatedly. Hush, she said; it’s nothing. Let me sleep. The back door opened slowly. A stranger entered and went upstairs. (Ginny, Cincinnati)

~~~I never kiss on the first date, she said. The man she had been waiting for all of her life made her forget her vow. (Ginny, Cincinnati)

~~~

She said she’d kill him if he hit her again. He grinned, knowing her. When she pulled the pistol, he smirked. Then doubting, Thomas died.(Kathy)

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She'd planned it since the honeymoon. On their anniversary, he choked on a bone and gestured frantically. He knew she knew the Heimlich. She watched.(Mo)

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He smelled like cinnamon. His eyes touched to her marrow. They were only 17. But they knew what they knew. And they made it last.(Mo)

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Harry held Cara’s hand. Her breath came intermittently. Tear stains marked his check. She had breast cancer until this minute when the cancer had Cara.(Patty)

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They named their first Joy. She proved dour. Their second, Hope, wore a frown. Charity was mean. Lizzie, they named right, unfortunately for the family.(Mo)

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“Come on. It’ll be okay. . .” murmured Peter. Nodding sixteen year old Chrystal then clearly stopped worrying about the misplaced condom. (Patty)

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After driving fourteen hours, Adriane’s reaction time slowed. Unfortunately, Mac, the catnapping truck driver behind her, had his foot firmly pressed to the floor. (Patty)

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And Here is More Micro Fiction

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