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Tiny Stories

There's a precision required of picture book writing that's akin to what one sees in the sculpting process: each idea (and first draft!) a beautiful slab of marble, hacked at and whittled down to reveal a masterpiece.


That's why I love a good tiny word count challenge.


Recently, it was Vivian Kirkfield's 50 Precious Words contest, where my entry got an honorable mention for kid appeal. Hurrah!


I'd wanted to write a rock-paper-scissors story since Tara Lazar's Storystorm earlier this year, but could never quite figure out the full plot. In a Goldilocks 'aha' moment, I found 50 words to be just right for this story:


Papier Mâché

Paper beat Rock again.


“Psst…” whispered Scissors. “Let’s leave Paper in the rain.”


They did.


Soaked, Paper softened.


She sniffled. She dried!


She faced her nemeses —stronger.


Paper covered Rock, forcing surrender.


She crumpled into a ball Scissors couldn’t snip.


“How?” they wheezed. “You left me with glue.


Round two?”


--


Hope you enjoyed that one! I've also been having a creative blast with the #vss365 prompts on Twitter. In a nutshell, they're stories a tweet long from a single-word prompt. Here are some of mine. Follow me on Twitter (@dazzleng) for more.


"#Paint me,”

she said

with a smile so fleeting,

so unforgettable

that its ghost found its way

onto his easel;

& to this day,

haunts

all who see it.


A glimpse—more than enough.


“What smile?” she’d say,

challenging you with eyes

twinkling with mirth,

fading into sadness.


--


When Cupid’s #shot misses,

the arrow doesn’t ricochet,

vanish,

or hit the mind

instead of the heart.


No,

it simply forgets

to split down the middle,

landing one mark instead of two.


--


#Curtailed as her freedoms were,

she took to the skies; where,


flying free,

she soared.


Soaring into the unknown,

she lived.


--


#Accoutred in her armor

of melted dreams forged anew,

she marched into class,

spying an army of young minds

and a teacher half her age.


Her knees creaked.

Her voice croaked.


“Hi, I’m the new kid.”


She burst into laughter.


“Kid. HAH!”


--


Stomp.

Squiiisssh..

Splat!

The #great #grape massacre

stained her skirts,

making them heavy

as the flesh of their feet

split the flesh of fruit.


Stomping,

slipping,

staggering,


she laughed hysterically

—drunk on a thrill

she’d never forget.

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