Hemingway is famous for his 6-word story (For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.) While we won’t hold you to that few words, we’d love to challenge you with 150. Give us a complete story, with plot twists and character development, in the same space as an iPhone screen.
Three o’clock! The children would be getting out of school soon; it was time to go. Sheila got to her feet and made her way in her pink fluffy slippers over towards the door. She had never been late for school pick-up, not once in all her life.
Keys – where were her keys? Sheila was annoyed with herself. The children would be upset if she was late. It was three o’clock!
“Where did I put those keys?” she wondered aloud. “I have to go and get the children. It’s three o’clock.”
Agnes came over to her, smiling kindly. Who was Agnes again? A niece? A nurse?
“Come and sit down,” said Agnes, gently steering the walking frame back towards Sheila’s armchair with its soft depression. “It’s not quite three o’clock yet. Not yet.”
Casey McDougall says
The double barrels of the gun came through the door first. Leveled at my head. I dropped my beer and it rolled noisily across the floor, spilling out a trail of beer. He entered the room fully, the stock snug against his shoulder, one eye closed, the other staring down the barrel. He swung the gun in a slow arc around the room.
“Where is he!”
I heard another beer drop and roll.
I wasn’t the one.
I exhaled slowly, and stood, inching closer until we stood side by side, our shoulders almost touching.
I spoke softly.
“You don’t want to do this.”
“I’ll kill him. That’s my sister.”
He came in smiling. His hands held high, a clutch of beer bottles in each.
“Who needs one?”
He turned back towards the door.
I reached for the barrel as it swung past.
Beer bottles exploded like bombs.
Rik Powell says
Condensation from the glass pooled on the bar. Simon misjudged his reach and almost knocked it to the ground. He grinned, gripped tight and felt the cold bottle contrast with the warm room.
‘Little early today, Simon?’
‘Hmm? Oh, hello. I would’ve been earlier, Trish my love, however you only open at eleven.’ Simon rocked and tried to focus on the landlady. ‘You look lovely, by the way.’
Trisha laughed, ‘And you look drunk.’
‘Well, someone has to, eh?’ After a brief struggle Simon connected glass to mouth and drained it.
Trish supplied him a fresh one. ‘Not that I don’t enjoy your company –‘
‘Or my money.’
Trish smiled. ‘Sure, but why are you here?’
His eyes finally found the right distance to see Trish clearly. His daughter would have been about the same age. ‘Because, my dear, life is too beautiful to take in with a clear mind.’
Phil Town says
Michael’s first day at the abattoir was even worse than he’d feared.
He’d had the introductory guided tour: he’d heard the screams of the pigs, he’d been shown the vats of blood, and he’d been given a broom. His job? To sweep up the bits that fell off the belts as the carcasses trundled through the cutting room. Then when his bin was full, he’d load it onto a trolley and take it out to the yard, where he’d tip it into a bigger bin. Before morning tea he was red from head to foot, and he hadn’t even brought a change of clothes.
On his way home that evening he vowed not to return to the abattoir the next day, and indeed he wouldn’t have to. As he approached his house, Mrs Taylor’s Rottweiler got a whiff of him, jumped the fence and pounced.