My drabble entitled Secretly Broken made it to the next and final round of A Word With You Press’s “One Tight Write” contest, whether on its own merits or due to the random wildcard selection, I may never know. Nevertheless, twelve of us had drabbles selected from out of 144 entries and moved on. The next round is to write a story of only fifty words! I think I do ok at 100, but I start to falter a bit at fifty or less. We’ll see.
Yesterday, I wrote eleven demi-drabbles, as I call them. These are the ten that I did NOT submit:
1. (Just for silliness)
“Mummy, there’s a dragon under my bed.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and sigh. “Please run downstairs and ask Daddy to slay it.”
“I already did. He said he’s been killing monsters all day long and is too tired.”
“Oh for Pete’s sake! I gotta do everything myself around here.”
2. (Based on a concept that’s been in my idea book a while)
After the barista lost my drink order the third time in one week, I conceded that women over fifty were indeed invisible to society. To test my boundaries, I poisoned the shot puller, and for six years I enjoyed prompt cappuccinos. In the seventh, I switched to jailhouse decaf.
3. (Loosely inspired by Iris St. Clair’s WIP “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”)
Our gymnastics coach, Mr. H, pinned me on the mat and kissed me. He’d been dropping lewd suggestions for weeks. I nearly reported him until Melly hinted he’d done the same to Loser Lisa last year. I used to wonder why everyone hated Lisa. Mystery solved. I held my tongue.
4. (Condensed from a short story I wrote last year)
The gypsy predicted I’d marry a pale-haired man. Foolish me, I wasted my youth waiting for him. I’d have accepted Gino’s offer at twenty, but his dusky Italian looks had disqualified him. Nearly forty years and a shock of white hair later, he asked again. This time I said yes.
5. (A little bit of horror, just because…and my kids were waking up at the time)
The children have begun gathering outside again, their once innocent faces contorted into the blood-thirsty grins of hunters. The new moon will claim one more night of dominion over their altered instincts. Our fortress can’t withstand their onslaught much longer. We should have known something wasn’t right about those vaccines.
6. (For the record, my husband never leaves his towel on the floor.)
“I’ve picked up a million wet towels in the twenty years we’ve been married.” I point to the floor. “That one will be my last.”
My husband blinks and snatches the offensive object from the floor and hangs it up. “As long as I have one more chance, we’re good.”
7. (Dunno, I’m always compelled to write a murder with a twist story)
“How’d you know I’d be here?”
“You texted me to come,” Laura’s companion says, his face rearranged in confusion.
“My husband texted me to meet him here.”
“Uh-oh,” the lovers exclaim in unison.
I drop the smoking gun and hobble away, my 50th anniversary card crushed beneath my cane.
8. (I like “busted” tales too.)
The best man concluded his toast. “Now the hardest part. Brad, I have a terrible secret I’ve been keeping from you. Maryse? You want to tell him or should I?”
“Shut up,” the bride muttered. “Test was negative.”
“I was going to apologize for dropping his ring in the urinal.”
9. (My grandfather has inspired many a tale.)
My grandfather used to say that when the moon was a bowl, rain would soon come. While the lavender skies hinted of gathering supernatural forces, the reclining crescent gave me the needed push to build that ark I’d always wanted. The hard part was getting the animals to believe me.
10. (Admittedly the lamest of the bunch, inspired by my messy desk.)
I thought I needed to simplify my life. I purchased legions of books and tools to assist me. When I needed a system to organize my simplification aids, I figured I’d misunderstood the basic tenets. I took a how-to course, and six weeks later, I’ve re-embraced the complicated and convoluted.
I’ve sent in my submission, which will be posted on a no-name basis sometime during this weekend. I won’t be able to say which one is mine just yet, but please read all twelve finalists’ entries if you can. As I write this, two are up already.