The six-word story

I guess there was a spirited talk on public radio Wednesday about six-word stories. The most famous supposedly penned by Ernest Hemingway:

“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”


Funny though, in my research, it’s entirely possible he never wrote it - and it’s grown to urban legend status.
I got asked once, on a Fiction in 58 exercise, how short was short. I know of a prompt site that asks for stories in 100 words and 55 words. The creation of Fiction in 58, for me, was something to test my storytelling abilities. I picked 58, since it sounded cool.
How short is too short? And can you say something bold and meaningful in six words? I think the story attributed to Hemingway answers that easily.
So let’s try a few, shall we?

“Tender kisses,” she asked. “Alas, no.”

Through the static, “End all hostilities.”

“I freaked.” “Why?” “He had scales!”

“Love,” he said, a tossed grenade.

He deliberately pushed; she resisted, earnestly.

Stranded, he prayed for clarity, beer.

“Trust isn’t a four-letter word.”

Tears fall, tissue offered; faith restored.


Shadow said...

you go! them's good.

The Lost Book said...

I love "'I freaked'". For me, that does the same as "Baby Shoes" - it forces me to imagine everything that's led up to it.