50 WORD MINI-STORIES :

A CREATIVE WRITING EXERCISE

"True Intelligence?"

An intelligent man spent his life studying, learning everything about everything.

A stupid man spent his life giving love, learning nothing.

The intelligent man died rich and famous - alone.

The stupid man died surrounded by friends.

The intelligent man knew nothing that mattered.

The stupid man knew everything that mattered.

"An Old-Fashioned Long Distance Romance"

I awoke to a grey morning. My heart was heavy, my soul lifeless.

My lover writes each month. Today the letter finally arrived, and colour flooded my day. Emotions stirred my heart. Sparks revitalised my soul. I came alive.

A month now to fade to grey until my next awakening.

"Fifty Words?!?"

What a task I’ve set myself! Fifty words! Now, twenty six different letters in one sentence - that’s an easy thing to do; "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." But fifty words - no more, no less - that’s not so easy. I can’t do it! I give up! Sorry!

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"Computer Dating"

Maurice loved his computer and loved internet dating. Thoroughly logical, he spent months scoring every potential date out of one thousand, cross-referencing virtues and weak points; writing hundreds of emails, analysing their replies. Sadly, he never had time to go out and meet anyone, so he married his computer instead.

"The Faithful Companion"

“Daft old woman,” he cursed at the graveside, “squandering all her money on a stupid dog, instead of leaving it to her loved ones who could’ve used it.”

He left quickly when the rain fell.

The dog stayed by her grave until weak with hunger, pining for his lost mistress.

"Fun With the Beatles (17 Song Titles in 50 Words)"

Hey Jude. Yesterday, your girl Michelle said she’s leaving home.

"Tell me why?"

I’ve got a feeling it’s because you kissed another girl - Julia - the night before”.

We can work it out”.

“Well, she loves you, and all you need is love. Get back with her.”

I will”.

The end.

"A True and Genuine Football (Soccer) Fan"

The fan wanted to see a great game, but it was oh so dull. His team’s striker cheated by diving and claimed an undeserved penalty. His goalkeeper  handled outside the box - another cheat! And a  midfielder broke an opponent’s leg. But the fan’s team won, so he went home happy.

"Strangers Home and Abroad"

“What shall we do on holiday?” Charlie asked Marge. “Sherpa trekking? Camping with the Berbers?”

“Kayaking with Inuits?” suggested Marge.

Charlie and Marge loved cultural adventure; meeting strangers, making new friends.

“The house will be empty - Better tell the next door neighbour,” advised Charlie. “I wonder what his name is?”

"A Deadly Encounter With a Shower Unit Head"

To myopic eyes the shower unit head resembled a cobra, poised to strike.

 

Mistakenly he hit the cold tap—in January. The shower spat icy venom. Shrieking, he leapt with mongoose agility. One hand snaked towards the tap and turned rapidly.

In a second it was over.

He was safe.

"Love"

With love, my mother gave birth and nurtured me.

With love, my girlfriend stared into my eyes, and squealed "Yes!" to my proposal.

With love, my children laughed and squeezed my hand, needing me so much.

With love, my friends mourned my passing.

What love! The measure of my success.

These Little Stories

Many years ago, the Daily Telegraph ran a writing competition in the UK. Their challenge was to write a story in exactly 50 words: not one more and not one less. It's not easy to do, but it's an interesting exercise for any budding writer to try, concentrating the mind as it does on succinctness and clarity of writing. With just 50 words, there is no room at all for unnecessary padding! I made my attempts, and one of my efforts - 'What's an Alien?' - became my first ever published article when it was printed in the British Mensa magazine in 2010. More recently this same piece, together with 'True Intelligence', were published in a Japanese English language teaching aid - to date, my only paid literary work!

On this page I've showcased a few of my 50-word essays. Count the words if you like (some leeway was allowed for hyphenated words). Some are intended to be serious comments on human nature, others are humorous, and one is just an attempt to get as many Beatles song titles as possible into a story.

"The Gambler's Sin"

Satan came in Wilson's dreams.

"Let's play 'High Card Wins'."

"The stakes?”

“Untold riches if you win; your soul if you lose.”

Wilson considered, agreed, and drew an Ace to Satan's Jack.

“I win!” Wilson exclaimed.

Satan smiled. “But consorting with the Devil is an unpardonable sin. So you lose.”

"What's An Alien?"

An aggressive alien creature invaded our planet.

It was ugly, possessing a big nose, pinkish hairy skin, and strange, large feet. It was frightened of us for no reason. It resented our differences. It laid claim to our planet.

This strange alien was an Earth Human.

It called me "alien."

ALUN RHYS GRIFFITHS

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