He immediately collapsed, unaware of his loss of bodily control. The foreign entity had disappeared, leaving the trembling man with wide, blank eyes and a trail of saliva down his cheek. After several hours, the man twitched and then spoke: “Wait a second, what the fuck does ‘42’ mean?”
—Grendalia Parthswitch, PhD, USB, VIP III
Harold rolled over in the night and discovered that Abigale was gone. A note pinned to her pillow read, “Harold, I’m leaving you to pursue my dream of becoming a wig maker for Eastern European goth kids. I put a stew in the crock-pot for you. Have a good life.”
—Richard F. Yates
On Mabel’s 84th birthday, her son bought her an army surplus grenade belt. “You a good boy, Jimmy-Bob. I’ll finally be able to cart a hunk of grandpa’s boom-stash without no trouble and without having to run back to the truck after chuckin’ only one or two eggs. Now I can take care of those bastards at the credit union what cancelled my checkin’ account!”
“Oh, ma,” Jimmy-Bob said, “let’s have a bite a cake and some of Cousin Skinny’s moon-shine first, ‘afore you go blowin’ up the town again.”
—Richard F. Yates
“You don’t understand,” he pleaded. “These feelings I have for you are the most intense I have ever felt. My heart pounds, my breath shortens, my palms sweat, my mouth dries, my scalp and face get hot.” He looked at her eyes searching for her compassion and understanding. Surely she felt the same. She fidgeted, and a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Then she turned her eyes to look directly into his.
She exhaled and said, ” I have an ointment for that.”
“So, a very very very short story?” Michael asked. “I am not sure how to even write one of those.”
“It’s super simple,” Rick said placing his tiny notebook facedown on the table. “You just write a story, without characters, details, plot, conflict, dialogue, or action.” He then grabbed his iced Starbucks drink, and took a healthy swig from the straw.
“I think I could do that.” Michael replied.
It came out of the woods just as the pick ax finally hit something solid in the ground; somewhere a woman screamed and soon after he began to slowly remove his mask; a cat hissed and the earth began to shake; in the distance, police sirens wailed and he wondered if he really was her father; the mysterious ship hovered above and only 8 seconds were left on the timer.
—Dr. Krankle P. Instafelonipyheisenrathbergunson-Wu, PhQ, DDF, NAMBLA, S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Knight
“Who killed King Leolinus Expergatius Von Heckensprectch II of Spondomia?” she asked.
He lowered his head, perhaps smiling, perhaps grimacing, and said, “Nanobots.”