50 Words

October 23, 2006 | 5

Digging through some old files on my computer I found a document called “50 Words” that contains a couple of tiny stories that I wrote several years ago. They were meant to be for a little collection that a friend of a friend was putting together in which all the stories would be just 50 words long. As far as I know, though, the collection never happened, so rather than have the stories waste away in the depths of my hard drive, I thought I’d share them. Here they are:

“There’s a difference between a woman and a girl, Jack.” Jack looked dumbly at his knees, hands in his lap, bunching his slacks in his fists. Janet knew he didn’t understand, couldn’t understand, and though she wanted to be the good person, she knew that she had never really cared.

and,

Carl has a fishing rod and tackle. He has large engraved beer steins and four pairs of shoes. He has a steamer trunk lined with green velvet. Carl’s fridge is almost empty, but there is fish in the freezer downstairs. Carl keeps Diane’s pink woolen gloves in his sock drawer.

Feel free to share your own creations in the comments.

created and edits The Millions. He is co-editor of the collection of essays The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, called "funny, poignant, relentlessly thought-provoking" by The Atlantic. He and his family live in New Jersey. If you'd like to correspond, please don't hesitate to email.

5 comments:

  1. I utterly agree with Andrew. These are chunky yarns with much to brood on, yet demand readers only invest a snatch of time. Definitely worth holding onto these Max; shorts could be the future of publishing and modern literature. Mel.

  2. While turning on a dime, thoughts of hesitation and excitement flooded his brain blinking back and forth so often as to confuse anyone. Shouting loud, but not quite confidently. He hollered at the back of a person fading away from him. Would they hear and did he want them to?

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