Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: 200 Vs. 40 + 2

“What’s your favorite battle, Lo? You say you’ve served so many.”

“Oh, I have. My favorite would have to be this one on the coast. Joy and I built up a mean reputation on the coastline. Captains had nightmares about us. So when this standoff happened we traveled down together. One side had over two hundred troops, while the other barely had forty. We signed on with the forty.”

“How many made it? How bloody did it get?”

“It was bloodless. They gave up as soon as they heard both of us were on the side of the forty. We won without one head rolling. Innocents were saved.”

“And that’s your favorite memory of battle?”

“Oh yeah. I got paid in advance.”

Friday, January 30, 2009

55 Words is the Minimum and Limit for Pen Pricks Submissions

“55 words? 55 words?!!” John punched the keyboard. “That’s not even a round number! Not 50? Not 100? Not a range?”

He paced around his room.

“Intensely arbitrary! Ridiculous! It insults the author!”

John huffed. He went to the mailbox.

On the way back he had 49 words about a rabbit making her magician disappear.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Practical Werewolf Defense

The werewolves promised blood. Most townsfolk panicked and made silver bullets.

Dixie scoffed. “Melt down Nana’s silverware? For furries?”

Even skeptics rigged their yards with barbed wire.

“Not on my Kentucky blue,” she said, driving home from Target. “I can handle pups.”

When they howled at her door, Dixie switched on her new vacuum cleaner.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: It was his turn

“Magician vanished in front of a full house. Been missing ever since,” Gordon explained, opening the interrogation room door.

“Only have one suspect. Got motive, but won’t say how she did it.”

On the stable was a white rabbit, sitting on a black top hat. When the detectives looked in she chewed her carrot sardonically.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: To each his own triceratops

What do you do when you wake up and your street is overrun with dinosaurs?

Pedestrians crashed when the hadrasaurs herded. The cops tried shooting to scare off an allosaurus. It went so poorly it got on TV. Mom had a nervous breakdown, the most popular response.

To each his own. I got a saddle.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pen Pricks Week

In 2008 a small site of microfiction rose and fell. It was Pen Pricks, devoted to stories of 55 words. Not one more, not one less. It drove me insane until I submitted to them. They promptly went out of business. I take full responsibility.

So for the rest of the week I'll post the three stories I'd intended to submit, and on Friday there will be a little bonus 55-worder that they probably wouldn't have appreciated.

This little form; what a sad little country, without territory or name.

I guess we’re still looking for a name for micro-fiction. Ignore that we can’t agree if it’s under a hundred words, exactly 150, a few hundred, or between 500 and 1000 words long – we don’t know what to call it. That’s a peculiar problem for a thing that can be identified by a word, like “micro-fiction.” Normally you consider that sort of thing named.

I like “micro-fiction,” but I guess the publishing industry is worried novels will be replaced by macro-fiction.

Super-short-stories reminds them of spandex.

Flash fiction makes me think of sticking a book in a photocopier.

I once had a professor walk into a classroom shaking his butt and singing, “Who writes short shorts?” Ironically, he went on to write Smart People.

If I can’t use “micro-fiction,” I guess I’ll go with shotgun fiction. I don’t know where it came from but I know that’s what I called narrative bathroom monologues when I started typing them out. It’s catchy, because anytime you’re in a room with a bunch of pent-up readers and somebody mentions any kind of gun, thoughts are going to happen. Attention is had. A shotgun has the one blast: stick in the shot, close the barrel, pull the trigger and bang. No extra rounds in the chamber, very few words, and the limit of only hitting whatever point and story you can hit with your rock salt prose. The worst drawback I can think of is somebody naming his micro-fiction sequel “double barrel shotgun fiction.”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Sandwich: Bread Vs. Meat

It’s true that if the bread is poor then you can pick out the meat and eat it, but seldom are a few slices of turkey satisfying, and eating straight sandwich meats does not a sandwich make. The bread is clearly superior because if it is good you can dump the meat in the garbage and rebuild a better sandwich with your remaining wonderful bread. But if the bread is poor? Then the whole sandwich adventure is doomed. No one wants to carry limp slices of processed turkey in search of new bread. The bread is the foundation of the sandwich, and hence the bread is more important than the meat when you embark in sandwichery.

Bob bless you.
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