Very Short Stories

♦ I popped into WH Smith’s recently to pick up a much needed new pencil case (my old one smells awfully of old curry, don’t ask) and some other stationery things. After all, with Eroticon 2014 coming up, I need to be kitted out to write, write, write (and not smell like old curry).

While there, I found a notebook that’s perfect for taking with me, as well as this interesting little thing…

Very Short Stories - Cover

It’s not, as it first appears, a notebook. It’s a tiny, adorable little pad of post-it notes. I just don’t need post-it notes in any way, but the cover of the pad caught my attention. “Very short stories,” it says. Sure, it goes on to say “about milk, cheese and bread”, but the idea of very short stories wouldn’t let go.

I didn’t need to actually write my shopping list, after all. And the pad was small enough to keep inside my new pencil case, meaning I could write any time. And the longer I stood there, the more I saw the little pad of “very short stories” as a challenge.

Dammit, I could write very short stories in it! I could! And they’d be sexy and tiny and I could make it work. And even if I couldn’t, the exercise was bound to be interesting, worth blogging and undoubtedly very useful for honing my skills at writing bigger, longer stories.

So I bought it. Today, a few days later, I decided to give it a go. I logged on to Twitter, determined to take the first word of inspiration that hit me. What follows is the result (in picture form for authenticity, then transcribed for accessibility). It took me about three minutes, from that first word I used as my muse to drawing the little diamond signature in the bottom.

Very Short Stories - The Coffee Story

“Alone together at last. The long day had led to aching anticipation for this moment. I licked my lips, savouring the view. Strong, dark, patiently waiting for me and covered in cream… I had fantasised about you, but now I worried you were too hot to handle. Taking the plunge, I took you in my hand… And drank you. Thank Christ for coffee.”

And there you have it. Perfect? No. Fantastic? No. But at a mere 62 words and in a mere 3 minutes or less on a theme chosen at random from a word found on Twitter and essentially unedited, I’m quite pleased with it. I’m certainly going to write more of these. It was a nice challenge to keep it ambiguous until the last (calling coffee “he” or “she” seemed disingenuous) and I like the playful idea.

Maybe the Very Short Story (flash fiction on teeny-tiny post-its) will catch on and bloggers and writers everywhere will join in! What do you think, could you write a story on a post-it note? And what are your thoughts on mine? ♦

Want to see the next Very Short Story of mine? It’s called Prometheus.

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