Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nanofiction in February

Last night I found myself awake late due to caffeine consumption, thanks to my friends at the Haunted Game Cafe, and decided on a whim to revisit Nanofiction, which I'd stumbled across some weeks ago. Nanofiction is a form of microfiction, or flash fiction, where a story is told in exactly 55 words. Each nanofiction story must contain a setting, one or more characters, conflict and resolution. Oh, and the title, which does not count toward the 55-word count, can be up to 7 words.

(For further info and reading, see Andrew Looney's Nanofiction, Number 12's Nanofiction, and Squidoo's Nanofiction Collection.)

Given those guidelines, I thought I'd try my hand. Here are my first results.

With No One To Talk Back
There he sat, surrounded by his favorite things, when he realized that what the company he truly craved was his favorite people. It occurred to him then that he had long ago given up relationships with people for possessions. He hugged his things and wept against them for comfort, and found solace in their silence.

At Least They Weren’t Seashell Implants
If you were a mermaid who lured sailors with her long golden hair, what would you do if it began to fall out? Our intrepid anti-heroine didn’t miss a beat, and raided the kelp forest for hair transplants. The other mermaids laughed, but it worked -- the sailors of these seas having notoriously poor eyesight.

Why You Don’t Horse Around With Teacher
Poor gentle centaur. Tutor of heroes, he desperately hoped to imbue them with wisdom. Ironically for this master of healing, the poisoned arrow shot by one brought him to his knees (literally) and he became a hermit. Later, he gave the ultimate sacrifice. For this, the gods relented, and he retired honorably to the sky.

Of All The Things I Will Miss
As he was falling, wind-toppled at last, the old tree’s life flashed before his eye-knots: The pride and power of being tall, laughter of saplings, and the assured purpose of a sprouting seed. Of all the things I will miss most, he thought, I rather think it’s the birds. Except the damned woodpeckers.

Listen To Me The First Time, Bub
‘But true writers don’t ever retire!’ The interviewer protested. ‘How can you do this?’ The ex-writer replied, ‘All my words are used up; these are my last.’ The interviewer asked: ‘What brought you to this momentous decision?’ The ex-writer smiled and said nothing, but inwardly cringed and thought: You missed the point entirely.

You Could Say It’s a Buzzkill
Cameras flashed like strobes, cell phones sang merrily and idiotically, the smell of too many perfumes mingled. They were all here to see the last of the bees give its final buzz. With all the excitement of the event, no one noticed the small yellow-and-black body flattened on the underside of a sneaker.

Not The M.D. I Expected
The middle-aged woman looked with a weary gaze up to the man in the white lab coat, dark circles shadowing her eyes. ‘What can I do, doctor? My eighteen children run me ragged.’ He shrugged, advised her, ‘Keep only the primes.’ To her puzzlement, he explained, ‘M.D. Doctor of Mathematics. Q.E.D.’

Shouldn’t That Be Obvious?
At the sci-fi convention, geek boy was smitten with unreceptive geek girl. He’d tried everything from Klingon love ballads to origami flowers. Desperately, he tried his trump card. “If the zombies overran everything, and I was the last man on earth, what then?” She smiled sweetly, and said, “Clearly, my dear, I’d eat you.”

You See, Wheat Can Be Reasonable
“Don’t try to frighten us with your dough-raising ways, Head Baker. Your sad devotion to that ancient gentile tradition has not helped you raise the knish, or given you enough filling for the blintz--” The man in the jet black baker’s hat and apron interrupted the culinarian. “I find your lack of yeast disturbing.”

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