It’s Sunday, and you know what that means. Time to survey the previous week’s 50-word stories, share some highlights, and launch a new prompt.
I’ll start with my usual prolog. In this case, I have two things: a little something about my week and a question.
I went a little off the rails this past week and wrote a series of humorous (well, in my estimation) #monomad posts. I have no idea what tickled my funny bone about black and white images, but boy did I have fun with it, sharing weird insights into my childhood and so on. I should perhaps apologize to the serious monomads. It’s a fun challenge, and actual skilled photographers contribute an amazing collection of images. I love creative challenges, and this one is worth checking out. If you want to see my humble efforts (and the silly accompanying content), here they are: Monday macro, Tuesday street, Wednesday abstract, Thursday animals, and Friday flowers.
I have a question for you. Many of us have posts we wish got a little more exposure, a little more love. I’m thinking of starting a project that helps with that. It would be a weekly post that encourages people to share their favorite underloved post of the past week, whether it’s their own or someone else’s. What do you think? Will I just open myself up to spam and those who self-promote distastefully? Or would it be a fun way for people to curate the best content and discover content you may have missed?
About the 50-word challenge
If you’re new here, welcome! This is a weekly challenge that kicks off on Sundays with a one-word prompt. Participants use the prompt to create a micro-fiction story in just 50 words. For more info and inspiration, check out the recent post about this project, Fifty-word challenge: FAQs, ideas, motivation and showcase.
This is a continuation of the #fiftywords challenge started by @miniature-tiger who has been developing a seafaring strategy game called Archipelago for the Utopian.io open source community. Visit the linked post for the latest update.
(Image credit: Original image by pixel2013, Pixabay)
Last week's 50-word stories
Last week's prompt was “bank” and the #fiftywords community developed stories involving financial institutions, snow banks, banking planes, river banks, and even sperm banks. As always, I've chosen some highlights of the week -- stories that were well written and impactful, and that transport us into a moment, a place, a life.
First, here is the complete list of stories inspired by the “bank” prompt. Be sure to read these 50-word gems, and support the authors! (And do let me know if I missed any. It does happen occasionally.)
- A town was here but no more, by @lightoj
- A bank heist, by @theironfelix
- Winter’s End, by @negativer
- Sperm Bank Receptionish, by @sue-stevenson
- My Living Banks, by @iamthegray
- Inside Job, by @anikekirsten
- In the Middle of Nowhere, by @botefarm
- Lost on You, by @luiskrupaz
- Fifth kind, by @anixio
- A Steed of Royal Color, by @creatr
- Space part III, by @ablaze
- Taken by the Bank, by @jonknight
- One for All, by @ahmadmanga
- Dragon doom, by @ravencorinn
- Mandatory Waiver, by @dirge
- Nightmare, by @cheekah
- Mystery of the snowbank, by @jayna
Highlights of the week
It was another great week of wonderful submissions, and lots of great mutual support. I love to see everyone reading and commenting on one another’s stories!
Here are just a few highlights of the week. These are stories that utilized every word beautifully, used perfect grammar and punctuation, and packed a punch. I’m posting the stories in full. Note the different uses of the word “bank.”
This story is just a hoot.
I'd taken this job to rob the bank. I scoped, working the reception desk, signing men in and directing them into the private rooms.
He took four months to show up. I knew as soon as he came in he was the one. He smiled.
I prepared the turkey baster.
A sad day for the exploring youth….
"It's like a tunnel!" Petey clawed his way into the underbrush overgrowing the bank. "Come on! It's a real tunnel under here!"
The viney things scratched at my face, bled my arms. “I can’t get through!”
I listened for Petey, but he was gone. Taken by the bank, forever lost.
This one is so poignant and sad, and so well done.
The last few sat in a pot atop the woodstove, barely boiling. Banking the embers, I pulled my children close. The icy fist of the wind rattled the windows, the drafts like knives. I wrapped the blanket around them as best I could.
I waited for the end.
This sad and amazing story makes my head spin. Did the author just make me care about a criminal? And what all is happening here? We want more, Anike!
The plan was perfect, so why am I crying? These people were unprepared and unarmed. It should’ve been simple—no casualties.
As my marooned soul pours from my chest, I stare at the bank’s ceiling before the darkness comes. This is always how it ends, loop after loop. It’s cold.
Maybe it’s not too late to run for cover?
With a lazy bank, the dragon turned back over the army, opening its toothy maw. Slow flaps of massive wings gusted wind, sent banners to snapping and dust to rising. Fear spread in the hearts of mortal men as they comprehended the fiery death about to rain down on them.
Well, we do have one more story involving a financial institution… and an evil one at that.
Mike Tanslin of Nexicorp spoke to the press.
"We let the world have a go at it," he said. "Fifty-million dollars. Cash. Middle of New York. Unbreakable vault."
Cameras flashed. Mike's perfect teeth were a skeleton's smile.
“No one could get past the security lasers. Turned them straight to dust.”
Nice job, everyone!
This week's 50-word story prompt
The prompt for this week is “change.” I hope you have some fun with this, Fifty Worders!
Please review carefully. Images must not be pulled from any Internet site.
- Write a story in 50 words. (It's especially cool if you can hit 50 words exactly!)
- Use the #fiftywords tag, and post the link in the comments of this post.
- Be sure to read and upvote the work of the other participants. It's all about community!
- Use only artwork that you have the right to use, and attribute it properly. See the “Proper use of images” topic below.
Proper use of images
Proper use of images means one of the following:
- It is your image.
- The image is public domain, or under creative commons licensing rules.
- If it is not one of the above, you have actual permission.
Be sure to mention that the image is yours, or attribute its source. And if it's not public domain or creative license, be sure to state that you have permission.
I have two resources for you, from my friends at @thewritersblock:
And speaking of #thewritersblock, if you would like editing help for your stories before posting them, follow the tag to find them on Discord.
Deadline for this week: Saturday, May 26th.
The 50-word story clan
Welcome new 50-worders!
I'm mentioning you here if have participated in the #fiftywords short story challenge in the past. Please let me know if you would like your tag removed in this or future posts. (Note that I am starting to reduce the list. Those who have not participated for a long time or are not active on Steemit will eventually drop from the mentions.)
@ablaze, @adigitalife, @agmoore, @ahmadmanga, @aksounder, @alheath, @anikekirsten, @anixio
@beginningtoend, @botefarm @brandonsadventur, @bryarose23
@caleblailmusik, @carn, @cheekah, @cizzo, @clacrax, @creatr
@damianjayclay, @deirdyweirdy, @desmoniac, @diebitch, @dirge, @divineinyang, @donnest, @douglasbalmain
@eaglespirit, @elementm, @emwalker, @enjar, @eroticabian, @evgsk
@feebie, @felt.buzz, @ficciones, @fitinfun, @foxfiction
@iamthegray, @ilt-yodith, @intheory, @isa93, @isufbakaj
@jadams2k18, @janine-ariane, @jakeybrown, @jayna, @jonknight, @josecarrasquero
@kaelci, @kimberlylane, @kingernie, @ktfabler
@ldacey-laforge, @lightoj, @lucylin, @luiskrupaz
@Mammasitta, @marie-jay, @mark-dahl, @mgaft1, @mikesthoughts, @mineopoly, @miniature-tiger, @momzillanc, @mydivathings
@naquoya, @naso, @navaneeth, @negativer, @niallon11
@paintingangels, @photovitamin, @pixiehunter, @poeticnest, @preparedwombat, @prydefoltz, @puppetmaster1111, @purpledaisy57, @pyrowngs
@sciencevienna, @sharoonyasir, @skoolielove, @spalatino, @sue-stevenson, @sukhasanasister
@tanglebranch, @thatlovechild, @theblackcrow, @theironfelix, @therosepatch, @tiatu, @tony-duke, @tuwore, @tygertyger
@wales, @whitewizard, @wilfredn, @wordsalmighty, @wylde
Thanks so much for reading. As always, your upvote, comment and resteem support is greatly appreciated!