Here, one week late because I was on the road last weekend, are the stories I received in response to my challenge: write a story with the last line, or the title, or the theme, “Yes, You May.” Thanks to the contributors for some fine short-short-short stories!
Remember, I present this feature on my blog every month, usually on the first Saturday of the month. The invitation is open to everyone.
Here are the rules:
1. Your story must be 99 words long, exactly.
2. One story per writer, per month.
3. The story must be a story. That means it needs plot, and conflict.
4. The deadline: the first of the month.
5. Email me your story (in the body of your email, or as a Word attachment) to: email@example.com
Next month’s challenge: Write a story with this first line, or last line: “Take your hand off my knee,” said the Duchess.
Now, may you read the stories sent to me for this month of May? Yes, you may! Here they are:
by C. L. Swinney
My grandmother lived across the country in Wisconsin. I was lucky to see her once a year. Along with her time, her blueberry muffins were priceless.
She was the kindest lady I’d ever met. As years passed, I could tell she was not well, yet she tried to hide it. Some days, she barely moved.
Last time I saw her, I remember a muffin tray on the counter. I looked at her, she smiled at me. I sheepishly asked if I could help her make some.
She replied, “Yes, you may.”
by Jerry Giammatteo
On May 22, 1977, I graduated from St. John’s University. Having been an A to B-plus student all my life, I had never considered it a great accomplishment. I always expected to graduate.
To Mom, however, seeing her only child graduate was a huge event. Her health was failing. A month later, she was diagnosed with advanced stage colon cancer and was given less than a year to live.
At the party afterward, the band began with a slow number. Without hesitation, I approached Mom. “May I have this dance?” I asked.
Beaming, she replied, “Yes, you may.”
YOU MAY GO
by John F. Nolan
She was an English teacher under arrest for DUI.
Accustomed to being obeyed, she tried to take charge.
“Release me from these handcuffs or I’ll sue you, Officer,” she ordered.
“No, handcuffs are for your safety. Can I have your DOB?” The cop asked.
“May I have your DOB?” She corrected.
“I want to use the ladies room,” she demanded.
“No, you might escape.”
“I have to go now,” she whined.
“You had better let me go, Officer.”
She stood, spread her legs and wet her pants.
“Now, may I use the ladies room?”
“Yes, you may!
YES, YOU MAY
by Elaine Polson Shiber
As he was walking by Ben’s Place, he saw her sitting alone at a table by the window, and stopped in his tracks to stare at her.
He paused, and then slowly walked in the door and hesitantly stood by her table. She didn’t see him at first, but then, after a minute or two, she looked up and smiled.
When he finally worked up the courage, he said, “Why would a woman as beautiful as you ever consider dating a man like me?”
She thought briefly. Then she murmured, “Why not?”
“May I ask you?”
“Yes, you may.”
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
by Phyllis Povell
Shari was stirring the pot on the stove when two-year-old Brianna came into the kitchen.
“Not before dinner,” her mother answered.
Perhap, two minutes passed when Brianna was back again. “Can I have some M&M’s?”
“No. I told you not before dinner.”
The third request was made in a whining voice, “Please can I have some M&M’s?”
A hard stare with no reply made Brianna slink away slowly.
Brianna appeared in the kitchen again. “Can I have some M&M’s, please, please?”
With a heavy sigh, Shari said, “Yes, you may.”
by Donna Weinheim
You put me on your bed naked and
You admired me when we first met
You made me wear clothes way too big
You made me laugh made my favorite food
You taught me how to drive
You protected my apartment with no front door while I worked
You danced for me sang for me
You told me to take typing in college so I could get a job
You demanded a son-in-law
You passed in the night and made me cry
You never asked me if
You could I would have told
You yes you may.
MAY I KISS YOU?
by Christine Viscuso
When I was in the second grade, Robert, a classmate, asked me, “May I kiss you?”
All I could say was, “Ugh!”
Thirty years later, I was working at an insurance agency. Larry the Oilman stopped in the office. I breathed in the stench of oil as I put away customers’ files. Leaning over the file cabinet, he asked, “May I kiss you?” I suspected he had a crush on me. Not wishing to hurt his feelings, the answer I thought of was, “Larry, what would your wife say?”
He sighed. “I was hoping you’d say, ‘yes you may!’”
YOU MAY NOT
by June Kosier
I was in kindergarten and I asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. Going down the hallway I encountered the Pastor. “May I bless you, my child?” he said to me.
I quickly replied “No, you may not.”
He asked, “But why child?”
“Because I didn’t sneeze, Father,” was my answer, and I continued to the girl’s room.
When I got home, I got a lecture about blessings and being thankful to get one. I would have been thankful to know how my mother always found out about my blunders when we didn’t even have a phone.
THE END OF A TRYST
by John M. Daniel
I caught up with her in the health spa parking lot and grabbed her arm. She clenched her fist, crying, “Why did you invite me here?”
“Midsummer madness,” I said. “Didn’t you like the moonbeams? The baths? The loft?”
“I was hoping for something more substantial.”
“We discussed that,” I said. “I’m married, remember?”
“I don’t mean commitment,” she said. “I just wish you wanted to know who I am.”
“Who are you?”
“I rest my case.”
Touché. “So may I assume that’s it for us?”
As she drove away, I heard her shout back:
“Yes. Yes, you may.”
Next week this blog will feature guest poster William Doonan, who is one fine and funny fiction writer. Don't miss it!