THE JOY OF STORY
John M. Daniel’s Blog
October 8, 2016
Greetings story fans. Two people, A and B, have a relationship of some sort. A third person, C, appears on the scene. B has never seen this third person before. A claims not to know the third person, but B suspects that’s not true.
Ready, set, go!
Here are a few 99-word stories that play with this familiar situation. They appear here for the first time anywhere.
“Who is that stranger?”
by Madelyn Lorber
The young woman had one slender arm draped across his shoulders. Her hips moved to the rhythm of the DJ. Her skimpy skirt exposed shapely legs.
Hell, I’m gone ten damned minutes, stuck in a predictable ladies room line.
He noticed I was back, disengaged himself as if surrounded by that Little Shop of Horrors plant.
The nymphet danced in front of him.
Shoulders hiked in innocent defense he said, “I was just standing here minding my own business...”
In hushed tones laced with acid I asked, “You trying to tell me you never even met this person before?”
by Tom Donovan
He watched as the stranger drove his year-old car down the street.
His wife appeared in the doorway; he told her the stranger was here to buy the car and was taking a test drive.
The stranger and his car never came back. The old clunker the stranger had driven up in sat at the curb looking suspiciously like a junker with fake plates.
Knowing what was coming, he closed his eyes, thinking of a warm beach somewhere.
Hands on her hips his wife said “Are you trying to tell me, that you never even met this person before?”
by Jim Gallagher
It was more of a challenge to my credibility than a question when he snarled, “Are you trying to tell me that you never even met this person before?”
“I’m not trying to tell you anything,” I snarled in response. “I told you very clearly that I’ve never had any contact of any kind with that person. If you’d been paying attention to my reply, instead keeping your nose stuck in that iPhone, you’d have known that. I submit to you sir, the only one in this room who is trying would be you. Yes, you. Very trying, indeed.”
by Diane Morelli
I go on-line for local news. The best site is the supermarket express line.
The cashier said, “The late shift driver put the flowers and candles on her bench at the bus stop. He felt like dirt. She wouldn’t ride along on the route with him that cold night.”
The woman buying poinsettias sighed. “I thought my prayers were answered, she found a safe home.”
The man holding eggnog nodded. “No way. She wouldn’t go, leave her belongings behind.”
According to what I overheard, my neighbors cared about a woman they’d seen but never met before.
I did, too.
by Christine Viscuso
“Are you trying to tell me that you never even met this person before?”
“Helen, I swear. I never saw her before the Smiths’ party.”
“The way she hugged you tells me different. Is there something you’re not telling me? She’s gorgeous, George. She has great legs; she’s maintained her figure. I’d die for hair like hers.”
“You’ve been my one and only for forty-five years.”
“I’ve invited her for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. I hear the bell now. Greet your girlfriend.”
The woman fell into George’s arms. “George, Remember me? It’s your old friend Pat. I’m Patricia now!”
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
by Rosetta Stone
“You’re going to marry some guy you never met?”
“We’ve met. Online.”
“But not in person?
“That’s right. He’s shy. Claims he’s ugly and old. He’s a virgin.”
“What does he have that I don’t?”
“Lung cancer. Six months left.”
“Plus seventeen million dollars in trust, which he’ll receive the day he marries.”
“But what will he do with seventeen million and only six months—?”
“He’ll have the time of his life, I’ll make sure of that.”
“And you get the seventeen mil when he dies. You sure?”
“It’s in our pre-nup. Our lawyers worked it out.”
Call for submissions: Your 99-Word Stories
The deadline for November’s 99-word story submissions is November 1. The stories will appear on my blog post for November 12, and will stay posted for a week.
note: this 99-word story feature is a game, not a contest. Obey the rules and I’ll include your story. I may edit the story to make it stronger, and it’s understood that you will submit to my editing willingly. That’s an unwritten rule.
Rules for the 99-word story feature are as follows:
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 (something or somebody has to change), characters, and conflict.
4. The story must be inspired by the prompt I assign.
5. The deadline: the first of the month. Stories will appear on this blog the second Saturday of the month.
6. I will copy edit the story. The author of the story retains all rights.
7. Email me your story (in the body of your email, or as a Word attachment) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS MONTH’S PROMPT FOR NEXT MONTH’S 99-WORD STORY: Write a story inspired by the following sentence: I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.…
Calling all published authors—
I try to feature a guest author the third Saturday (and week following) of each month. If you’re interested in posting an essay on my blog—it’s also a chance to promote a published book—email me directly at email@example.com.
Thank you for visiting. Please drop by next week.