Six Word Short Stories

A bogus story about six-word short stories captured my attention a couple of weeks ago. The story claimed Hemingway won a bet against fellow writers about whether he could write a six-word short story.  He won, the story goes, with the unforgettable and heart-rending: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”  Hemingway did not write that, but the myth continues.

My writing tends toward “why use six words when you could say the same thing with thirty-six words?” So, economy of language often eludes me. Therefore, as an exercise in improving my ability to write more with less, I decided to try my hand at the six-word short story.  Here are a few that spilled from my fingers:

Six Word Short Stories

The dog’s master never came home.

She forgot everything but his coffin.

He cried for help; none came.

The antidote arrived two minutes late.

She loved him far too late.

Maybe God loved her; not me.

I died on her first birthday.

The train left as I arrived.

She decried vaccinations. There’s baby’s grave.

She camped in the volcano caldera.

He forgot to trip the breaker.

Her kiss was his last experience.

The children forgot their absent parents.

He paid dearly for teasing snakes.




About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Six Word Short Stories

  1. Jim Hawarden says:

    This is good stuff, Johnny boy.

  2. I like it, Teresa!

  3. Teresa says:

    I once won a 6-word autobiography contest with: You bet I had my moments.

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