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A creative writing blog by Shawn M Klimek / Twitter: @shawnmklimek
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

50-Word Stories

As high tide retreated, the partial corpse, bloated, bleached and brined, became wedged against the estuary grating, where it was spotted by a pre-dawn jogger. Later, Detective Bronson reviewed the coroner’s report, noting with interest the wound descriptions. No hints were mentioned of an excised tattoo. Bronson sighed with relief.

“What’s in the basket?” Nyla challenged.
“A two-part forgiveness cake,” Corina replied. “Part one is my apology, represented by cake ingredients. Part two will be your forgiveness, represented by a cake!”
“For the amount of forgiveness I intend,” said Nyla withdrawing an egg and taking aim, “this egg is surplus.”

“That’s every pillow! Now, will you shut up?”
“What about that last pillow?”
“That one’s mine.”
“But I’m still uncomfortable. Can you prop it under my head, please?”
“I’ve got a better place for it. If you’re still uncomfortable, just say so. What’s that?  Sorry, I can’t read sign language.”

“Get in quickly, Marjory! I’ll tell you at home!”
“Hold on, Mel! At least let me tell the waiter to put our dessert in a doggy-bag.”
“Leave it!” He urged, adding in a whisper. “I lost my wallet!”
“Lost your wallet!?”
“Shhh! Not so—Damn it! There went our cab.”

For too long, the urge in Byron’s bowels had felt itself unfairly imprisoned. The office didn’t feel private, the subway seemed filthy, and the only toilet at home proved occupied. With saintly patience, the urge waited, until upon hearing the words, “Sorry, mate. We’re out of toilet paper,” it rioted.

The deal-breaker for Jessica was when her date emerged from the men’s room too soon to have washed up. During the escorted walk home later, she still hadn’t decided whether a farewell kiss was less dreadful than a handshake when her allergies sympathetically recommended a wet sneeze into both hands.

“The crown is coming along nicely,” Hilda enthused. “Keep going, Emily. It’s almost out!”
Emily strained and grunted, concluding her achievement with a howl of anguished relief.
“A small miracle!” Hilda exclaimed. “You got out all the tarnish. Now, take a break and then you can tackle Her Majesty’s scepter.”

Mrs. Glenn raised the swollen finger choked blue by her wedding ring.
“I’ve been meaning to have it resized,” she said, grimacing in agony.
Alarmed, Dr. Cliff grabbed disinfectant, anesthetic and a scalpel.
“I can still save the finger,” he said, “but only if you release that bag of chips.”

Tristan cursed when the replacement battery for his TV remote rolled under the couch. When he reached blindly amongst the crumbs and dust bunnies, he momentarily surprised a cockroach. The battery rolled free as he snatched back his hand, but he’d already lost interest in the horror movie he’d rented.

“We park at the overlook…”
“She’s wary, so I compliment her perfume.”
“'It’s lavender shampoo,’ she says. ‘Intoxicating’ I say, and lean close."
“So, you finally kissed!”
“Wait for it! ‘The windows are fogging’ she says, so, I roll one down. In …flies…a…bee!”
“I run home.”

Intending to live-stream her suicidal plummet from the skyscraper observation deck, Nancy ascended the barricade with one hand on her camera phone. Despite being fat and ungraceful, she reached the top; and despite being unworthy of notice, drew every gaze. Encouraged by these achievements, she took a commemorative selfie instead.

Enroute to the bathroom, Dean found himself suddenly staggering to his left, as though aboard a listing ship. Was he having a stroke? Determined to check his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he was startled to encounter a stranger with a questioning look on their face. Avocado? He inquired, impatiently.

Beside the hole lay an object wrapped in a blue tarp and bound with rope. Realizing it might be a grave, I must have gasped because the digger looked up and our eyes met. My heart pounded. “It’s not what it looks like!” he shouted. Relieved, we both started laughing.

Calibration drift in the starship’s engines meant constant intervention would be required to maintain light speed. This meant either exposing a skeleton crew to lethal radiation, risking mutations by frequently interrupted cryo-sleep, or downgrading to a sub-light engine and surviving as pirates. Captain Fox shook his fist and cursed, “Arrgh!”

“Put away the comic book, Connor,” said Mrs. Kennedy, pointing. “Can you tell me the difference is between a superhero and an ordinary citizen?”
Panicked, Connor looked up at the ceiling, trying to recall a likely platitude.
Mrs. Kennedy ignored the other raised hands.
“That’s right. Superpowers,” she said, telepathically.

Three prisoners walked into a bar.
The bar formed the top frame of their cell doorway and every new prisoner had to learn the hard way to duck when entering and exiting. The guards thought it was funny. So, when this trio finally escaped, they took the bar with them.

“Riding the Milky Way “bus”, Earthlings travel the universe at 1.3 million mph—too slow to ever reach another star. Fortunately, the universe itself spins (a fact more obvious from the outside), and to cross it, one need only briefly disembark. So, pack light,” she said. “It’s dark out there.”

Darla unbuckled her seatbelt, sidled into the aisle and then headed for the economy class lavatory. Another passenger, awoken by the click of her buckle, threw off her blanket and scrambled cruelly into her path. A third passenger then cut off the interloper, who groaned.
“Karma!” Darla thought without thinking.

Once the plane was airborne, Glenda kicked off her shoes, plugged in her earphones and tuned the music dial for easy listening. Finally, she activated the seat recline button beside her and, closing her eyes, leaned way back, confident of spoiling any chance of comfort for the passenger behind her.

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