Prompt January 14 , 2017.


[WP] Write a short story where the first sentence has 20 words, 2nd sentence has 19, 3rd has 18 etc. Story ends with a single word.

This prompt was a bit different than most. Instead of just flowing with an idea I found myself reworking a line four or five times. To make it work I had to fuck around with grammar a bit so it is just a bit clunky. As I ran out of words, conveying ideas became progressively harder. But that’s the nature of being concise I suppose– boiling down to the bare essentials takes a lot of work. Or as Mark Twain put it: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”


The bus stopped half a mile from his and his mother’s dilapidated apartment building at the end of the block.  

The boy started up the aisle turned right and exited the musty bus while in his own walkman world.  

Their red-brick apartment building looked void of all human presence from the outside as he approached the door.

He passed his mother’s rusted white four door laying idle in the driveway as he keyed in.  

Besides the oven’s night light in the kitchen the rest of the two-bedroom sat shrouded in darkness.

He silently padded to the fridge feeling as if he was himself an intruder.   

Leftover soup, eggs, milk, and a few other odds and ends–cereal dinner again.

His daily routine: he ate, finished homework, Playstation, and sent himself to bed.

It was busy season, mother was undoubtedly grinding away with tax returns.

Not quite– she had been in her room resting eyes wide open.   

Hours and days blur together when there is no light.

It was September and busy season ended in April.

They both knew and just believed the lie.

She just could not leave her bed.

Her body was a personal prison.

Both there and far away.

He didn’t fully grasp.

She was sorry.

Cereal dinner.



6 thoughts on “Prompt January 14 , 2017.

  1. Your story ended better than it started. I feel like you got more comfortable the shorter your sentences became. You got more of the story out in five words than you did in 20. I don’t know whether this is because of the restraints, i.e, you felt you had to use more adjectives to fill up the count, or whether that’s just the way you normally write.

    Either way, really enjoyed the last half. Seems like an interesting prompt, where’d you get it from?

    Liked by 2 people

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