The Shortest Story
By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer
Sometimes smaller is better – especially when you’re in a creative rut. I don’t know about you, but Monday’s are usually the toughest day in the week for me – catching up on all the to-do’s I ignored over the weekend and knowing that I’ve got five solid days of work and career commitments ahead of me.
During my morning rounds on the internet – as I scour Google for professional news and check in on all my favorite sites and Tumblrs – I came across this list on Ned Hardy’s aggregator: 11 True Stories Told in One Sentence. Some of the tales are witty and others evocative. And while a few aren’t quite technically stories, I like the idea behind it and thought I’d give it a try.
Below you’ll find my attempt at ten true stories told in one sentence each. A quick little writing exercise that can help jump-start you after a weekend of brain mush and intellectual lethargy.
Ten Stories in Ten Sentences:
When I was a child in the 70s, I dreamed about living in the 50s – poodle skirts and all – and now that I’m an adult in the new millennium, all I can think about is how much more fun life seemed to be in the seventies.
My first cat had two sets of litters, the first made up of seven perfectly white, identical kittens who’s appearance gave no doubt as to the identity of the father – a roguish battle-scarred tomcat – and the second a hodge-podge of coats and personalities that were a testament to the seven year (or in this case, seven-kitten) itch.
Thanks to fifth period music and an overzealous choir instructor, I now have all the soprano parts in the entire Chicago (power-ballad rock band, not Broadway musical) catalogue burned into my brain.
While on a school trip in Paris, we snuck away from our tour group during lunch so that we could order a cocktail in a café, but when our bill arrived we realized we’d left our wallets back on the bus and had to pay with random change in our pockets.
In order to ascend a rural tower on the outskirts of Ireland, we climbed up wooden ladders bolted to hundred-year-old (or more) stone while the German tourists ahead of us exclaimed, “this is very, very dangerous!”
During a toilet-papering assault perpetrated on the cars of some the high school jocks in our class, we managed to cover one friend’s truck while it was parked in a public lot during his shift at a local sporting goods store.
At the age of seven, every girl in our small second grade class was invited over for a quick ride on a classmate’s new horse, a retired polo pony that stood stoically as one girl after another sat astride her back in joyous wonderment.
We once built our own raft to navigate the storm swollen waters of our neighborhood creek, but instead of making it all the way to the sea as we imagined, we ended up floundering on the muddy banks as our ill constructed vessel suddenly, and completely, floundered and sank below the surface.
During a mock trial in law school, I won my first case after compelling a hostile witness to not only define, but also demonstrate the difference between a “tap” and a “touch” in order to destroy the veracity of her initial statement to the police.
I once broke my ankle after riding in a Laundromat clothes-dryer, but I still insist the two events are unrelated.