The Reply (A 50-Word Story)

I’m thrilled to be participating in another 50-word story challenge from Cafe M. I’m amazed at how much these writing challenges are energizing my creativity. They make me want to write, write, write!

This time around, I found it both easier and still surprising challenging to write a 50-word story given five words to be included and a theme. I wrote it in seven tries this time (a few more than last time). The first attempt came in at 35 words instead of a 102; the challenge was to add words rather than subtract them. I overshot the mark somewhat but was able to whittle and polish until I had something that pleased me.

Here it is…

Wastleland Gas Station

The Reply

She kneels behind the ancient, rusted mailbox. Waits for the train to pass. Hair and clothes blowing in the beast’s wake. Afraid to look but hoping too.

Beneath the rock, an edge of blue. His reply.

She hugs the outlawed letter, sighing. The tiny night creatures sigh collectively with her.


Writer’s Challenges: March Madness! by Cafe Muravyets

It’s challenge time! First up: Sonia at Doing the Write Thing presents a new micro-fiction challenge — 250 words beginning with the following opening sentence: “I should have listened with both ears instead of one.” Click the links above for details. Next, this month’s Cafe M 50-Word Story: The five required words are: mailbox outlawed train reply collectively The theme is:  Loosening (in honor of spring). Fifty (50) words exactly (not including … Read More

via Cafe Muravyets

Photo Credit
Barnsdall Gas Station by Jonathan Haeber, on Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

13 thoughts on “The Reply (A 50-Word Story)

    1. Thank you! They are a lot of fun to write. I think having to really trim any unnecessary words and still convey a strong image in 50 words is teaching me to look at my other short stories and even my manuscript with new eyes. So it’s a good exercise too.

    1. Thank you! I’m thinking of setting myself a challenge to write at least one 50-word story a week. I think it’ll help with my other writing too.

  1. Really clever. Being an economical writer is one of my greatest challenges, I may just have to follow your lead, and try this for myself.

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