55 Fiction

Assignment: Your first real task in this class is to write a short story. A really short story.

There are just two constraints. First, the story must be original. Second, your story has to be just 55 words long. That’s it. 55 words, no more, no less.

As it turns out, 55 Fiction, as this style is called, is a serious literary form. A quick search on Google for “55 Fiction” will reveal more sites devoted to this arcane art than you can shake a stick at. In fact if you think 55 words is restrictive, be thankful we did not ask you to write a story in 6 words (yes that is a genre of fiction too). The most famous and touching of 6 word stories is by, none other than, Hemingway who wrote the following story: For sale. Baby shoes. Never used.

My 55 Fiction
She lay in the hospital bed anxiously waiting for the results. Her neighbor loudly yells at the doctors and nurses. The noise continues through the night as the woman’s equipment shrills continually.

At three in the morning, she rings the nurse to ask for a pillow.

“Finally,” she thinks to herself, “the room is quiet.”


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