It’s called nanofiction, flash fiction or micro fiction.
Teachers at Pioneer Middle School in DuPont recently challenged their students to tell a complete story (not a poem) with a beginning, middle and end, in 55 words. The theme was “winter.”
Then they held “55-Word Story Night,” a celebration of young authors — and brevity.
Here are some creative-writing samples from these students in the Steilacoom School District, laced with the discoveries and insecurities of teenage life.
I dashed through the cold forest, desperate for an escape from the monster. Surely, I’d be killed if captured. But I didn’t see the log coming. In an instant, I found myself facing the snow. The monster had caught me, and made the final sounds I would hear, “I found him! I’ve discovered the Yeti!”
A Nerd’s Winter
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” I lied.
The tears fell fast like the cold rain outside. My heart was as empty as the bare trees. Like the rain turned the snow to mush, the news has turned me to mush. I just can’t believe it. I got an A-.
A Simple Cut
The blades were quickly put to work.
Regrets filled her mind halfway through the process
People would surely notice. She couldn’t hide this forever! She mentally prayed it wouldn’t look as bad when she came back from winter break…
She turned to the mirror, tears prepared to start flowing.
She actually liked her haircut.
They all dared me.
They all cheered me on.
I gave in.
I slowly stuck my tongue out.
Unwillingly I latched on.
It was stuck.
I was stuck.
Frozen in one spot.
Tongue throbbing, freezing.
Immediately I regretted the decision.
Stuck on the frozen pole.
Unable to move.
On this winter afternoon.
Bang! I slammed the door and ran. As I exhaled I saw my breath from the winter cold. I was running, running as fast as I could trying to catch it. But it was slowly, slowly pulling away from me. Then it left me in its dust. Gone ... forever. Darn! I had just missed the bus.
Snowflakes sparkle in my hair like tiny crystals as I walk through the woods, hearing the CRUNCH of the pearl powder beneath me. The sleet soon starts blocking my vision. I yell for help. I hear a familiar voice calling my name. Everything goes pitch black. I wake up in an unfamiliar room. The same voice is calling my name.
Sweat pants? Check.
Long-sleeved shirt? Check.
Waterproof socks? Check.
Small jacket? Check.
Larger jacket on top of smaller jacket? Check.
Hiking boots? Check.
Cell phone? Check.
Hand warmers? Check.
We’re clear. Anyone need to use the bathroom?
The pale blue marsh glistens in the distance. My breath opaque like smoke rising from a chimney. As I wiggle my toes they become numb from the cold. I take a step onto the frozen water. Not looking up, I take another, then another. When I look I’m in the middle of the marsh. Crack!
In the crisp early morning, you wake to the hum of hushed wings beating through the air like a soft breeze. You open your curtains to admire a radiant little bird glimmering in the early morning sun. They’re all gone. You might see a few distant birds making their way to sunny warm weather. When they disappear, their sweet chirping is replaced by something else. Silence. Harmonious silence.