Submit your one paragraph short stories!

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Deviating from all the great videogame, computer and technology talk that Armchair Arcade is known for for just a little bit longer and inspired by Matt's excellent and recently posted short story, "Jumpman", as well as Wired magazine's similarly recent and clever idea to have famous writers write short stories made up of just a little more than half a dozen words, I thought it would be neat if we could do sort of the same thing here, except this time make the rules be that you need to tell your short story in a single paragraph. While I am a fan of the short story, I must admit that the last time I wrote anything resembling a short story was back in 1994, with my works, "Words" and "Go West Young Man (or Doomsday 24)", and only then for a college class. Great experiences, but it's high time that I did some "fun" writing like that again other than technology-related or essays. So before I whine again about not having time and getting to this after the "book is finished", I figured I could take a few minutes to come up with a truly short short story or two.

I'll post my first one paragraph short story as a comment to this blog post soon. It would be great if you all could do the same. Bonus points for making it videogame or computer related, particularly classic, but really, anything goes. Have fun and be sure to participate, even if you think you're not a very good writer, as the key word is FUN!

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Bill Loguidice
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(#3) A SIMPLE DIVERSION by

(#3) A SIMPLE DIVERSION by Bill Loguidice

Jack tried to speak, but failed, the tears beginning to well. Angie tried to speak, but also failed, her face becoming flush. "W-W-W-hat do we do now?" Jack finally stammered. "Don't know," Angie responded, barely audible. The two sat staring for a long time, sharing a stunned silence, not really hearing the gentle clicking in the background. How had they reached this point? What went wrong? All had been wonderful just a few moments ago, as they worked as one to reach new levels of success. Then, without warning, it happened, "Disk Error", flashing repeatedly. Though it was like "Game Over" from so many times before, those words now took on their true, sinister meaning. Having nothing left but time to reflect, Jack and Angie called it a night.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Matt Barton
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(#4) FIVE MINUTES by Matt

(#4) FIVE MINUTES by Matt Barton

The masked man put it simply: "I'm going to kill you in five minutes," and since James had heard him say the exact same line to three of his friends--and noted with some alarm that the man had carried through on each occasion--he knew exactly what lay in store for him. He was tied down with barbwire to a rough sawed plank, but comfort mattered little now. After all, the last thing he wanted to do with his last five minutes was think about how uncomfortable he was on that stupid board. You'd think, though, that someone would've at least sanded it down a bit. And why barbwire? Was that really necessary? Why couldn't he have been killed by a killer who preferred soft nylon rope? And why, for that matter, had he been positioned facing the wall, with nothing interesting to look at? He was the only one of his friends who'd been put this way. Nothing to see but cheap woodgrain paneling. It was maddening. What an insult! And, to make matters worse, he had to pee. He didn't mind not getting a "last cigarette." He didn't smoke. But he did have to pee. Jesus Christ, what a lousy way to spend five minutes.

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Bill Loguidice
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Funny story, Matt. I love

Funny story, Matt. I love how these are complete on their own, but could easily be expanded into bigger stories.

If we're able to hit 10 of these, I'll re-post them as their own blog post. I hope we continue to get these...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Bill Loguidice
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(#5) LOVE RINGS TWICE by

(#5) LOVE RINGS TWICE by Bill Loguidice

Theirs was a true love, thought Tony, one to stand the test of time. Eva, his soul-mate, was somehow even more beautiful than the day they first met, he realized. And even though she always seemed to say something interesting, it ultimately didn't matter, as he was happy just to hear her soft, melodic voice. Someday soon, he imagined, they would have children together, and their love would blossom as a family. These wonderful thoughts made him feel warm and tingly inside. Suddenly, without warning, Tony was yanked from his daydream by the doorbell. He let out a long sigh, realizing that that would be the courier with the divorce papers.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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Matt Barton
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(#6) THE METAL MONK by Matt

(#6) THE METAL MONK by Matt Barton

Jacob drew steel, the sound echoing through the tavern and drawing every pair of eyes. Zane's face went stony for a moment, but then avalanched into laughter and mirth. "You'd kill me, then, monk?" spat Zane. "You must have forgotten your own book. 'Thou shalt not kill.' I'm not afraid of your threats." The drunken brawler suddenly pulled two long knives from his belt, twirling them like ballerinas. "I'm going to kill you now and take that book from you. Ought to be worth something to somebody." Zane leaped forward, and Jacob's sword flashed in the torchlight. A split second later, Zane's blades clanged against the far walls. But Jacob did not stop at disarming his opponent--he was too deadly, too proud. No, Jacob's weapon swung through the air, the razor tip scraping Zane's neck, slitting it. The metal monk knelt beside his dying opponent. Quietly, he prayed over the man, begging his Lord to forgive him his sins and wing this soul to heaven. When he was done, he caught a last flicker of light in Zane's eyes. He whispered: "If you had been more familiar with my book, you might have known another verse: 'I come, not to bring peace, but a sword.' I did not seek a fight with you. But I am through running."

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theprofessor (not verified)
Little Johnny

Johnny wasn’t the youngest kid in the group, but he was the smallest. He was always running to keep up, always the last to get there. It was late March and the week had been unusually balmy. Spring had arrived early and forcefully. The gang was going down to the quarry to see if the water was warm enough for swimming. Johnny was determined to be the first one in the water. Though he arrived last, again, he had half of his clothes off before he reached the edge. He still had a sock dangling off of his big toe when with a yelled “Cowabunga!" he dive bombed into the water. The icy cold clasped him tightly leaving him immobilized. With a shudder he came back to life and kicked to the surface. His friends were all still standing at the edge of the water. Grinning with blue lips he called out, “Come on in! The water’s fine!”

(Lord, I'm rusty.)

Bill Loguidice
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Thanks for another OPSS...

Let me know what your byline is "theprofessor", and I'll add it to the compiled stories in the other blog post.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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