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Five-plus-Five Word Stories: a challenge

May 25, 2014

Is it possible to write a story in five words?

Hemingway managed it in six: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

But five?

Some weeks ago my wife mentioned a five-word story challenge that had been on the radio.  I’d missed it, sadly, but fancied having a go for my own satisfaction.  Well, to say it was fun would be an understatement.  I’d produced a list of 34 five-word stories before crying “Whoa!”  Then, a month later, couldn’t resist having another shot, and produced a further list of 24.



Charms, curses: angels flog witches!


Bald, harem depleted, he versifies.


What’s that rapid ticking noise?


As with poetry, very short stories do require an imaginative reading.

An interesting discovery was that a number of my five-word stories, when paired-up, produced micro-narratives of greater subtlety and depth.  I think of them as five-plus-five word stories.



Chiselled…lovers’ names worn smooth.

Their spirits live on unrecognised.


Ghost town wheelies, kerblined still.

Toothless, skeletal, she peers out.


Riding rails, lost in nightmare.

Pretty punk girls offer sausages.


Robot wreckers: modern Luddites, we –

Hacking for your pauper’s penny.


Strumming, elderly busker draws glamourpuss.

Coins, kiss, her eyes glisten.


So here’s a challenge for you, purely for fun.  Have a shot at writing a five-word or five-plus-five word story or two.  You might be surprised at what you come up with!  Do please share your stories by posting under Comments.  (Nothing offensive, of course.)

No prizes, sorry!


Have a great Sunday, everyone, and – for those it applies to – a happy Bank Holiday Monday.


Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

  1. Day 4, late, and no sign of a story yet! Okay, here are three more of mine, a five-worder and a pair of five-plus-fives:

    Blizzard escape; trappers hunt her.

    Sinful yearnings; a beckoning dell.
    Thunder rumbles, they fumble urgently.

    Whisperings from beyond, he pales.
    Ants eat dandruff; grow huge.

    Come and have a go – it’s fun!


  2. Maureen Weldon permalink

    Love your website. Maureen

    • Maureen, so pleased you’ve found my blog and like it. It was lovely to see you at Northwich LitFest the other evening. I’m looking forward to publication of your new chapbook, ‘Midnight Robin’, and hope to make it to the launch in November. Do call again at Grandy’s Landing – you’re most welcome.


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