100 Word Story Challenge

by limebirdwriters

So, the time has come around again, we are taking up the challenge of Julia’s 100 Word Challenge.

100 word challenge

The prompt this week was “You bought her what”. Julia didn’t give us any punctuation, leaving us free reign, so myself and LimebirdKate have come up with some ideas. They are very different! Please do have a go yourself too if you get a chance, it’s great fun!

Oh before you get stuck in, please please read this message from Julia:

Many of you know about the 100 Word Challenge that is run from 100wc.net. It is the original 100 word project and is for children under 16. We desperately need some more folks to comment of these brilliant pieces of work. I would be really grateful if you could add a note and a link on your blogs to encourage your readers to get involved. Many thanks!”

Oh, also it’s Julia’s birthday today, so Happy Birthday from all of the Limebird Team!

LimebirdKate

I am shocked by the news. I follow my sister down the wheelchair ramp and past the garage where my mother lives. It became her new home after she accidentally burned down her old one.  My 8-year-old daughter is responsible for unplugging appliances before bedtime.

I still can’t comprehend. “You bought her what?”

“The state took her license. You know she values her independence.”

“She kept getting into accidents! She nearly ran over a child!”

“It won’t be a problem.” We stop in my backyard. I stare in horror.

My mother is tooling around my garden on a golf cart.

LimebirdBeth

Unfamiliar fuzzy voices surrounded me. I tried to open my eyes, but couldn’t seem to move.

My ears picked up on my mum’s voice nearby. “You bought her what no one else could… time. We do appreciate that Dr Jeffries… but I think we’ve come to the decision as a family that.. “ she took a deep breath, “we think the time has come to you know..” her voice breaking at the end.

I tried to scream so loud, to tell her that I was still there. “Mum! Mum, I’m in here, please hear me. My mouth wouldn’t move.” Silence.

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53 Comments to “100 Word Story Challenge”

  1. I love these two stories. They are both excellent. LimebirdBeth, your story is truly chilling…awesome, awe-inspiring, makes you shiver down to your bones…This story remains with the reader and stays in the readers’ minds long after they have finished reading the story itself…LimeBirdKate, your story is really funny, and I love the images! The imagery in both your stories is really amazing. It is incredible how you both can weave such excellent stories in only 100 words! I love the ways that you both interpreted this wonderful prompt. I know that I could never weave such clever and inspired stories as you both did, using only 100 words! Excellent work here, Limebirds! I am in awe of both your writing skills.

    • Hi Scriptor,

      Thank you for commenting and for the compliments on our stories. You should have a go, you might surprise yourself! 😉

    • Hi Scriptor,

      Thanks for your huge compliment. Honestly, I do these to test myself and to keep my writing from getting too stale. I find that when I’m in the middle of a novel it is hard to write in other ways, such as poetry or essays. I love this challenge because it keeps all my writing muscles limber. The payoff is worth it that’s for sure.

      Beth’s story is a doozy, isn’t it. I agree with you, it stayed with me long after I read it.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Can we vote on a winner? If so, sorry Beth, but Kate takes the cake. She had me at “golf cart”.

    • Of course you can, but it’s not really a competition! Haha. But yes, I really like Kate’s one too. It made me laugh. 🙂

    • I vote for Beth hands down! 😀 (In case we are voting here 😉 Sorry LimebirdKate, your story was excellent too.)

      • Oh gosh, I don’t like the idea of this, haha. We have one each now, let’s leave it there! 🙂 Thanks Scriptor!

      • It’s all good! Beth and I love doing these challenges, and like I mentioned before it’s just a great feeling to do something that spins my writing habits differently.

        Hey B, if your dead character needs vehicle transportation to the morgue, you can always use the golf cart. 😉

    • Hi M.K.,

      You’re funny. I love that line from Jerry Maguire. I’m glad you liked them. Are you going to do one? 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed both of them, but with these little story-lets I think that an unexpected twist or humour works best, and Kate gets it very well with the “golf cart” tag. Beth’s is an excellent story, but really needs more than 100 words to tell. At the end of Beth’s I want to know more, much more; I’m curious and concerned and want more to picture the scene.

    So, deadheat in my opinion, ladies 🙂

    • Hi Chris,

      Story-let. I love that. It’s an interesting exercise, isn’t it, to see what you get in 100 words. And you’re absolutely right, I wanted to know more from Beth’s blurb too. She has such a compelling moment that could easily be turned into a short story.

      Hear that, Beth? We want short story…we want short story… 🙂

    • Thank you Chris! Yes, very true, I did feel like I really wanted to write more about it, but darn that word count! 🙂

  4. You’ve inspired me. I gave it a go. I assume the only rule is a 100-word maximum. I’ll post my creation on my blog tomorrow.

    Oh, and I really had no idea where it was going until I got there. It actually wigged me out a bit.

    For the record, I liked them both of the above equally. 🙂

    • Hi Shannon,

      Yay! I’m so glad you participated. Now, you asked about rules, so I just want to make sure that you know you’re supposed to use these following words:

      you bought her what

      I can’t wait to read what you wrote!

  5. Oops! I “replied” instead of commenting. I’ll get the hang of this some day!

  6. Great entries. I love how different your two responses are.

    Both convey a sense of horror, one comedic and the other chilling. I agree with Scriptor Obscura that they’re both written and woven together really well.

    LimebirdKate – I had a relative who needed to have her license taken away so I can sort of relate. Your story made me smile.

    LimebirdBeth – I hope I can never relate to that one because it gave me goosebumps; powerfully written and thrilling to read.

    • Hi Buddhafulkat,

      Thank you. Beth made the same remark, about how different they are. It’s funny what different people will come up with using the same words. Tells us a lot about the psyche, and human nature and all kinds of psychological craziness!

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Hi Buddhafulkat,

        Thanks for commenting. Yeah it definitely is strange how we came up with such different takes on the prompt, but that’s what makes it so fun I think!

        Wait… Kate… if that’s true, I’m pretty morbid right? Uh oh….

  7. Such different takes on the same topic — and yet both of them are clean, smart, unwordy stories that convey their messages strongly. Good for both of you!

  8. Did you guys put these up on the site, or just here? Did you name them?

  9. Wow, I don’t think I can say anything more that wasn’t already covered. Both are so well-written, from two totally different approaches. And because of that, I couldn’t choose one over the other. Yes, I’m a Libra 😉

  10. I think the super-short format lends itself better to humor than to serious subjects. When you tell a joke, it’s minimal: setup, punchline. Tragedy takes more time to develop fully.

    • Good point, MK. And for that reason, the serious subject becomes more than just that 100-word blurb. Suddenly I’m there in that hospital staring at this person, willing her to speak and knowing she can’t, and devastated when they pull the plug. That’s how a story gets its beginnings.

      • Alright MK dig the knife in won’t ya! 😉 Haha, I do agree with you though, however I think there are two different ways of approaching these super short stories. You can either wrap it all up in the 100 words, like you said.. setup, punchline, or you can just do a little snap shot of a bigger story. I thought I would challenge myself with this format, but I think definitely next time, I’ll maybe go for the humour! 🙂

  11. Great entries both of you! I give you two thumbs and two big toes up. That’s one thumb and one big toe each!

  12. I loved both of the stories!

    The great thing about 100 word stories is that it makes you think; look at what really matters in a story.

    I also agree with Chris James, these very short stories lend themselves very well to twists at the end. Mine sometimes have terrible puns related to the title too!

    For those of you looking for other prompt to write, I take part in the Drabble Day Challenge at http://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com/ On that challenge we are given one word as a prompt every Monday (but we are given a bit of leeway – 100 words plus or minus 5).

    So far I have written 35 and will be using them in the same way that I used the Twitterludes in my poetry collection. I think that, maybe, my top 20 of however many I write will be likely to get into the final version. If anyone is interested in taking a look they can be found at http://dmlbooks.wordpress.com/category/drabble-day

    If you only want to see one, my partner recommends this one, definitely not humorous! http://dmlbooks.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/drabble-day-lure

    • Hi Dennis,

      Yes, I think to keep these story-lets (I’m stealing the term for my own use :)) interesting and wanting you to read another one or to do another one is the twist at the end. But it’s so hard to do! Beth and I got lucky this time, who knows what will happen next time…

      we are doing a next time, right B? 🙂

      Thank you for the links–I will definitely look at those.

  13. Two great stories.

    The first one had me smiling. I have a good friend who has reached the age where he ought to swap his car for a golf cart!

    The second one was very poignant. Great imagery.

  14. Love the humour in Kate’s story. Beth – yours is chilling, well done.

  15. From funny to terrifying and sad, you two made a good comparison. 🙂

    The conversations sealed it for me. I love the imagery, but without that, I just can’t imagine how these stories would have gone.

    Good job!

  16. Loved both of these; the second especially so- gave me goosebumps.

  17. Kate: That is just brilliant! I love your writing – it’s crisp and to the point, and I love the understatement ‘after she accidentally burnt down the old one’ and ‘she nearly ran down a child’! Great piece! Made me laugh too.

    Beth: I’m still reeling! This is such a powerful piece – and so awful! To think that something so terrible could happen – but the ghastly truth is, I suppose it could! Well done – it makes a great – if brutal! – story.

  18. These were both excellent!

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