always short and almost true stories :: singing into the wind

music man

Thirty-five words or less. These stories show up and I do my best with them. This is my latest batch. The rest are here. Thanks for reading. -K


Today would be different.

She would be strong enough.

She’d be in control and

show she could lead.

Courage mustered,

the six-year-old reached for the leash

and called the dog for their morning walk.



He had always been

a risk taker,

a daredevil.

Rules need not apply

when one eats danger for breakfast,

with an adrenaline chaser.

It’s not over.

Leaving his walker behind,

he scaled the stepstool,





that’s the hardest part

of being a mermaid,“ she said.

“Also, everyone asks if I know Ariel.

Which is ridiculous,

because there are lots of mermaids,

and it’s a really, really big sea.”



Practicing his cantata,

he sang into the wind.

He stood on the bluff by the bay,

sheet music in one hand, conducting with the other.

The percussion section rowed below,

keeping beat with their oars.



Part One:

He was dancing on the street corner,

spinning a “world’s best sandwiches” sign,

and wearing a giant pickle costume.

Last night’s cocktail party question of

making a living or making a life

wasn’t relevant today.


Part Two:

On a good day,

he imagines his giant pickle costume

is wearable art.

No one knows he’s listening to NPR podcasts

while spinning his sandwich sign.

He’s no fool,

just an artist in a pickle.




  1. Not sure which one of the stories I enjoyed the most. Perhaps the pickle one. I’ve never seen this story form; suspect it’s much harder than it seems.

  2. Kim

    Alana, thanks for your note. I started writing these after I tried the 6 word story, which was impossible for me. By the way, if you’re ever in California, there is a restaurant chain called Mr. Pickles, and they do have sign spinners in Pickle costumes (and they make great sandwiches).

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