Skip to main content

The Rat's Nest

I've been reading the Finca Vigia edition of Hemingway's short stories and he did this really interesting thing in "The First Forty-nine" that I really liked. In between each of the meatier stories he'd have a very, very short story. Short like 5-8 sentences.

These operate in much the same way as the six-word stories but I found that they were a little harder. You have a little bit more room to explore, but you still have to leave a reader feeling as though there's a larger story that they need to play out in their head.

I've worked all month on this and of all the ones I tried to write, this is the one I liked the most:

When we slept, there wasn't much we could do about them. They skittered about, scratching at the walls and cupboards, scouring every bare corner for food, terrifying our sleep, making it uneasy, queasy and dreadful. We've been here six weeks and will be here who knows how many more longer and they never cease to stress me. They finally ran the cat off completely yesterday, they were bigger, tougher and more stubborn than he was. Perhaps we'll finally get some rest tomorrow, I intend to buy a shotgun.

Comments

Peter said…
Sandwiches

I'm sitting at the computer and she brings me a sandwich.

"Hungry?"

"Still not."

"Plenty more where that came from." She sets the plate on my desk. Goes back to the kitchen.

I log off and eat the sandwich, turn off the computer, head for the kitchen. She stands at the counter, busy with the peanut butter and jelly. I see the next sixty seconds in my head.

She will say something like, Hungry? And I will say something like, Still not. And she will say, Need to eat. And I will say, Better get going. And she, I'll wrap it up. And I, Not necessary. And she, Just a moment. And I, I'll have something while I'm out. And then: she'll wrap the sandwich in a plastic.

I put the plate in the sink.

"Hungry?" she says and hands me a sandwich on a plate.

"Got any milk?" I say.

She opens the frig, pours me a glass.

"Plenty more where that came from."
Shelly said…
Aside from the word 'queasy', I LOVE this short.
Bankole Oluwole said…
Really liked the bit, it's good to know there's plenty more where that came from

Popular posts from this blog

The Missed Opportunities of Days Gone By

“Hello?” I said into the phone, accepting the call from a number I didn’t recognize. “Hey,” the feminine voice on the other replied, as though I should know the sound of her voice. At a loss, I said, “Can I help you?” “It’s Brooke.” Her name stopped me. It couldn’t possibly be her. We hadn’t spoken in years, a decade perhaps. “Brooke?” “Yeah, Brooke Baker. This is Mark, right?” Jesus Christ. It was her. “Yeah, it is Mark. Brooke. Wow. How are you? It’s been a long time since… well… since anything.” “I know.” “So, how are you doing?” “Okay, I suppose…” Her voice belied her words, though. Something was up. “I… It’s just been so long and I guess I wanted to hear your voice.” “I don’t think I had a number for you. Ever. I offered a couple of times, but…” “I was a brat back then.” And that’s how a random phone call turned into a two-and-a-half hour catch-up session. We spoke of everything under the sun: people we still knew, how different we were, h

The End of an Era and a New Beginning

It's been a long time coming, but I think an upgrade to my web presence was long overdue. I began this blog in 2005 and it's served me well over the last 13 years. My goal in those early days was to write a short story every month. Back then, that was the only writing I was doing. This website, then called "Bryan's Short Story Corner," got me into a regular writing habit. One that I still maintain today. I hoped it would help me get eyeballs on my words and, looking back at some of those early short stories, I shouldn't have wanted any of those eyeballs looking. Today, my Patreon fills that void. There is a dedicated group of supporters there that help subsidize my ability to write short stories on the regular. After I started publishing books, this blog morphed into a place to talk about my projects and writing and it worked well enough for that for a long time. But now I have Twitter and Medium for those functions and they have much cleaner and easi

Salt Lake Comic Con 2017 Schedule

It's time for another year of Salt Lake Comic Con and another hectic schedule for me. But! that doesn't mean it's not a helluva lot of fun. I hope you're able to join me at any of these panels. Especially if you like Star Wars. And please, please, please come to my signing and visit. Get some books signed. I'd love that enormously. Here is my Thursday schedule: Everything here is a highlight. That first panel about behind the scenes of the prequels is with Pablo Hidalgo and I'll be asking him questions about what it was like to be there on set for most of the prequels. Then I'll be asking questions of Michael Biehn, who I've been a fan of since I was a little kid. Aliens and Terminator were favorites. If you want to ask him a question, please hit me up on Twitter with it. I will ask it at the panel. And you don't want to miss Fauxthentic History's Infinity Gauntlet live episode. It's going to be soooo good. Here is Friday: