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by John Michaelson

Hello writebuzzers.  Here is an interesting idea.  Some time ago, the Telegraph ran a creative writing competition:  submit a story of EXACTLY 50 words; title can be an additional maximum of 15. 

There were over 9000 entries and, having read 200 or so, I was amazed at the imagination and skill of the entries.  Have a go if you dare - this is not as easy as it sounds.

Title: Young love.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Yesterday he had a woman in the house.  Today he left without a word.  He rubbed her nose in every mistake she ever made.  She ripped all his clothes to shreds.  Carried away, she even urinated in his new Italian shoes.  Returing home, he wished he'd never bought a puppy.

Title: The keys.
Author: Lloyd Williams

Where were they? He’d torn the house apart in five minutes and they weren’t here, but they had to be because he was and he couldn’t get in without them. He continued to search as his keys dangled from the lock outside in the rain.

He missed the job interview.

Title: The phone call
Author: Lloyd Williams

She would not stop talking. There was no way to escape this conversation and the phone cord was too short. All he could do was listen to her ramble as he watched the steam from the pan turn to heavy smoke. He knew right then that his dinner was ruined.

Title: Pink and blue.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Cold blue morning finds them on the brink.  Sue wakes with a bashed up face and sobs.  Sam, hung-over, vomits in the sink.  What has precipitated such a fuss?  Could they blame Sue's bruises on the drink?  Sam goes to their bedroom door contrite.  Single sex relationships aren't always pink.

Title: The Gift
Author: Lloyd Williams

‘Well, do you like it?’ she asked with unbounded enthusiasm.
He’d been taken by surprise when he pulled back the wrapping paper and his poker face only hid as much as a g-string.  How could he tell her he didn’t know which way up her painting was supposed to go?

Title: The glittering prize.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Mum was cooking in the kitchen.  Dad told us to go fish in the pond while he hurried her along.  We felt a little tense, knowing he was in there giving her a roasting.  We soon hooked our glittering prize:  the police might just have found that necklace of hers.

Title: Justice For All
Author: Lloyd Williams

Only child. High school drop out. No friends. No family. No job. No qualifications. No fixed abode. No money. No food. No time to think. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. No time to make a call. No solicitor. No suit. No tie. No ideas. No friendly jurors. No chance.

Title: Augmenting the pile.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

The moon became unbalanced and fell from the sky; the earth cracked open like a fumbled egg, spraying great gouts of magma and crude oil; boiling, acrid rains washed over mankind, scalding or poisoning him unto death.  God put down his quill, discarded the yellowing manuscript, and started writing anew.

Title: The choice
Author: Dillidge Carver

Who dies? Who lives? So many faces in the sea of humanity below.

How to choose?

The sniper rested the cross-hair upon the brow of a bearded one.

He held his breath to steady the aim. Ginger – it was as good a reason as any other that came to mind.

Title: Second Chance.
Author: Dillidge Carver

Finding a seat, he eagerly unfurled the newspaper and settled to read the report of his own death.

He raised his face from the print and glanced around the departure lounge – nobody gave him a second look.

He was bloody expensive, that plastic surgeon – but well worth every single penny.

Title: The date.
Author: Lloyd Williams

She was stunning. She looked even sexier in the romantic candle light which made her deep eyes sparkle. Her long, dark hair matched her long black silk dress. She pushed him down onto the soft mattress and began to unzip. His eyes widened…

Then the author ran out of words.

Title: Un-limited
Author: Lloyd Williams

He never thought it possible to cover so much distance in so little time. There were reasons but he didn’t have time to analyse them. The police did. It was wet, his vision was impaired, she ran out less than thirty feet away and he was speeding.

HE suffered bruises.

Title: Turn it down.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

BARRY SCOTT - CILLIT BANG! Starts doing home visits; bellows at housewives and geriatrics.  CLEANS ANYTHING YOU CAN DREAM OF!  Yesterday, he calls on my Grandad, who turns down his hearing aid, coughs up debris from an emphysaemic lung, and spits it onto Barry's shirt.  How’s it on stains?  he mutters.

Title: The wait
Author: Lloyd Williams

Tom hated this room. It was small and it smelled strange and he’d read the posters on the wall at least three times and the waiting, my god how long did he have to wait? Turns out it wasn’t long enough, the wait was over;
‘Sorry Tom, test’s positive.’

Title: World Energy Summit
Author: Dillidge Carver

‘So this Global Warming issue… if we were all to turn the air-conditioning in our cars to maximum, open the windows and rev the engines like hell…’

All eyes turned towards the UK Transport Minister who sat as smug and self-assured as a man who had just saved the World.

Title: Unwelcome Advice
Author: Dillidge Carver

‘Don’t forget to put your jumper on!’

To Matt It sounded more like an order than advice – ‘Who does that Policeman think he is… my Mum?’

Not before I finish this cigarette he thought.

Leaning against ambulance he eyed the grisly mess beside the stretcher.

He hated these bloody suicides!

Title: The Phone Call (2)
Author: Lloyd Williams

His mother would not stop talking. There was no way to escape this conversation and the phone cord was too short. By the time he got back down to the basement the prostitute had managed to break free of her bonds and wield the bloodied knife, despite her missing fingers.

Title: The Nephrectomy
Author: Dillidge Carver

The surgery had gone exceedingly well; the offending right side organ having been removed quickly, with great skill.

‘The Patient has one good kidney. Left.

The notes in the operating theatre clearly stated.

… and this is on the right.’

Continued the second page as it blew down the corridor.

Title: What's it like?
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

When she spent her lunch-break with a friend, he sulked.  When she spent the evening with her mother, he complained bitterly.  When he went out drinking, he cheated on her.  When she found out, he whined.  Do you know what it's like being a man?  No, she replied.  Do you?

Title: The Lonely Christians
Author: Lloyd Williams

He turned the page and came across ‘Christian Lonely Hearts’. Through boredom he decided to take a look and began scanning the ads.
Each one was practically the same: ‘Lonely female Christian looking for a man willing to make a sacrifice.’
He rolled his eyes disdainfully and thought, ‘Jesus Christ.’

Title: Tickled.
Author: Lloyd Williams

Tim hated being tickled, it made him feel sick.

Right now he was sleeping but as his conscious mind became more aware he could feel the tickling sensation on his foot. He woke quickly and threw back the covers.

The only thing he hated more than being tickled, was spiders.

Title: Fate #1
Author: Dillidge Carver

He missed the train.

Had he gotten that train, then he’d have caught the bus.

That bus crashed - into the cab.

The cab he caught, because he missed the train.

Not a scratch.

The coincidence!

He was laughing as he stepped in front of the truck that killed him.

Title: Fate #2
Author: Dillidge Carver

He shouldn’t have resisted, should have just let them take it!

A couple of hundred quid, not worth getting gunned down for.

But he did – and he was.

When they took the bullet from his stomach, they found the cancer hiding there and took that away too.

He was laughing.

Title: Mathematical models
Author: Geraldine Harper

"Let’s go 50:50", they both agreed, and off they set.

Robbing a School is not as easy as you might think, even if you know the place.
Mr Monroe and Miss Smith did get fifty percent each, but fifty percent of nothing is nothing.
At least they taught us something.

Title: Mean Wile
Author: Carl Glover

Anthony steadily climbed the steep stairs, hauling his heavy case, and pausing for breath every five steps or so.

‘I booked ground floor’, Anthony grumbled, ‘and where's the friggin porter?’

The friggin porter was at the top. He gave Anthony a nifty nudge, and collected his bounty on stair 59.

Title: The Eruption
Author: Lloyd Williams

    So repressed was he by society, by it’s ever accusing eyes and guiding (pushy) hands, that when he blew it was with the force of Vesuvius and those around him were the stricken residents of Pompeii.
    No amount of checks and filters could ever have stopped him becoming a teacher.

Title: "Revenge"
Author: Bella Fortuna

Theodora - relentlessly bullied - told the counsellor how she'd respond. "As if, as if!" he cautioned. Theodora listened intently.

Later, the bully didn't show.

At the family garage Theodora called out "Asif". A contrite bully - mouth sealed, leash round neck - grunted. She beat him harshly until he squealed at her feet.

Title: Problem Sorted
Author: Tanya Withers

And the problem is ….

This is going to be good. Lock up your daughters, here comes the mud.

And the problem is …

Me! Hell, that’s a surprise. That’s no problem to me pal, so go dry your eyes.

Your problem is your future. My problem was my past.

Title: Painfully Alive
Author: Lloyd Williams

With each bet he was further down the line. With each bet he lost a little more. With each bet came pain and anguish and emptiness. But he couldn’t stop, because with each bet, with each card turned over, came the rush and it made him alive, despite the cost.

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