A few months ago, I stumbled across a competition for a one hundred word story. Excluding the title, the story itself had to be exactly one hundred words. Wow, I thought, what a fabulous writing challenge – a story in one hundred words. I accepted the challenge.
I wrote my one hundred word story – not only did I write it, I fell in love with it. I had never written such a condensed story. When I finished my one hundred word baby, I went back to review the entry details, only to learn that this contest was limited to residents of a certain country – and I was not a resident. I was disheartened. I was so proud of my effort and of the final result of my mini story. My disappointment did not last long; in the process I discovered a clever new writing exercise, and I created the opening for a new story I could extend into a longer piece. It was an enjoyable challenge to create character, setting and action in one hundred words. One hundred words taught me how to open the gateway to a creative flood.
The story below is not the original one, but I had fun creating another example of what I now use as a writing prompt.
The wheels struck the tarmac, rolling over the course surface, jolting eager passengers buckled into their cushioned seats. The ground whipped by in a blurry haze, then came became clear as heads atop camouflaged clothing bubbled over in anticipation. It was all they could do to stop themselves from pushing through the closed door, race down the ramp to the growing cluster of wives, husbands and children holding up their signs. One man and one woman lock eyes, melting into one another, arms clasped, journey over, they leave the recent past behind and walk into a fresh and unknown future.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.