Social Question

downtide's avatar

Can you write a drabble?

Asked by downtide (23468points) September 12th, 2013

A question by lovelessness inspired this one. A drabble is a short story, very short. It must be exactly 100 words in length, no more, no less, but it must be able to stand alone as a story in its own right. Dialogue is allowed and it doesn’t have to be one single paragraph.

Can you drabble? I can.

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34 Answers

downtide's avatar

The air smelled comfortingly of oil paint and turpentine, of freshly sawn wood and engine grease and the soft musky afterscent that followed their hungry lovemaking while the late afternoon sun slanted light and shadow across the porch. Their porch.

They tried to deny it of course, tried to pretend that they were not so close to one another. Tried to pretend that it was all some kind of accident.

Of course that never worked, somehow they always came back, butting heads in the way wild horses greet each other.

Sometimes the wild horses are not so wild after all.

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tom_g's avatar

When he walked outside, his kids were playing in the yard, the birds were chirping, and his wife was lying on the grass enjoying the late summer sun.

Later that night, they sat around the dinner table exchanging stories of their day, and he was struck with how perfect everything is. As he looked around the table, he couldn’t help but feel that there should be some way to grab the moment and hold onto it. Unable to, he drank some water and took it all in.

A short time later, everyone was gone. Then the sun swallowed the earth.

Rarebear's avatar

Ah…another Drabblecast fan. Excellent!

KNOWITALL's avatar

The small dog cried out in fear and pain, that’s what made me turn my head in that direction. Running over to the poor creature, I saw his entire spine was crushed and no one was around to help, so he was just laying there, crying and helpless.

I did the only thing I could do, you have to trust me, because I couldn’t stand the dogs pain and I knew it was too late to save him. I gently lifted his head, bent my chest down to hold him close, and covered his nose while holding his mouth shut.

downtide's avatar

@KNOWITALL yikes! Poor puppy!

Blondesjon's avatar

Heckler sighed as he sighted his target. The judge’s doorway sprang in to view. According to his handlers he was doing the world a favor.

How many more of these before I call it quits?, he wondered absently. This thought had become as much a ritual during his hits as the methodical cleaning and calibrating of his rifle. How many more contracts before they figure it’s time to ‘retire’ me?

Koch sighed as he brought Heckler in to his sights. How many more of these before I call it quits?, he wondered as he slowly exhaled and pulled the trigger.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@downtide Yeah, it’s not originally mine, it’s from memory based on a Stephen King novel, but it freaked me out and I can’t get it out of my mind. When my dogs are hurt, I panic, and once I yelled at my husband to cut my dog’s throat because she’d tangled with an animal and I thought it had ripped half her face off. Aarrghhh…talk about heart-pounding. He still teases me about that.

Blondesjon's avatar

@KNOWITALL . . . Duma Key. Great story.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Blondesjon Ding, ding, ding- we have a winner!! :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

The payload bay opened and the autonomous heat seeker lazily dropped away from its retention carriage. A safe distance from the mother ship the low speed guidance thruster ignited and three optical sensors began searching the landscape for the preprogrammed cross-hatched target pattern and heat signature of an enemy asset.
Within seconds, the device located matching visual and IR signals, locked on, interrogated and received confirmation from weapon control.
The main thruster fired, accelerating the missile to supersonic speed, sending it crashing through the window and detonating precisely one meter above Mrs. McKeever’s tray of oven fresh, hot cross buns.

Pachy's avatar

I am leaning against a tree on the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial, surrounded by a sea of Whites and Blacks standing, talking, laughing, bonding under the scorching August sun.

A young black kid begins climbing the tree for a better view. As he reaches up, his jeans rip at the crotch. At first he’s unaware, but hearing raucous laugher below, he discovers the terrible tear, covers his face with embarrassment, and allows himself to be lowered by two friends.

Suddenly, loudspeakers crackle. We fall silent and face the podium, where Martin Luther King is about to speak.

muppetish's avatar

“Does it have to be this way?”

The train hollered as it chugged into the crowded station. She gazed at the tufts of erupting smoke, sucked in the sides of her cheeks, and chewed methodically. Was that hesitation when she nodded?

“Will you at least write to me?”

Her arms slackened under the strain of her meticulously packed luggage.

I held out my hand, but she shuddered, swinging the suitcase between us like a scythe.

The gate opened to the throng of travelers. Without looking back, she ascended into the hallway of sleeper carriages before I could even utter “goodbye”.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This sure separates the English and Philosophy majors from the Engineers. Fun!

ucme's avatar

Anyone who actually counted each example to ensure there was exactly 100 words shall be smacked about the head & face with a wet fish.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I checked mine with Microsoft Word.

ucme's avatar

I meant anyone’s other than your own.

ucme's avatar

<Smirk>

ucme's avatar

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer…

Seek's avatar

RAP-PAP-PAP-PAP-PAP

Startled cries – three small voices – burst shrilly into the air. Golden hair soared into a whirlwind as tiny heads fell to the ground. Marbles flew across the living room, hitting the tiled floor in time with the children’s heartbeats.

RAP-PAP-PAP-PAP-PAP

Again rattled the front door window, and the eldest leapt into action. She had been prepared for this. She shushed them and ushered them into the basement and into safety. Frightened, she crawled under the table, watching the shadow behind the curtain.

It slinked away at last.

From the window, she watched him deliver pizza to the next apartment.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know if I can do it or not, but I love this thread. Maybe I’ll give it a go later.

Seek's avatar

It was hard! I am way too verbose to do that regularly.

Pachy's avatar

Do it, @augustlan, do it!

Pachy's avatar

On a moonless December night, the vacationer is driving the back road from Sedona to Flagstaff. The only lights visible are the car’s twin beams racing ahead; beyond them, he can see only blackness.

Climbing higher and higher into the mountains, he pulls over to look at the stars. He steps out, and suddenly the silence and blackness around him and the billion stars above him exert a perceptible physical force, a weight, that knocks him to his knees. He is experiencing a wave of panic and awe such as he has never known before, and will never know again.

downtide's avatar

There are some great stories here.

Cupcake's avatar

The goo was cold on her teenage belly. She could barely hold in her pee. The middle-aged sonographer looked at her with a judgmental glance before pushing the transducer into the goo.

“Everything looks fine. Do you want to know the gender?”

She quietly replied, “Yes, please.”

“See that there?” She pointed. “It’s a boy.”

Her heart fell. How could she raise a boy on her own? She’d never even seen a penis before. In a rush, the rape came back to her. Her knees covering her sight, tears running down her face.

“Can I go to the bathroom yet?”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I wouldn’t mind more of that one!

Rarebear's avatar

“Clear!” the doctor called and people stepped back quickly as she administered the shock.

“V-fib” the nurse stated, and the therapists once again pounded on the chest. “One and two and one and two and…” he intoned to himself.

“Give me one milligram epinephrine!” The doctor wiped her brow as she pondered what else to do. She was the leader, ultimately responsible, but she started losing hope as the therapist continued “One and two and…”

Finally, she said, “It’s time to call it.” Activity ceased as people walked sadly away from the CPR manikin who stared blankly at the ceiling.

wildpotato's avatar

He became aware he was running. His feet hurt. It was pleasant, despite the ache – the rhythmic spring and pull, the steady bellows of his chest. He could run like this for hours. The question bubbled up – how long have I been running? And why?

It stopped mattering abruptly as his leg buckled. He never really saw what he’d stepped on, nestled in the dead leaves; just a fleeting impression of liquid black eyes. He watched his leg bend in a way it shouldn’t, and in the instant before the pain hit he remembered what he had been running from.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(You guys are so dark and gloomy!)

Once upon a time (all great fairy tales start with “Once upon a time”) there was a fairy named Madrigal. There was nothing particularly special about Madrigal. She was a regular, lovely, gentle fairy with sparkles on her wings. She was about 2 inches tall. She was what your cat sees when he comes into a dark room, stares at the wall at something you can’t see, then suddenly runs from the room in terror. Stupid cat. The fairy won’t hurt you. The cat finally figured that out, then he shared his food with the fairy, which was a miracle.

Rarebear's avatar

I rewrote @Dutchess_III‘s

Once upon a time (all great fairy tales start with “Once upon a time”) there was a fairy named Madrigal. There was nothing particularly special about Madrigal. She was a regular, lovely, gentle fairy with sparkles on her wings. She was about 2 inches tall. She was what your cat sees when he comes into a dark room, stares at the wall at something you can’t see, then suddenly runs from the room in terror. Stupid cat. The fairy won’t hurt you. The cat figured that out, then he shared his food with the fairy, then he ate her too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That was great! Sad, but great @Rarebear! Poor Fairy. Stupid Cat.

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