Microfiction

In college I took a creative writing workshop. The instructor introduced me to the concept of the short, short story. Twice in the semester we were to submit five stories of one page or less that the rest of the class would poke holes through.

He described this medium of writing as being like popcorn. I can’t remember any more of the metaphor, but I assumed he meant it was easy to pop up a handful of them and that they’re not entirely unhealthy.

Most of the stories were forgettable. I remember this older, pretty graduate student wrote a story called, “The Usual Dave.” In which she talked about how she longed to call this guy named Dave, David. I had a girlfriend then, but a dude could dream. There was another story that was quite monotonous about a guy dying in the suburbs while he washed his car and nobody noticed. The teacher somehow was able to turn that into a deep dissertation about the alienation we feel from our neighbors.

And then there were my stories.

At the time I thought they were genius. Twelve years later I can see the flaws. Some I can’t even believe came from my hand. I’ve already posted A Bar StoryEthnic Rhyming Can Be Stymieing and But Do You Have Any Turnips? (I know the titles are anything but micro). In the next few days you can look forward to reading more of this mish-mesh from an earlier century.

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