• Micro Fiction Contest: Take Your Accordion and Buzz Off

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 63 comments

    Discussion questions: Using fifty words or fewer, write a short story or scene that begins with the line “Take your accordion and buzz off” and ends with “I should think so.” Write or past your story into the comments.


    (To skip my narration and get straight to contest details, scroll down to the next heading.)

    For this month’s Micro Fiction Contest, we’re gonna try something a little bit different.

    In last week’s post, “Why Do You Want to Publish a Book?” a particular discussion thread reminded me of a quote from a writer — whose name I can’t remember, and the context of which I don’t remember, and I can’t find anything on Google, so it’s possible it was something I heard in conversation, or, even more likely, it’s a total figment of my imagination — about his/her feelings about outlining and story, looking at writing fiction as a kind of road trip.

    To paraphrase, because that’s all I can do, because it was probably never said: “If your goal is to get from here to Baltimore, it doesn’t matter what route you take, so long as you end up in Baltimore.”

    This week, we’re all going to start in the same place and end up in Baltimore. Let’s see the variety of ways you get there.


    What Is This Contest and How Do I Enter?

    In sixty (60) words or fewer (including the ten built into the two lines provided), write a story or scene — or even a moment from your own life; these don’t have to be fiction — that begins with “Take your accordion and buzz off”i.e., is the opening line — and ends with (final line) “I should think so.”

    Enter as many times as you wish.

    Write or paste your story/stories in the comments section below.

    Submit your entries by the end of Sunday, June 7. I’ll announce the winner in the comments and in the following weekend’s email message (which, if you don’t already receive, you can sign up for in the right sidebar).

    My favorite story (stories?) will earn its writer his/her choice of book from the WBN library.


    You’ll Choose a Winner Based on What, Exactly?

    The usual metrics: style, concision (obviously), humor. Whimsy (mine).

    And I’ll take into account the number of thumbs-up each story receives. So if you really enjoy someone else’s piece, be a sport and give it an upvote.

    Good luck! And be well.


    And P.S. We’ve been having some trouble with our comments section after a recent WordPress update. I’m working on it. If the “post comment” button isn’t available to you — which means you’re probably using Chrome — it seems to work fine on Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.


    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2020 writing project you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. If you have a manuscript that’s ready for some editorial care, check out our various critiquing, editorial, and proofing servicesJoin our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

    5 1 vote
    Article Rating
    Notify of

    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Joe Giordano

    If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On (I assume the title isn’t included in word count)

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.”

    “Not a music lover?”

    “Just won’t be your lover.”

    Outside a five-star Italian restaurant, Enzo played, “Return to Sorrento.”


    “Join me for dinner,” he said.

    Rachael looked skeptical

    “I’m not joking.”

    She sighed. “I’ve never had a five-hundred-dollar dinner.”

    “I’d be lonely eating by myself.”

     She took his arm. “I should think so.”


    Fun reading! Thanks for sharing!

    Joe. Giordano

    Very kind, Thanks. Joe

    Torria Stevens

    Nice Joe!

    Joe Giordano

    Thanks for reading. Joe.


    “Take your accordion and buzz off.” Said slyly.

    “I. I – need to know there’s trust. It’s hard.”

    The buzz cut looked professional. And felt good.

    ” – Trust. Involves risking exposure -“


    “- Risk that. You think – that – is a good idea?”

    ” – If we had time for – good – ideas, things would be different”

    “Yike. Might lose everything. You know – “

    “I should think so”

    James Patrick Rick

    Take your accordion and buzz off, I thought. An annoying street musician, a late limousine, and Baltimore, my only choice on short notice, pissed me off.


    They would shoot the scene on those Georgetown Steps in the film, THE EXORCIST. looking top to bottom, I commented to a crew member, “that fall could hurt.” She said, “I should think so.”


    Elissa Malcohn

    Take your accordion and buzz off.

    It’s the wrong way to play Chopin.

    It sounds like brushing sweater fuzz off,

    With buttons rattlin’ in a can.

    Like Rhapsody in Blue played on a kazoo

    And a slide whistle, too. Oh, woe.

    Like Stravinsky’s Rite has sprung its Spring.

    Does it all sting? I should think so.

    Last edited 3 years ago by Elissa Malcohn

    The Most Blues-Wailin’ Kazoo!

    Torria Stevens


    Elissa Malcohn

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.”


    I unslung the keyboard. “Better?”


    He scowled. “Bad memories. Why do I even come here?”


    Why does anyone come to the tea room? Probably to see who’s still alive.


    I refilled our glasses at the samovar, shifting from musician to therapist.


    My heart ached already, but would I listen? I should think so.

    Ambika Devi

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.” said Jarred looking down at his shoes.

    “Ex-squeeze me?” I retorted through my cheesiest smile.

    I was exhausted from driving 14 hours all the way to Baltimore from Florida on a blustery autumn day in an effort to melt the recent pain of loosing my mother.

    He kissed me fiercely, “I should think so.””

    Larisa McGrath

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.” Slam. Rejected again.


    “He smells like poo,” said a girl passing. 

    “It’s rude to point,” said the mother, nose up, eyes forward, child in tow.


    Bedraggled Mr. Wicks hobbles in stained rags south toward Baltimore, one step at a time. “Rude to point,” he grumbled, longing for a hot shower. “I should think so.”


    “Take your accordion and buzz off”, Periwinkle slammed the phone.
    “Who was that?”, Morgan wondered.
    “Lawrence Welk impersonator. I know this is 1984, Morgue, but Big Brother ain’t listening”.
    “No good?”
    “He plays according music. According to him, it’s music. I’m an agent, not a miracle worker.”
    “Meh. So call Berko-schvitz. He’ll hire anything”.
    Perry brightened, “I should think so”.


    “TAKE YOUR ACCORDION AND BUZZ OFF!”, read the blimp.
    Bindleman sighed. This machine…
    “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Belinda was having one of her days. He could tell.

    “I’m trying to invent the 4D printer. My dream is to help humanity make time!”
    He finished his adjustments and pressed the PRINT button. An amazing river of colors followed the blimp into the sky. It contained all things past, passing or to come. It was incredible, beautiful, awesome…
    His wife did that thing with her lip.
    “I’ll take the trash out in a minute, hon,” he whispered.

    Last edited 3 years ago by KevinW
    reuven racionzer

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.”


    I never would’ve said it that way to the busker. He was just trying to earn some money. But when he kept haranguing my (yarmulked) father for MORE, Dad snapped “….buzzoff!”


    The busker barked. “Dirty Jew!”


    “HELLO! I take five baths a day…(OCD, you know).”


    “So, you’re a clean Jew?”


    “I should think so.” 


    reuven racionzer

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.”


    I never would’ve said it that way to the busker. He was just trying to earn some money. But when he kept haranguing my (yarmulked) father for MORE, Dad snapped “….buzzoff!”


    The busker barked. “Dirty Jew!”


    “HELLO! I take five baths a day…(OCD, y’know).”


    “Clean-shmean, a Jew’s a Jew.”


    “I should think so.”

    (I already posted this story, but I wanted to edit it and wasn’t able to, so this is the edited version.)



    “Take your accordian and buzz off!

    Woman playing accordian in her driveway: “Who are you?”

    Man in car: ” It does not matter who I am. But if you listened to me, you’d be better off.”

    Woman: “I do not need to listen to a stranger who clearly does not appreciate fine music.”

    Man: “That’s classical music?”

    Woman: “I should think so!”

    Catherine Margolin

    “Take your accordion and buzz off,” she said, wrapping the silk robe more tightly against the chill.

    “Do you have time for breakfast?” he asked.

    “I’m late,” she said, turning to walk away.

    The explosion came from nowhere, throwing them to the ground. He scrambled toward her.  “Annie, are you ok?!?”

    She stood shakily, brushing off. “I should think so.” 

    Tina F

    “Take your accordion and buzz off”
    “What do you mean? It’s not mine. ”
    “You were just playing it.”
    “Not me.”
    “Who was responsible for the music I heard? Was it the dog?”
    The dog played the accordion. ”
    “He did? How?”
    “I should think he took lessons. ”
    “I should think so. “

    Tina F



    Satin The Bolts   “Take your accordion and buzz off!” She said, and ”Its dry now, need a twist” This nut turns her screw, feelin’ my oats “Get some WD-40, and use your wrist!” Better satin the bolts   Tongue-twist linguist Trailing spit around the edges Upside down and squeaky sound In between the wedges Don’t strip the wood when screwing round!   Teflon, Don! Slick Willie gets it on Spray some Pam, two or three coats Dry as a bone, she wants it DONE at home Now! “Dear, use wax for boats? Maybe Home Depot has some foam!”   … Read more »

    Catherine Margolin

    “Take your accordion and buzz off, weirdo,” she tossed a mane of chestnut hair back and glared.

    “I was helping you practice.” Pimples, crooked teeth and freckles.  Not her type at all.

    “I don’t need your help, alfalfa-breath. It’s a beauty contest.”

    Entranced anyway, he said “You should win this one.”

     “In this town?” she grimaced. “I should think so.” 

    Jodie Ball

    Take your accordion and buzz off.

    I said while briskly passing. I walked halfway to the intersection, paused, and looked back at his sad eyes.

    “I’m sorry. I would love to hear you play. I imagine it will be beautiful”, I said as I gently placed a $20 in his case. He looked up and whispered, “I should think so”. 

    Elissa Malcohn

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.” The epithets might have come in the streets, but perhaps not among the troops. My father, “Entertainment Specialist,” had raised morale in England, France, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. Told me, decades later, “We don’t talk about the war.” Or about family dead in the camps. Let him rest? I should think so.


    ” Take your accordion and buzz off,” said little Lazarus to young Jesus as the last of the air wheezed out of the monstrosity.

    ” This door to door stuff is for the birds”, Jesus mumbled as he walked over to the energetic Baptist.

    ” Moses can part the Red Sea but I can’t give this noisemaker to a gnat…”

    “…Should I take that correspondence course on preaching ?”

    John,stating the obvious,

    ” I should think so.”

    Kenneth Harris

    “Take your accordion and buzz off.”

    So much for the healing power of music. Old Israel lay dying and my minor chords wheezed from the fire escape to ease him into the afterlife get the boot from his dyspeptic nurse.

    “Isr’el doan need no entertainment right now, he got his mind on other thangs.”

    Well…I should think so.

    Kenneth Harris

    Hey there David, in fact I have been writing. I was greatly encouraged to read that you too spend long stretches away from the project in progress. I thought it was just me. Upon reading that, I went straight back to my study, affixed logging chains with the still-warm links on the calloused areas and got down to bidness.

    Michelle L Rodriguez

    The Flipside of Elvis An old man looks up and stares at this semi truck driver who is singing and playing “I want to be your Teddy Bear” on his instrument. The old man sitting on the side of the dusty road says “Take your accordion and buzz off”. The truck driver smiles and says how do you get to Baltimore from here? The old man says nothing. The truck driver jumps into his truck smiles at his female passenger and then looks in the mirror, he bares a strong resemblance to Elvis, because he is Elvis. He then grabs… Read more »

    Last edited 3 years ago by Michelle L Rodriguez

    “Take your accordion and buzz off!” The hologram projected magenta letters.
    Cliff was angry. Always, something like this…he remembered the interview with ‘Gramophone’…
    “You are the continent’s only harpsichord-playing prairie dog. Aside from the obvious physical limitations, have you encountered professional difficulties?”
    God, the Vienna premiere of the Handel…the catcalls…
    “Gopher baroque!”
    “I should think so!”


    If there’s a homonym for theremin, I’ll raise up my glass of Harp in honor of the lost chord…

    Torria Stevens

    “Take your accordian and buzz off,” Angel said. Damian was a diehard, but her eyes cut and cut to the chase to clear out. So, there it was bunched up in the back with a trumpet. “Why you gotta be like that”, he said. Damn!, she liked him, cheated though. “Now?” he said. Her eyes: “I should think so…fool!”


    “Take your accordion and buzz off!”
    Gini obliged, her little feet waltzing across the apartment. She hummed through her nose, pulling the tightly pleated sheet of paper open and closed across her chest as she went.
    “Next stop on my world tour: BALTeeeemore,” she announced.
    “Baltimore? But isn’t there time for lunch first?”
    “Well, Mom, I should think so!”

    Mark DeCosta

    “Take your ACCORDION and buzz off!” I shouted, feigning disinterest in the newly combined radical groups: Americans Caring Openly and Rebels Defying Imperialist Oppression Now. ”My loyalty lies with ZYDECO!” Would our partnership soon become a force to be reckoned with? I should think so.

    Elissa Malcohn

    I hear that the Zealots Yelling Determination in Everlasting Cooperation Organization is joining forces with the People’s Organization for Love, Kismet, and Abundance.


    Excuse me, but the Polish Organized Likers of Klarinets and Accordions is the REAL P.O.L.K.A.

    harps mclean

    “Take your accordion and buzz off,” she said.    I was home wrestling rented cuff links, watching a gladiator movie and late with the liquor.   My divorce lawyer friend in  white tux,  curly waxed mustache and safari pith helmet was carrying his accordion.   The tune “here comes the bride” stuck in the folds. 
    “Bad idea?” I asked. 
    “I should think so.”

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x