• Micro Fiction Challenge: Musical Edition

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 33 comments

    It’s been an entire half a year since we last did a micro fiction contest! (See: The Excellent Gimmick.)

    A few weeks ago we talked about whether we listen to music while we read and/or write. That discussion coincided with a Yak Babies episode in which my personal pals and I talked about music and song lyrics in fiction: When it works, when it doesn’t, and why.

    Shortly after that I wrote a story in which a song features prominently, just to see if I could do it.

    Now it’s your turn!

    Your task: Write a short story in fifty words or fewer that includes a music reference: song title(s), artist(s), lyrics, whatever you want.

    The rules: You may enter as many stories as you wish! Type or copy/paste your story into the comments below. If you’re writing multiple entries, please start a different comment thread for each. Use a pseudonym if you’re shy. The deadline is exactly one week after this post publishes, which will be noon Eastern on Saturday, August 11.

    Now that our comments section has a voting system, let’s use it. If you like someone else’s entry, give it a thumbs up. I’ll take these votes into consideration when I choose a winner.

    (You can also down-vote someone else’s story, but that seems weird and hostile.)

    Make us laugh, make us cry, make us laugh/cry. If you do that, you’ll probably win.


    The prize: Books, obvi. Something from our shelves, something we’ll order for you, maybe a gift card. We’ll figure it out when you win.

    For now, sharpen your pencils and enter! You have one hundred and sixty-eight hours.


    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is copy editor and fiction editor at the Texas Observer and has written for books for the Dallas Morning News, the Iowa ReviewElectric Literature, 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 writing project you’d like help with or an idea to get off the ground, check out our coaching, editing, and publication services.

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    Joe Giordano

    Sinatra’s “Stardust” spiked my angst, and I burned Sylvia’s picture. I’d exposed my heart like a puppy’s underbelly. Nevermore. Passion would be swirled and swallowed.
    As the moon’s winter light caressed my face, I sprinkled photo ashes in the snow. I sighed. If only I could fall in love again.

    Elissa Malcohn

    Sparks fountained from the third rail between Penn Station and Times Square. Igor screamed with everyone else sardined on the A-train.

    Out on the tracks, behind the lumbering Monster trailing smoke, Victor belted out as transit cops closed in, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”


    Captured with his favorite “Short Skirt and A Long Jacket”

    Her costume removed any doubt of her appeal, leaving only the moxie to hide her lure underneath the superman cape.

    Within the dance the knee reveal at just the right moment of the twirl set the hook.

    Powerless, he sank to his own knee “I want a girl.”

    David Proctor

    Tori had introduced me to her roommate Nancy at the end of the previous school year. I tried to tease her a little about her name – “Oh, do you call yourself Lil?” – but she hadn’t heard the White Album, and I think she thought I was a little strange.

    Barbara Mealer

    Janice stared in longing at the man she loved. He turned to her and smiled.
    “Without your sweet love, what would life be. “ His hand caressed her check.
    She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. “Then let it be me,” she whispered, leaving him to make the choice.

    Kenneth Harris

    Oh honey, it’s been such a long long time…since you left me for Rodney from the muffler shop. With three kids, a mortgage and two cats who dislike each other. Intensely. Just the mention of your name…turns a flicker to a flame. In which I could dangle you.

    Ryan Unger

    James Brown sat up in bed, wiped the funk from his eyes, and answered the door. Bruce Lee stood before him, ready to attack. “I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy!” Brown shouted! Bruce cowered, clearly out-crazied. Bruce escaped through Brown’s cluttered funkyard and thought, “Damn! He’s super bad!”

    Jerry Schwartz

    Bad, bad Leroy Brown

    Marie Hammerling

    On further Note
    Ethan rushed to catch the school bus. His pet snake Ka just escaped, but Ethan had no time to search. At band practice, suddenly everyone screamed as Ka crawled out of Ethan’s baritone horn. “Well,” laughed the teacher. ”We have a new band member.”

    Jo Virgil

    My water pipe broke and started flooding the kitchen; I ran next door to see if Evan could help. Later, I shared the story with Sally.
    “So, I was knock, knock, knocking on Evan’s door …”
    “Wait, you nearly died?”
    “No! What?”
    “You said you were Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

    Henry Punzo

    A story to be told,
    Whether new or old,
    Is hard to create,
    Much less even relate,
    In fifty words or fewer.
    How ever can I do her?
    And music to boot?
    This is a hoot!
    But these boots are made for walking
    So, I’ll start writing and quit talking!

    Jerry Schwartz

    ♫ Cecilia ♫

    Our song. I always hated it.

    ♫ When I come back to bed someone’s taken my place… ♫

    She texted: *Happy anniversary. Met man on subway. CU tomorrow*

    ♫ I’m begging you please to come home… ♫

    Whenever I earn privileges, I play our song.

    ♫ I fall on the floor and I’m laughing… ♫

    Jerry Schwartz

    You know what they say: write what you know. ?

    What would have given me away?

    David Duhr

    Nothing, really. Just the tone, the song selection (somehow), the humor, the plot.

    M.C. Maugeri

    A daydreaming girl turned twenty-eight
    She met an exotic man and married him the next day
    She was swept away until she lost her trail, sighing:
    “I discovered the world and misplaced my home”
    “I learned a second language and forgot my own”
    And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

    Pope JP

    Cross Your Teas and Drop Your Tittles

    ‘Ok, It’s Alright’ must belong to others. Time counted in fortnight hindsite doesn’t sit right. Sit tight lock jaw meals through a straw. Medical studies show the House is in Grey’s LD 50 overdose. A drop in punctuation IV (4) increased flow go Ninja Yolandi’s button knows blown hankering goal.

    Pope JP

    ‘We still have love to give’ a mantra.
    My hang up comes with offers of love too late: For me? appreciate?
    I wobble between simple and complex interest.
    It’s not you it’s my callous free trust fundie.
    The basic solution is to inquire as the little hand rises past seven.

    David Duhr

    Two more hours to get your entries in! Or your second and third entries: submit as many times as you’d like.

    David Altman

    The roof will leak. Kids will pick on Meagan. Susan will never mend completely. I have to buy that lazy bastard out. I need cash for that. But the top is down, the car is fast, and the song on my playlist says it: “I’m ok, with things not being ok.” Chris Miller/The Loud Family

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