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81words - Stories Page 6

81words logo

An attempt to set a World Record for the most contributing authors published in an anthology

Full details about the 81 word writing challenge and the world record attempt can be found on the main 81words writing challenge page.

81 Word Stories – 501 to 600

Stories 501 to 600 are published below in the order they were received.

Story 501

Intentional Parenting

by Aigbonoga Omoh

Fatima and Ken grew as friends and were always together. Just a few people knew that they were neighbours, living in flats opposite one another.

Even as teenagers, their bond was strong and built on intimacy. When intimacy is established, it becomes difficult to separate both parties.

No man can put fire in his heart without being burnt. From the holding of hands, to kissing, then romance and finally... more.

Where were the parents of these youngsters when all this happened?

Story 502

The Irony Of Life...

by Madamraj Mrinalini

I was on an exciting mountain trek with my friends. Suddenly, there was ice all around us. I was stranded and shouting for help in vain.

It was midnight. I woke up with a jolt. Beads of perspiration covered my brow. Whew, it was only a dream, I thought.

I woke up with renewed vigour the next morning. Life, ‘til yesterday, was dull and monotonous to me. When I experienced desolation, although in a dream, life became more precious to me.

Story 503

Swords To Ploughshares, Ploughshares To Swords

by Liam Hogan

Metal screams.

Railings and rusted cars tortured into tanks, into terrifying leviathans. Toys mangled by fire into shells, rifles and bayonets.

Metal screams in battle. Screams in tented hospitals and operating theatres. Screams as graves are dug, as coffins are nailed forever shut.

Now metal is needed for peaceful purposes. Melted down, hammered flat, shaped into ploughs and plates and even toys for too silent houses.

Tanks and tin soldiers and model aircraft.

Metal slumbers. Metal remembers. Metal dreams...

Metal waits.

Story 504

Greenback

by Denis Joseph

Greenback was the name given by the park ranger to a big brown moose.

One day, Greenback decided to migrate to the far side of the the forest. He came upon a sign on the road that said 'Duck Crossing', but he didn't qualify because he couldn't quack.

And then he saw another sign: 'Deer Crossing'. Greenback ambled across as cars screeched to a halt.

"You've violated a Presidential decree," said a wise old grizzly, "because the buck doesn't stop here."

Story 505

Rollercoaster Of Heartbreak

by Samantha Gunton

I've been alive for 19 years, long enough to realise all rollercoasters eventually stop; all 'ups' have their 'downs'. However, this rollercoaster brought me so close to the heavens I almost believed the ride down would be worth it.

Four words stopped our upward progress. "Laura, I've been drafted."

I walked with Chad to his plane. Down. Took Chad's love letters as he gave his life. Down. Ended the ride without a start. Down.

Sometimes, the 'ups' aren't worth the 'downs'.

Story 506

The Bridge

by Rosie Cullen

Business was bad. Too much competition.

But what else did Sami know how to do?

Then the rains came. The streets were flooded and there were no customers at all.

"What the heck?" Sami laid a path across the square with tables and chairs from his restaurant.

His neighbour could now reach the doctor.

The children could get to school.

The baker stayed open.

When the sun returned, Sami opened his door to find a queue stretching right around the block.

Story 507

Supervillain

by Gloria Ames

I ravage every face, mind, and body. Fortunes are lost, found and lost again. I am the grinder of stone, corroder of iron, annihilator of civilizations. Legions of the strongest warriors wither to nothingness in my grasp. Kingdoms are obliterated by my relentless battering; the thickest walls will fall to me. The universe is mine to dispense. Nothing that exists can escape destruction at my merest whim, nor overwhelm my might. My mastery is absolute.

I am... the march of time.

Story 508

Lurking

by Rowan Lewis

Never understood all those billionaires going into the superhero business, if I'm honest. It seems a bit... flashy, I s'pose. It's showing off. "Look, I've got so much money that I've decided to help people, and I'm still managing to spend most of it on myself."

I'd rather stay skint and have a good heart, thanks. This isn't a career for show-offs. Like most jobs, I find that you're only doing it well if nobody notices you doing it at all.

Story 509

Cold Tea

by Sheannah Guillemette

I walked into the kitchen and poured myself a cup of tea. I got my book out, had my tea beside me… three hours later, drat. My tea is cold.

I walk over to the kitchen to heat it up again in my shady looking pot I’ve had for years, the kind that has blackened all over, but I keep using it anyways. Mm, nice and warm. I see dirty dishes, I get distracted.

Frack. My tea is cold again. *Sigh*

Story 510

Rejection

by Maria Carvalho

Hugh eyed the unopened email from Sweeney Press with trepidation. His dreams of getting his first book published had faded further with each rejection. If Sweeney rejected it too, he’d probably give up and focus on his accounting career. His parents would be thrilled.

He clicked open the email. 'Unfortunately, your submission does not meet our needs at this time...'

Disappointment jabbed him in the gut.

He sighed, then opened his list of publishers to see which one he'd try next.

Story 511

The Clog

by Anastasia Bromberg

I sat before the shower drain, pulling on bright white gloves.

Shower clogs were my fault, he insisted, patting his thinning head.

I sat and pried the grate away, reaching to feel the wiry clump. I pulled. It detached, a tangled mess of dark brown, matching mine shade for shade.

I saw the other. I screeched and pushed myself away, its blue shell skittering across the tile. Six tiny legs rattled, and pincers clacked angrily.

It's not my fault. This time.

Story 512

No Answer

by Jane Imrie

The phone rang and rang. She clamped her hands over her ears in a futile attempt to drown out the shrill noise. In frustration she screwed up her eyes, instantly wincing at the pain across the bridge of her nose. Eventually, the answerphone clicked on.

"Please pick up," the pleading voice whined desperately. She glared sharply at the phone, the red ring around her left eye blooming into a deep purple.

"I'm sorry, I won't ever do it again," he lied.

Story 513

Outside Her Window

by Gary Couzens

The blizzard made Helen’s window rattle, almost as if someone was tapping on it, calling her. I’m safe and warm, she thought. She wrapped the duvet about herself, slept.

In the morning, Helen went outside into the garden.  She gasped. The thick smooth snow was scarred by prints, two feet cloven like a goat’s but walking upright. The track went across the garden towards the garage wall, then along its roof to the back of the house, just under her window.

Story 514

The Fog

by Renate Schiansky

When he noticed the first wafts of mist, he thought that he could still make it. The cabin was only 80 yards away. Behind him, the trees disappeared. He started to run.

60 yards to go. The grass beneath him blurred, he urged himself on.

40 yards. Don't look. The fog absorbed the bushes to his right.

20 yards, almost there.

With one last effort, he stumbled inside and locked the door. The fog halted, marvelling, and then penetrated the keyhole.

Story 515

Accidentally On Purpose

by Philip Charter

I left a bobby pin on his nightstand, so she'd see it.

Last time I did something like this, things got explosive, but honesty means more to me than the idea of 'the one'.

Every relationship forms a chapter in the book of me. This one's been pretty wild.

I'm not crazy. I'm not jealous or possessive. I just need to know how much of what he said is real. Now I'll wait to see how this chapter continues... or ends.

Story 516

The Priorities Of Joan

by Amelia Brown

Joan stared with intensity at the plant, as she had all day, willing it to disappear. Her mind was clear, ready for the final step – the magic. She cracked her knuckles and closed her eyes.

Raising her hands, Joan said the incantation. She waited, then opened one eye. She sighed; nothing had happened. Walking over, she picked up the plant and tossed it in the compost. After all, in a world of books and chocolate, she had better things to do.

Story 517

The Passenger

by Gitanjali Escobar Travieso

Four in the morning, the streets still dark and quiet. He boards the bus and sits down, his feet slightly touching the large brown suitcase which he has carefully stowed close to his seat.

With an almost inaudible sigh he leans back and relaxes, his eyes, half closed, not really  looking anywhere. He does not want to part from his dream. But all too soon a cool breeze softly touches his face and he realises he has passed by his stop.

Story 518

Senseless War

by Ezeh Michael Ogonna

We are running again today, terrified, the same way we ran ten months ago. Later that week, the government, as usual, announced we could go about our normal business without fear of being shot in the back.

Rumour had it that a herdsman's cow was killed ten months ago, and they needed to pay back. Blood for blood.

"Hurry, I think someone killed another cow," Mum cried.

As we raced homeward, past the sirens and chaotic crowd, I heard another gunshot.

Story 519

Marmalade

by Sunshine Tibod

Her eyes bloom in surprise, excited to seize the day. Everyday she wakes up at six in the morning without setting an alarm. Her mother prepares food and ushers her to the academy. "See you later, Mama," she says and waves goodbye.

Today is her first day at school. Though she is new to the place, she has a very good feeling. Her blue eyes sparkle, as innocent as her smile. She is only seven, as fresh and sweet as marmalade.

Story 520

The Skeleton

by Tom Bullimore

"You were walking in the woods and found a skeleton?"

"Up a tree."

"Yeah, where else."

"A skeleton of a boy… been up there 50, maybe 52 years."

"So you climbed the tree and carbon dated it?"

"I climbed the tree, but I didn’t carbon date it."

"So please explain to this very simple police officer how you worked out the age of the skeleton?"

"It had an inscribed medallion around its neck."

"Saying what?"

"Village hide and seek champion 1968."

Story 521

A Smile To Fall In Love

by Dionne Burton

I see you. Immediately my sensory neurons jump into action and respond to the stimuli I see: you. The neural signals shoot to the sensory cortex of my brain, the part that responds to pain and other sensations. Then they’re carried down to my brainstem, the oldest part of our brains if you didn’t already know and, knowing you, you probably don’t. The cranial muscle ferries the signals further to my frontal lobe.

And on the outside, I smile at you.

Story 522

Boy Meets Girl

by Pete Armstrong

Boy meets girl.

Moonlit night on the deck of a ship. A ripple of gentle waves, soft breezes, somewhere a band is playing. Stars shine above and all is calm. How could they not fall in love?

All these plans they had, meetings, places. All gets rearranged. Rewritten. Obliterated by the surge of romance.

They will marry, make a fortune, live in a log cabin. Something. Their future years stretch out blissfully before them.

It all starts when the Titanic docks.

Story 523

Lack Of A Lack Of Communication

by Kathleen E Williams

"You didn't tell her about me?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"I'm done with her. She doesn't need to know."

"But you told me about her."

"Because we're sharing our pasts. Because you're my future."

"But she's contacting you, and you didn't tell me."

"Because it has nothing to do with you. I'm ignoring her."

"She must still think there's a chance with you, and you still didn't tell her."

"I didn't want to upset you by talking to her."

"It didn't work."


End Of Page Note

I hope you enjoyed reading the third page of 81 word stories. You can find links to hundreds more on the main 81 word writing challenge page.

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Mrinalini M
Hi Chris. What is the time span by which I can know whether my story is accepted or rejected?

Chris Fielden
Hi Mrinalini. Usually 48 hours, but sometimes longer.

I have published your story and emailed you the details :-)

Mrinalini M
Awesome, thank you so much!

Chris Fielden
No problem, thank you!