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81words - Stories Page 8

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 – 701 to 800

Stories 601 to 700 are published below in the order they were received.

Story 701

My Muse My Motivation

by Violet James

The blank page stares back at me.

Taunting me.

It's milky white surface pristine, yet vulnerable.

Dare I mar it with unwarranted superlatives?

Shall I scroll along the edges with flowery prose?

Or simply state the facts without frivolity.

In the depths of sadness a swirl of light beckons.

Tactile and pure.

My muse is nearest in the dark.

He holds my hand.

Nudges me forward.

A kind word.

He comforts me.

He is the inspiration for all that I do.

Story 702

Those We Love

by Rex Charger

"Daddy, is Mum up there?" Lying on the soft grass beside her father, Lily stared at the night sky.

"Yes, baby."

"I miss her."

He sighed. "What happened?"

"My concert..."

"I'll be there."

"But, I wish Mum..."

"Baby, she's with us, always. Wait." Holding the phone up, he turned on the front camera. "See your eyes?"

"Yes."

"They're hers, and this mole on your chin."

She giggled. "Mum had that."

"See, I told you she's with us. You'll make her proud."

Story 703

The Stop-Start Journey

by Beth Greenwood

Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Thoughts of motorways cross my mind, back when travelling was easier.

Stop. Start. I guess being environmentally friendly isn't that bad.

Stop. The thing about electromagnetic travel is that if there is no electricity – something rarely used nowadays – you don't go.

Start. Hydropower is the only source and it is drying up.

Stop. Demand for water is too high. That and the politicians take a percentage.

Start. They introduced the tax on water is 2026.

Final stop.

Story 704

Car Shopping

by T. W. Garland

Lined up like beauty contestants at a pageant with large numbers painted on windscreens, the cars slope and curve in even waves. A variety of colours offer shades of luxury.

Jordan ponders before the selection box of vehicles. Sprayed on new car smell and the shine of turtle wax drives desire towards decision, hesitation towards hastiness.

A salesperson steps out, the tip of snakeskin boots peeking out from under his flared trousers. Behind him, costly repairs and invalidated warranties approach silently.

Story 705

An Open Letter

by T. Luxton

At our breakfast tables, we see headlines in the newspaper; in our cars, we hear the flat voices of experts on the radio. We are told you are vital. Without you, our flowers, our beautiful flowers, would crumble to dust.

In our minds, your honey reshapes itself into the golden, untouchable ambrosia of a new, healthy world. We are not so different. We breathe and eat and make more of ourselves, just as you do.

When will you save us? When?

Story 706

Diamonds In The Faucet

by Danny Macks

A diamond fell out of the faucet and made a solid tck, tck noise as it bounced off the metal sink and fell down the drain.

"Honey, guess—"

Nevermind. She was gone.

I spent too much time away and not really home when my body was in the house. I argued that we needed the money, that the house depended on my paycheck, that we couldn't get by without it.

Then I heard the lonely tink of another diamond falling.

Story 707

Who are you?

by Carla Vlad

I heard a noise but I didn't bother checking. It was still light outside.

"Sorry, can I hide in here?"

"What are you doing?"

"I'm hiding, hopefully."

I heard a knock on the door. We looked at each other for a long second and than I stood up to answer the door.

"Food delivery for Bianca."

"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Thank you." I closed the door and turned to face the man as soon as possible.

"Who are you?"

Story 708

Chrysalis

by Felix Castrillon

She dreaded staring at the deep darkness underneath her. She had been hanging from a tree for ages now. She wanted this moment to be over, she wanted to become something else, that ancient promise told from one generation to the next one.

She had heard all the stories, all the greatness and all the beauty. She loved all of them. However, all she could yearn for was her final destination.

Once free, that abyss would lead her to the stars.

Story 709

Three Doors

by Tessa Elliott

Three doors led off from the dark, dank hall, and its small rag rug of flimsy warmth.

One led into the parlour, with its upright piano and corner shrine – photograph, crucifix, gold rimmed black vase of plastic flowers.

One revealed the pantry, with its tin stacked shelves, marble slab and smell of stale, rancid fat, seeping from its walls.

The other led onto to the front garden, but was never opened, except once, for the entrance and exit of the coffin.

Story 710

The Visitor

by Shelly Teems

The woman was in her early twenties. Her brown hair shone, and blonde highlights glittered in the sun. She carried a light red and white striped parasol. Her dress had a petticoat, was tea length, and a buttery yellow. A matching Chanel shoulder bag with chain was slung over a shoulder.

She glided through the crowd, confident, smiling, nodding to people she passed, stopping briefly to chat with a man or woman, but always with momentous purpose.

Finally, there he was.

Story 711

Way Out In The Water, See It Swimming?

by Blake Holcomb

Today I uploaded my prefrontal cortex to Eta Ursae Majoris via an infinite TB tachyon through a network of wormholes. Relatively speaking, my thoughts travelled 80 light years, arriving 32 seconds before I sent them, allowing me to generate an immeasurable cognitive reverberation which will pierce the space/time barrier, escaping the mainframe housing our universe. Once free of that vacuum, it will proliferate the 26 dimensions of Kaku's conceptualisation and simultaneously strum all the strings of totality.

Where is my mind?

Story 712

The Dead Wife

by Christine Bukania

I give the landlord notice to vacate my flat.

His bulldog face creases in concern.

"Is it the leaking pipes?" he asks me.

"No, my carpet got soaked yesterday but I hung it out to dry."

"Is it the smell of sewage outside your kitchen window?"

"No, the smell of excrement chased my appetite away. I'm now six kilos lighter for it."

"What is it then?"

I know he won't believe me when I tell him his dead wife is here.

Story 713

Practice

by MF Mika

"You're overthinking this."

"No, I'm not."

"I don't know what else to say. Do as you wish."

And so I did.

I couldn't help but to meta. I just have this intuition that, if I keep peeling the meta, something will turn up.

Two months later, I take the final steps: review, replace this word by that word, then count again: 80.

I will add another word.

Let's read it one last time.

Good enough.

Copy, paste, send – am I published?

Story 714

The Lament Of All Our Tomorrows

by Bart Elbey

One afternoon, while walking in the forest, a prince heard a woodsy whimpering from the shady tangle of tall trunks.

"Who sheds such tears forlorn?" the prince enquired.

The soft tremble of leaf and branch was stilled then and the trees fell fast to sombre silence which dared to endure as long as the proud prince's patience.

Finally, a twiglet voice conveyed a whispered portent.

"Let not the eternal echo of my legions' slaughtering be the lament of all your tomorrows."

Story 715

Pause A Moment

by Kennedy Meechan

"With all due respect, sir, please reconsider the consequences of what you are about to do."

Surveying the room, he looked at his ashen-faced colleagues one by one. The enormity of what he was about to set in motion engulfed him.

"I don't have a choice, Tom. May God forgive me, and may God have mercy on our souls."

As he pushed the button, the door flew open with a crash.

"Mr President, it's a computer virus. There is no attack."

Story 716

Scrum Time

by Mason Bell

"Come on, lads. Remember our chat in the changing room before the game. I want a nice solid scrum that we can actually complete."

"I want never gets, sir." Unusually witty for a prop, this one. It's normally the sort of lip one expects from their team's number nine.

"Crouch, bind." One second pause. "Set." Down it goes again. "Up, here's the mark, let's go again. Any questions?" Big mistake, the mouthy loosehead's hand shoots up.

"What's for tea?"

Abandon scrum.

Story 717

The Mirror

by Roberta Scafidi

The shiny mirror stood tall before the fools.

"Who's this persons staring at we?" Illiterate fools.

"I've no clue. But that one look like you, friend."

"Your grammar bad. And also, the other one look like you."

"Do you think they will rob we?"

"They seem to be talking."

"They're close enough to hear we." One of them stepped ahead menacingly.

"Hey. If you hear we, leave we alone."

"He shouts at you, but I don't hear."

"I scared, let's leave."

Story 718

Stockman

by Kathryn Joyce

Jed stands tall in his Stockman coat. William sees him arrive, cross the bar, his mouth twitching as women notice him. There's a flick of finger against lapel, the hook of thumb in pocket, the drawl of, "Cold beer," as his polished boot rests on the brass foot rail.

William folds over his table, his fists curling. William is a stockman; he works their late father's farm, north of Auckland. William has a Stockman coat too. His has seen the rain.

Story 719

Life Finds A Way

by Matthew Bines

Emptiness. Space's abyss loomed over the planet's arid surface. Not a mutter, a whisper or a signal could reach it. Life was unlikely.

No. It was impossible.

An endless grey surface, the taste of space, the smell of nothing. The desolate wasteland of wastelands trapped in a spiral headed out of the universe.

Nothing could live here.

Yet, when I left my ship, beaten and bruised by cosmic storms, I was greeted by a feeble green plant growing in the vacuum.

Story 720

This Page Left Intentionally Blank

by Andy Ball

But it wasn't, was it? Instead of being actually blank, it had this message – this barefaced lie – printed right across the middle. And on an official government document, too.

He'd always suspected you couldn't trust the government. Didn't this just prove it? And what else were they lying to him about? UFOs? Social Security? The flu vaccine? National security? The list went on and on.

Suddenly, all those conspiracy theorists ranting on the internet didn't seem quite so nutty after all.

Story 721

The Red Crayon

by Yvonne Clarke

"Who's got my red crayon?"

"Not me," – a collective chorus of five-year-olds.

It was essential, this red crayon. How else could he depict the kaleidoscope of colours in the circus ring: the horses' finery, the fiery lions' manes and the crazily contorted crimson lips of the clowns?

Dusk started to cast its gloomy grey cloak, and the ring of the school bell was conclusive.

Too late to finish it now, he thought disconsolately, tossing his masterpiece into the waste paper bin.

Story 722

Knife’s Edge

by Olivia Ackers

Prey.

That's all she was to her.

Alice's slender finger traced the edge of the knife, slicing her skin. The curtains allowed a slither of light to seep in as she held the instrument above her head, the blade shimmering in the pale moonlight.

It plunged into her sister's body beneath, which limply convulsed as Alice ripped the knife away.

Blood stained her victim's clothes and bed.

Tears slid down her pale cheeks as her crimson covered hand stroked her sister.

Story 723

Fine Art

by Hilary Taylor

I spent hours carefully composing the structure of it, ensuring there was enough depth and movement, and I had achieved the correct mood: modern art, not classical.

I stood back, pleased with my efforts.

"Bad dog," my human exclaimed. "Now I'm going to have to clean that window all over again."

She does this every time. I really don't know why she doesn't appreciate my efforts.

But at least I get a brand new canvas every day for my beautiful creations.

Story 724

81 Years

by Marco Cardoni

The grapnel wire snapped, sending my love and thoughts to their demise in the frozen depths below. Thud. I defiantly rammed my pickaxe into the rock face. It wasn't time.

Every muscle in my body screamed with pain. The remnants of my teeth ground themselves to dust like beached pebbles. Each pickaxe swing was more strenuous than the last, until…

My life’s work — a human-shaped sculpture in the mountain — was finally finished.

Breathtaking.

But... who was it supposed to be again?

Story 725

Forgotten Plants Won't Always Die

by Liz Krogman

At first, I watered them on principle. Even though it was my brother's job to take care of his plants, not mine. And then I forgot about my principles and the plants. But they carried on living. Cacti, they're an amazing thing.

I noticed after a year, when I gave in. Poured the glass of water I no longer felt like drinking into one of the pots. I finally got close enough to tell. I'd be darned, but they were plastic.

Story 726

The Thing That Floats

by Lee Holland

The woman walked along the lakeside. A light breeze swept through the trees, tickling the leaves. She looked over the lake and gasped. She immediately dialled 999.

"Help, there's something floating on top of the water."

She waited for what seemed like minutes.

The officer finally showed up. The woman pointed at the floating body, bobbing on the water.

She watched as his face turned from friendly to confused.

He turned back to her and said, crossly, "That is a duck."

Story 727

A Sudden Expression Of Unsudden Thought

by CompletelyBoofyBlitzed

"How can you even look like you're enjoying it? You know I have spoiled it, I can taste it."

Cassidy had tried to make a fish pie with a creamy mash that David had wanted for a long time, but she'd burned it.

"I almost believe you. You know, you could be an actor?" she giggled. "You are really good."

He was quiet for a moment and than he uttered, "I think my most successful role is loving you."

"What?"

"Nothing."

Story 728

Susan's Bench

by Jill Lang

The Lutyens style bench was made out of solid wood – probably oak – and had been dedicated to Susan Sitwell. 

I knew Susan Sitwell. Sadly, her surname never sat well. At school, she was constantly chastised for fidgeting, whispering and worse – daydreaming.

It was daydreaming which brought about the dedication. She was found face down in the pond in front of the bench, a sodden copy of Wuthering Heights on the bank.

She never went anywhere without a book in her hand.

 

End Of Page Note

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

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