The Six Shooter

The Six Shooter

On a couple of occasions I have heard how Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in six words. After a quick search on the internet, I have come across three different explanations as to why he did this, as well as two different versions of the story. The three reasons are 1: a professional challenge to himself (to see if he could do it), 2: a professional challenge to other writers (and then he showed that it could be done), and 3: somebody bet him he couldn’t. The two versions of the story I’ve come across are: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” and “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” I know, it’s a minor difference, but it’s one-sixth of the story. I’ve even seen it as: “Baby shoes for sale. Never been worn.” which is seven words. (You’re supposed to cut out the fluff in your writing, so I’ll just keep mine at six words. )

A friend of mine sent me an email about this and more-or-less threw the gauntlet down on me writing some six word stories and putting them on my website. At first I hesitated because I didn’t really have a spot on my webpage to put up these stories, then I realized I would just have to make a new page. But what to call it? I couldn’t use The 6 Word Challenge, because that would be confused with my 5 Word Challenge, which is a completely different concept. So I started thinking of things with the word six in them, and from some dusty corner of my brain came, Six Shooter. I thought it was good, but what really sold it for me was when I realized I could then categorize these six word stories as: faster than a speeding bullet fiction (which is six words).

So this is the page where I let people show off their six word stories. If you want, you can email me a story or two, along with your name and website if you so desire, and I’ll put them up here.

The nuts and bolts.

“Writer draws a ... What’s that word?”
Stephen L. Thompson

“Cat’s fourth live ends at windowsill.”
Stephen L. Thompson

“!yaw gnorw eht gniog er‘uoY !yeH”
Stephen L. Thompson

“These humans taste like mypreks.”
Stephen L. Thompson

I was there. He killed me.

“I can’t write.”
“You just did.”
Stephen L. Thompson

“Third wish?”
“World peace.”
“Extinction -- granted.”
Gretchen Lockwood

Zombie Osama attacks; film at eleven.
Stephen L. Thompson

“Hi yourself.”
“I’m dead.”
Stephen L. Thompson

Hole opens up in backyard; “Wei.”
Stephen L. Thompson

I love you. Someone’s got to.
James Hearn

Lost! Sad. Mad. Had... Maybe glad.
Sonya S.

Six word stories; not that difficult.
Stephen L. Thompson

She dreamed. She wrote. She lived
Sherrie Palmer

“Too much whiskey. Now I’m broke.”
Tyger Valverde

I thought; was wrong. Alone now.
Michaela Mays

He licked my thoughts, brought thrills.
Jun Yan

I’m alive! Where is my head?
Jun Yan

Baby skeletons found dumped on highway.
Jun Yan

Will you marry me, Martian chef?
Jun Yan

Suicide bomber convention ends with bang.
Stephen L. Thompson

Welcome to Hell. Remember your parka.
Stephen L. Thompson

Hand shaped genitalia causes intergalactic “incident.”
Stephen L. Thompson

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