(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

I was a fool to think we could slay it.

She trusted me with her life, and I failed.

I was so sure we had it cornered.

I heard the growling before she did.

But she saw the teeth first.

I tried to save her.

It was too fast.

I blacked out.

She vanished.


This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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