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

My friends insisted I come to the carnival with them.

For some reason, the fortune teller caught my eye.

She’s never wrong, the other gypsies warned us.

Come and learn your future, she said.

She laid the cards before us.

Flip to reveal your fate.

Sara’s fate was riches.

Joey’s was fame.

Mine, misfortune.


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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