A Day in My Paws

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

I see the way you’re staring, and I know you’re wondering what it’s like to be me, but it’s not so easy to sum up a day in my life, this wonderful life of luxury and tranquility, a life where I get to sleep through most of the day and no one bats an eye, where I wake up at the crack of dawn and sing my heart out for half an hour before I run outside to greet the day, where I spend the early morning chasing birds and butterflies and lizards around until I get tired and collapse on the sunlit porch for hours, where I’m constantly waited on by adoring subjects who will pet me and scratch behind my ears when I rub myself against their legs and who know to rub my belly exactly three times when I lie on my back because four is when I attack, where all I have to do is cry to make someone open the door for me and even wait the whole five minutes until I’m finally ready to come inside, where there’s never a shortage of giant oddly shaped scratching posts and high surfaces and objects to knock over, where I always get to curl up in a warm lap or a soft bed when it gets cold at night, and where I get all the food and comfort and unconditional love I could possibly want, a life so perfect that I could hardly sum it up in a day… except that I just did, and I can tell you it’s the best life in the world.


This story is based on What If? Exercise 90: “The Journey of the Long Sentence”. The exercise is to write a short short story that’s only one sentence long. The objective is to understand how we can shape our writing in a similar manner that our minds function, building a linear order for observations that often consist of many overlapping aspects. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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Five Seconds

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

Jenny stared at the clear sky above her, while all around, the sounds of screaming and crying grew fainter. She winced at the sharp pain running up her leg, knowing that if she’d just waited a few seconds after the light turned red, she’d still be on her way to school right now. But it was too late; for the next hour, her world would be nothing but sirens, blood, and darkness.

Matt trembled as he fumbled with his cellphone, his heart pounding in his ears. He kept trying to piece everything together, but it had all happened so fast; one second, he was swerving to avoid the boy on the bike, the next, he was slamming on his brakes and screeching to a halt. He was terrified to think he’d soon be explaining to the police that the girl had come out of nowhere, and he hadn’t even seen the lights change.

Cory sat on the sidewalk with his face buried in his hands and a bicycle lying beside him. Two strangers sat on either side of him, patting him on the shoulder and reassuring him that it was an accident, that he wasn’t to blame for the car or the girl, but he knew the truth. He had put off getting his brakes fixed for too long, they had cost him those precious few seconds of reaction time, and this terrible accident was all his fault.

Donna knelt beside the poor girl lying on the pavement, feeling uneasy about the youth in her face and the odd angle of her broken leg. The woman wasn’t usually so affected by her job, but the knot in her throat now was only too real, and she kept her eyes averted as she helped her colleagues move the unconscious teenager onto the stretcher. Knowing that a matter of seconds could just as easily have taken her own adolescent daughter, she resolved to do everything she could to get this girl back on her feet and moving forward in life once more.

Nick watched helplessly as the ambulance drove away down the street, taking with it the girl who sat in front of him in Math class every day. In that moment, it occurred to him that everything left unsaid, everything that could have been said, had been taken away in the span of a few short seconds. Terrified at the thought of never getting another chance, he decided that the first day she was back in school, he would finally tell her exactly how he felt.


These pieces are based on What If? Exercise 97: “Nanofictions”. The exercise is to write five flash fiction pieces of three sentences each, which may or may not be connected by a common detail. The objective is to understand how to focus immediately on a troubled situation and learn how to identify the details of drama. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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Living Rainbow

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

The wind carried the little seeds into a gray field.

There they landed, in the middle of the grass.

Days and nights of sun and rain passed.

Until at last, the first sprouts appeared.

One by one, bright flowers blossomed.

Soon, the field was alive.

Grays turned to colors.

A beautiful sight.

Magical field.

Rainbow.


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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Secret Flower

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

Samantha had chosen her favorite flower when she was young.

Unfortunately, none of the boys knew what it was.

Nobody ever gave her the flowers she wanted.

From roses to lilies, they always missed.

Lenny finally thought to ask her.

Overjoyed, Samantha shared her secret.

Whispered in his ear.

Embarrassed, he grinned.

Ridiculously obvious.

Sunflowers.


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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Perfect Shot

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

The archery competition was to be held in the village.

The grand prize: ten thousand coins and a kiss.

He was only here to win the latter.

He’d loved the lord’s daughter since childhood.

Secretly, she prayed for his victory.

He drew his bow steadily.

His arrow flew straight.

The maiden smiled.

True shot.

Bullseye.


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!

Back to the story

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