55-word Stories


Microfiction, exactly 55 words each, commissioned for

Teaching the chimpanzee to communicate verbally unleashed a torrent of abuse. The scientists described how they had clung to each other, blushing furiously, as the foul-mouthed primate used terms no human ear had ever encountered before. Then they locked up the lab and resolved never to allow the weapon of language into the animal kingdom.

Red Dawn in Flanders
Gradually the Belgian technocrats realised that I had perfected my intelligent machine. All the talk in the cafes of Ypres was of the Englishman’s miraculous mud-fuelled cipher-breaking mechanism. Marianne affected an insouciance which didn’t have me fooled, and when the secret police came for me, her treacherous body had already been fed to the ducks.

My Flapper Hell
Tired of cleaning shoes, F Scott Fitzgerald entered the Hotel Splendide. Here his impersonation of a jazz-loving literature freak was so convincing he even had people imagining they had studied his books at school. Sadly he couldn’t sustain the deception and ended his days in a Biarritz gutter brandishing his brushes at his former friends.

Belize Bloodbath
A strict father, Jorges enforced a regime of constant hilarity in his household and demanded laughter from his children and visitors twenty-four hours a day. As soon as he went out the rest of the family sat weeping with weariness in front of the news, stealthily working out a nice way to make him die.

About Emma

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