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Prompt 5: 6 word story

Today’s writing prompt comes courtsey of a Wired Magazine article from 2006. Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”) and is said to have called it his best work. In the article, Wired asked sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers from the realms of books, TV, movies, and games to take a shot themselves.

Dozens of  auteurs put their words to paper.. Sure, Arthur C. Clarke refused to trim his (“God said, ‘Cancel Program GENESIS.’ The universe ceased to exist.”), but the rest are concise masterpieces.


Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
William Shatner

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
Eileen Gunn

Vacuum collision. Orbits diverge. Farewell, love.
David Brin

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
Joss Whedon

Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
Stan Lee

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
Alan Moore

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
Margaret Atwood

His penis snapped off; he’s pregnant!
Rudy Rucker

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
Gregory Maguire

With bloody hands, I say good-bye.
Frank Miller

Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
Steven Meretzky

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
Ronald D. Moore

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
Vernor Vinge

It cost too much, staying human.
Bruce Sterling

We kissed. She melted. Mop please!
James Patrick Kelly

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
Rockne S. O’Bannon

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
Stephen Baxter

1940: Young Hitler! Such a dancer!
Michael Moorcock

Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
Richard Powers

I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?
Neil Gaiman

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
Orson Scott Card

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
Kevin Smith

To save humankind he died again.
Ben Bova

We went solar; sun went nova.
Ken MacLeod

Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
Paul Di Filippo

“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
Howard Chaykin

Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
Stephen R. Donaldson

Harry Harrison

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
Neal Stephenson

Your task:

Write 6 of your own 6 word stories. Try to pack as much action, adventure, romance, humour, pathos, passion and mystery into those 6 words as you can.

At the end of the 20 minutes, I’m going to ask everyone to share their best one.

Good Luck,



Author: pattersonmalvern

I am a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute. This is a blog to help students keep track of their work.

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