Funny stories in under 500 words.

Lucy, My Dear

Lucy fell into a well. The end. The world’s shortest story? I suppose “Lucy fell.” would supplant. There could be a series: Lucy fell into a well, Lucy fell off a cliff, Lucy fell into a volcano, Lucy fell in love, ha! Such gyrations with words and ideas, oh, the life of a writer is a fine one. All day I can think about how Lucy might be in the world, what tears at her heart, what her neighbors think of her, how her dreams almost came true and then—SPLAT--disaster. So many choices. I confess, ‘happily-ever-after’ is not a direction I am likely to go in. I am more a child of darkness, though not the full on horror-psychopath end of the spectrum.

Lucy could have a sister, Lacey, and another, Lizzy. There would be conflict among them, of course. Perhaps one of them might even be the reason Lucy fell – she was pushed! Should that be revealed at the end or early on, with a whodunit theme emerging? Gosh, I’m no good at detective stories. All those clues and foreshadowings-- I find all that tedious. Still, suspense sells. I could subtly integrate a crime into my story which I like to call literary fiction as I do have a knack for the lyric. The location of Lucy’s fall might have historical echoes and moodiness, though not too much as I hate to do research.

Ah, Lucy, shall you be young and beguiling or mature and striking? Shall you have a profession in the arts or just a hobby? Shall you be on medication? Oh, what a joy to spend my hours conjuring up Lucy rather than ticking away at a database or slinging pizzas.

There are those who think writing isn’t real work and those who realize you can spend your entire morning putting in a comma and then all afternoon, taking it out. (Thank you, Oscar, for stating it so succinctly). “Lucy falling” seems quite enough for a day’s labor, I think. I’ll approach the next questions when I’m fresh, tomorrow. I do believe the cocktail hour is upon us.

This story was written by Mercedes Lawry. Mercedes Lawry has published short fiction in several journals including, Gravel, Cleaver, Garbanzo, and Blotterature and been nominated to the Best Small Fiction Anthology. She’s published poetry in journals such as Poetry, Nimrod, & Prairie Schooner and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. Additionally, she’s published stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.

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