Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fifty Words to Kill Your Victim

Hello, All,

As I mentioned in a recent post, short stories can be a powerful tool for telling a good mystery tale. And recently, micro-fiction has given us a whole new way to share stories. Because I know how talented you folks are, I offered everyone a chance to tell us your mystery stories in exactly 50 words. I’m so excited at the responses!! Here, then, is the first collection of Fifty Words to Kill Your Victim:

From Margaret at BooksPlease

‘Come over for a meal’, she said. ‘I’ll cook your favourite – steak and kidney pie.’ He was surprised when he arrived – he couldn’t smell anything cooking.

‘We’ll eat later’ she smiled. ‘First let’s have a drink.’ Little did he know he’d be providing the ingredients – literally, marinated in red wine.

From Rayna Iyer

Nag, nag, nag. That is all she ever does.

"Can't you do anything right?"

"Not like that, like this."

"Now, that's ridiculous!"

I'm not taking it much longer. One gentle nudge and she goes flying off the cliff.

A character really should know better than to mess with the writer.

From Alan Orloff

Roydell’s going solo. No need to split the loot with partner Bennie the Blade. Sweet.
He approached the Brinks guy. Just three more steps to financial security.
As Roydell felt the knife in his back—literally and figuratively—he realized Bennie had been right: great criminal minds think alike.

From Clarissa Draper

Story One - This story is based on a true story that happened in Clarissa's city recently:

He had no choice.

It should’ve been easy. Pull the pin and throw.

He didn’t know anyone died until he saw the tiny hand, clutching the tamarindo sucker, in a pool of blood on the newspaper’s front page.

He had no choice.

That eight year old in exchange for his.

Story Two:

“Mummy, look, I’m a dolphin.”

She crawled in the Jacuzzi beside her swimming son.

“Why’s the toaster here?”

“Kevin, Mummy's sorry she gets so angry and sad sometimes.”

“That’s okay. I still love you.” He hugged her.

She held him and reached over the side.

The lights flickered and died.

From Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

She couldn´t go on like this. She had to get out of this relationship, the sooner the better. If it wasn´t for his money…

She considered poison, blunt instruments, staging an accident. Or perhaps….

She was so busy planning that she didn´t hear him before she felt the violent push.

And please check out two terrific stories from Rob Kitchin at his blog, The View From The Blue House.

Thank you so much, all of you, for your creativity and your wonderful stories!! Oh, and thanks for writing my blog post for me today ;-)!

If you planned to do a story and weren’t able to, fear not; I will most likely be doing something like this again in due course.

Again, thanks for your great stories!!! And folks, please visit the blogs of these talented people. I do, and I learn with every visit.


  1. Do you know what I loved about it? What surprised me?

    I write 90,000 word mysteries and add plot twists and turns because I have enough pages to do so but even with 50 words, there are strange, unexpected twists. Amazing stories.


  2. Clarissa - I agree completely. You folks are such truly talented writers that you were able to put in twists and turns and all kinds of mystery even within 50 words. That takes skill!

  3. Wow! You really must do this again, Margot!

    Great stories all around, but I think Rayna´s was the funnies and Margaret´s the scariest.

  4. Dorte - Oh, I certainly intend to do this again :-). I just loved all of these stories, including yours! What delicious irony in your story :-). Thanks for contributing.

  5. oh wow these are really nice, good job all around

  6. These are terrific, Margot ~ I'm sorry I didn't get around to it, but I promised to be in your next slipped my mind with so many projects going on at once, and the kids keep me extra busy.

    The authors here did a phenomenal job in 50 words!

  7. Joanna - Aren't they wonderful?!? These are truly talented people, and I'm glad you liked their stories as much as I did :-).

    Kathleen - I agree 100% - these stories are top-notch. I'm sorry, too, that we didn't get a chance to read your great work, but there will be a next time. In the meantime, yeah, these are wonderful stories :-).

  8. Nice job, everyone. Some good twists.

  9. John - Oh, I thought so, too! There is real skill here :-).

  10. I know you all can't hear or see me, but I'm applauding you. Great job.

  11. Teresa - Aren't these terrific stories? I'm lucky enough to be blog-buddies with some very skilled writers!!

  12. They are such fantastic stories. Clarissa's first one really made me cry, perhaps because it was based on a real story.

    What really amazed me is that every one of them had a twist (or at least something unexpected) in the end. A twist in just 50 words? Unbelievable, I would have thought.

  13. These are wonderful stories! And I loved that they all surprised me. :)

  14. I did enjoy this, both writing mine and reading the others - so inventive. I do hope you'll do this again. It makes me sit and think!

  15. Kerrie - Aren't they deliciously creepy?

    Rayna - They really are fantastic - including yours. Clarissa's first story really was haunting, wasn't it? But they are all wonderful, and I am so grateful you shared your talent. Your story is superb! And yes, I just loved it that there was a twist in each one.

    Elizabeth - Aren't they great?? And yes, each one had a surprise in it. Now that shows real talent!

    Margaret - I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Your story is terrific and deliciously creepy, so I'm very glad you contributed. And yes, I will most definitely do this again.

  16. These are amazing stories! The authors did a great job.

  17. Golden Eagle - Aren't they wonderful stories!? I am so lucky these talented folks were willing to share :-).

  18. Amazing stories. I'm in awe of what these writers did in only 50 words. You have the most enjoyable features. Can't wait to read the next group.

    Thoughts in Progress

  19. Maxine - Some of them really are, aren't they? And these folks were able to do that in just 50 words!

    Mason - Aren't these writers terrific!? I was quite amazed, too, at the atmosphere, character and story that were created in only 50 words. And thanks for the kind words :-).

  20. what a nice surprise! Rayna and Clarissa!

    @Rayna--lol! Those MCs better look out~
    @C--oh, you hurt my heart. :o| but so evocative~

    excellent work, friends!

  21. LTM - Aren't these stories wonderful?! Margaret, Alan, Rayna, Clarissa and Dorte are all very skilled! I'm honoured they sent me their stories.

  22. These are GREAT!! Alan's made me giggle. Score.

  23. Elspeth - Aren't they wonderful?! I was so impressed, not only by the diversity (of which there was plenty), but also by the way these writers conveyed so much with only 50 words. I'm definitely going to do this again, so others can participate (HINT, HINT, HINT).

  24. Those are great. Writing anything in 50 words is really hard.

  25. Patricia - They are terrific, aren't they?!? I agree that telling a 50-word story isn't easy at all, and these folks did it very well.

  26. Good stuff. Blink Ink is a good place to send 50 word stories.

    Here's the link:

  27. Paul - Thanks so much for that link! Folks, do check it out; your stories really are quite good.

  28. Margot, thanks but there are plenty of stories much better than mine in the archives!
    They do a quarterly print version of Blink Ink too.

  29. Paul - Thanks; I'm going to have to look out for it.