Choices – A Six Sentence Story Collection

Categories Words

I have something a little different for you today.

Each week, Ivy Walker hosts a Six Sentence Story link-up over at her blog. Writers use a one-word prompt to develop a bit of flash fiction just six sentences in length. I have been writing mine over the last few weeks, but the last couple have not made it here to the blog. Life gets in the way sometimes, you know? Rather than allow those stories to languish in my drafts folder unfinished, I’ve collected them here in one place today.

The three stories stand as individuals, connected only by the theme of Choices.

Enjoy!

~~~~~

“The writing is hard today,” Jim said to the room as he pushed himself back from the desk and rummaged in the lap drawer for a sharpener and some inspiration.

It seemed foolish to sharpen a pencil when no words would come, but there was something about a freshly-sharpened pencil that took him back to his Kindergarten classroom and days when writing was brand new, something fascinating and powerful in is capacity to turn his ideas into a reality he could hold in his hand. An old metal sharpener stood bolted to the windowsill in that room positioned such that an imaginative five year old might stare out at the world as he absently turned the crank, honing a slender piece of ochre-coated wood to readiness.

The small plastic rectangle he found in the back of the drawer was a far cry from the magnificent machine of his childhood, but it would have to do. Jim slowly turned the wood against the tiny blade until it moved without resistance, then blew the shavings away.

A stack of forgotten things on the corner of his desk offered up an empty notebook; he opened the cover, smiled, and touched the point to the waiting page.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On days like today, Mitch allowed himself to indulge in regret.

Rain had the power to pull the knot of buried secrets up from his gut into his brain and splattered them freshly bleeding on the ground. He often had to turn his eyes away, afraid that some karmic sorcery might somehow turn his memory of the past into a physical present.

He knew the flowers would be there, a vivid reminder that his decision was the reason life spilled red upon that stretch of road and mixed with the rain. Knives of white lightning slashed open the sky that night and cast a spectral spotlight on the figure of a man struggling under his bloody, rain-soaked burden.

Thunder was the only voice that cried at that funeral.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The mouth of the cave yawned dark and wide before the boys as they approached, the doorway they discovered yesterday just visible in the light from outside.

“We can’t go in there,” said Tim, his voice giving away his uneasiness.

“Why not?” snapped Joe. “It’s not like it’s the doorway to hell or anything – hell is down and we’re going up.”

A cold wind seeped from the area of the doorway and wrapped itself around them while shadows whispered in their ear of the secrets that lay beyond the doorway.

 “Come on, let’s go…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Each week, the lovely and talented Ivy Walker hosts a link-up challenging writers to spin a tale in six sentences – no more, no less. 

This week I’ve collected three separate stories in one post using the prompts POINT, FAULT, and ENTRANCE.

Click on the link right here to link your own post and read more Six Sentence Stories from some wonderful storytellers.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

14 thoughts on “Choices – A Six Sentence Story Collection

  1. Wow, three very intense and very different pieces, and I’m so glad you shared them all with us, some of your best riding today as far as I’m concerned!

    The first when brought back memories of childhood in big old school buildings with windows you could actually daydream out of and pencil sharpener’s fastened on the wall. It was easy to sometimes get carried away and sharpen your pencil down to nothing . But a sharp pencil was indeed the beginning of something magical !

    The second one was dark and left me wanting to know so much more. Did he murder someone? Was it an accident? Why is it haunting him?

    The third one was scary and a fun sort of way. A group of young boys would most definitely want to check out what’s at the top of the stairs, spooky or not. I would too, but only in the daytime !!

    1. Thanks, Josie. A couple of these were a real challenge. I had ideas for all, but they took a while to flesh out – hence my delay in linking. 😀 I am glad they finally fleshed out. And I’ve been insanely busy the last couple of weeks, too. I started some online courses and they’re keeping me busy. I’m trying to get my schedule settled, that’s all.
      My first grade classroom is what I had in mind when I wrote that one – we had a pencil sharpener on the windowsill and could look out at the grounds between the school and the convent next door. I spent many minutes staring and sharpening and dreaming… And I still love a bouquet of freshly-sharpened pencils.
      I’m going to hold off answering questions on the second one…let’s see what the others think when they read. 😉
      Yes, I agree…only in the daytime!
      I’m just off to get Zilla ready for karate…

  2. These are amazing, Lisa! The thunder OMG! I want to know what decision he made that led to the blood-soaked rain. Great imagery.
    And of course I could relate to the sharpened pencil although I realize now how much I miss pencils. The kids going up the stairs? I could feel their fear!

    1. Aww, thanks, Kristi. I always keep pencils. I love them.
      I guess I need some more detail on the rainy one… Maybe I’ll blow that one up a little.

  3. These are great! I remember the pencils real well and use to love getting a new one to use. The 2nd one is so sad and he must be full of guilt for his decision and unable to stop thinking about it when he sees red flowers and rain. The third one is intriguing and makes wonder what lies ahead for them.

    1. Thank you! I knew I’d do pencils for that prompt as soon as it showed up – I actually had a line I wanted to use, but I ended up scrapping it. Saved for another day…
      Let’s just say in the second sentence, he is definitely haunted by his past.
      With young boys and caves? Who knows…?

  4. It’s a hat-trick! You are an intense writer, that’s for sure. The first story is quite vivid and I relate to it with a smile. The second is dark and deep and leaves me feeling fearful that my past memories might turn to physical present (Wow, great line). And the last one. . . . well, it reminds me of teenage boys, who made an appearance in my story this week.

    1. I haven’t read the rest yet – that’s on tap for today. Did you have teenage boys, too? I couldn’t think of anything but caves and boys with “entrance.” My mind kept going to Huck Finn and Stand By Me. Can’t wait to read yours!
      I had a feeling several of us would relate to the pencil memory. And I love my second one – I wanted a creeper and that line was, well, haunting me to use it.

  5. I like these, and what a perfect solution for when life “gets in the way”. These six sentence stories have a lot of good stuff in them, parceled into manageable bits. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Julia! Love doing these. It’s great writing practice (especially for paring down to essentials) and one of mine actually ended up giving me the idea for what I hope will eventually be a novel. Win!

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