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art Challenge Prose

Write a Great Novel

Write a Great Novel in Fifty Words or Less

Back on the former incarnation of The Peaceful Pub, I started a challenge with the above title. The idea was, just as it said, with titles not counting against the word limit but also not to be used to tell part of the story. While I don’t have access to any of the other entries that were posted, here are my contributions.

Perfect Ending

Tanya searched for the perfect man; the epitome of every woman’s dreams. Across the years, across the world, following a thousand rumors and leads, she had sought this Adonis.

At last, she had found him. Slipping her revolver back into her purse, she smiled grimly: “That was for my daughter.”
It’s all in How I Pronounce You

When she’d seen him last in Argentina, she’d called him a Pampas Ass. Before that, she’d deserted him in the Sahara and left him in love at Wimbledon.

Now he’d caught up to her in Montana, and all he could think of to say was: “Baby, you’re a real Butte.”
Dislocation

It was the right day, right hour, and there he was: the Ghost of Mile Marker 27.

Alex was disappointed. The Ghost wasn’t spooky, just an average, ordinary sort. Still, he was willing to talk.

“Why do you haunt Mile Marker 27?”

“Beats me. I died at Mile Marker 30.”
HoHo Mojo

Santa began to doubt himself. He was shocked to see the color drain from his hands, his arms, and the rest of his body. Then he started to go transparent.

Suddenly, in Santa’s frantic mind, there echoed the words of a certain newspaper article: “Yes, Virginia…”

He was back: saved.
Crash Course

Roxanne had followed The Crashing Boars to every concert across the country.

She’d finally managed to remain in the auditorium after the crowds. Before she could find a memento, she heard someone and hid beneath the drum riser. Kenny Crash wanted a last practice.

Roxy never forgot that drum solo.
Justifiable Homicide

“Infinity and nothingness are just aspects of each other.”

“You on that again?”

Thomas and Roger argued for hours as the partygoers frolicked around them. Finally, Roger disconnected the pull cord from the ceiling fan and laid it down.

“Zero.”

“So?”

“A half twist and boom; infinity!”

“THAT’S your proof?”
As You Command

“Are you a dragon?”

“I am. Why have you summoned me here?”

“I command you to grill me this steak! Well done! Now!”

Thwistle the Sorcerer was never seen again. However, resting upon a pile of ashes outside his domicile was found one particularly fine Porterhouse steak, cooked well done.
For Whom the Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, there was a giant named Whitt. Although Whitt was good-natured and gentle, he was severely nearsighted.

One day, walking through the forest, Whitt blundered into a group of fairies, flattening little Brevidy.

The survivors broke the news to Brevidy’s parents: “Brevidy is the sole of Whitt.”
Forgetful

Sunlight beat down on the parched desert landscape. Scarcely a creature moved as heat from the sand rippled the midday air.

Bill and Megan had argued over directions, splitting up and taking divergent paths.

It was only now, two hours later, Bill remembered it was Megan who had the canteens.
Where Credit Is Due

King Raggart sent forth his army to meet the Bruktic invaders at Kismannee Gap. After many heroic deeds, the battle was won.

Then did King Raggart bring out the Royal Backpatter and pat himself on the back, saying “Forsooth, I am good.”

For the King was a vain little snot.
The Heat of Battle

Sven the wizard and Hans the fighter journeyed to the ruins of a local castle to search for possible treasure.

Though they found a treasure room, an orc unexpectedly attacked Sven. Sven defended with his staff while Hans grabbed a spell scroll.

Alas, Sven’s staff broke and Hans was illiterate.
Treasure Hunters

The parchment map bore only an irregular outline and an “X”. Many had died seeking the island depicted.

Aloysius had realized it was instead the contours of Steeple Mountain. As his climbing team neared the summit, they spotted the “X”.

Graven in the stone beneath they read “You are here”.
Terminal Velocity

Kerril joined the Glingen Confederacy in their never-ending struggle against the Plaudan Horde.

The Plaudan command center lay deep within a rocky moon orbiting the fifth planet of their system, immune to bombs and missiles.

Kerril towed a massive asteroid into a collision course.

The survivors sued for peace.
A Creation too Far

At last, Detective Jonas sat in the interrogation room across from Doctor Ryan. “Come on, Ryan! What monstrosity have you been creating in that workshop lab of yours?”

“It’s a self-aware bendy bus!” Ryan laughed maniacally.

Doctor Ryan was never seen again and a strike team destroyed his lab.
Treasure Seekers

Maria and Raul sought an engraved crystal plate cover and a cigar wrapped in gold leaf, reputedly hidden by Pierre de Lyon in 1812.

Clues led them to a hidden chest in a secret grotto. Maria lifted out the bell-shaped crystal, then turned sadly to Raul.

“Cloche, but no cigar.”

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