Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"What'll It Be?", "Guess What?", and "Show Yourself": Three New Suspiciously-Titled Drabbles

In case you hadn't figured it out already, I really love writing drabbles. These 100-word short-shorts are challenging but fun! To tell a somewhat-complete story in so few words is something I would have found quite impossible to do even a year ago. But challenging myself to be concise while still making sense has actually improved my writing skills. (In my opinion, at least.) I've always been a fan of good dialogue, and have thought that I write pretty decent dialogue myself. Two of today's drabbles are dialogue-driven – the characters' spoken words tell the tales – while the other story is more traditionally. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them! ~ JH


Guy walks into a bar. 

Bartender says, "What'll it be?" 

Guy says, "I'm not here to drink." 

Bartender says, "What're you here to do?" 

Guy says, "To think." 

Bartender says, "Then think somewhere else. Park's nice and quiet. They got benches." 

Guy says, "Thanks, I prefer stools." 

Bartender says, "Good to know. But if you ain't drinking, you're walking." 

Guy says, "I don't drink." 

Bartender says, "Then don't let the door bruise your backside when you leave! What's a young fellow like you got to think about anyway?" 

Guy says, "How to tell you that I'm your son." 

Bartender faints.


"Guess what?" 

(My little brother loves playing this stupid game.)

"I dunno. What?"


"I don't wanna guess."

Little brother frowns. "Guess!"

"Bellbottoms are back in style."

"What're bellbottoms?"

"Funny pants," I say. "Am I right?"

"How should I know?" Little brother huffs. "Guess!"

"I just did."

"You were wrong. Guess again!"

"Scientists discovered life on Jupiter," I drone drolly.

"They did?" 

(He's hopeless.)

"I dunno, I was guessing," I say.

"Guess again!"

"This could go on forever!" I complain.

"Not if you guess right," he reminds me.

"Today's your birthday?"

"How did you know?" he gasps.

"I know everything."


Somehow he knows I'm hiding in the barrel. Maybe he can smell my fear. Or my flesh.

"Show yourself!" He cries out. He's closer now. 

I keep quiet. I have no weapons. Only my wit, and it hasn't been sharpened recently.

My heart's beating loudly. I'm sure he can hear it.

"Show yourself!" He yells again. This time he's right beside me.

I don't know what to do. If he finds me, I'm dead. If I stay in this barrel, I'm dead. Even now I can feel the acid melting away my skin. 

I have no choice. 

"I'm in here..."

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