Fiction 101

Every year, San Diego City Beat runs a contest called Fiction 101 (now in it’s seventh year). The goal is to write a fictional story in 101 words or less. That is pretty much it. This was the first year that I entered and while I didn’t win or have an honorable mention (psst… there really isn’t a prize besides seeing it in print anyhow), I did want to put my stories out there for people to read. So here are the two short stories I submitted for your enjoyment:

Second Life
Behind the wooden bookcase, through the paneled wall in the study hides a door to the room where he spent his nights alone. His wife would never understand if she discovered the room he built to hide his deepest secrets. His second life gave him autonomy and power that his real life at home and working in the factory had always lacked. In his room, the Lilliputian people with their painted on smiles frozen in their stance waved up at him in his blue and white striped conductor’s hat, as he prepared the next miniature train for departure. All Aboard!

The above story was the first one that came to me. It really is inconclusive with no depth. I think I just really wanted to use the word “Lilliputian.”

The Bouquet
An elderly man sat on the patio of a café savoring each sip of his wine. He arrived in Madrid that morning. Watching the pigeons scavenge crumbs from the cobbled streets, he thought about his family left behind, wars fought, and miracles witnessed. A young boy on a bicycle stopped to smell flowers at a cart across from the café. The man reminisced returning from the war, embracing his wife and the floral essence of her perfume. “It is time,” he whispered, as he walked back to his hotel, to swallow the pills that will take him back to her.

The second story sort of stem from my grandfather’s trip to Spain. He flew to Spain for one day and then came home (no, he did not commit suicide). His trip to Spain at 82ish years old is one of my favorite stories from his many life stories and a true testament to who he was. Adventurous and caring (he went there solely to teach a friend to fly via Space A – military flights). The man was amazing. We charged me with helping him finish his biography/memoir when he passed away. I don’t know if I could ever do him justice, but I will try.


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