Monday, March 28, 2011

CONTEST: The 100-Word Story

Let's have some fun!

Overwriting is probably THE most common problem among new or inexperienced writers.  (And it creeps up on the more seasoned among us sometimes, too!).  So let's do something where we're FORCED to use as few words as possible.


Write a 100-word story!  Make sure it has a beginning, middle, and end. (A 100-word description of a sleeping ferret does not count as a story.)

You must use the following words in your story:


(Entries that do not include these 3 words will be disqualified.)

And clean language and themes only, please.


The story that makes me laugh the most, or delights me the most, or that is absolutely the cleverest thing ever stated in 100 words, gets a FIRST CHAPTER LINE-EDIT from yours truly.

That's right.  I will line-edit and offer notes on the first chapter of your novel.


How can I say this delicately?  Um...THIS CONTEST IS FOR TEENS ONLY.  Please respect this.  Grown-ups get lots of good stuff, and this one's for the younger set.


Leave your 100-word story in the comment box below.  You may enter more than once, but PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL ENTRY.

This contest opens NOW and will close at midnight, EDT, on THURSDAY, MARCH 31.

The winner will be announced on APRIL FOOL'S DAY.


(Yes, it's a real contest.  I promise.)

Oh, and please don't comment anonymously.  Sign in with whatever name you use over on the forums.

Have fun!


  1. Suzy Pippenpaddleopsocopolis sidled towards the chocolate with a gleam in her eye.

    “Leave that alone!” I said. “It’s mine.”

    She wrinkled her nose at me and pretended to look all innocent, but she didn’t fool me. Suzy’d had her eye on my chocolate bar since she saw it this morning.

    I pulled the shoehorn I used to open my applesauce out from my lunch pail. Right as I turned away, Suzy grabbed the chocolate.

    I jumped up and reached for it, but she held it too high. And then she licked it.

    Cooties. Eww. I decided that she could have it.

  2. The mercenary sidled along the ridge, hands splayed across the jagged stone wall. One wrong step and he would fall to his death in the crashing waves below.

    Chocolate, this is Shoehorn. Report your position,” came a crackling voice from within his headset.

    “My codename changed to Midnight, Shoehorn,” he whispered.

    “You’ll always be Chocolate to me.” There was a smile in the voice, and it abruptly faded in his sigh. “Your position?”

    “Northeast wall, crossing the ridge.”

    Shoehorn repeated the information to someone, and sighed again. “Goodbye, Chocolate.”

    A silenced gun went off, and Chocolate plunged into the sea.

  3. I toss the shoehorn across the room. It ricochets off the wall with a clack and into the trashcan.

    “I said throw it to me, not throw it away,” Rebecca grumbles. She kicks off her troublesome shoe, the laces dancing around her foot, and sidles up to the garbage.

    “Sorry,” I say.

    “Oh, gross--it landed in melted chocolate. Now I have to wash it.”

    I apologize again, and this time she just shakes her head and limps to the sink. “It’s not your fault. The Woodcombe gremlins are the ones who shrank my shoe.”

    I nod and sheathe my dagger.

  4. Marvin held his breath in the thick Amazon undergrowth. An exotic bird, bathed in rich brown plumage, was metres from his campsite.

    The bird hopped from the branch and fluttered down, landing on a shoehorn left lying around. Marvin sidled up towards the creature. It looked sharply at him-

    -And flew off!

    No. The bird was coming even closer. It stopped on Marvin’s shoulder. Marvin sniffed the air. Chocolate?

    ‘No!’ his mind screamed, but Marvin brought his hand up to pat the creature. Melted by the humidity, the chocolate bird crumbled under his touch, leaving only sticky chocolate remains on Marvin’s fingers.

  5. The pirate Blondebeard leapt aboard the merchant ship, and into the heat of battle. Around him, his men fought to overpower the opposing crew.

    To the side, Blondebeard saw a small hatch closing, and he ran to it. He threw it open and leapt down, startling the female chocolate-skinned slave. He sidled up to her. In a feeble attempt of defence, she grabbed a shoehorn. Blondebeard didn’t bother drawing his weapon. He could kill her with fists alone…

    Too late, he discovered the shoehorn had been sharpened into a weapon. Too late to block as it was thrust into his heart.

  6. Staring at the shredded rug, Katrina's hatred for Lea's old dog [b]Shoehorn[/b] was reinforced.
    "Hideous, conniving, nasty dog," she said, kicking the rug. "What demon possessed me when I agreed to watch you?"
    Shoehorn sat by the open patio door, ready to bolt if she made any move toward him.
    [i]Lea promised to be back in two days,[/i] Katrina thought when the handgun in her desk came to mind. [i]And she won't give me rides to work if I shoot him.[/i]
    "I'll just start dosing your food with [b]chocolate[/b]," she said. Whining, Shoehorn started to [b]sidle[/b] out the door.

  7. I thought it best to keep my eyes closed while listening to musical applications; this one was no exception.

    She entered; elegant fingers stroking the instrument, she sang. The melody melted like chocolate on her tongue, dark and rich and symphonic. My eyes still closed, the notes sidled through my mind, up and down scales, dancing across arpeggios to crescendo.

    We had never had an applicant so talented.

    I opened my eyes, prepared to offer her the grand prize. What I saw came as a greater shock- I would never have believed such music could be played using only a shoehorn!

  8. “Sherwood Holmes? What is it?” Edward, the museum attendant, asked anxiously. He stood near an empty glass case in a brilliantly lit room.

    Beside Edward stood Sherwood, wearing a heavy overcoat. Gripping his pipe, Sherwood turned toward Edward and spoke beneath the shadow of his hat. “I’ve solved the mystery.”

    “But how?” Edward blurted out.

    "Elementary, my dear friend. Your legendary chocolate shoehorn wasn’t stolen, but eaten.” Sherwood sidled up to Edward, who looked astonished.

    “You’ve left a trace of chocolate on your lips. Arrest him!” Sherwood announced boldly. Two policemen dragged Edward, struggling and screaming, out of the room.

  9. They were trapped, shoehorned between two buildings. Gangsters in front, gangsters behind. Sam and Leslie still panted heavily from the chase.

    “Where ya gonna run now?” the lead gangster said in a cold voice, chuckling cruelly.

    Sam sidled up to Leslie and gave her a coy smile. “You thinking what I’m thinking?”

    Leslie nodded. They each pulled out a chocolate bar from their pockets.

    “Now!” Sam shouted.

    The two of them threw their chocolate at each group. In midair, the bars transformed into nets, enclosing the gangsters in a web of sticky chocolate.

    “Gotcha,” Sam said triumphantly, high-fiving with Leslie.

  10. Fredrick, a chocolate colored dragon, was shoehorned in a dark corner of the cave, cowering beneath the menacing black dragon, Lucifer.

    “Where is it? Where is the Key?!” Lucifer roared. “Tell me or I’ll kill you!”

    “I will never betray my King, never,” replied Fredrick, attempting to conceal his fear.

    Glaring into Fredrick’s eyes with flaming anger, Lucifer answered, “You may be a true Prince, but I despise you and I’m tired of your loyalty to your King. Kill him!”

    Two lithe dragons sidled forward as Lucifer stepped back. Fredrick saw their shining blades, felt the screaming pain… then nothing.

  11. When I got up for work that morning, Holly was in our bed, and snuggled up against my wife, they were like polar bears, still drunk on the hot chocolate we’d had the night before. Her stuffed penguin had fallen onto my pillow when I eased myself off the mattress.

    I’d watched her sidle down the hallway to my closet as I was getting dressed, eyes half closed. She’d taken the shoehorn out of my hand and put my face in her hands.

    I promised her I’d be careful, and now, I was a hostage with five other cops.

  12. (Gettin' my third-person objective on!)

    “Alright, shoehorn, come look at this.”

    “Isn’t it gumshoe? I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be gumshoe.”

    “Whatever. Come.”

    The junior detective sidled up to the spot on the wall. “It’s a smudge. So what?”

    The senior detective raised an eyebrow. “Not just any smudge. Look closer.”

    The junior detective leaned nearer.

    “What do you smell?”

    “Is that chocolate?”

    “Precisely. And what’s more? A chocolate fingerprint.”

    The junior detective took out his notebook and wrote something. “So this is some real important evidence, right?”

    “Shoehorn--consider our culprit already caught.” The senior detective smiled and went to the car.

  13. (Gettin' my second-person on!)

    You are standing in the footwear aisle. Your three-year-old son, Charles, sits in the basket, sipping his chocolate milk. You bend over to try on a pair of sneakers, a shoehorn in hand.

    Charles can no longer see you. Crying, he throws his milk down, spilling it everywhere--but mostly on you. Your hair and prospective sneakers soaked in the chocolate mess, you groan. A young employee sidles up to you.

    "Ma'am? I'm sorry, but you're going to have to pay for those."


    A) Throttle her.
    B) Politely decline, using customer-knows-best policy.
    C) Pay, but put Charles up for adoption.

  14. A) "No!" you scream. Grasping the employee's neck, you violently shake her. When she pushes you off, you stab at her with the chocolatey shoehorn. She jumps back and calls for help. Charles continues to cry. Security sidles up and grabs you, taking you to their office, and the police are summoned.

    Charles goes home with your concerned-looking husband. You spend a night in jail, where you're, thankfully, allowed to take a shower before changing into a jumpsuit. Your case is seen immediately by a judge, and you plead innocent, claiming that you "had a bad day." You are let off with a warning.

  15. B) You sigh. "Miss, I don't think you understand. This isn't my fault." Chocolate milk drips from your hair.

    She gulps. "B-be that as it may, it was your child who ruined the shoes, so--"

    "Then have him pay for it." You gesture to Charles with the shoehorn.

    She stutters some more, and you interrupt her again.

    "Customer's always right--I'm not paying for them."

    "I'm getting my manager."

    You smirk, sidling towards the nearest exit. "You do that." She goes off in a huff. As soon as her back is turned, you run out of the store with Charles.

  16. C) The shoehorn drops from your fingers with a clack as you fumble with your wallet. You hand the employee the money, too ashamed to face the registers, and sidle towards the door. Charles cries, wanting his milk, you know.

    You return home, ignoring your husband's exclamations at your downtrodden state, and rush to the bathroom to clean the chocolate off of Charles. You dress him in new clothes, and take him to the office. Placing him in front of the webcam, you snap a quick photo and put up a listing on Craigslist. Three-year-old to patient home, $2.

  17. “What’s that?” Max grunted as he came into the kitchen.

    “Cake,” I said, licking the chocolate frosting off my knife.

    “It looks deformed.”

    “It’s a shoehorn,” I snarled while sliding my fingers under the plate. I sidled over to the door. I had made the cake special for the town cobbler.

    “Surprise!” I yelled pushing through the door into the crowed room. I felt my feet slide out, the cake flew up and landed, plopping on my lap.

    “It looks better now,” Max commented as he knelt down to help me. I shook my head and laughed along with everyone.

  18. "You'll never make it." Natasha's sneer goads me into action. Armed with only a shoehorn, I sidle towards my foe. It stares with glossy eyes, daring me to come closer. I grit my teeth. I've never been one to resist a dare, and I certainly won't start now.

    I'm so concentrated that I run into the table. "Ow!"

    Natasha laughs. "That's what stubbornness gets you."

    That settles it. Despite my fear of all things rodent-like, I will prove her wrong. Taking a deep breath then grabbing it around the neck, I take a big bite.

    The chocolate bunny tastes delicious.

  19. I loved my roses.

    Their stems twined around my fingers, thorns prickling. A droplet of blood trembles then sidles to the ground- staining the dirt, turning its colour to chocolate. The pain was distant, as through a dream.

    Memories dance on silken shoes- childhood dreams. Gardens, seeds- abandoned through adulthood as I was shoehorned into conformity.

    Now, brushing my other hand across the petals, the softness surprises me. Their whiteness, too, is shocking- another droplet falls, trickles into the rose's heart. I smile, wanting it to be tainted, to be real instead of illusion.

    I drop it, turning away.

    Once, I dreamed of roses. Now, I dream only of mortgages.

  20. Hi Authoress! Would we be able to take a a raincheck for the prize if we won? Sorry for asking so late- I just found out about the contest today :) Gracias!

  21. Yep! The winner can email the 10 pages whenever she's ready! :)

  22. Do you remember visiting your grandparents? It was your favourite time of month; Grandmother made chocolate cookies in the mornings, and the smell would sidle into your bedroom, tinting dreams or brushing away nightmares.

    Now, it's all faded.

    You've been shoehorned into too many performances, too many colourful delusions. As you twirl and prance, your skirt's ruffles rip- tattered under the weight of illusions. One-two-three; as long as you're dancing, you won't disappear.

    You sigh, wondering what happened. Elegance is difficult when your partner is a circus elephant.

    Suddenly, the tightrope collapses under the two of you.

    Everything goes dark.

  23. Shoehorned in the elevator, I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream. “Then why did you do it?” came out instead.

    “It’s nothing,” he said.

    “Nothing!” I yelled, shaking. “What would it think?”

    I might have walked away, had his voice not brought me to a halt.

    “WHAT did you just say?” My grip on the bucket of water tightened.

    “I said, 'It’s not my fault'.”

    Something in me snapped. One action and a cascade crashed down his head, water drops sidling over his face.

    “That’s what you get for murdering my chocolate.”

    The doors opened, and I walked away.

  24. Thanks, Authoress!

    “Here,” Dallas said. “I have something to cheer you up.”

    He took a piece of chocolate out of his pocket.

    “…Dallas. What am I, five?”

    “No,” he smiled. “This is like those alcohol truffles, but it packs a bigger punch. And it’ll make you forget what Harper did, for a bit.”

    I could never forget that. But the ache she caused was a shoehorn that was wedged into my heart, splitting it— and I decided it wouldn’t hurt to heed Dallas for once.

    He watched me eat the chocolate.

    Immediately, wooziness sidled into my brain.

    Who the hell was Harper?

  25. All around me, they beckon, lure with insidious promises—one taste to relieve restraint, another to forget guilt—I crave to believe.

    “But I won’t give in.”

    Intoxicating, their knee-weakening smells—a slice of mint, a sprinkle of sugar—overwhelm the abyss of temptations that keep us apart.

    Tick, tock. My unfaithful heart skips past stepping stones, the path to my new fixation.

    “Just one,” I decide, licking my lips, tasting the sweetness sidling down my fingertips.

    “Just one,” they agree. For what other friend could be kinder to me?

    I’ve been shoehorned too long in a box of chocolates.