by Lisa Alber
Last week I attempted to write a short story in three sentences — beginning, middle, end. A friend named Rick had posted his power shorts on his blog, and I decided to join in the game, thinking, pfft, easy. (Hah!) Here’s what I came up with:
With a secret smile, the woman placed a bouquet of daisies next to the grave marker. She traced her fingers over the name engraved on the marker and reveled in the thought of her new luxury condo with its closet full of designer clothes. She’d always preferred her identical twin’s name anyhow.
Successful or not, doesn’t matter. I present it to you as a prime example of why I was invited to blog with my fellow ShadowSpinners. Namely, that I can’t write three lousy sentences without death waving its skeletal hand. Don’t forget me, don’t forget me!
Seriously, I could write a novel about this simple premise. Never mind that identical twins don’t have 100% identical fingerprints (pah, details details), I could populate 400 pages with subplots, intrigue, red herrings, pathos, and twists all centered around an evil twin who offs her sister to take over her identity. In the Lifetime movie version, Shannen Doherty would play the twins. She kinda creeps me out. (In fact, identical twins kinda creep me out, too.)
Just before writing this blog post, I set myself a new challenge: write a three-sentence story without the death.
Hmm…A girl walks her dachshund and…a car mows down the dog…
Fer-Christ’s-sake-Lisa, you cannot off the dog. People, yeah. Dogs, never!
So, OK, a sad girl with a dachshund named Brutus…Why is she sad? Maybe her mom just died…Or maybe she witnessed a murder. No, she didn’t witness a murder. Instead, maybe Brutus sniffed all around the mulberry bush and pulled out a severed hand! Yeah, that’s the ticket, and maybe, yeah, yeah, and maybe the sad girl recognized the wedding ring on the hand — her mom’s!
Yeah! Wait, no. Oh, never mind. I am and always will be an unrepentant shadow spinner.