Six Word Story

Flash Fiction

Ken Preston

12 January 2024

Apparently, Ernest Hemingway was lunching at Luchow’s with a number of writers and claimed that he could write a short story that was only six words long.
Of course, the other writers balked.
Hemingway told each of them to put ten dollars in the middle of the table; if he was wrong, he said, he’d match it. If he was right, he would keep the entire pot. He quickly wrote six words down on a napkin and passed it around; Papa won the bet.
The words were “FOR SALE, BABY SHOES, NEVER WORN.”
A beginning, a middle and an end!

Unfortunately, this story recounted in the 1991 book, ‘Get Published! Get Produced!: A Literary Agent’s Tips on How to Sell Your Writing’ is probably not true.

Still, its a great story, and writers have been conjuring up six word stories ever since. Makes my fifty word stories look like amateur hour.

So here we go, my own six word story, and this one is most definitely true as it is about my cousin John. And it’s just as depressing as the Hemingway one.

Sorry.

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