8 Word Story

The Queensland Writers Centre held a competition asking writers to create a short story in exactly 8 words. The best of these were displayed on billboards across Brisbane to add a bit of interest to the daily commute. One of mine made the list. It’s on their website for posterity and briefly flashed up on billboards around Brisbane on one October morning. My 15 minutes of fame….

My story was one of the five that were selected to be discussed on the raido. Somewhat less than 15 minutes but, nonetheless – FAME!


One of the most fun aspects of this exercise was hearing friends explain what actually happened in my story. Did a lost child get help? Did a woman find herself a one-night-stand? Did both characters in the story live to see another day? I’m still puzzling over whether the broad spectrum of images summoned by those 8 words says more about my writing or my friends’ psyches.

Other entries showed up on their website, but didn’t make it to the city skyline. Each were entered under a specific theme.

Home: Forced Eviction. I took my dog. We’re home.
Home: Windstorm, tucked in safely – then a branch cracks.
Change: Forewarned is forearmed… if you listen. I didn’t.
Change: Eyes closed, I forget everything. Except the flames.
Play: Thief! Stop him! Fetch is no mere game.
Play: She threw the game, her son’s ego blossomed.
Love: She left then he returned. Their timing sucks.

And, of course…….

Love: He asked for directions. I took him home.