Student work: 101 word short story

I was struck by how well many of these came out. Their work with formal or procedural constraints in verse (anagram poem, phone number poem, found poem) seems to be paying off in their work in prose. Or that’s one way anyway of accounting for the leanness of these.

A lot of work to comment on tonight so I’ll post just a couple here. Two I find especially attentive to the shapes of their sentences. And while they are stories — they propose event — they also draw many of their flavours from the prose poem and the flash essay.


The yellow coat is missing a button — it has been for a while now. It just hangs on the rack over muddy rain boots.

Her father sews a new button back on but it doesn’t match the others. He pricks his finger; she plays doctor and dresses the wound in a pink Band-aid.

Arms slide into sleeves and she spins around in the coat like it’s brand new, save for the green button that breaks the yellow. (She picked the button out herself.)

Tugging on boots, she dashes into the rain. He’s in her footsteps, chasing her shadow.


In the woods, around a creek, down a gravel road. I walk in to music, vibrations, occupied air.

I live with four boys. They throw apples at deer.

One is king of the trash fires. He stays up late with the trees.

One is a recluse gamer. With the deepest mind.

Another just shaved his beard and dreads. What a shame.

And then there is one that plays with his hair, while he smiles at me. Such a dangerous combination.

I think of how close I want to get, tension thickens the room. I spend my nights cold.

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I write draw teach blog in and from the Pacific Northwest of America.

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