Monday, December 16, 2013

Revenge of the Four Sentence Story Project

Lately, it has occurred to me how much I miss writing these stories. It's surprising how big a part of my daily routine those four little sentences became.

Well friends, I'm going to fix that. Starting January 1st, 2014, The Four Sentence Story Project will make a comeback.

I'm looking forward to that. I hope you are too.

- D

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

730. All's well that ends well

It was three in the morning - or maybe four.
The last of the guests had made their syncopated walk from front door to cab door.
The house was a mess in the best possible way.
He latched the lock and turned out the lights.

Monday, February 4, 2013

729. A piece of advice before you go

Look to the next day and the next and the next.
Do as much good as you can for as long as you can.
For what else can we do?
We're here to save the universe, aren't we?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

728. Huckster

He was on television once or twice a week.
People liked him because he wore nice suits and threw bricks at orthodoxy.
The opinions he expressed were very wrong and very popular.
That's what made him so dangerous.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

727. Adjective

Today was going to be a big day.
Today, she was getting her adjective.
She was hoping for stupendous or maybe magnificent.
All the best superheroes had really great adjectives.

Friday, February 1, 2013

726. Wide angle

He stood back and surveyed the scene.
It was a mess.
The floor was thick with garbage and sticky like taffy.
Those goddamn kids and their midnight cult movie showings were the worst.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

725. Tonic

Sharon eased back behind the bar and stepped out of her shoes.
The bowling alley was empty except for a half dozen young men in suits.
They were shouting for more gin, again.
She watched one of them pitch a ball into the gutter, sighed, and reached for the bottle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

724. The princess, the farm boy, and the pirate

I'm not really at liberty to discuss the particulars, but I have travelled back in time on six separate occasions
My favourite trip was May 25th, 1977.
I went to Star Wars with my father.
Sometimes you just can't worry about altering the space-time continuum.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

723. Holy Toledo

Toledo is a city on Maumee Bay in Ohio.
In 2014, people will begin to see images of Jesus Christ on everything from toasted bread to stains in alleyways - in Toledo.
In 2015, our lord and saviour will make his miraculous return - in Toledo.
It seems too bizarre to be true, but the man in front of the liquor store is quite insistent.

Monday, January 28, 2013

722. Toolmaker

His trip through time was a permanent one.
He spent his first weeks in the past building a weapon from the circuitry and assorted technological detritus in his pockets.
Using the stars and the landscape to guide him, he buried it in the exact spot where he'd tried to dig to China as a boy.
Things were going to be different this time.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

721. Union busting

Alford and Abernathy ran the factory founded by their grandfather, Eustace.
Their falling out split the family in two - permanently.
It also meant the eventual collapse of their grandfather's empire.
As the factory failed, it consigned the town of Union to a slow death.

720. Grooves

It was deep in the spinning black.
A jagged scratch began at track 1 and meandered through tracks 2 and 3 before obliterating track 4.
Do you know how hard it is to find original Allman Brothers?
Do you?

Friday, January 25, 2013

719. The great wide world

You there, the young sir or madam reading this note.
Crumple up this page immediately and throw it away.
Go out into the world and have some adventures.
Pack a raincoat and some sandwiches, because you never know.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

718. Hello, is it me you're looking for?

It wasn't the usual stuff - homes for puppies and gently used Tercels.
This was something entirely different.
This had only one line: I'm looking for a friend.
None of the twelve identical tags had been disturbed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

717. Sex sells

"Sex sells."
That's what she told them.
She was only doing what it took to win the Little Miss Central Southeastern Kansas pageant.
That's what she told the authorities when they took her kids away.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

716. The Icarus Waltz

The sun was shining in Milwaukee.
It was Thursday.
Men were falling from the sky.
Flames came with them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

715. Smudge

The sun shone on the south side of the house - as it always did.
On this day, it caught a small smudge on the front door.
The smudge was from his forehead.
He had rested his head against the cool glass after re-reading the eviction notice.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

714. Feats of amazement

He held his hands out to the darkened room.
A question mark was tattooed on each palm.
This crowd was in for something unexpected.
They were going to see a bit of magic.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

713. For posterity

Come with me fellow graduates of the class of 1986.
Let us etch our names in these hallowed halls forever.
When they tell the story of this place, let us be remembered.
Let us write our names in permanent marker in the storage room in the gymnasium.

Friday, January 18, 2013

712. Far flung and long lost

A merchant trading ship is lost at sea in the Pacific.
A deckhand from the ship is swept ashore on a deserted island.
He lives off the land for a time beyond his own reckoning.
One hundred years later, he sees an airplane on the horizon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

711. Stray thoughts

It was a quarter of midnight.
Cats were moving in the neighbourhood.
These weren't house cats - loved and well fed.
They were grimy, shifty strays and they were moving with purpose.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

710. Guy who writes the stories

"Just write the stories, story boy."
That's what they said.
They were pretty clear in what they wanted.
Lord how he tried.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

709. Sardines

The temperature in the foyer had already risen a few degrees.
There was a hint of perfume in the air - the kind an older woman might wear.
It got noisier as the crowd grew more restless.
They were going to see the mayor and they were damn well going to be heard.

Monday, January 14, 2013

708. Trigger

The movie was some crap thing about alien invasions.
It was deeply forgettable.
But, during the scene in the pub where the protagonist discovers the aliens' allergy to okra, a pop song played in the background.
For one moviegoer, it was an instant reminder of lazy Saturdays in the college dining hall.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

707. Estranged cousins

The automatic doors opened and closed with a drunk's timing.
Passengers drifted out in ones, fives, sevens, and pairs.
It was a tiny melting pot with luggage.
The chin, looking so much like his father's, tipped him off.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

706. Canuck

When I think of home, certain things occur to me.
Ours is a nation big enough to hold a million tiny dreams and a few great big ones.
Ours is a nation shaped by long, sorrowful winters and precious, short little summers.
Ours is a nation of one person blocking traffic while waiting to make a left hand turn into a Tim Horton's parking lot.

Friday, January 11, 2013

705. Stationery

He slid a business card across the table.
The card felt heavy and rich between her fingers.
It contained only two pieces of information, the first of which was his name.
The second item was his profession: Wrangler of Creatures, Mystical and Practical.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

704. The Riffraff Gospel

Another rainy night in the city.
The buses had stopped early thanks to the mayor's deficit reduction strategy.
Jack stood at the takeout window covering his head with a stack of menus.
He paid two dollars for chicken balls in red sauce and ate in the rain.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

703. Regarding information

Pam sat on the edge of her bed, thinking.
It had been a restless night.
She suspected her dreams predicted some dire event in the coming hours.
Unfortunately, she couldn't remember a single one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

702. The topography of the ocean floor

He stood to the right of the dais listening to how great he was.
He wasn't, in reality, great at all.
He was a fraud.
He just wanted to matter.

Monday, January 7, 2013

701. The brown and the white

It was a secret.
It was the most secret kind of secret but it wouldn't stay that way for long.
The farmer in question had raised cows of rare excellence.
The white cows offered up vanilla milk and the brown ones, chocolate.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

700. Catch-22

The woman in the red dress got off the subway at The Charles Street Station.
Paul watched her walk by, transfixed.
Against his nature, he decided to follow her, meet her, and say hello.
The subway door closed on his coat sleeve and the train began to pull away as she walked up the stairs.

A note on the Four Sentence Story Project

So I had a revelation on Friday. It's time to wind down the Four Sentence Story Project. I've gotten everything I can get from it. I'll still write the odd four sentence story from time to time, but I won't be writing one every day.

This project has meant a lot to me. It's helped me become a much better writer and I've really enjoyed the friends and feedback I've gotten.

I'm going to write thirty more stories. That will make 730 (two straight years of stories).

I'm certainly not giving up writing. I have two new things I'm going to be working on which I'll start to share as I wind down the 4SS.

Thanks for reading.

- Danny

Saturday, January 5, 2013

699. A rolling stone gathers no moss

The beach was deserted.
A pair of jeans rolled in and out with the tide.
The owners of the jeans were hundreds of miles away.
The pants had gone over the side of a cruise ship in the Mediterranean after a day of drinking.

Friday, January 4, 2013

698. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

The mountain shook like thunder.
They were caught in a deluge of rock.
It was the end of them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

697. You get what you give

Two teenagers in turtlenecks walked through the high school.
They skirted the office on the way to fourth period.
Stopped by the secretary, they waited for the vice principal.
Hidden hickies awaited discovery.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

696. You are what you eat

When I was a baby, my skin turned orange.
My first-time parents were worried.
They took me to the doctor forthwith.
"Like carrots, does he?" asked our Dr. W.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

695. Careful what you wish for

Susan went to Cuba - for a rest.
She spent hours just walking on the beach.
The day before she was to return home, she stepped on a strange shell and fell into a deep sleep.
She's stayed that way for the last twelve years.