Short and Sweet

It seems that almost no matter what you do, warming up helps: A musician practices scales, a runner stretches, a ball player takes batting practice, and who doesn't like appetizers before a meal?

Press 53,  based in Winston-Salem, N.C., runs a free, 53-word contest that I'm using as my writer's BP. The publishing house provides a new topic each month. Haven't won yet but I do see improvement in my submissions since I started in April. Can't tell you why I skipped June, nor can I share the one I did for this month's topic: a fall.

April  2018: A poem

"Words That Moved Maud"

The dead man’s legs dangling out of the shopping cart caught the young officer’s eye. She rolled the patrol car next to the crying elderly woman as she pushed along the sidewalk near the bridge overpass. “Frank didn’t amount to much. But he’s the only one who ever wrote me a love poem.”

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May 2018: A sock

"The White Sox Player’s Lucky Lost Sock"

Furious that he lost the game, the rookie punched himself in the face. “PITCHER SOCKS HIMSELF FOR BLOWING GAME” the headlines screamed. The next day, fans twirled socks over their heads and held up signs that read, “GO SOCK YOURSELF!”  Pocketing a lost sock on the mound for luck, the closer threw strikes.

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July 2018: Aliens

"Where Smart Friends Go"

The general looked the space creature right in the nostrils. He didn’t know better. “Have you come here as a friend or an enemy?”

“That depends on the intelligence of your life forms.”

The general smiled. “Let me take you where the most intelligent among us can be found. It’s called Area 51.”

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August 2018: Sour

“To Better Days”

As she waited for the bartender’s attention, Alexandra kicked her broken stiletto against the foot rail and reflected on her awful day: She had been stung by a bee, gotten a speeding ticket, tripped in front of the CEO, and dumped via text by her boyfriend. Let the healing begin. “Whiskey sour, please.”

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Jennifer Zajac