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Read the 2019 "73 Words in the 732" Short Stories

Read the 2019
The 2019 “73 Words in the 732” short story contest sought original short stories that contain seventy three words or less.
Read the stories here.

YOUTH (13 and under)

Untitled by Nishil Shah

I slept on my bed. While sleeping I saw a bird flying, then a boom came and bird came charging down, the person who did it was a hunter who was grinning from each corner of his face. But what about the bird, don’t you feel bad for it all those animals they were here first and we come get wepons and kill these animals. Do we not feel ashamed for killing these animals.

 

The Hunt by Sahana Ramkumar

Mama was gone! “Hunting is dangerous Stella,” she had said. “Besides, Alpha needs you to take care of him”. We hid behind a bush waiting for her.
    Two hours had passed and Mama hadn’t returned. Worried I set off with Alpha stumbling behind me. It took me all the skills I had learnt to finally track her down. “Great work Stella, “ she said proudly. “You are now a wolf ready to hunt.”

 

Where Beauty Is Found by Divya Avadhani

Imagine being Evelyn, a sixth grader who was ugly. Everyone taunted her because of the way she looked, and no one wanted to befriend her. They didn’t know what they were missing out on, not until Hazel came along. She noticed what was happening to Evelyn and decided to add sunshine into her life! As Evelyn and Hazel became closer, they showed people that although Evelyn looked unattractive, her beauty was found within.

 

Mount Everest Imagination by Noah A

I pushed off of the top of what seemed to be Mount Everest. The cold wind whipped in my face as I glided through the air on my super sled. I woke up from my day dream that I was sledding down Mount Everest, when a garbage can came up like a bullet. I tried to turn but..
Oof!! I slammed into the garbage can and went flying backwards.

 

The Day I Won The Lottery! by Umaynah Islam

WOW!  I couldn’t believe I WON the LOTTERY! What I would do with 100,000 $ is:
  • Spend 50,000 $ for St. Jude’s Cancer Hospital
  • Give 10,000 $ to my mom to landscape
  • Rest of the money for Disney cruise, Disneyland!!
 I was excited, surprised and a lot of other emotions that I can’t explain! While I was thinking, someone had touched my body. Soon I realized my mom was asking me to get ready for school. “Oh my….I was dreaming”! but It felt so real!  I still hope my dream comes true!

 

Best Birthday Ever by Sayyeda Syed

“I can't wait for my party", said Suzy. She's been waiting for her friends to come. Suddenly she hears a knock on the door. It's her three friends. "Hey guys! I thought I invited seven. Where are the others?". “Oh! they couldn't make it" said Bloom. Suzy said sadly, "its ok, let's go outside...". As she stepped out, she heard her friends scream, "SURPRISE!" Suzy happily said, "Hurray! Its my best birthday ever!”

 

Untitled by Eliezer

Mark was mad. He was in the school play, but he only had one line. The play started. “Welcome to the annual school play.” The play flew by. Finally it was Mark’s line. He was so mad that he wasn’t paying attention. Even though the rest of the play was amazing, the play was ruined. Mark didn’t care, but once he saw the lead actor’s sadness he started to cry.   

 

Hugs! by Arunank

Gray, ominous clouds filled the sky. The winds had kicked up. The trees swayed to their song. A tiny house slowly filled the windshield.
Wet, uneasy,  I took the steps that led to the entrance. I entered. A shelter, thankfully!
Suddenly, I saw the encircling webs! Spiders! I screamed and ran as a host of huntsman spiders were trotting to greet me and give me a hug to make me feel at home!

 

My Trick Shot by Aritra Saha

P.I.G.! I’d win, of course, my sister had no chance, but I had to clinch it. I  took my shot. It bounced off the rim, rolled around the basket, and went in. I’ve never made a shot that deep before.  I could’ve cried!
“You’ll never make that,” I said, tauntingly.
My sister’s shot missed!
Yes! She now had a P. She missed twice more. I scored twice more.
Game over! Tada!

 

The Test by Srijita Sarkar

Today was the day of my math test. My teacher passed out the test papers while I went through each page shaking and staring at the test papers, tears coming out of my eyes. I just...couldn’t do this. It was like we never learned this. No! I just have to keep trying! I focused on each page closely examining the words and I snapped! It all makes sense now!



TEENS (13-17)


Untitled by Jaiden Radoczy

She wasn’t surprised when the world lit up in color upon meeting her.
She wasn’t surprised when her heart sung at her soulmate’s beaming smile.
She wasn’t surprised when they kissed for the first time.
She wasn’t surprised when her proposal was blissfully accepted.
She was surprised when she could see only blurs of gray where there once was blooming color.
She sunk to her knees, sobbing.
Her soulmate was gone.

 

Untitled by Nandini Mishra

When the car broke down it was no surprise. They decided to just leave it pulled over on the shoulder -- I think the piece of junk’s already lasted much longer than any of them anticipated. They’re arguing over whether they should hitchhike or walk the couple of miles backwards to the diner they had passed. They’re worried it’ll be dark soon. Ha. They won’t last that long. I’ll keep you updated.

 

Saving Grace by Anuraag Sarkar

I remember running across sunny meadows, and coming home to mom’s call at seven. Home to blissful ignorance and sinful chips! 
Today, my seventeenth birthday, the sunny meadow was gone. Instead I looked at assignments, college apps, and gpa! Home to drudgery until my hand cried. Crap!
But when the clock struck seven I ran downstairs. My family sang the birthday song and I opened another bag of sinful chips! Bliss! Pure magic!



ADULTS (18 and older)


A Waiting Room by Risa Waters

Opening her bag, a woman searched urgently for something.  Pulling out a photograph, she stared at it intently as tears streamed down her worn face.
The picture was handed to me. I glimpsed at it in confusion. Curiosity crept inside me but before I could speak, the photo was grabbed violently away and as quick as she arrived, the woman was gone. The picture burned into my memory without any understanding of why.

 

My Big Day by Ellen Pometti

Tenth birthday.  Everyone knows it's my big day. Just throw my ball.  You, then you, then you.  Everyone gets to throw.  
Mom ignores me as she hands out the drinks.  Dad tells his silly jokes.  Baby tosses the ball too far and I cannot reach it.  Neighbor thankfully kicks it back within reach.
I quickly snatch my great smelling, wet new ball, sigh and happily plop in the corner. Happy birthday to ME.

 

Untitled by Lori Nattrass

The diamond was gone.  The blue diamond, which brought out the beautiful light in Helena's eyes.  The perfect diamond that Maya had been saving for months for.  Everything is ruined.  This is a sign, thought Maya.  It isn't meant to be.  I should let her go. 
Helena carefully wrapped the blue diamond she had been saving for for months.  It is perfect.  It reflects the light in Maya's beautiful blue eyes.

 

THE FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH by Peter Robert

THE FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH. MY HEAD IS REALLY SPINNING AFTER LAST NIGHT .  ONE DAY A MONTH MIGHT BE THE SOLUTION. IT HAS REALLY KNOCKED ME OFF MY FEET COMING ON SO DUDDEN LIKE IT DID.
BUT IF ONE DAY A MONTH  IS WHAT SHE WANTS, THEN LET IT BE. AFTER ALL I GOT TO MAKE HER HAPPY. THE DOCTOR IS ALWAYS RIGHT AND VERTIGO IS NOTHING TO PLAY AROUND WITH."

 

The Sphere by Larry Wolfert

The sphere rushed towards him at an incredible speed. In front of him were two warriors. The one nearest him wore an outfit that included a mask and a padded leathery article on one hand. The second warrior simply wielded a swinging stick to ward off these projectiles – but missed.
            The projectile hit the leathery protector with a resounding “thud” cueing the man to respond with the all familiar “Strike three, ‘yer out!”

 

The Toy by Tracy Tsai

“It’s just a toy,” she says to her inconsolable daughter.
When she was her daughter’s age, halfway across the world, she had lost a blue shovel at a beach in Taiwan. It was cerulean blue with scalloped edges, and it had been swallowed by the ocean. It was the first of many losses her heart would come to endure.
“You’ll get over it soon,” she says, but she knows that’s a lie.

 

Untitled by Lori Nattrass

She never knew her father.  Mother said very little—only that he was from the city and left during her pregnancy.  She had to meet him and had many questions.  She ate a last forkful of pizza, rinsed her silverware and hailed a cab.
His last fare of the day was over, and he was tired.  After dropping her off, her grabbed a knife and fork and dug into his pizza.

 

The Hill by Donald Carugati

The bottom of a long hill has a steel mill, at the top is a college.
 In May of my senior year, father asked what did I plan to do after graduation?
My reply,  join the  army or work in the mill.
Dad said, "I came from Italy and had to stop at the bottom of the hill, you can make it to the top."
The next day I applied to college.

 

The Artichoke Women by Arianna M Astuni

I smell earth boiling.
Hawkeyeing the women around the table, I hear shrieks and laughter.
"Artichokes!"
And three large green flowers appear.
The cacophony dies to a movement so fine- leaves flittering in pooled butter.
Then,  feral- leaves ripped and scraped on teeth.
I watch astonished as they work to the heart.
I digest my visual meal. Always, from then, remembering the beauty and brawn of getting to the heart of the matter.

 

Good Morning by Geneva Hague

I last saw my father twenty-seven years ago; I was seventeen.  I remember eating breakfast- Rice Krispies.  He entered the kitchen and said, "Don't know why you bother going to school- you're just gonna get pregnant and drop out."  Having endured a lifetime of abuse, I could no longer cry-  I laughed, and thought: it would be my luck God, ever non-existent to my pleas, would perform another Immaculate Conception, proving him right. 

 

He by Ed Mendlowitz

I’ll get a really good wine for my big date tonight.  It took me a few weeks to get up the nerve to ask her out.  I see her almost every day at work; I never have any trouble talking with anyone but for some reason I get nervous when I am with her and never know what to say.  I’ll use the wine as an ice breaker so hope she likes it.
 

She by Ed Mendlowitz

He finally asked me out.  I was thinking of asking him out but could never get up the nerve.  I see him almost every day at work; I never have any trouble talking with anyone but for some reason I get nervous when I am with him and never know what to say.  I wonder what drink I could order tonight that I could use as an ice breaker.

 

Untitled by Lori Nattrass

Money is tight, so I couldn't throw a party.  I could only afford him a worn teddy bear from Goodwill for a gift.  I burned the cake.  I wish I could do better by him.  He only turns five once.
(On the playground)  "I had the best birthday ever!  I got to spend the whole day with Mommy, I got the bear I've been wanting, and she made me my favorite chocolate cake!"

 

Most Colorful Kid in the Class by J. K. Momling

“There’s no such place as Fillateens! You’re Chinese! My mommy said so!”
(shrug) “It’s PHILIPPINES and it’s real! I’m not lying!”
(multiple glares all around) “Fine, Fillateens! You’re it!”
(scattering)
I chase them all, my black hair like a flag waving proudly with each tag.
“You run good and talk good!”
“That’s right! Better get used to me and watch out!”
EB 1984. Too different for many then, and still for some now.

 

Is it ever worth it? by Ed Mendlowitz

This traffic stinks.  I’ve been inching up for the last 45 minutes and will be really late for my interview.  I don’t even have a number to call.  I’m gonna be really late.  There’s an opening – I could swerve around the two cars in front of me and move up a little.  Here goes.  Oh S - - t!  TRUCK COMING RIGHT TOWARD…

 

The Battle by Keren Horn

He rolled over to his belly, evaluated the options. Exhausted from fighting. He lifted his heavy head, scanned the room. Searched for help.
            In the distance, another, he screamed, clawed at the floor.
            The woman sat un-moving. Hope faded away. Surrendered, he lowered, eyes shut to sleep.
            She placed the blanket on his back, then sat back down to keep vigil. Watched as her beautiful baby napped, peacefully, after a valiant fight.

 

Can everything be holy? by Ed Mendlowitz

When I was a kid we played touch football in the street.  There were always some parked cars on our “field.” When the ball ended up under a car someone would crawl under it to get the ball.  One day after he crawled out and stood up he noticed dog s - - t all over his hand and ball and yelled while dropping the ball: “Holy s - - t!”