His birth will herald a new beginning. Or so the local Pundit said.
A century monopolised by female offspring ends. The village celebrates. Fireworks swallow his cries and a distant rumbling. Exhaustion claims the jubilant but not him. Brooding purples and an invisible assassin seep into the morning sky. His mother smiles one last time ‘He’s stopped crying.’ The slate is wiped clean.
I wish I could tell you about myself but I’m not sure who I am.
Second born. Female. Indian. London via Thuvakudi-Madras-Hong Kong-London-Abu Dhabi-Madras-Bombay. Failed engineer. Cynical copywriter. Wife. “Chatter box” “Must try harder” “The family’s best daughter-in-law”. Geography, society, family and friends have already decided who I am. I haven’t. 50 words for an autobiography only seems inadequate when you know who you are.
It is your turn to be a miniaturist - to write your own shortest of short stories...
Your mini-saga must be exactly 50 words long. (Hyphenated words can be counted as one word or two, at your discretion.) In addition it must carry a title of no more than 15 words, which will, ideally, set the scene and illuminate or counterpoint the text.
Most important, your story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Something must happen, preferably something which will keep the reader thinking. Fifty dazzlingly deployed words of description or reflection will not do.
1 Evolution, Einstein, East Enders, feminism, terrorism, television, Romeo and Juliet, Bill and Ben, Fish and Chips... Write a mini-saga ABOUT ANYTHING YOU LIKE.
2 Write another mini-saga about your life -- that is, your autobiography. (Don't feel obliged to reveal deep dark secrets!)
Here's another fiction one I did for fun.
Sorry to be such a bother but …
“A triumphant debut” Rushdie. Booker and Whitbread pop into conversations like neighbours that need sugar. People want to know her opinion. On Baghdad, bird flu and black as the new black. She looks at the blank page that stands in the way, picks up her pen and begins to write.