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53-Word Stories

The struggle against an ever-shortening attention span is real, and has been exacerbated by a pandemic. It takes a conscious effort and a return to nature to coax it back into place. Here are three 53-word stories to get your day started!

Most of us struggle with it in some capacity, a lot more than are comfortable saying so. What am I speaking about? Attention spans. Amidst the constant barrage of 24/7 information, social media, and a pandemic-fueled focus to phones, tablets, and laptops--sometimes having the ability or desire to focus can be challenging. Especially in our off-time. I can attest that my attention span is not what it once was, but I am attempting to coax it back into place.

Little by little, through restoring balance and separating ourselves from the onslaught of distractions--progress will come. Summer's rage of heat and humidity has abated just enough, and daily walks in the evening allow for reflection, peace, and finding your center. Nature more often than not speaks to our soul in ways we ourselves cannot.

Let me present to you the 53-word story. There is a monthly competition for writers wherein a topic is provided, and the story has to have EXACTLY fifty-three words. No more, no less. To write a 53-word story, that is entertaining in some capacity, is a worthwhile exercise.

And so I dedicate the three 53-word stories below to anyone in the battle against an ever-shortening attention span. Cheers!

The Cure

Topic: Meditation

The respite of darkness envelopes me whole.

Fleeting fantasies and anxieties of the morrow swirl. In the chasm of my refuge, which will give rise first? The torment or the calm?

Awakened, I grasp urgently for the medication and the cure. Pen and paper firmly in hand, I begin page one.

Chapter One.

Passing Chance

Topic: Connection

Whispers of discontent and groans of units carried by cement block walls, stagnant humid air drapes the assembly of selected conscripts.

The ruler of second chances orders silence. Stolen glances at the judge of all, the ruler deposed by a bell. The deployment embraces victory; the long, yellow chariots await.

Freedom, for now.

Evening Examination

Topic: A Counter

“Three,” he commandingly declares.

“Two,” I answer, mustering my stamina for a protracted debate requiring justification.

“Ok, two. Only if I can have three tomorrow,” he uncharacteristically concedes.

“Deal. Which two do you want tonight?” I accept perhaps too eagerly.

Goodnight Moon and Corduroy,” he says, snuggling his train blanket and teddy bear.

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