Recently I spotted this for-sale ad on Craigslist: "Nike Triax c3 heart rate monitor and watch, used one time only."
Which of course brought to mind Hemingway's famous six-word story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Thinking I can't be the only person who digs this sort of novel-in-a-nutshell, I am now herein and forthwith announcing The First Annual John Shore Extremely Brief Short Story Contest. The rules to this contest are as follows:
Submit a story here consisting of no more than 10 (ten, diez, X) words.
Submit as many stories as you like or think you can get away before other people would wish you'd stop already.
The best of the submitted short stories will be chosen by a panel of illustrious literary illuminati consisting primarily, exclusively and peremptorily of me.
The author of the mega-short story deemed the best will win an autographed and inscribed copy of the near-bestselling book I co-authored, Comma Sense: A FUNdemental Guide to Punctuation (which Lynn Truss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, called "a clear, entertaining, and just plain helpful guide to the American rules of punctuation").
More than one story may be named winner, though I'm so sure.
All stories must be submitted by midnight, September 30, 2009.
Winner(s) will be announced on the morning of Friday, October 2, 20
Good luck. And don't forget the motto of The John Shore Extremely Brief Short Story Contest: Achieving attentiveness through [questionable word] retentiveness.