Wednesday, July 15, 2015

100 Word Story: Starry Night

[100 word story] is an online literary journal featuring, unsurprisingly, 100 word stories. Every month they post a photo prompt, and encourage visitors to contribute their own 100 word story in the comments; the best story is then featured the next month on the website. I discovered the journal and the prompt last month, and wrote a 100 word story of my own.
It was pretty hard! 100 words is not very many. (In fact, there are exactly 81 words before this one.) I started out by writing a very short story (very short for me, that is, since my short stories usually tend to be anywhere from 800 to 1500 words), then took out unnecessary bits, then shortened the dialogue, then reworked things that didn’t make sense, then added a word or two, and ended up with 100. Finally, I posted my contribution in the comments for last month’s prompt, and proceeded to forget about it completely.
Today, I was scrolling through facebook (which, as any writer will tell you, is absolutely essential to the creative process), and brushed past a post that made a reference to Vincent Van Gogh. “Oh, hey,” I thought to myself, “I wonder what happened with that 100 word prompt thing I wrote.” When I went to check, I found that, unsurprisingly, someone else’s story had been featured (and for good reason; it’s awesome), but now, I have the opportunity to feature my story myself.

Photo by Kris Williams

She spun in circles, giggling. Unwilling to make myself vomit, I stood watching at a safe distance, amused. “How will this help with our Art History project?”
“Seeing the world through Van Gogh’s eyes!” she insisted, and flopped down, breathless, onto the grass. I joined her, though less dizzy. The stars shone down, stationary as always. I wondered if they had looked different that night in 1889.
After a moment, she sighed in defeat. “It’s nothing like Starry Night. We’ll have to do something else for our project.”
“I don’t know,” I replied, gazing upward. “I’m pretty sure this helped.”

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