10 One-Minute Stories: Take a break with these fun 60-word stories!

IB Publisher Jody Glynn Patrick blends work and life in this very clear departure from both her column for In Business magazine, and the other bloggers. Awarded national recognition for her previous work as a newspaper columnist, she brings us all back "Closer to Home" with her insights and remembrances. A nice place to be "After Hours." Check back often! Read Full Bio

Lady in Black

Esmeralda prepared a small lunch for Fedro and the two walked to the Portuguese beach together. The waves were too high, but fish must be caught. As he gave her a kiss, he said he felt lucky today.
Twelve little boats went into the frothy, choppy ocean, but only eleven returned.
Esmeralda waited … then changed into black.

That was a one-minute story by my friend Ed Sobczak – a tale completely told in exactly 60 words, counting the title. Ed was my firearms instructor and partner when I worked as the crisis interventionist for a suburban-Milwaukee police department. You wouldn’t think cops can write, right? Wrong. He took my 60-work challenge and, in my estimation, penned a real winner.

This writing challenge is both an entertaining and a different sort of diversion. After doing a few, I asked some friends and acquaintances to put their minds to writing a 60-word story, too. Amazingly, they enjoyed it. Would you?

We Were Bored

We didn't know there would be so much blood.
It was Jake's idea to get drunk and joust with the stakes he was supposed to be pounding into the ground for the tomatoes.
We were riding boys' bicycles, not gallant horses.
Yet it was awesome … until Matt tore off Jake's left ear.
He fainted. We laughed.
Katherine Lynn

Pawnshop Inventory

The old man turns out his pocket, placing the items reverently on the bedside table: thirty-nine cents, a worn ring, and a cats-eye marble carried since boyhood.
He kisses the ring that no longer fits over arthritic joints, wondering where it will go and who will care, anyway…. The same thing he often wonders about himself lately.
Jody Glynn Patrick


Scanning famous faces in the audience, basking in crashing applause, she knew it had been worth it. The crazy stress, the insane schedules, the mad soul-sucking studio politics. Who to thank? No one. She did it all herself. Nodding to the fading faces, she accepted the statue, then turned, following the darling attendant in the starched white coat.
E.K. Barber

‘Til Death

It was winter. The wind whipped and frozen lake groaned. Out on the ice a woman sat, crying.
“How did this happen?” she sobbed. After eight years, her dreams were shattered.
The plan failed – her husband had survived. No life insurance policy, no Caribbean island.
Fondling the gun buried in her coat, she went to buy suntan lotion.
Jan Wilson

The Ripple Effect

I can never get enough of you, it seems. Like a wino begging for Ripple, I widen my eyes and drink you in. Perhaps I require a 12-step program to teach moderation. I sip to be ladylike, but crave the buzz. Moderation is so overrated.
Of you, I can never get enough. Be my tall cool drink.
Jody Glynn Patrick

Homecoming Queen

Pamela was still stunning fifteen years after graduation.
Marlene slouched past Pamela’s group, toward the bar. Waiting, she overheard their conversation.
“Where’s Dan?” someone asked.
“Didn’t show.”
“He was always such a spaz, anyway,” Pamela sniffed.
Turning, Marlene called out, “I don’t think that’s very nice, Pam.”
The room grew quiet, and Pamela found herself on display again.
Dianne Cook


Both sides have merit. Must decide. Status quo? No — take the risk! Move forward! Progress. Yes, it’s good. No… change of heart. Go back? Yes, too much risk.
Not good. Stop! There’s reward in risk! Think. No … Assign a task force….
Dodge Caravan. Splat!
(The road is filled with flat dead squirrels who couldn’t make up their minds.)
Elaine Beaubien

The Getaway

They were always looking for the perfect place to get away from it all. None lived up to their expectations. No matter the cost, no matter the distance, nothing ever seemed to give them permission to feel contented … until they found the perfect traveling companion. Now, the world is amazing and interesting — when seen through their child’s eyes.
Donna M. Gray

The Biggest Losers

“These contestants have serious issues behind their weight,” Jillian insists.
“I’ve been fat forever,” one wails.
NBC cameras zoom. A cameo appearance: Jillian’s mother-turned-TV-therapist is going to get to the big-ass bottom of it.
“I can’t talk about this,” a frantic contestant protests. But, of course, she does.
Fans stayed tuned ‘til the last morsel is served.
Lydia M.

Join our virtual prose corner! Send your one-minute story (60 words exactly, including title) to jodyp@magnapubs.com. (Maybe it will be selected for next month’s readings!).