All work? No! Play! Take a break with 13 more 60-word stories.

Here’s a collection of one-minute stories (60 words exactly, including title) sure to tickle your creative spot. Poets and Madison-area business people alike are sending us stories; you’ll recognize many of the names, but it’s not the same old story told the usual way. It’s IB’s way – in 60 words. No more, no less.

The Dance of Architecture
The mind is swept into streams of images from a thousand journeys past. Lines swirl in resonance with the rhythm of space. My hands lead the way…. seven steps ahead of consciousness in their dance across the drafting table. Piles of crumpled tracing paper upon the floor, the oeuvre emerges from a consensus of the lines.
Peter Tan

True Story
I don’t cook. I tried to boil eggs. Left the scene. Water in pan dried out. Eggs pieces exploded. Chunks hit the (kitchen) fan. Literally. Some pieces shot up to the ceiling. Fireworks. Fun. Pan burned and I tossed it. Good riddance. 1998. Last time I tried to boil water. And cook. Now I keep delis in business.
Joan Collins

Gazes & Grills
In a moment, I lift my gaze and our eyes lock. He, clinging to the wire basket getting his evening’s fill of suet; me, striving for perfect grill marks on our evening’s protein. Stopped, we assess. Neither moves. Both seeing the short distance yet feeling a shared purpose. Each happy to allow the other’s pursuit of food.
Melanie Schmidt

 Her voice came through the cell phone around 1:15pm on a Thursday, “They’re offering me the job tomorrow.” “That’s great”, he replied, his enthusiasm bordering on sarcasm. His lunch partner knew what was happening, and how what would have been a joy-filled moment for almost anyone else was devastating – he would actually have to consider leaving for the coast.
Van Nutt

I went from country to city in four hours. Went from rocking chair to running shoes. From a town with one stoplight to a city with thousands. I’m glad my brakes work. Life is nothing but a bunch of windows. I looked out of several in my 52 years, searching for the right one. Found it! GOD IS GOOD!
Duncan Patrick

Vacation is Over and the Slap of Reality: A True Story
Week of vacation! Rest, laughter & fun! Yeah!
Monday and the workweek arrives. Ugh.
Cruel awaking to loud construction sounds. Stood on bed to get a glimpse out of the window to see what was going on. Proceeded to get nailed in the head by ceiling fan.
Reality Bites.
Julie Vike

She must leave now!
 Sandy lingered to take in the sunset. Pulled in by the orange ball in the sky. She recalled the day’s events; swimming in the ocean, walking the beach, feeling the sun’s warmth. Her flip flops edge toward the sea, pulled by the tide. She must go, but where? Doesn’t matter anymore. It was a perfect day.
Laurie Benson

Foreshadowing Fatherhood:
Outside the office I notice a young couple transferring a bassinet between vehicles. Trunk space is minimal so out come the man’s golf clubs. She hurriedly props the bag against the car and turns to continue loading. Just then the man cringes, helplessly clutching the bassinet as the bag leans, then violently spills it’s contents onto the blacktop.
Patrick Hasburgh

The pitcher, who shall remain nameless, is slowly letting a lead slip away. With each disastrous hurl, my wife and daughter, accidental baseball nuts, reach new decibel levels screaming at the TV (make that the manager) to make a change.
The windows are open; my otherwise quiet neighborhood must think I’ve married and spawned lunatics.
They would not be wrong.
Joseph Vanden Plas

We drove as far into the mountains as our truck would go. Rain turned sleet; I made a shelter while she waited, tired. Ushering her in, I made a fire from sodden downfall. The blaze caught as the sleet subsided. We dried off, naked, in the misty woods and tumbled, laughing, into our nest.
We never opened the wine.
Kurt Shryack

Trivial Pursuit
You remember waitresses’ names.
You use 17 unique Web passwords.
You can still recite the smattering of French learned in Paris, recall why your ex mother-in-law voted for Clinton, and remember who sat behind you in third grade.
“Where was the original capital of Poland?” I ask. “Krakow,” you answer.
Hey there, Mensa, my birthday was actually yesterday.
Laurie Traverse-Smith

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.
Ed Sobczek

Poetry in Motion.
“All here and now, I stand at the doorway, sleepless, staring to see beyond this point in time, now gone in time, to where, for me, it all began.”
He was a ‘60s poet. I, his word junkie, wrecked my stockings in some jukebox dive, singing “Do you want, do you want … to dance with me, baby?”
Jody Glynn Patrick

Want more? Here’s a link to10 more one-minute stories already posted on’s After Hours blog: Link

Want to join our eclectic group of submitters? Send your story to with “60-word story” in the subject line.