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Sample Short Story

short story elements:


        "No emotion, no emotion! If you're going to die in space we need emotion! We don't want a robot dying out there, we want a living breathing human being!"
        So Tom failed his NASA audition, despite (otherwise) having all the right stuff.
        "You can get the job," said Sarah, who wanted Tom to catch up with his alimony payments. "Let me help."
        At the next audition, when the scripted crisis arose, before scrambling into his spacesuit Tom dipped into the little hidden grease pot and smeared his forehead. Trapped by lanolin, the vapors from his skin beaded into sweat. Feeling the sweat, Tom started to get a bit (genuinely) panicky.
        He had made the team.
        But when he died for real, the last survivor on the ship lost beyond Mars, he died coldly, clinically, stoically, refusing to soap opera his own death as he was supposed to. Theatrically, his death was a failure, suggesting more the robot than the man.
        And that, kids, is why NASA went robot, though you wouldn't know it from tonight's made-for-TV movie, "Tom's Lost Love," in which Tom succeeds in getting reunited with the space mermaid only to die from a defective filter, drowned (in effect) by his own sentimental tears.

The end


The Empty Can


        The middle-aged-woman got on the train, ignoring the can in the doorway, and took the seat nearest the door. Later, disturbed by the rocking of the train, the can rolled across the floor, clipping the toe of her sandal. She started, but thereafter ignored the can, which took up residence in the center of the floor.
        Empty. Dented and valueless.
        I lost interest after that and returned to the delights of my algebra textbook. Then, about half an hour later, a blurred whimper of alarm made me glance up. I was just in time to see an old man with a walking stick being engulfed with the sudden hugeness of the can.
        It was all over in a moment. The elderly passenger was gone, and everyone on the train was pretending they had seen nothing. And perhaps they had seen nothing. It's surprising what people don't see, when they put their minds to it.
        Anyway, I reached down and picked up the can, which had resumed its standard size, and had plumped out to dentless splendor. It was warm. Very warm. At blood heat, I suppose. Sealed with a brand new tear tab.
            I pulled the tear tab, and I drank.


The end


Cannibal Daisies

        Little Trishy came in from the garden screaming. Another two years before we can legally sell her, and the market is in free fall.
        "The daisies!" sobbed Trishy. "The daisies!"
        The lawn was wet with red. The daisies were gnashing each other's faces, gouging each other's eyes out. Nothing on this planet is as tragic as the innocent face of a daisy, which has been torn into red ruin by the malevolence of its neighbor.
        "Darwinism!" I said with delight. "The survival of the fittest! The plants have discovered it, at last!"

The end


Under the Alien Yoke

        When the aliens arrived on planet Earth, one of the first things they did was to ban ice hockey. The aliens were the Glish Galzish, a remorseless race of logicians who were in the process of conquering the known universe in the name of Rational Ethics.
        "No ice hockey," they said. "No football. No beer. Everyone in bed by eleven at night, please."
        The inevitable result? Revolution. No way, ultimately, to thwart those dreams of ice hockey, of sharpened blades, of blood glistening on the glittering ice. The revolutionaries used a stolen alien space drive to trigger a massive solar eruption, which killed ninety per cent of the human race, but effectively threw the Glish Galzish off balance and allowed the revolutionaries to triumph.
        Now the invincible starships of the Fans of Sport are fanning out from planet Earth, and the appalled civilizations of the ethicalized are falling before them, unable to contend against the true barbarians -- against the horror, the horror.

The end



Pg. 1016 in the  Glencoe book.

A Monkey’s Paw

Pg. 173 in the Glencoe book




Short Story Elements

1.      Fiction- novels and stories that describe imaginary people and events.

2.       Setting- The surroundings or environment in which something exists.

3.       Protagonist- The principal character in a literary work.

4.       Antagonist- A major character in a book, play, or movie who is an enemy or is in       conflict with the protagonist character.

5.       First Person P.O.V.- Referring to the speaker.

6.       Third Person P.O.V.- Referring neither the speaker nor the writer.

7.       Third Person Omniscient narrator-

8.       Third Person Limited Narrator-

9.       Theme- A subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation.

10.   External Conflict- dispute between the Protagonist and another character or thing.

11.   Internal Conflict- When the Protagonist struggles within himself or herself.

12.   Exposition- A setting forth of the meaning or purpose.

13.   Rising Action-

14.   Climax- The point of highest tension.

15.   Falling Action-

16.   Resolution- The point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out.

17.   Flash Fiction- Very short fiction stories.