A to Z Challenge: Agent

Friends challenged me to complete the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Since I never know what’s good for me, I accepted.

My topic, because I have to choose one: SIX SENTENCE STORIES.

Hemingway is credited with writing a six-word story. (“For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”) Many have attempted the art since. Hemingway was way better than me, so to make it easier and still use him as a guidepost, I’m going with six-sentence stories. Here goes.


Dear Agent, the mystery writer wrote, with hope in his hand but none in his heart. He was a veteran of these writing wars, having tried to slay this dragon before.

He hit SEND and began the waiting — six weeks, the website said.

Then, six weeks to the day, the agent replied with the improbable if not unbelievable: I love chapter one, send the full manuscript.

Six minutes later, his friend walked into his office with the punch line. “April Fool,” he said, laughing for a split second before the mystery writer’s letter opener sliced his throat, rejection being no laughing matter.


Lemme know what you think in the Comments, and come on back tomorrow for “B.”


34 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Agent

  1. Excellent! I went through a short phase of trying to write six word stories which never amounted to much at all. (I’m glad I know that that fad isn’t something that just originated off of Tumblr.) Maybe I should give this a shot myself.

    I like the humor and the repetition and the dark end. Lots of meat! Great start!! #AtoZChallenge

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Actually Google might’ve taken the title for worst April Fool’s joke today. They let gmail users select an option where after sending an email you killed any responses. So even if someone tried to respond, they couldn’t!

      Yeah, what could go wrong, right?!

      I think it only lasted an hour before they realized what they’d done. Apologized and moved on. Better luck next year, Google. We love that you tried!


  2. Yeah, I worry someone might try to pull a prank like that on me one April 1st. I don’t know that I’d react quite the same way (I hope not!), but I’d be pretty miffed.

    Welcome to the challenge, John! Glad to have you on board. Looks like it’ll be a fun ride reading your six line stories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be interesting if someone pulled a prank like that because even for just the few minutes you thought it was real… you’d know your reaction. It doesn’t necessarily means your story is sold, of course, so you’d still have to limit your enthusiasm. But it’d be like seeing the future for that brief moment. On the other hand, when it happened for real, your enthusiasm would be much tempered for the experience you already went through. See ya on the B side, Colin. I’m going to have to try and guess your songs in advance!


    1. Haha, that’s funny that you were with him for five sentences. I like that line. Sounds like it would fit nicely into a story, like something a writer might say instead of the expression “Jerry worked at that law firm for a cup of coffee before he moved on to the investment bank.” I’m gonna play with that. Thanks, Jo-Ann!


  3. LOL, Dena. I wrote a response to your post today on Janet’s blog, but I didn’t get to the blog till about six hours after you posted, so I decided it was calling to much attention to myself to post it that much later. My manuscript has A TON OF RED INK splashed throughout the pages right now. I’ve spent the past week crushing myself with (more) extensive changes. I thought it was ready for submission — twice now — but I’m proven wrong again.

    I would love to award it to you as a prize. But, alas, it’s not prize-worthy yet.


  4. I, too, emphathized with the writer. Hope in his hand, but none in his heart. Great way to show his desolation.

    I loved the six theme and would have loved to see it again in the last paragraph. Six inches of blood.

    I haven’t been on the reef lately, two weeks to my show. Worked 12 hours straight yesterday… How exciting you have a marked up manuscript. It’ll be a celebration when we’re all raving over your cover proofs.


    1. So funny, Angie. I had six pints of blood but decided it was too heavy on the “six” so struck it out. Hard to say sometimes, but you make a good point as always. Great luck on your show. What does one say before a show that might be the equivalent to “Break a leg” in theater?


  5. I always look forward to your flash fiction, John! I’ve never done the A-Z challenge, and am always on the fence with it. But with deadlines and enough writing already, this would not have been the year to start! Have fun!


  6. I’d much rather have twelve sentences, that’d be SO much easier. But we’ll see how six works out. I’ve gotten my B entry down to eight sentences … learning to cut, cut, cut! And maybe slice.


  7. Dear Agent, the mystery writer wrote, with hope in his hand but none in his heart.–What a perfect line. This was a great story. Why can’t I do shorts like this?

    I actually had an experience sort of like that only different. I got a phone call from dream agent and thought it was a friend playing a prank on me. The woman called back. “Julie! Julie! Don’t hang up. This really is–” Oops.


    1. Julie, that’s filarious!

      You’re already superb at putting together long fiction, you can’t have it all. But the truth is, your writing is so lyrical I think it demands more than 100 words most of the time. You do such a great job at showing versus telling, and that requires both harder work and more space. But there’s a lovely payoff when you nail it in the end. You already knew that, though.


    1. If I tried to hide under a rock, I’d likely start a rockslide. And I’d manage to slide right along with the rocks. On the other hand, maybe it’d be something that’d knock some sense into me. Alright! Here’s to hiding under a rock next April 1.

      If only my memory would remember this 364 days from now. Likely not.


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