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Six-Word Stories: Beautiful and Tragic

Broken glass. Broken heart. Broken soul.

6 word stories first originated from Ernest Hemmingway off of a bet. He bet his friends that he could write a story in six words. His friends cashed in.

And, then, Hemmingway wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

His friends went home empty; he went home with a full pocket.

I came across six-word stories on Pinterest. They were heartbreaking, even if they were just a simple six words. Hemmingway’s story is no exception; born a baby, died a baby.

The magic of a six word story is that it is merely a writer’s exercise. Or a prompt, if you will. It tests the writer’s ability to spin six words into a story that is succinct enough for the reader to understand. And the end results are either hilarious, confusion, or completely heart-breaking.

Here are some examples (not my own):

  1. The smallest coffins are the heaviest.
  2. I asked. You answered with silence.
  3. Sorry soldier, shoes sold in pairs.
  4. Imagined adulthood. Gained adulthood. Lost imagination.
  5. I loved him. He loved her.
  6. He walked to her grave alone.
  7. And, then, the girl let go. (This one’s mine!)
  8. Recovery never really ends, does it?

Six word stories are beautiful and heart-breaking in their own right. They combine the essential use of words and of plot, all packed into six heavy words.

Here’s a last one of mine to end us off.

She died screaming. No one heard.

Feel free to submit your own examples through the comments or to my email! I would love to hear your six-word stories. I might make a post dedicated to the ones you submit if I get enough.

Lots of love, and get writing,



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