fi50Old Wives’ Tales is the prompt for the month’s Fiction in Fifty words #Fi50, the brainchild of the BookShelf Gargoyle.

I enjoy doing these miniature stories, the purpose of which is to create a full story in exactly fifty words.  Once I get an inspiration, I usually write it in a reasonably short form, and then edit it.  It’s good practice for seeing how to phrase things differently in order to save word count.  Sometimes I don’t feel I get the complete introduction, development, conclusion into it, but the idea is to inspire the reader to use his or her imagination to read the rest of the story into the words.

This month’s was unusual in that I only wrote 45 words to start with.  Luxury!  It is also unusual in that I’ve given it a different title from the prompt itself.


It started with tingling, then loss of smell. Later, the same with his fingers and touch. The numbness got worse, and doctors advised plastic surgery. Then they diagnosed an incurable form of leprosy.

He thought back to his childhood, and knew they were wrong.

The old wives had been right.

© J M Pett 2017

Got any old wives’ tales you want to talk about?  Add them below!

Old Wives’ Tales #Fi50 May prompt

5 thoughts on “Old Wives’ Tales #Fi50 May prompt

  • 24 May, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Hi Jemima. I like your story. It’s more like a spoken thought. I’ll have to give 50 word stories a try. I normally waffle on a bit in my stories so it will be quite challenge.

    • 24 May, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      I think writing to any wordcount less than your norm is good practice, Kim. The challenge of 50 is to make it a complete story – although of course, the reader has to supply a lot of detail from the implications!

  • 24 May, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Short but very thought-provoking, Jemima.

  • 25 May, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I agree about the value of practicing writing all lengths–short is very good practice, as is occasionally doing the longer flash fiction (1500 or 2000 words, instead of 1000). Any time I change it up, I have to think. But writing super-short is an exercise in communicating the unstated.

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