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why are we feeding the lawyers?

Posted on 18 Jun 12 by in writing fringes | 19 comments


My friend Michele hosted a writing challenge around18 months ago: 100 days of microfiction. I probably hit a wall around Day 17, and this piece was written, I think, on Day One. It’s 127 words.


High and fash­ion­ably late, Zelie cooled her toes in the morn­ing dew as she dan­gled her san­dals over the back of her chair, obliquely squar­ing off with her mother, their accoun­tant and Zelie’s lawyer over brunch. They were press­ing her about the money, it was always about the money. There was plen.ty.mon.ey and the con­stant argu­ing over it…gah…I’m los­ing joy, mama. Losing joy.

Her mother swooped in with a lethal don’t give a fuck about your joy, and Zelie’s high escaped through the por­tal in her soul only moth­ers can rip apart, the one near the base of the brain and dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent from the por­tal usu­ally cho­sen by men who dis­ap­pear into the good­night leav­ing you for dead and island police search­ing your apart­ment at sunrise.
read to be read at


  1. Microfiction, eh? I like that. And you leave me wanting to read more!
    Funny how my post is about being rich and joy as well this week – in a non-fictional way.
    Love the hangout grid, by the way!

  2. Such beautiful metaphors. You describe those portals perfectly.

  3. This is like watching your co-worker devour something delish for lunch while you’re trying not to gag on the boredom of yet another dry sandwich. I wnat more!

  4. Clean, clear, consistent. And much more effectively described than just saying: My mom is a buzzkill. Love the portals.

  5. Zelie will never get credit for just showing up at all.

  6. 127 words of atmosphere well drawn. As another comment said, I love the portals. And the opening sentence is expert- tells us quite a lot about Zelie. More, please.

  7. Beautiful. Lush. A good reminder for me (with my 1000-1500 word posts) that sometimes it is far more powerful to hint than say. Thank you!

  8. I’ve always been in awe of those who write fiction. Microfiction, and GOOD microfiction at that, seems far more difficult than regular (macro?) fiction. Well done, and I want to read more. Not just about this, but in general. I’m very interested in your fiction writing.

  9. You’re a great writer. I enjoyed this piece!

  10. Loved this! The beautiful thing about limitations and word counts is they really make you consider each and every word. (I started to type “The beautiful thing about word counts is they make your words count even more!” but then I was like, “If words are so precious when carefully chosen why are you using choosing words that make you sound like you wander around going, “There is no “I” in “Team!”?”)

  11. I like it, especially the physicality you manage to bring to people who are sitting down: the dangling shoes, the squaring off, the swooping mama.

  12. um…more please? love the story that was painted in so few words.

  13. Wow.
    All of that painted in only 127 words?
    I’m super impressed!

  14. Portals…cool. And “only moth­ers can rip apart”. Oy. They should actually microfiction “tease fiction”.

  15. I still love this story. Maybe I’ll do a weekly microfiction thing again – or maybe I’ll just take pictures of camels.

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