A Story in a Paragraph Challenge. Must Have Character and Plot Development!

February 7, 2007

I was recently given the idea to write a paragraph that was a complete story in the space of one paragraph. Here are the three results I came up with in the last hour and a bit. I tried a couple of different time periods and setups. Please bear in mind these were written in 10 minutes each when you give your feedback.

Helen Roberts was running as fast as she could but she knew it was not fast enough. Her husband, Roy who had just come out of the kitchen was very drunk as he usual and was holding his prized hunting knife and she knew she just had to get away from him. She slammed into the front door, using the full force of her momentum weight to budge the thick wood. It was the only thing between her and freedom. Roy was on her tail, he grabbed her arm and he got to her just as the door popped open! They flew outside together rolling along the cobble stoned porch of their new home. Roy was stronger than Helen but she had one advantage, the SOB weighed more than her…the scuffle continued…then everything was quiet…Helen pulled away, repulsed by her husbands motionless body. Her world was unsteady, it was shaking. The knife was protruding in an obtuse angle in her husband’s chest. She heard the sound of sirens in the distance and looked up – her neighbours were all around. “….And that is all you remember?” The prosecutor asked suspiciously. “Because we have a very different idea of what happened on the morning your husband was killed. You killed your husband on Thanksgiving when he was preparing the turkey Mrs. Roberts, your blood test showed high levels of the mind altering drug LSD!”

And my second attempt:

All Clear Down Range! The quartermaster spoke into the loud speaker. Commence firing. Richard reloaded the Glock semi-automatic pistol he had in his hand. He had always wanted one of these beauties. Bang! Bang! Hitting targets, he was doing well! Bullseye! Yes! Bang! There was a shout and an older man a few rows down from him fell to ground clutching his side…The quarter master came back over the loud speaker to the two occupants of the range: “All Shooters Stop, and Unload Firearms. Step Back From the Red Line!” Richard knew that something awful had happened. I didn’t shoot him! Richard shouted as the quartermaster ran to the fallen man. What happened to him? BANG! The quarter master was struck, he lay dead on the floor… Oh My God!! Richard was beside himself and reeled around…to see the attacker and saw nothing. His gun was still on the bench…but the magazine was in it. He had taken it out. Christ! Richard suddenly realized that he had been set up. What was he supposed to do now though? Fingerprints on the murder weapon….and the only other person there. In a quick second Richard decided on his course of action. He grabbed his Glock and his gun bag. He packed everything up and then went into the office and erased his name on the sign in book. He got in his car and left. Just after he leaves, the police show up. Hey Boss! One of the police man says: How do you suppose no one was here if there is a target in 9 shots in it?

And the third attempt:

The crowd on the dock was immense and there were people as far as the eye could see. Edward’s foot slipped on wet ground and he looked at his feet to make sure of his balance. Under his boot was a newspaper that read: Titanic Reported to Have Struck Iceberg. – Sunk with 1,300 lost. At first Edward didn’t realize what he was looking at. It was the Times but it was dated April 15th 1912. That was 5 days from now! This newspaper was from the future…Edward realized if he was going to do anything about it he would have to board the great ship and speak directly to the Captain! He scooped up the soaking newspaper and headed for the boarding line. He ran between the people standing on the dock, his small size was for once an advantage. As he got up to the door he leapt aboard. Do you have a ticket son? –Edward replied: The ship is going to sink, I have to tell the Captain. The officer quipped: You sound like Chicken Licken. This ship is unsinkable son so if you don’t have a ticket, get off and be on your way! No! Edward Shouted but the officer grabbed him and carried him off towards the White Star Line offices on the dock. Edward found himself waiting in an office with the newspaper clutched in his hand. The Manager came in: Now son, what’s all this I hear about you claiming my new beautiful ship is going to sink!? —Edward couldn’t think of the right words so he just held up the newspaper. As the Manager read the words and they sunk in his exclamation of surprise was drowned out by the blowing of the ships massive horn. Titanic pulled out and the two stood and watched in shock and amazement. There was nothing that could be done now. Get out of here! The Manager said and Edward ran away. The Manager threw the newspaper on the fire and walked away. –balderdash! He said as he continued about his day…


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