Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Great-Uncle's Visit" - A One Sentence Story

Twitter is a heck of a lot of fun sometimes. I know a lot of really cool writers there and though I haven't spent as much time keeping up on things the past week or two as I usually do, I somehow managed to not quite entirely miss out on the #1ss hashtag conversation which popped up last week. 1ss stands for "One Sentence Story" and began with Alex Shvartsman finding a sentence unbearably long when he was critiquing a piece by Anatoly Belilovsky. That sentence spawned a conversation which spawned a challenge and -- voila -- the #1ss hashtag! Writers were challenged to create the most interesting story consisting solely of one sentence.

M. Bennardo has kindly put together a list of all the resulting stories which were made publicly accessible for everyone's reading pleasure.

As far as my attempt, it is below.

Originally I had thought about trying to add a massive Degree of Difficulty aspect to mine by having the first word start with "A", the second with "B" and so on with repetition (or reversal if I wanted the real challenge of putting two "Z" words back-to-back) until done. So, that story might have started "After being certain David escaped from Galt House..." But my attempts at that proved too contrived and I abandoned that idea for the one which turned into the following story. According to Google Docs, it's 334 words long. (Good luck diagramming this sentence!)

Without further ado, let's slip back in time a bit and eavesdrop while a boy patiently listens an elderly relative during...

Great-Uncle's Visit

These things which we have discussed happened far in the distant past, back beyond your father’s day and his father’s day and that of his father’s father, back so far that when anyone tells these stories today they always begin the telling with “This legend” or “This myth” or “This fairy tale” but as I have told you such descriptions are themselves the myths, themselves the fairy tale, as all of these happenings were real and all of these things I spoke of are as real as you are -- as real as I am, even -- and should not be consigned to the category of stories with which to amuse; rather, these stories should be ones to catch the breath and prickle the skin and worry the soul for they are the real history of our world and the things which walk among us all and if the power of these creatures pales somewhat in light of modern technology, a position which I hope you will pardon me if I find somewhat lacking since this newfangled television which you are always watching with its Howdy Doody and its Mickey Mouse Club and its Davy Crockett is not as wonderous as a djinn (though the real Crockett was indeed a fearsome man and I know full well that he would understand the import of these histories which I am sharing with you) and neither are the most modern firearms any more deadly than a ravening pack of ghouls or ogres but even were I to concede that these creatures are no longer the most powerful forces on Earth that would not be the same as to say that they were powerless for, indeed, nothing could be further from the truth and I speak not just from a theoretical perspective but from one which is all too personal and so I ask you for the last time, boy, would you please keep that damnable pizza away from me -- the garlic gives me hives!


  1. Well done! Didn't go where I expected it to, and that's a very good thing.

  2. Brenda and Elizabeth, thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

  3. Brilliant! It didn't feel too long at all, flowed beautifully!! loved the ending! Well done!

  4. That's quite the epic sentence! :)

    1. It is, isn't it? Though, if you look at some of the others from the challenge, there were quite a few longer than mine including one about 200 words longer!