ITHACA, N.Y. — The Cornell Literary Society’s September writing contest asked people for their best six-word stories, playing off of Ernest Hemingway’s fabled six-word story: “For sale, Baby Shoes, Never worn.”

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Over 40 short stories were submitted and, with permission from the society, are published below:

Want to try your hand at a six-word story? Post your story in the comments section of our Facebook page!

  • Every day, my demons come. Help.
  • Riley, jungle king: brush your teeth!
  • Serial killer wanted– Captain Crunch MIA.
  • “Sorry”, it lamented, “just following orders.”
  • click, arousal, climax, regret, click, arousal…
  • Two minutes until midnight…one…”Submit.”
  • He lost at Russian roulette, again
  • Vanilla cone, puppy kisses on top
  • snapchat-filtered, insta-filtered, life-filtered
  • Bright light, sweaty back, Ithaca heat.
  • cherry pie, apple pie, my pi
  • Day one, again. Why even try?
  • Uris Library’s infestations: ladybugs, graphite, me.
  • Isn’t it pretty to think so?
  • Please, don’t remember me like this.
  • Riley baby, clean smile, jungle dreams
  • Amnesia altered adultery into a threesome.
  • Selling parachute: used, small blood stain.
  • Picnic blanket outside, roast beef sandwich
  • Poet is not a profession; servitude
  • Sweden Canada Serbia Bhutan Egypt Namibia
  • Wake up, sun and soul shine.
  • Inside asylum, killer regrets insanity plea
  • Tasty morsel; lunging gulp; piercing hook.
  • God is my whip, cut me
  • Hesitant fingers: “Delete Contact Information?” …Yes.
  • She swallowed the pill and died.
  • Blood washed out. Guilt did not.
  • Seven seas we roam, in chrome
  • Steep, perilous trail to wrong summit.
  • cracked mirrors stained with your lipstick
  • Refrigerator, laser beam on a Sunday.
  • “Freedom or death!” reads the headstone
  • Daughter and niece; one father: Kentucky
  • Just give me the gift card.
  • Weep for me, young sleeping lovers
  • She opened her eyes, and jumped.
  • His last words were his first.
  • I came, I failed, I died
  • 10 digits. One night. Tomorrow, another.
  • Her secret was small—a cell.
  • A cock suck, men I fuck
  • A long text. A broken heart.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.