Succinct Scenes 2015

Image by Scott Webb

Enjoy these 30- to 75-word creative scenes. Feel free to start here or at the very beginning.

10. Spying on Snails (Part 1 of 2)
You now pay more attention to your three apple snails than you do to all the fish in your aquarium. A pet store employee swore that these yellow invertebrates would help you clean the tank, but he lied about that. Your snails poop twice as much as they eat, and they clean nothing. Sometimes, you creep into the room to see their goofy antics; they crawl around with surprising agility when they don’t know you’re peeking. They are three times as big as when you bought them, you have named them, and you sometimes get a laugh out of their sexual relations. . . .

11. Snail Sex (Part 2 of 2)
Yes, you have seen this bizarre act many times: a pair of snails travel to the top of the tank and allow air bubbles to enter their shells so that they will float. Once one snail hitches a ride on the other, they both let go of the glass and bob freely along the surface in slimy, clumsy snail ecstasy. If they spot you watching them, they freeze, their big eyes rising comically high in fear and guilt before they let go of each other and quickly sink to the bottom to hide.

12. The Final Update
You click “shut down” on your HP laptop right after you back up all your files. “Are you sure?” the HP asks. You select “Yes,” knowing that you will never turn this computer on again now that it has cracks all across the screen. After helping you to complete several novels, countless college assignments, and numerous Netflix films, its lifeline has been abruptly severed. The HP blindly clings to its final moment of cognizance by performing one last surprise system update before shutting down, an enhancement that will never see the light of day.

13. Handprints
Dust fills your British Literature class, because the professor insists on writing with white chalk instead of dry-erase markers. With her hands on her hips, she informs everyone that they will have to write seven papers and provide three oral reports before the end of the semester. She would have really worried you if she had not turned around to point at the board, simultaneously revealing a chalky white handprint across each of her butt cheeks.

14. The Death of Snails 
The last of your water snails has finally died, but you have no intention of replacing them. Any entertainment they gave you dissipated soon after they started laying thousands of stinking yellow eggs across the top of the fish tank. You had to scrape these eggs off with a spoon as they popped like the tiny drupelets of a blackberry, squirting clear embryotic puss in all directions.

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Succinct Scenes 2015 (10-14)
Succinct Scenes 2017 (22-present)

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