Story Words
Very short fiction, written on the fly, from words submitted by readers.
© 2002, 2003, 2004 Jay Lake

Saturday, February 08, 2003
Blue Moon

Long ago in the kingdom of Wheetle, there lived a wizard named Selenus. Selenus had one flaw -- his vision could see only the colors yellow and blue. Red, green, purple, orange and all the other colors of the rainbow were denied to him. Even, or especially, the silvery glow of moonlight. Selenus, in the culmination of years of frustration and rage, cast a mighty spell to make the moon blue, just for him. Unfortunately, he cast the spell on February 31st, so it comes true now only very rarely -- once in a blue moon.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

The opposite of "importent", an adjective describing people within a temporary shelter for the economically disadvantaged. In some countries, this is considered an act of atonement, bringing good luck, so the nominal form has emerged to indicate a thing forecasted or an omen.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

People who are significantly averse, or even angered by the works of Edgar Allan Pue.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Dropsy flopsy mopsy pops. Higgledy piggledy peppermint drops. When the camel calls the good cop coughs. When the radio show is over the man signs off. Dropsy.

Sunday, February 02, 2003
Deorbit Burn

The death of a dream, the death of men and women, stars sprinkled across the morning sky to provide memory and inspiration for the endless climb to God's Heaven on tongues of flame.

  I've been nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and for the John W. Campbell, Jr. Award for Best New Writer!
Award info | Me

Read the Hugo-nominated story for free at

Q: What is this?
A: A fiction experiment. Every day, people email me words. At some random point in the day, I pick a word, write a quick story about it on the spot, and post it unedited (except for a quick typo patrol).

Q: What did that word mean?
A: Look it up:

Q: Can I send you a word?
A: You bet. Include a definition if the word is deeply obscure -- or not, if you prefer. Send it to

Q: I've got something to say about this.
A: Click over to the Story Words discussion topic.

Q: Who else is silly enough to do this? I think it's kind of neat.
A: David Jones, for one. Surf over there and check him out. Drop him an encouraging word, too. He's a brave man.
A: Jeremy Tolbert, for another, with his Microscopica project. Likewise show him some love.
A: Jason Erik Lundberg with his Mythologism blog.

Q: You're even cooler than KITT the Knight Rider car. Do you have a mailing list to announce your latest hijinks?
A: Of course I do. What kind of self-promoting, narcissistic writer would I be otherwise? Email me. Occasional mailings regarding stories appearing in print and online, weird stuff in general, and appearances of the Greek Chorus.