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

Friday, March 28, 2003
Causus Belli

Melvin Belli's little brother, mostly known as an overseas agitator for the CIA, and implicated in many of the conflicts of the second half of the twentieth century. Also known by his nickname "Warchild."

Thursday, March 27, 2003

In the Old South, when people lived on hog jowls, okra and corn pone, the resultant intestinal problems plagues persons of all races and classes. The hill women of the Ozarks had a recipe which was marketed under a number of names, such as "Granny Coonball's Patent Digestive Elixir," which was in general use across Dixie. Most folks just called it "deponent," on account of one way or another, all your pone came back out, under a whole bunch of sworn oaths by the sufferer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

The opposite of postposterous, referring to thing in front of rather than behind one's ass.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

In the days of the Unitarian and Binarian heresies, the Church empowered special masters to conduct unique and difficult tortures upon the heretics. These masters were for the most part defrocked physicians and dentists, expelled from their professional guilds for a variety of offenses both moral and venal. As they were defending the concept of the Trinity at all costs, they were known as "doc trines." Hence, the doctrine of the Trinity.

Monday, March 24, 2003

An internal organ only recently discovered by Dr. Fritz Pankreas, working in the little-known Insular Institute of Medicine on the Isles of Langerhans, the hiatus is responsible for regulating our sense of time flow. People with damaged hiatii are often late for work, meetings, graduation ceremonies, their own funerals and so forth. The hiatus is also associated with certain sexual behaviors and male pattern baldness.

  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.