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

Saturday, December 06, 2003

The kingdoms of the Earth are manifold and various, each with its own direction and purpose, so that not even the Creator Himself could hope to direct them all. To that end, the Untied Nationalities has determined to make each separate kingdom fully dirigible, placing gas bags at the head of every one.

Friday, December 05, 2003

In the sixteenth century Flagellant circled the globe, lashing his men before him every knot of the way.

Thursday, December 04, 2003
Semirigid Dirigible

What Viagra was meant to combat. See also barrage balloon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The stamen stands above us, raining golden life like the faerie flies that dog the corners of our eyes on hot summer days.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"Let us prate," intoned the priest, all ready for God in his glad leathers and necklace of shattered teeth. One by one, his congregants began to speak, testifying for their own sins and spirituality first, then reinforcing others, until everyone was prating at the top of their lungs.

Monday, December 01, 2003
Schrodinger's Cat

A scruffy black and white of indiscriminate breed with
one ear gnawed nearly to nub and a lazy eye. This cat
is a time traveler, but not in the way you imagine.
He slinks around the now and now -- the right and left
of our three dimensions, following divergent paths
that multiply with unimaginable rapidity, spreading
and merging forever to form a kind of grand litter box
for our fine tom.

(Word and storyword both courtesy of DavidJ)

Sunday, November 30, 2003

A lovely cloth woven from a compendium of threads, often mistaken for critique or bonehead weaves.

  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.