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

Friday, April 09, 2004

Without demons, our life is incomplete. With no doubt, certainty is as ordinary as rainwater. With no guilt, righteousness is a pale pleasure indeed. With no drunkeness, the sober man is a common pebble in the path. Without demons, the good would not know their own. Eudaemonia is a sad state indeed.

("Eudaemonia" courtesy of AnnaH)

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Back in 2000, the present was ineluctable as far as formal billeting went, so the Cyrene Court took action and ensnared his vacuity in a giant stop for Armorican democracy.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The inanition of my can of elixir of life drove me from my Mighty Fortress (a/k/a "Our God") to the corner store. There I stocked up on existential chips, soul spread (lo-cal, of course) and some brotherhood of man for that night's date, along with some more elixir. There's nothing worse than an empty night alone in the hollow stone bowels of God.

("Inanition" courtesy of JedH)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I was going to write about cryptomnesia, but I kept forgetting to. Then I couldn't remember what I'd forgotten. Then I forgot to remember what I couldn't forget. After that, I remembered I'd forgotten to remember whatever it was in the first place, but it had gotten too deep at that point so I gave up this

("Cryptomnesia" courtesy of AnnaH)

Monday, April 05, 2004
Halcyon Days

The slow wind which churns the sea like so much gray butter comes to rest on the moss-slicked rocks of Halcyon. There the wind recovers her strength, feasting on mussels and shorewrack while holding sibilant conversations with the tide. In time she is renewed, especially when brother sun lends his warm strength to her long, invisible muscles, and those Halcyon days end with a flurry of breeze, sand rising high into the air as the wind makes known her renewed will.

("Halcyon Days" courtesy of JamesP)

Sunday, April 04, 2004

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  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.