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

Friday, February 04, 2005

We enterovirus through a tiny little door made of protein and complex sugars. We exitovirus with our viral drills and dental picks, ravaging the DNA strands like cats with an obese mouse on the playground behind the church. Poor virus, can't stomach a damned thing without a stomach.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The bilious sails drove the ship forward and down, until the vile waves opened to welcome her into the arms of the sea.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

In the distant country of Ort where the bananas are purple and flowers grow beneath the ground, people live on as little as possible. They save their shekels, jots and tiddles for the Great Ort, who lives in a magnificent house beneath the top of the sky and smiles his blessings down upon the people. Rebellion is permitted, but success is not, and while war is peace and hatred is love, the people are far too indolent in their copper sunlight to act much upon the Great Ort's pronouncements, so all is generally well.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chatoyant, she glides through the woods like summer wind winding through wheat. Her glow lights the pale trillium, while owl eyes gleam in the higher darkness with the shaded glory of beetle's wings. Small, furry things struggle in sleep at her passage. Leaves part before her and swirl in place behind her. Chatoyant, she moves on into the angel-pocked skies of night.

Monday, January 31, 2005

We ratiocinate when we fail to disequilibrate, finding instead an insensate pirate to our first mate on our sailing date. Think that's clear yet, Bubba?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The scull looks out across the crass bones and sees a new river of salt and blood opening up, flowing from the inner tissues of Mother Earth into the greedy outer darkness of night, abandoned by Sister Sun. Perhaps ores will pull hard enough, perhaps the red waters part, and all will be well, but only if Daughter Moon abandons her post to slink westward so that the scull can once more drag Sister Sun from her horizontal bed.

  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.