Once, when I was sitting in a tavern, my pen poised above the blank page of an A6 notebook, I had an idea for a project of very short stories. I would write one hundred stories, and each of them would be exactly one hundred words long: no more, and no less. Each story would be to a normal short story what a haiku was to an average poem. That was the intent, anyway.
Of course, this really was purely a mental exercise, as I knew that I could never sell such a collection. A book only ten thousand words long? No publisher would ever touch that. For a time this collection was housed in an unfinished short story collection. But I did not really like it being in that collection. I felt that, although short, as an artefact it was complete in itself.
When I began putting things on Kindle I decided to bring it out of that short story collection, and give One Hundred By One Hundred the life which I felt that it deserved. After all, if a collection of haikus could sell, then why not the prose equivalent?
Here follows one of the one hundred stories.
From One Hundred By One Hundred: Aloysius
Nine year old Aloysius sees the crisp, deep snow; he has never seen so much before; and at last he will be able to toboggan, and make a carrot-nosed snowman.
His hands go numb with the cold (they will burn later, even under cold water). In this short season he is finally happy: one perfect winter. His own days grow short, for the cancer means he will never see his teenage years, and his parents are already grieving – but he has built his snowman, and he has tobogganed, and he’s even been in a snowball fight, and he is happy…
One Hundred By One Hundred is available as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle store.