2019 Day 17 -Aphorisms

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Today we’re continuing our theme of weird story forms.


Places To Find Aphorisms


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22 thoughts on “2019 Day 17 -Aphorisms”

  1. This one was challenging and fun at the same time. I wrote a short 600 word story on friends, and used the aphorism ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’

  2. OOOOh, I did not enjoy today’s writing at all – my piece was so contrived. It was a late night write in very little time. These were some (but not all) of the pithy phrases that went into my story: “not my monkey, not my circus” , “you can lead a whore to culture but can not make her think”, “ménage a trois” “We are not amused”

  3. I love these challenges. I wrote 2 so far today and since this one is so short I’ll share it here.

    You reap, what you sow.

    “You get many opportunities in life, choices to do good or evil,” he said grimly, looking steadily into her eyes. “Reap a harvest of peace and happiness or bitterness and regret,” he continued with pain etched across his face. “What I have done, can3not be undone,” his voice barely a whisper, breaking as he stood to leave. “Sow seeds of peace and forgiveness, my child, sow love and honor, which I did not,” he begged her, lowering his head as he was lead away.

  4. Tinkle the Ivories

    “Mah name is Buster. Buster Waite.” He was painfully thin, wizened, missing teeth like a piano missing keys with white keys no longer their original color. His eyes were sunken into his sockets, his dark skin stretched over his skull like a drum.

    “Mr. Waite?” A man with a clipboard repeated as he checked the name on his list. “What are you going to do for us today?” The man smiled with his perfect teeth, his double chins on his face that still had plenty of youth left in it.

    “Suh, I’s gonna tinkle them ivories.” He announced with a flourish.

    “Play the piano?” The man tilted his head. He did not like the transient traffic that seemed to get more and more pronounced each year, but the auditions were open to the public and that meant everyone. During cattle calls for theatrical productions, he would look over a much different talent pool, but this was a revue of the local talent for an upcoming charity event that would mean filling the coffers of all of the United Way organizations. It was a big deal that even the mayor would attend in formal attire with his wife wearing a ball gown that glittered a million times under the lights.

    “Dat’s wha I said, suh.” His words slurred and he wondered if Buster had drained a bottle of cheap wine before showing up for auditions. Buster sat on the piano stool in front of a badly beaten upright piano someone had wheeled out from the wings of the theater. His bony fingers ran along the row of keys. Some of the notes sounded a bit flat, but Buster just smiled, closed his eyes, put entangled his fingers and took a deep breath. He did not see the man roll his eyes and shake his head at the others gathered in the seats in front of the stage.

    At first the notes seemed to come out like a child’s finger painting, chords clunking and keys striking the frayed wires inside the upright. The man winched to hear the sour notes and then he bowed his head as if to signal, “We need to move along since we have others auditioning.”

    But then suddenly as if an angel has ascended into the beat up old piano and from the tinny wires, came the notes of old rocking numbers from old time tunes in quick syncopation that filled the arena in notes of glad harmony. Some of the people sitting in the audience began to clap their hands and move their feet. The man with the clipboard turned, mouth agape, eyes staring at Buster as he moved his fingers over the keyboard like a confident virtuoso, eyes closed as if he was drawing on his inner spirit move from measure to measure.

    There was complete silence when he finished, sitting there head bowed as if he had fallen asleep. Applause erupted after a beat with everyone standing clapping for Buster who had just finished his masterpiece.

    “Long ‘go, I play the Apollo with some o’ Barry Gordie’s stars from Motown.” He stood up slowly,cautiously, with great care, “Som’ times thin’s move in a strange way, ya know. One night I shake President Kennedy’s hand. He had a great smile. Don’ as’ me if I miss it, some thin’s mabbe so, but fo’ da mos’ part it has been a good trip.”

    Humbled, the man with the clipboard nodded, “Mr. Waite, how can we get a hold of you, sir?”

    “I be ‘round.” His laugh was gentle, but his eyes shone with a sparkle or two. With a quick wave, he left the stage and walked out of the backstage door into the alley before anyone could stop him.

  5. Hi all, it’s my first time on this site. What a great concept. Since I don’t have my own site, here goes!

    “The early bird catches the worm!” exclaimed Steve, using one of his countless empty expressions that had amused me when I first joined the call center but now grated every time that wet rag of a human being uttered them.
    “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” another of his favorites, was reserved for when we failed to meet our weekly targets, and it shot from his cracked lips on a gust of cigarette-infused breath, ricocheting off the mustard-colored concrete walls of the open-plan office.
    “A watched pot never boils, an ace in a hole, the sky’s the limit, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, walk the talk, up the anty, thumbs up, top-notch,” his wheezy voice echoed in my head.
    “A penny for your thoughts,” I suddenly heard Steve say, with a jolt, realizing from my colleagues’ blank stares that the comment was directed at me.
    “I’ll make no bones about it, Steve,” I said with a shaking voice, before standing up slowly with both fists still planted firmly on my desk.
    “Working for you… is a fate worse than death!!!”

  6. I love the challenge and I have learnt a great deal. I’ve made a start and really enjoy the fun of it. No way will it be finished before I need to tackle Day 18, but I will look forward to completing it!

  7. I managed to do a short one for this late last night, but I really want to play with this more with other phrases. I love a puzzle and this was a great challenge.

    This Too, Shall Pass

    This grief is overwhelming and I feel I’m drowning in my sorrow. Too many long days I see ahead with no comfort or consolation. Shall I ever feel relief or the sweet release of peace? Pass away from me aching days of misery, I pray.

  8. I’m checking in because I haven’t in a few days. It’s been a tough week, with some late starts, but I’m still writing, and turning out some pretty good material the last couple of nights. I’ve hit every day I committed to write so far, although I had to abandon a couple before finishing, owing to fatigue.

    I’ve started reading Jerome Stern’s book on writing, called Making Shapely Fiction. It’s fantastic, and I highly recommend it. He goes through something like 16 story shapes, his sort taxonomy of standard story structures and devices. I’m going to try as many as I can before the month is over.

  9. I don’t have a website to post this to, but it is short enough to go ahead and put in the comments.

    Title: Harder To Live With It

    “It shouldn’t take too long to get this done. Is it not just attaching a few wires? Easy enough, right?” he asks, this man who wishes to follow in my footsteps.
    “To even try, you would need to be trained in explosives,” I remind him, taken aback by his eagerness to take this job.
    “Kill all my fun, why don’t you,” he says, and I flinch at the use of the words kill and all—exactly what he means to do, if I can’t convince him otherwise.
    “Someone needs to keep their head in this situation. It isn’t like you know what you are doing.”
    “Is it really so difficult a thing?”
    “Harder than you might think. To do this right, and too…” I trail off. Live with the consequences, I think.
    “With your help…”
    “It can’t be done,” I lie.

    1. Impressive! And now I want to know why the person in whose footsteps the explosive enthusiast wants to follow is 1) still alive and 2) no longer an enthusiast. WELL DONE, say I!

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