A Story In 6 Words

Thetford first-grader Louise Downey plays a kazoo-like instrument that she made in the after-school science program taught by Thayer School students at Thetford Elementary. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

Thetford first-grader Louise Downey plays a kazoo-like instrument that she made in the after-school science program taught by Thayer School students at Thetford Elementary. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and selects the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers and on vpr.net. This week, we publish responses to the prompts for Six-Word Stories: Create as many six-word stories as you can; and Outrageous: This is the funniest story I have ever heard ...

Prompt: Six-Word Stories

Ripples broke the lake’s smooth surface.

The wind ripped through the streets.

Well, that did not really work.

My lucky day: Friday the thirteenth.

The fresh oxygen filled my lungs.

Look out. Here it comes! Prepare.

It’s true. You only live once.


Teacher talks, folding paper becomes interesting.

Birds fly, I sigh, and walk.

Diving deep, pearly water transforms me.

Smiling, I crunch on a cookie.


Homework piles up, watch TV anyway.

Shiver. Shake. Wait for rescue team.

The ball arcs ... hold breath ... goal!

Buildings burn, people watch in terror.

Wore heels; fell in big puddle.

Don’t look now: teacher behind you.

Rain falls lightly. Look for rainbow.

Rope swinging over river. Drop now!

Spring fever; say goodbye to snow.

Dropped my keys in the gutter.

Danced around living room. (No life.)

That cloud looks like an octopus.

Got paint all over new jeans.

Wait, we had homework due today?

Laughed till I cried. Good times.

Prompt: Outrageous

This is the funniest story I’ve ever heard. I have a cousin who is a little bit, well, let’s just say, “odd.” She, unlike most 9-year-olds, likes to make loud animal sounds. One time, she came up to me in the middle of breakfast and said, “It’s time for my evening chirp!” Then she proceeded to go into the corner of the room and scream and croak and act like a bird. She has been making these loud, obnoxious sounds (dolphins, horses, gorillas, various birds, etc.) for years. We have all been waiting for her to outgrow this annoying love; unfortunately, we have yet to see the animal noises disappear. 

One day in mid-winter, when the sun was high but snow had just fallen, we heard the dolphin screeching from my cousin’s room. I was sitting on the couch at the time, and I saw my grandmother whirl out of her room and into my cousin’s. All I heard in that instant was, “Macy! You’re weird! That’s weird! Stop doing that!”

I waited for the cry of Macy, my cousin, because she had just been called something most people would hate to be called. But, this cry for silence by my grandmother backfired when Macy said, “Good. I like being weird.” My hopes for a silent evening were shattered.

This is the funniest story I’ve ever heard. It might have only been the time and place that made it funny, but it was still hilarious. We were sitting at our campsite when the last person of our group arrived. He pulled up next to my car and came rushing over to the campfire looking slightly out of breath and wired. We all paused and looked to him, prompting him to explain why he was late.

He started by saying, “You guys are gonna die when you hear this. It was the most humiliating yet hilarious thing that has ever happened to me.” He took a deep breath and then began his story. “So I was driving along I-91 and realized that I was running low on gas, like almost-empty low, so you know, I pulled off at the nearest exit ramp to go find a gas station. It took me like ten miles to find one, which made me use up more gas, and I was almost to the point of having to push.” He paused and took another deep breath; we all smiled to ourselves thinking “yup that would happen” and then he began again. “So I pull up to the pump and realize OH MY GOSH! My wallet is in dad’s car!”

Our parents were going to be arriving the next day, and his father supposedly had his money; we all started giggling and my friend asked, “So, what? Did you push it the whole way?” He replied, “No, you dummy, I dug around in the car and scrounged up about $1.96 and filled my tank with it.” We all burst out laughing while simultaneously trying to ask “$1.96? Really, you put a dollar and ninety-six cents of gas in your tank!” Gas at the time was almost $3.60 for a gallon; there was no way he could do anything with $1.96.

My brother asked, “What did the cashier think? He probably thought you were a weirdo!”

We could not stop laughing, not until our stomachs began to hurt. For the rest of the trip we called our friend “Dolla’ ninety-six” just for the sake of getting another laugh and to remind him of his humiliating and hilarious story. 

Next Prompt

Long ago. Write a journal/diary entry of someone from a different time period — past or future. Alternate: Being right. Describe a time when you were sure you were right, but someone else refused to see your view. Due May 3.