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Sunday, February 27, 2005



The other day, a fellow member in a writing group on Orkut challenged me to write a complete story in less than 50 words. The passage below was my response. I found my best case example in that old science fiction tale, "The Last Man on Earth." The entire story was complete with a beginning, a middle and an end, tension and the possiblilty of a sequel all in one sentence: "The last man on earth sat alone in a room and there was a knock on the door . . . ." I think about all the unstated issues in that story regularly over 50 years after I first read it and realize that it was the elipsis that made the story. The story below is my humble contribution to a minimal tale that may have broader implications as well so i will steal the use of the elipsis.

Synergy: A Horror Story
Milton Trachtenburg
copyright 2005

In a run-down neighborhood in an unnamed and featureless city, two indistinguishable and unremarkable factory complexes, owned by the same corporation, stand next to one another. In one of the factories, the workers beat swords into ploughshares. In the other, they beat ploughshares into swords. . . .

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