Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Winning Loser - A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

Welcome peeps!

Well, week 37 of Saturday Centus has come upon us like snow on an orange grove and it’s time once again to participate in a little writing!  “Little” being the operative word this week as Ms. Jenny Matlock, host of this addictively fun meme from her blog, off on my tangent, has thrown us a challenging twist this week.  Instead of the usual 100 word limit we have come to expect, this week our beloved Jenny has decided that 25 words is more than sufficient to craft a story filled with drama, suspense, romance and intrigue.

Okay, maybe the intrigue part is a stretch.

Personally I like the idea of micro fiction.  I wish there were more publishers out there who appreciated the skill and talent required to write a complete tale with just a limited amount of words.   Let’s face it; a lot of people don’t have the patience to read an entire book or even a short story.  People want something they can zip through quickly, enjoy and then move on with the rest of their day.  I am one of these people.  I prefer to do my reading while sitting on the toilet.

Don’t laugh!  I bet a lot of people like to read while doing their business.  There’s even a very successful volume of books called “The Bathroom Reader” which have very small, interesting or amusing news articles, quotes and anecdotes which can be read quickly.  I have a number of these books.  But as far as fiction is concerned, there’s not much available.  Maybe we Centusians could get together and do a compilation of stories from SC and have them published?  We could call them Toilet Books!

Imagine the pride you would feel knowing that your finely crafted stories are sitting on the top of toilet tanks all over America, between the box of tissues and the can of air freshener (or between the can of bug spray and book of matches if you're from the South!)  Think of the exposure you would have as a writer!  A whole new genre of writers could emerge, Toilet Writers, and soon we could at last have a taste of the fame and glory that has eluded us. 

Toilet writing could become the next great trend in the literary world.  Libraries would have to install more bathrooms to keep up with the demand for more toilet reading, maybe even going so far as to install porta-potties where space permits.  Writers of this genre who achieve great popularity might even be courted by toilet manufacturers to endorse their products.  A toilet recliner with a built-in reading lamp could even be released for toilet readers with discriminating tastes in bathroom décor.  The possibilities are endless.

And to think we owe it all to Jenny Matlock, who will now and forever be known as the “Mother of Toilet Literature.”  To be able to say that you were there at the birth and infancy of Toilet Literature kind of gives you a lump in your throat, doesn’t it?  Yes, surely it’s a proud moment for all us Centusians. 

Moving on to the story segment of my babbling, I have written a very short, short story that contains scenes of violence.  For that reason, my twenty-five word story is rated PG.  For those of you who do not wish to deal with the graphic reality of everyday American life, you may click on this link instead and be comforted by images of puppies, kittens and soft, fuzzy bunnies.

This week's prompt is "the lottery ticket."

I think I will give this tiny tale a tiny title and call it:

The Winning Loser


You’re the winner?

No one else knows?

Here’s a bullet.


I’ll take the lottery ticket and your life.


Didn’t anybody tell you?

Don’t trust anyone.”

Jenny Matlock

"I have a great faith in fools -
my friends call it self-confidence."

- Edgar Allan Poe



  1. Briliant as always and I love the thought of toilet writing ... gosh it must be fun in your head! :o)

  2. Awesome. I almost went in that direction too.

  3. Sheesh! At least I let my lottery winner live. Of course, he had a heart attack and no doubt will spend all the winnings on hospital bills, but still... Great take on the prompt. And just for your information, your intro had 617 words. Mine had over 300. Jenny may want to rethink these super short centus challenges :) Kat (and yes, I read the entire thing, and I am choosing to remain silent on the dig)

  4. When I grow up, I want to be just like you!!

  5. It would seem you used the other 75 words in your intro. No worries, at a limit of 25 words (or less!?!?!) I would have probably done the same.

    Well done!

  6. Wow, that was different and unexpected!

  7. Oh, a little vice with your lottery ticket!
    Love your idea about Toilet Lit...lets call the first anthology of Centus: Poop and Ponder!

  8. Remind me not to tell you any secrets!

    37 weeks? You are dedicated! That is longer than some marriages have lasted!

    My story this week is dedicated to your bathroom humor book!

  9. I think that to be able to create short stories require us to be able to see the entire story and then tell the most important parts and you did this....with grace! In 25 words there was life, riches, betrayal, and death, pretty good!

  10. This one was certainly to the point. Well done, as always, Tom.
    I like the idea of SC bathroom readers. Next, we could graduate to the porta-potty.

  11. Smart and compact. I like it.


  12. "Mother of Toilet Literature"...priceless ;-) That suits Jenny...just kidding...

  13. okay, damn you ... I was on that "cute" site forever!!! now i am suffering an overdose of cute cute cuties ... hate when that happens

    you centus rocked!

    I'm thinking we could also invent a micro toilet literature reader ... small enough to attach to the tp roll, but large enough to show 100 words on a page ...

  14. You are definitely onto something with those toilet books. I love the bathroom readers. Very fun facts.

    You story can be turned into a movie. It's already in the works.

  15. oh man, that sucks. and I think you are onto something with the toilet literature for sure...a little book of micro-fiction by the wouldpry even enjoy it!

  16. You lost me at "Once upon a time".

    Oh, wait.

    Never mind.

    I need to go to the potty and write.

    Good job, Tom!

  17. I would be thrilled to be a member of the toilet writers LOL. You are just too funny and had me in stitches. I don't know how you do it.

    Loved your little 25 word centus. Magnificent job.

  18. Hee hee.

    That was really good! But where was the romance? hee hee

    And be careful what you wish for. Toilet Books? After the impending Zombie Apocalypse, those books won't be for reading anymore, but they'll still be... ahem... Toilet Books.

    hee hee

  19. A fool and his money are soon parted. Good one! Liked the Poe quote as well!

  20. Short, sweet and to the point,(of a gun, but a point.) Neat. And the Poe quote was the icing on the cake.

  21. I don't know why - but this reminds me of a short story I read in 8th Grade called "The Lottery." I know it was turned into a made for tv movie some years was kinda creepy. Each year, this town would hold a lottery and the "winner" would be stoned to death. *shudder*

    You brought back memories! LOL!

  22. Alrighty, then...


    PS. You are incorrigible, you know...

  23. Tom. What can I say that I haven't said before about twelve trillion times.

    This was fabulous...although I, too, missed the romance part of the story...but perhaps I need to use my imagination a bit more!

    My best micro-micro fiction (a story in six words or less) was...

    Dear Waterproof Mascara Company,
    You lied.

    I love the difficulty of writing like this. Maybe we'll have to do a ten word challenge soon!


Please share your comments with me!

Blogs I Am In Awe Of