Thursday, February 03, 2011


Original (two hundred words)
            He had been hungry for as long as he could remember; even his first word testified to it—“more?” Born number four of eight, his father in and out of work, he’d never known what enough meant. His tearful mother made him leave at age sixteen, telling him that it was for his good and the good of the littler ones squalling in the house. It wasn’t true, and they both knew it, but he went with a cheerful goodbye and kisses for everyone.
            Now here it was, a chance at something different. He stared at the sign in the window, blinking to be sure it wasn’t another hallucination. The words seemed unreal— Work available. Pay: room and board. He swayed, light-headed just standing still, and his stomach cramped, demanding to be filled. He had to take this chance and risk his hopes being dashed again.
            With a deep breath, he opened the shop door and stepped to the counter, explaining to the owner that he had seen the sign. The next moments were all a blur. He answered the questions, signed his name over and over, but he left with the beautiful words ringing in his head—You’re hired.


Nineteen words

Hunger was always the master. “More?” the boy begged.
Now a man, he triumphed through new words. “You’re hired.”

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