A six-word story? Is that possible?

That’s what someone reportedly asked Ernest Hemingway, author of one of the shortest classic novels, The Old Man and the Sea. He came up with this:

For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.

So few words, many unanswered questions. (See what I did there?)

Who’s the speaker? I’ve always assumed it’s a parent, but it could be a grandparent, a sibling, or someone not related to the baby. We don’t know for sure.

A pair of pink baby booties. Ernest Hemingway is credited for writing this famous six-word story: “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay.
Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

Why were the shoes never worn? Did something happen to the baby? The first thing I imagined is the mother had a miscarriage, but what if that’s not it? Maybe there was no baby. She always wanted a child and bought shoes for the future, but she found out she couldn’t conceive. 🙁

Or what if the speaker is the baby? They’re grown up and looking through old belongings, and they found a pair of shoes they never wore. Now it’s a nostalgic story instead of a sad one.

But why couldn’t they wear them? Maybe they’re like Benjamin Button, and those booties couldn’t fit their newborn adult feet!

That’s the fun of a six-word story: the fewer the words, the more interpretations. Some writers write vague stories on purpose so the readers can fill in the details. It encourages people to read between the lines.

Aisha and Nex Six-Word Stories

I’ve challenged myself to write six-word stories about Aisha and Nex. Here are some I came up with to kick off this series:

  • Life and Death, history’s oldest lovers.
  • “First sight” takes several looks first.
  • You are brave. I have bravado.
  • Glittering sky. We kiss. Morning already?
  • Good night. Tomorrow, I’ll say it.
  • You love my mask. Me, too?

What do you think? What’s your interpretation of each story? Who do you think is speaking in each one?

I’ll keep writing these, and if any sound intriguing, I might flesh them out into longer stories. They already contain ideas I want to explore about Aisha and Nex as a couple and individually.

You’re welcome to post your own Aisha/Nex six-word stories in the comments!