Running Without Scissors

No corras con las tijeras en la mano by PictFactory on FlickrThere’s never a pair around when you need them.
Five stories of lives, cut short.

#1. trim

The sheet of wrapping paper was too big for the parcel.

“Oh sweet Jesus, what are we to do?” said Mother.

“I don’t know, Mother, but we must be brave,” said Father.

“We’re frightened, Mother,” said the children. “We’re frightened, Father.”

#2. snip

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” came the voice.

Rapunzel’s heart beat fast as she lowered her tresses out of the window.

There was a sharp tug as the prince started to climb, and Rapunzel almost cried out.

“Gently, my love,” she called.

“I’ll give you gently,” said the voice, and this time it cackled horribly.

It was not the prince at all, but the crone, who had stolen his voice.

“Oh shit,” said Rapunzel.

#3. clip

It looked bad.

He was far off the trail, which few people used in any case.

There was no way to free his hand from under the rock.

In his desperation, he had pried and scrabbled and scratched at the rock with his free hand, hoping desperately that he might be able to move it, even if only an inch.

Now his nails were in a terrible state.

#4. cut

“A horse!” he cried. “My kingdom for a horse!”

“Here, sire,” said a trusty aide, holding the stallion’s bit with one hand and taking the crown with the other.

No sooner had the former king mounted the horse than it bolted.

He tried to leap free of the saddle, but realised his garments had become hopelessly entangled in the reins.

The horse was heading full-tilt for the enemy.

“A blade!” he cried. “A blade!”

But all he had left to give was the horse.

And nobody wanted it.


The fate of the human race hung in the balance.

“Rock,” said Kirk.

“Paper,” said the Gorn.

And the Earth died screaming. ##

3 thoughts on “Running Without Scissors

  1. Thanks, folks!

    Sarah, I’ve actually written a few six-word stories in my time – one’s even in a book. And is it cheating if you exploit a story that’s already been told to tell yours? Or is that what culture’s all about? (Strokes chin.) Now a six-letter story; that would be a challenge.

    These stories were the result of a scavenger hunt organised by the PlotMedics (of whom Sarah is half, disclosure fans) during a day of writing exercises. The idea was to gather objects from around the sprawling and somewhat eccentrically furnished lodge in which we were staying, pull one out of a bag and write a story about someone who really, really needs that object.

    I was initially a bit disappointed to have drawn such a prosaic item. But actually, scissors are pretty creepy. They’re probably the first blade we learn to use as children, other than plastic cutlery. They have that deliberate, mechanical action: snip snip. And then you find out they’re not safe. All those warnings to mind your fingers. The injunctions against running.

    No wonder this is so bloody scary.

    Music: no contest: has to be Snip Snip by the Tiger Lilies.

    And if you still don’t understand the last one, these links might help.

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