Inspired by Hemingway's famous six-word tale, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” the "six word story" has served as a prompt for decades, testing writers' ability to create their own succinct masterpieces with all sorts of clever results, including the popular 2006 Six Word Memoirs project. Now, the well-worn idea has gotten new life on Tumblr and Reddit, where users are posting their own hyper-short creations online to show off their creativity and pithiness.
Reddit's /r/sixwordstories is about two years old, and "six word story" has only started trending on Tumblr within the last month, but both sites are filled with entries brimming with ingenuity and heart. These abridged yarns do not fall into one genre, or even one tone, their only similarities being their strict adherence to the mandatory word limit. Some anecdotes are funny, some are introspective and others are down right heartbreaking.
Check out some of the most creative stories on both platforms, below.