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30-Minute Writing Challenge: Write a short story in five minutes; then spend the rest of the time cutting it down to its essentials to make a six-word story.

The Near-Doom Incident

Peri Gordon
Peri Gordon, 11
Sherman Oaks, CA


We were hiking. I didn’t want to stroll. I stretched my legs and launched ahead of my parents, feet flying freely over the sandy trail. The foliage glittered around me like green and brown angels, but I paid no notice. I arrived at a place where a family was, positioned as if struggling to see something, but all I saw was rough, brown ground. They called for me to stop.

My parents caught up. “Peri, they were taking a picture!” But no, they were not.

The family pointed at a small, slithering thing snaking its way up the path.

A rattlesnake.

We showed our gratitude to the family that had saved me from doom, and we were on our way.

No more running.

Six word version

Dashing ahead. Snake. Could’ve been doomed.

About the Stone Soup Writing Workshop

The Stone Soup weekly Writing Workshop began in March 2020 during the COVID- 19-related school closures. In every session, a Stone Soup team member gives a short presentation and then we all spend half an hour writing something inspired by the week’s topic or theme. We leave our sound on, so we feel as though we are in a virtual café, writing together in companionable semi-silence! Then, participants are invited to read their work to the group and afterward, submit what they wrote to a special Writing Workshop submissions category. Those submissions are published as part of the workshop report on our blog every week. You can read more workshop pieces, and find information on how to register and join the workshop, at https://stonesoup.com/stone-soup-writing-workshop/.