The Drabble, my new obsession

posted in: News, Writing | 4

Since I’ve been on Medium, I’ve found a new form of story to write, the Drabble.

Here’s a definition,



The other thing about the Drabbles that I’ve been writing is that, before I start, I have no idea what the subject will be.

What happens is that I get a prompt word from the publication that I submit to. I have to use it somewhere in the story. I try to picture the word in a story and build around it. It could be the subject of the tale or a word someone says in conversation, there are no limits.

This makes it more of a challenge. Because you never know what your imagination will come up with.

The writing is only half the story, so to speak. You then have to create a picture to go with the Drabble. I have to admit to using A.I. for these, their specialised nature means that it’s practically impossible to find a stock image every time. And as it’s a daily challenge, there’s no time to draw or commission one either.

I have my own views on creating and using A.I. images, which I’ll share with you in another post.

I’ve written over fifty drabbles so far, here are a couple of my most popular.

Please let me know what you think of them.

All images are made in Microsoft Designer.


Do you know who I am?

Word of the day: ACCEPTABLE

“Check-in closed ten minutes ago,” the uniformed representative said.

“But I need to be on that flight,” the suited businessman shouted, his face turning red.

“I’m sorry sir,” she said calmly. Grumpy passengers she could deal with. “You’ll have to rebook on the next flight, if there’s room.”

“This is just not acceptable,” he squealed. “Do you know who I am?”

She looked down at the documents he had tossed on her desk. “According to your passport, you’re James Douglas,” she said with a smile.

“If you can’t remember your name,” she added, “perhaps you shouldn’t be flying unaccompanied?”


Meet me Outside, under the Stars.

Word of the day: WINDOW.

My father never approved of Jim.

“He’s no good for you, girl,” he said, more than once.

But I knew I loved him. We would meet in secret, when his work on the farm was done and my father snored.

I would climb out of my window and slide down the roof. He would catch me in his strong arms.

We would walk through the starlit fields, hand in hand and plan our future, away from here.

Together, forever.

“One day,” I promised him. “One day I’ll climb out of the window and I won’t have to go back again.”


I know what you did.

Word of the day: JUMPY

Jason woke with a start. He relaxed, it was only a dream.

His wife, Macey, had been in it. She was exactly as he remembered her.

“I know what you did,” she said. “I’ll make sure the truth comes out, one way or another.”

That was why he had killed her, he couldn’t take the risk. It had been three years and he’d got away with it, so far.

He opened his door to go to work. Two policemen faced him. He stepped back in alarm, remembering the dream.

“Good morning sir,” said one. “A little jumpy today, aren’t we?”


A new battle cry.

Word of the day: INACTIVATE

The alien invasion was poised in orbit. Their plans had hit a snag.

“We cannot use our battle cry,” Thrag announced.

“Why not?” asked Sergun.

“It has bad connotations. According to the Earthlings archives we have viewed, EX-TER-MIN-ATE has been used before, on several occasions, by a failed invader.”

“What can we say instead?” muttered Thrag. “I need suggestions.”

“I know,” said Qill, “how about IN-ACT-IV-ATE?”

Thrag thought momentarily; it wasn’t as catchy, but it would just have to do.

“Very well,” he said. “Instruct the troops to chant it. If that’s all, begin.”


If you’d like to see the rest of my Drabbles, they can be found here.


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4 Responses

  1. Lené

    What an interesting concept. 100 words is very challenging, but you’ve pulled it off for sure!

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, I’m enjoying the journey. It’s a very different discipline.

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