A Few Drops and Then It Stops*

DribblesFeb2016Since it’s Friday,  I thought we all might enjoy a few sips – well, Dribbles anyway. That’s the name that author and fellow blogger Rob Kitchin has given to the little 50-word mystery stories I’ve sometimes shared.

Here are five of mine:


‘Checking out?’ the receptionist asked.
‘That’s right,’ Marco said, dropping the key on the desk.
‘Your friend not with you?’
‘He’s getting the car.’
It would take them a while to find Doug’s body in the dumpster. And even longer for the bank to track down the money they’d stolen.



‘I picked up dinner,’ Paul said.
Debbie smiled. ‘Wonderful! What’d you get?’
‘I stopped at that Chinese place.’
Paul was dead two hours later. They said it was cyanide.
At The Peacock, Daiyu smiled to herself. That bastard was finally going to pay for what he’d done to her daughter.



‘I’m sorry, sir, your claim’s been denied.’
‘How can you deny it? I have the medical records.’
‘The company has declined to pay the claim.’
‘But I can’t pay these bills. Without my treatments, I’m dead.’
‘Sorry, it’s denied. May I help the next –’
Bam! ‘Nothing to lose, anyway.’



‘You’re gonna get us lost, the way you always do,’ Lisa complained.
‘We’re not lost,’ Gary reassured her.
‘And it’s too damned hot!’
‘I’ll turn on the air.’
‘Pull over at that rest stop. I need to go.’
Lisa got out. Thump! Gary drove off, smiling. The silence was blissful.



‘You take this train, too?’ Even Valerie’s casual remarks sounded malicious.
‘Not usually,’ Sheila pulled the letter opener from her pocket. Goodbye, Valerie the Office Queen Bee.
One hard shove, and Sheila screamed as she fell towards the track.
Valerie saw Lou and smiled. ‘Good timing.’
‘Always there for you.’


Care to try your hand? I would love to see your Dribbles. If you’d like to share some of your own, email them to me (margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com), and I’ll post your contributions in a couple of weeks. C’mon! You know you wanna play!!


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Peter Mulvey’s Birgit.



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21 responses to “A Few Drops and Then It Stops*

  1. Highly enjoyable. I like the way you tell the story so completely – and yet while each one paints a full picture, each could also be expanded to novel -length.

  2. Excellent job! Did anyone else notice the stories get more and more evil from 1 – 5? Number 3 had me laughing out loud.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Sue. And what can I say? You can’t be a crime writer without a touch of evil… 😉 About III? I think most of us have had experiences with implacable bureaucrats…

  3. You definitely have a dark side, Margot, and a way with just a few words. I liked all five!

  4. Sue’s right. They do get more evil. You were just gearing up. What fun!

  5. Great stuff, Margot! Haha! In only 50 words you made me dislike poor Lisa (IV) so much I was hoping she’d be the victim…

    • Thank you, FictionFan 🙂 And I wasn’t too fond of Lisa, myself, to be honest. The nice thing about creating characters is that you get to decide what happens to them… 😉

  6. Col

    Great fun, Margot!

  7. Margot, I enjoyed reading your dribbles. Good fun! I have been dabbling in Drabbles. I read that these 50- and 100-word stories are catching on and I wouldn’t be surprised if pocket-size books are published.

  8. Yes, they could well serve as prompts for longer pieces. Fun.

  9. Very good Margot – a real skill to get a whole story into 50 words – I especially like the fate of the nagging wife in number four!

  10. Pingback: There’s an App For That ;-) | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

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