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28th May
posted by amber

Five Permutations of Bubblegum

James had no idea that the bubblegum stuck on the bottom of his shoe would have so much impact.

1. In the line up for the bank teller, an annoying little boy fidgeting beside his mother dropped his gum just as James was about to step forward.  He didn’t dare make a fuss, in case it caused people to remember him. Later, trying to flee with his bag of cash, the gum on his shoe slowed him down enough for a cop to catch him.

2. “Hey, dude, ditch the gum,” his best man warned, so James tossed the wad toward a nearby vase of flowers. He didn’t realise he had missed until he leaned toward his new bride for the kiss, but was thrown off balance by the gum on his shoe, causing him to stumble against her so that she fell down in a heap of white lace and un-ladylike curses.

3. James strode into Mr. Barton-Hick’s palatial office for his third interview, a ‘mere formality’ prior to starting his six-figure job, but the gum he tracked across the important man’s Berber carpet nixed the deal.

4. Admiring his reflection in the mirror beside the escalator, James was happy with his hair style and trendy outfit, ready for his first date with a girl he’d had a crush on for months. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice the gum sealing his foot to the moving step until he reached the bottom, was unable to free his foot while his pant leg caught in the mechanism, causing him grievous injuries which ultimately lead to gangrene and death.

5. Instead of placing in the top ten of the marathon as he expected to do, James cartwheeled into the crowd when he slipped on a wad of expectorated bubblegum. He knocked a tiny baby right out of its mother’s arms, but made a huge leap and caught the child in mid-air.  The You-tube video of his spectacular crash went viral and, after appearing on several late night talk shows, he was hired to host a show about sports disasters. The rest is history.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Today’s first line was suggested by Jose Hamer.  Thanks, Jose.


  1. Perry

    This is great! You actually have 5 very very short stories in one short story. I liked the last one best, that seems to be the way people get famous these days.

  2. Arlene Dahl

    Still giggling…great mini-stories!

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