Independence or curse?


Goldie from Floating Gold recently attempted a writing prompt which I also found interesting.

Write a story about beans in 99 words, reduce it to 59 words, and reduce it to 9 words and rewrite the final story into 99 words, no more, no less.

I was curious to attempt it myself but had a different narrative in my mind. Instead of ‘beans’, I choose to write about ‘scooty’.

Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

Here’s my take-

99 words

While riding my scooty in full traffic on a winter night, I recalled a conversation.

“We think you should start going to the office by car.”

It’s not that far away.

“You should understand, it’s not safe.”

There’s traffic on the roads all the time.

“But you are a…”

 No, I love my scooty. I have been riding it for 6 years now. It makes me feel free.

A small road patch with no traffic and dim street lights comes.

“They raped and murdered her after deflating her two-wheeler’s tyre,” the journalist’s voice I heard last week horrified me.


59 words

I was riding back home on my scooty last night. Over the years, the scooty has become a symbol of my independence.

Suddenly, a fear struck. “What if someone spreads nails on the road to puncture its tyres?”

They trapped her in a similar way.

It wasn’t the darkness of the winter night that sent shivers down my spine.


9 words

My scooty: Symbol of my independence or a curse?


99 words

She was enjoying the chilly winter winds as she rode her scooty back home. They were going to complete six years together soon- she and her scooty. She never realised when she became so much attached to it. It was not only a means of transport for her but the beginning of her adulthood.

Just as she took a left turn at the crossroads, the night became darker. A jerk from a pothole she couldn’t see scared her. For the first time, she felt unsafe on her scooty. The news of Disha rape-murder case made her question her freedom.


It did not seem like a stupid task to reduce the word count and then increase it. Instead, I found out how I could narrate one thought from different perspectives. Sticking to the word limits was definitely challenging. Rewriting the final part in full length took some thinking as I felt that I was out of new perspectives, but third-person narrative came to my rescue.

15 thoughts on “Independence or curse?

  1. It is definitely more challenging to write something short than something long. Every week I have to pare down my posts. When I was writing songs in the 80’s, someone in the music industry said it was way more challenging to write a song than to write a novel, because you’re trying to cram a story into 3 minutes, instead of 300 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! That never came to me. 3 mins vs 300 pages. I think there should be no limits. In Hindi cinema, we have had songs that were 8 mins long. Now they have reduced it to 4-5 mins. But yeah, all of them have their own essence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some of my best songs were about 4 minutes long. I was told they weren’t “commercial” enough, that to be played on the radio (in America) a song had to be 3-3-1/4 minutes, no longer. We’ll never know what songs we’re missing because of our short attention span.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your take on it.
    Do you drive a scooty?
    Great pieces. The 59-words one was my favorite.
    I’m glad you realized it was challenging, but look how different points of view come to mind. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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