500 Words

Once upon a time, there were 500 words who decided to come together and create a story. So, they all got together and formed a creative committee.

The word ‘once,’ who is always the committee chairman, said, “I would rather not be the first word in the story for a change. Does anyone else want to be the first word?”

After a bit of silence, a quiet and lowly voice from the very back of the group said, “I do.”

The other 499 words turned around and were surprised to see that the volunteer was none other than the word, ‘aardvark’.

‘Once’ moved quickly to the back of the group and asked ‘aardvark’ incredulously, “You want to be the first word in the story?”

“Well,” answered ‘aardvark’ timidly, “I have always dreamed of being the first word, but I have never been brave enough to ask. I know what it is like to be at the beginning of dictionaries, but it has always been my dream to be the first word in an exciting adventure story,” continued ‘aardvark’.

“This is preposterous!” barked ‘upon’. “Never in the history of storytelling has a story begun with the word ‘aardvark’. Besides, stories don’t ever begin with nouns. Prepositional phrases are the only way to properly begin a story.”

“Well, I don’t see anything wrong with altering the way things are usually done around here,” added ‘a’. “And I have always had an affinity for ‘aardvark’. We seem to have a lot in common.”

 “Maybe it is time for a change,” mentioned ‘time’, “After all, things usually happen in their proper season.”

“Well, this is quite a dilemma,” said ‘once’.

“It’s not a dilemma to me!” shouted ‘upon’. “I’ve never complained about always being second. And if you start this story with ‘aardvark’, I’m leaving this group forever!”

After a long silence, ‘upon’ saw that none of the other words had a problem with ‘aardvark’ being the first word for a change, and rather than going against the rest of the group, it appeared that it was time to just leave.

 ‘Aardvark’ felt terrible about being the source of such division among the group, but ‘ever’ and ‘after’ came alongside and gave their assurance that it would all work out for the best in the end.

“As usual, ‘ever’ and ‘after’ are right,” announced ‘once’. “So, let’s get to work everyone! ‘Aardvark’, you move right on up to the front. Next, we need the introductory words to establish the setting, and then conflict right here to give us a good dose of tension. Lastly, we are ready for the resolution right here, and, of course, we finish off with the moral of the story.”

After all the words were in their proper place, ‘aardvark’ took a deep breath, and leapt out onto a brilliantly white and empty page one.


And they all lived happily ever after.

(even ‘upon’ came back and re-joined the group after seeing what a great story they had created)