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Tales spun in 2,048 words -- or less

March 21, 2004

M. Stanley Bubien is a man of few words. He likes his short stories short. Really short. In fact, he's created a website with more than 500 of his extremely short stories: http://www.storybytes.com/.

"The first two-word story I wrote was kind of the proof of concept for me," Bubien says. The story -- "A Day In The Life Of The Man Dressed Like A Bear" -- is definitely short but sweet: "Don't shoot!" (The shortest stories on the site rely on elaborate context-setting titles.)

The site reflects a growing Web trend of using the genre of flash or sudden fiction, where a few words convey an extraordinary idea. The twist on Story Bytes, Bubien's monthly e-zine, is that stories have to be between two and 2,048 words, but the final number must be a multiple of two, says Bubien, 38, a software engineer in San Diego County.

A few of Bubien's short stories already have become, yes, short films. But don't look for the title on a marquee near you. It won't fit.

-- Michael T. Jarvis

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