Floyd Hyatt Gives It Away

Last week, Mr. Hyatt spoke of three short story forms: the bow tie, the twist, and the fable. This week, he illustrates them. The words “not particularly good ones” are Mr. Hyatt’s, not mine!


Short examples of the three formats illustrated. Not particularly good ones, but illustrative of the short story formats discussed none the less.

This one illustrates the TWIST:

Word Count 385

Barbarian Feast

Penelope the barbarian thrust the hand-and-a-half poker back into its sheath. There were no further smart comments from the remaining three ghouls.

“Actually,” noted Greentooth, “Penelope was my mother’s name. A fine, family name…lots of…history in it.” He looked sideways at Mouldenjaw, who nodded vigorously, oblivious to the patches of hair this was dislodging from his scalp.

“Heraldic kind of thing, that name is,” agreed Moldenjaw.

Getting into the spirit of things, Fetidfingers added, “Prolly goes well with the lady’s sir-name.”

“Cantaloupe” She stated, eying all three.

Fettidfingers worked his jaw a trifle. “Penelope Cantaloupe…the Barbarian?” A snigger began to hug the insides of his throat, and unable to stop, he added, “from Vineland, perhaps—Grok!”

His carcass slid softly off of the redrawn bade. The other two turned to take their unnatural, if timely, interest in the banquet of dead flesh lying about.

“Gets harder every day to find honest work,” Moldenjaw griped.

“The two of you will do. At least, you’re smarter than the others were.”

What’s the job?” Feditfingers said, dusting off a luncheonette sized piece of foot.

“Cleanup, obviously. What else would I require ghouls for?”

Ahh, of course. Clean the moat of bodies after you storm the castle, and slay the evil king? Eat the strewn guts of your dead enemies, as you hack your way past the minions holding your sister?”

Penelope shrugged the white wolf skin cloak back over her shoulders. “More or less. The job involves eating remains, anyway. You will be working under the command of my…lieutenant, Gaskard Meux. Ten for the day and all you can eat, carry the rest away. Deal?”

“We’re your men. Eh, technically speaking were not, but you get what I mean.”

Moldenjaw polished off the elbow of a fallen applicant and belched. “Gotta deal.”

The four approached the castle forthrightly. Penelope, head held high, regaled in her finest breastplate, sword hilt gleaming in the sun. Her lieutenant, all in white, by her side. The two ghouls trotted after, trying to look fierce.

“Gods. She’s not going to try storming the gate, is she?” whispered Moldenjaw out of a convenient rent in the side of his face.

Greentooth swiveled one eye at his flanking companion. “Wizardry. The guy in white, right? Some mumbo-jumbo, then shazam! Smoking dead everywhere. Wait and see.”

“Barbecue would be good, “agreed Mouldenjaw.

The lieutenant waved a hand, and the castle doors swung open. Greentooth nodded sagely at Moldenjaw.

After, the two sat grumbling over their slops. The man in white carried in another tub full of half eaten pig, sad remains of mushed fruit, sodden vegetables, and half eaten breads.

“But, you muzt hurry, you two! Zere is shtil de desert course to clean up. All zis,” he waved his hands around, “ees bad for the dogs, unt zey half no pigs. Finnieesh!”

“Gonna barf,” muttered Greentooth.

“Shut-up and eat your vegetables,” spat Moldenjaw.

The wedding party could be heard roaring, from beyond the kitchen, no doubt seeing the new Mrs. Penelope Strongoak and her princely husband off to their wedding chambers, as was customary.


In the interest of saving space, Mr. Hyatt’s other two examples can be found by clicking here: Story forms -Examples.

WRITING PROMPT: Write a three-sentence outline of a story, using each of Mr. Hyatt’s examples as a guide.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Floyd Hyatt Gives It Away

  1. Jane

    March 28, 2012 at 11:55am

    Hi. I love this story! Everything in it is creative, and it made me laugh. I was so envious of the wonderful character names. This isn’t very coherent, but it’s all I got right now. Thanks so much.

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  2. Floyd Hyatt

    March 30, 2012 at 12:15pm

    There’s another one available by following the link shown at the bottom of the story post, as “Story forms-examples” but you have to click on it, as its a sort of link. Between the two, the one shown, and the one available from the link, they illustrate all the forms from the article, plus an additional (eh, bonus) form. Oh, and glad you got a chuckle out of it, thanks, Jane.

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