Genre microfiction

I was talking with a friend about a Twitter-based fiction contest that he’d seen, and he mentioned that this contest had stipulated genre requirements. So, of course, the conversation turned to how short a story could possibly be and still have some recognizable genre. I postulated that it wouldn’t take much at all:

“A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Cancer! On our wedding day!” [Drama/romance]

“A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Tuberculosis! On our wedding day!” [Period romance]

“A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Nanobots! On our wedding day!” [Sci-fi]

“A final acidic tear dripped down her dying, scaly cheek. Dragon cancer! On our wedding day!” [Fantasy]

“A sultry bead of sweat dripped down her heaving bosom. Lust! On our wedding day!” [Erotica]

“A bloody tear dripped down her already-rotting cheek. Zombies! On our wedding day!” [Horror]

“A final tear dripped down her bullet-riddled cheek. Mobsters! On our court date!” [Crime]

“A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Cancer! On our gay wedding day!” [Gay/lesbian]

“A final tear dripped down her goggles to her sprocket-laden corset. Brass poisoning! On our wedding day!” [Steampunk]

In fact, I bet between all of us we could write microfiction in every conceivable genre. Leave a comment and let’s prove it.

166 thoughts on “Genre microfiction”

  1. There is of course the famous “World’s Shortest Horror Story”:
    The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door.

    Though, on further reflection, it might also be a promising porno setup.

  2. I would have gone with…

    “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. AIDS! On our wedding day!” [Gay/lesbian]

  3. What tear is this upon my cheek? Alas!/To think of all the treasures I have lost!


  4. A fuzzy tear landed on her speeder vest. Ewoks! On our wedding day! [Star Wars]
    A final tear slid down her Poker face. Lady Gaga! On our wedding day! [Bad Music]
    A final tear slid down our face. Cancer! On our Siamese Birthday! [Bizarre Lives]

  5. Water beading may occur on the face. This is normal. Blot dry and continue with step five (5).

    [instructional manual]

  6. A final tear dripped down Picard’s dying cheek. Pokemonitis! On Pikachu’s wedding day! [slashfic]

  7. A solitary tear rolled down her golden breastplate, like the dusk of Sisyphus. A Curse from Zeus! Upon Her wedding day!
    [Homerian Epic]

  8. A tear, one tear only, a sad token of the broken heart beating within her breast, slid with an agonizing lack of celerity across the smooth, pale skin of her flawless face.


  9. A final tear dripped down her cheek. Suicide! On our wedding day! [Feminist]

    Seriously, every feminist book I have read, the woman commits suicide.

  10. If tears fall down your face, overcome it and go to your happy place. To your wedding day! [Self-help]

  11. An ultimate tear of radiance dripped down her battlecorset. Shadow beasts! On our wedding day! [MMO Fiction]

  12. Cancer!
    Do you cry through the wedding? If so, go back to p. 138.
    Or do you fight the ninjas on unicycles? If so, skip ahead to p. 206

    [choose your own adventure]

  13. “A final shard dropped from the smashed remains of his scouter. Over 9000! On our invasion day!” [Shonen anime]

  14. solitary lugubriousaline down/waterfall, foul, ‘pon the countess’ countenance, count on itragedy, ¡¡¡cancer!!!! to dew (or dewed) wednesday’s wedding so!

    [Joyce-inspired postmodernist]

  15. A final tear dripped down her bronzed Egyptian cheek. The world’s first documented case of cancer! On our wedding day! Around 1500 BC!

    (historical fiction)

  16. A final tear dripped down her cheek, and then turned into a swarm of butterflies. [Absurdism (or magic realism, if she’s “ethnic”)]
    A final tear dripped up her forehead. Cancer! On our wedding day! [Sloth/bat/possum romance]

  17. Yes it is a teardrop yes on my cheek yes and the cancer yes it was cancer yes on the day the priest asked yes and I said Yes

    James Joyce

  18. A final tear dripped down her cheek. Barbarians! On the day of my triumph! (Roman autobiography)

  19. A tear ran down my great-great-great grandmother’s cheek. Paradox! On our wedding day! [Time travel]

  20. A tear trickled down from her dying eye to her fine bridal garments.

    Alas for the fate that compels weddings to end in despair!

    Virgil (I don’t think I can manage to get either the grammar or the scansion right in Latin.)

  21. A tear, glinting red as the sun on the canyon walls, slid down Hayduke’s cheek. Bulldozers! On Earth Day! [Ecoterrorism, ala Edward Abbey]

  22. OMG r u crying?!1
    yes i hav cancer
    that sux-u dieing?
    ya on my weding day 2 🙁

    [text dialogue]

  23. “A final tear dripped down his lifelong favourite team’s uniform. Cancer! When he was about to win the game in the last minute! And on his wedding day too!” [Sports]

    “A final tear dripped down his lifelong favourite team’s colours painted on his cheek. Cancer! When his team was about to win the championship for the first time ever! And on his wedding day too!” [Sports, from the supporter’s POV ]

  24. “A final tear dripped down his cheek. Proletarian uprising! And on his wedding day!”

    -Russian political novel

  25. “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek as she read her horoscope. Cancer! Today is a good time for either death or for a wedding day! Pisces! Today is a good time to sexually harrass your dry cleaner! ” [Astrology]

  26. A mascara-laden tear dripped down her Sephora-blushed cheeks, streaking them with a mortifying trail of black. A fashion faux-pas! In her Vera Wang wedding gown!

    [chick lit]

    And when the sun sets over Jersey and I look out over all that raw land rolling out over to the sea and the pretty girls in Iowa in the land where they let the children cry, I think of my girl, and the single tear on her cheek, I even think of her dying, I think of our wedding day!

    [beat generation]

  27. “A final excited germ embraced her oligarch. DADA! On our swiss trampling!” [Dada]

    “A final vomit drop dripped down her drunken cheek. Alcohol! On her divorce day!” [Charles Bukowski]

  28. A tear goes drip
    A tear goes drop.
    This wedding day
    Will be a flop.
    She’s looking ill
    So fetch the doc.
    And get a refund on that rock.
    [Dr. Seuss]

  29. Impossible! And yet, somehow, the prognosis came, as they considered the ash dampened by a last tear shed before her collapse on their wedding day. The vampire had died from cancer!
    (Trashy vampire novel)

  30. a final tear dripped down his level 36 dwarf hunters armor. the horde! while he was roaming the woods gathering herbs!

  31. A tear rolled down the dame’s cheek like a thunderhead. I reached for the snub-nosed .38 in the desk drawer. Betrayal! On the case’s first day! [noir]

  32. A greasy tear rolled down her grotesquely distended cheek. Morbid obesity! On our wedding day!
    [motivational biography… or inflation erotica, your pick]

  33. The ancient stars in alignment! Tears of blood! Anagh fgathin! Madness ascendant! Cthulhu rises! On my wedding day!

    (Lovecraftian horror)

  34. A final tear is composed largely of a saline solution with trace elements of manganese and lithium. Within the solution, cells may obtain sufficient nutrients.

    (high school biology text)

  35. Lo, a final tear
    Slides down her cheekbones: cancer!
    Wedding frogs languish

    So there was this girl, she was crying;
    From cancer it was, she was dying.
    Oh wedding day woes,
    for she ruined her clothes,
    And I sat on the bed only sighing.

    A woman–crying. Cancer! In, white, too. Look at the–sad–groom.

    A rabbi and a priest walk into a bar. There’s a new bride there, and she’s crying. The priest walks up to her and says, “Ah, those must be tears of joy!” She responds, “I’m dying of cancer!” The rabbi buys the priest a drink.
    (rabbi-priest joke)

  36. “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Or did it? On our wedding day! If it really WAS our wedding day!”

    [Conspiracy theories]

  37. A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Finally! Time for our wedding night.

    [Necrophilic erotica]

  38. A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Tentacles! On our wedding day!

    [japanese erotica OR Lovecraftian horror]

  39. A Level 20 Epic Final Tear Of Mourning dripped down her dying cheek, splashing onto her +5 Holy Avenger. Horrid Wilting! On her Royal Elven Wedding Day! Someone get a Level 10 Cleric and a 10,000 GP diamond, quickly!


  40. Renowned cancer surgeon Charles Quackenbush read the message on his pager and called for his jacket. A final tear staggered across the recently married woman’s thundering face. Working. On our wedding day!

    [Dan Brown]

  41. “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Raptors! On our wedding day!”(alt-text: But since we already paid for the room and she’s really hot, your sister has agreed to stand in for the honeymoon) [XKCD]

  42. A final tear dripped down her dusty cheek and onto the arrow in her chest. Injuns! On our weddin’ day! [Western]

  43. MSG:12/44-99345.89[wide] o:LastTear x:DustyCheek -> Drip Drip!
    MSG:12/44-99345.90[wide] o:DustyCheek x:LastTear -> What was that? On their wedding day?

    [Iain M Banks (Excession)]

  44. The happy tear made it’s way through the eyelash forest and over big cheek mountain. Oh, what adventures to be had on the way to see the brave prince’s wedding to the beautiful princess.

  45. A tear dripped down her cheek. He rejoined the team! On their wedding day! [sports fiction]

    A tear dripped down her cheek. A poop joke! On our wedding day! [wondermark]

    A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. I found out about her affair with my half brother while I was presumed dead! On our wedding day! [soap opera]

  46. Someone should take a few words from late XIX century’s books, collage them and tag it with a few anachronisms and tag it [Wondermark]

  47. A tear descends the curve of her powdered cheek. Beheading! On Bastille Day! [Revolution-era French Literature]

    She stood stiffly at my desk. I could tell at a glance she was more than a dame with a great pair of legs. The tear on her cheek said it all: Murder. It must be my birthday. [Mid-Twentieth Century Detective/Crime Drama]

    The salt farm forms its final flood-soldier
    A solitary footman winding a silent way.
    Alas, a massacre! In the mead hall of my ancestors. [Anglo-Saxon Literature)

  48. A bittersweet tear dripped down her cheek as she carved another hunk from his hindquarters. Delicious! Such a nourishing first birthday! [Jonathan Swift]

  49. A soggy tear dripped down her already heavily made-up cheek. A broken nail! On a Wednesday! Life was SO unfair to her. [really crappy teen novel]

    A final tear dripped down her no-longer dying cheek. A miracle! On Christmas! [christmas-y]

    A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. A hurricane! On her wedding day! [disaster memoir]

  50. Then one last salty tear
    her nose slid rather near
    as it wended its way down her cheek.
    ‘Cos I’d rather be wedded
    and hopefully bedded
    to one whose life wasn’t so bleak.
    But I’d rather be wedded–
    I’d much less regret it–
    to some poor beheaded young miss
    Than the smelly undeaded
    gal standing here fetid
    on th’alter awaiting my kiss.
    [Gilbert and Sullivan and Zombies]

    A final tear dripped down her dying cheek, glowing faintly in the soothing light of the monitor . Twitter truncation! On our creativity da

  51. A single tear ran down her cheek and landed in the cake batter. now mix in the softened butter and baking soda. (cookbook)

  52. A final (laser) slid down her (birdseed). (Tomatoes)! On her (Battle of Bunker Hill) day!

  53. A final combined drop of saline, lysozyme, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephalin slid down her cheek. Science! On our wedding day!(rom/eroctica for scientists)

  54. A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Cancer! Three weeks before her wedding day! [time travel]

    A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Exterminated! Three weeks before her wedding day! [Doctor Who]

    A final, glittering diamond of a tear dripped with glacial slowness down my…er… her ivory pale and deathly dying cheek. Uncurable (even by House, Doogie Howser and Hippocrates) Cancer! On her most glorious of wedding days! [Mary Sue]

  55. A woman in tears seen one day
    had said of her by all “well hey,
    The prognosis is bad,
    It’s certainly sad,
    Cancer, on her wedding day!”


  56. A tear of righteous indignation rolled down his furry simian cheek. Filthy humans, a menace, a walking pestilence! [Planet of the Apes]

  57. I saw the best tears of my generation destroyed by
    cancer, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves down the negro cheeks at dawn
    looking for an angry wedding day

  58. A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Cancer? Onmy wedding day? It is more likely than you think. Free PC check. [Pop-up ads]

  59. Tear. Cheek. Falling off. Gone again. Oh well. Final. Stop. Again. Tear. What’s this? Wretched. Crippled. Moving. Tear. On her wedding day. No. Stop. Start again. Can’t. Oh well. Like that. Tear again. Tear harder. [later Beckett]

  60. A final tear dripped down Arwen’s dying cheek. Elrond turned to Aragorn. “See what your selfishness has caused, o mortal man.”

  61. A drop of occular discharge moves, due to gravity, down her facial cheek. Malignant Neoplasm occurs on our day of Espousal! [Medical/Technical Journal]

  62. Caught in mid-motion, a last tear forms a moist near-vertical line
    Above it, an eye throws a mesmerised glance on a letter, thrown carelessly
    Near the pile of wedding invitations, and the checked page of the
    Calendar; the writing’s mostly covered by the torn
    Envelope, but the last few lines are clearly (and irrevocably)

  63. A final tear dripped down her dying cheek, drowning the Galactic Battle Robot Army sent by Prince Kxthrax to stop the wedding but which, owing to a typographical error at the Galactic Battle Robot Plant, were each the size of an amoeba.

    (Douglas Adams)

  64. The largest tear ever to roll down a cancer patient’s cheek on their wedding day was 1½ cm², recorded on August 26, 1993 on Mary Leighton of Brookshire, England. [record book]

  65. “Watson, Did I tell you I recently published a monograph of the correlation between tears and various illnesses? This tear trail is from a bride-to-be who suffered and died from cancer!” “Amazing, Holmes! But how do you know she was to be married?” “Elementary, Watson. Most women do not wear white veils unless they are going to be married that day.” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

  66. This is a paltry follow-up to some, but:

    A final tear dripped down Hermione’s cheek. Voldemort! On the day of her graduation from Hogwarts! [Harry Potter]

    A final tear dripped down Laura Roslin’s cheek. Cancer! Later to be eclipsed by a Cylon invasion! [A literary version of the Battlestar pilot, with terrible foreshadowing]

  67. A single tear slid down the dame’s cheek. Cancer! Seriously, cancer. on her wedding day, too. Somehow, I knew there was more to it.
    (Pulp detective fiction)

  68. Adun hir cheek runnen a tear,
    As did hir lif’s end draweth near.
    The Plage! Why such penaunce and sorrowe,
    And eek upon their marriage morrowe?


  69. [Ok, someone had to …]

    Captain’s Log, stardate 3145.7
    Counsellor Troi has been looking exceptionally teary today. I wonder what’s wrong, I thought getting married would have made you happy.
    Reminder: Must change Worf’s litter tray.

    [sorry ;-)]

  70. The locus of the final element of the functional set T followed a smooth contour extending downwards from the origin, as seen in Figure 6.4. Using Cauchy’s residue theorem, we see that the resultant integral has property C if and only the integral is embedded in the Hilbert space W, where C and W have previously been defined.

  71. [Strip #500]
    “My dad committed suicide! On my birthday! While I was listening to Daft Punk!”

    [Questionable Content]

  72. A salty tear dripped through the soot and blood, down Captain Flint’s scarred, weather-beaten cheek. There be Ninjas! On our plunderin’ day!

    [Internet Culture Action Drama]

  73. A final tear dripped down his cold, hard cheek, his skin sparkling in the sunlight. Teenage angst! On the day he almost drank my blood but didn’t!


  74. I was going to write a David Foster Wallace one, but I realized there was no way in hell to write one sentence in 140 characters, to say nothing of the footnotes.

  75. Tallied tears tilled her tender, terminally tainted tissue. Tumor! Oh, terrible tale to tell, timidly tarrying till toast time.

    [Postmodern alliterative revivalism]

  76. “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek, well didn’t really drip, but sort of sauntered down in a way belying the melancholy of the situation. Anyway, it was tragic. And on her wedding day!” [Terry Pratchett]

    ” WEDDING DAY WITH LASERS” [Michael Bay]

  77. the 1001st tear dripped down her pearl-adorned cheek. Unfinished stories! On every wedding night!

    [Oriental Mythology and Folklore]

  78. cast on two tear-stitches. Slip one tear and work even until halfway down cheek. On next row, begin work in “cancer”, working alternate rows with “wedding day”.

    (knitting pattern)

  79. She seemed to grow pale as a tear fell from her blue eyes, dropping on the tumbled locks of fair hair dressed without powder and tied with a blue riband. Scandal! A misalliance! How provoking! [Regency romance]

  80. A final tear slid down her cheek. ‘Ifrits! On our wedding day!’ At this point Shahrazad saw the approach of morning and discreetly fell silent.

    [Arabian Night]

    A last tear emerged and dripped down her cheek and caught the bloodstained dying sunlight. What happened here sir.
    Cancer. On our wedding day.

    [Cormac McCarthy]

    Tear! Descent! Cheek! Death! Cancer! Wedding! Day!


    The flashes of wit and insight are so rare that one brought a final tear to my eye. An Exercises in Style knockoff! On my wedding day!

    [Recursive Negative Review]

  81. At last, the final dewy tear slid down Cosette’s delicate face and she ceased weeping. Grapeshot wounds! It was December 16, 1832– her wedding day! She stood there, her very soul filled despair, yet at the same time full of a quiet sense of triumph, knowing that she would soon join God, and those she had loved would live on keeping her with them. It was in much the same way that Napoleon faced his defeat, his fatal mistake. . .
    [Les Misérables]
    (Far too long for Twitter, but there’s Hugo for you.)

  82. A tear, why am I crying, so many people go through this and I bet on their wedding days too. But I will never be a wife, and that may be the saddest thing I’ve ever (that nurse has terrible makeup) heard of and it’s happening to me what could be worse? I was going to get married, I was going to be married (like the nurse may never be either) and my whole self hurts right now even though there’s morphine I wonder how morphine works there’s all these needles in me how terrible–
    [stream of consciousness / Faulkner]

  83. While the premise seems compelling at first, the cheesy, melodramatic tear scene, stifly delivered “Cancer!” line, and altogether predictable attempt at tragic irony earns this story two thumbs way down. (a critic’s bad review)

  84. A tear dripped down her pale cheek and onto her hospital sheets. Obscure medical condition, one that only her old lover that she never got over from can operate! On her wedding day!

    [Old medical drama]

    She let the last drop of the 8000IU of heparin drip into her pale patient’s IV, as she set the supply of oxygen to 50%. Two cases of pulmonary embolism, and an unstable comatose! On the day of her first date with the hot anesthesiologist she’s had a crush on for two seasons!

    [‘Modern’ medical drama]

  85. That’s not my bride – her cheeks are too dry
    That’s not my bride – her neoplasm is too benign
    That’s my bride – her cancer has ruined our wedding day

    [‘Thats not my…’ books]

    Mick: She cried.
    Aston: You would.
    [water drips into a bucket]
    Mick: It was cancer.
    Aston: Mmm?
    Mick: We were getting married.
    [another drip]
    [longer pause]
    Aston: Shame.
    Davies: I’m so tired.


  86. A final tear slid down his cheek
    One eye taken, hung from the tree
    Into the void, the runes he sought
    On his day of enlightenment

    (Norse Edda)

  87. 4. What is the significance of the tear that runs down her cheek on her wedding day? Is the cancer diagnosis real or merely symbolic?
    (Book club reading guide)

  88. Cancer! And AIDS! And swine flue! Polonium 210! On the second time she was trying to get married after marvellously having survived the first!

  89. Junkie Bob bawled. The Pachuco’s Outta dope! On Friday night! (James Ellroy)

    Please excuse my crying to assist me. My wife, former Minister of Finance, she has recently died with cancer, just beyond our marriage, and left amount of 2.75 mil. Euros in account to be transferred in your name. (Nigerian Scam)

  90. Marriage, like syphilis, is generally a lot more fun to acquire than to actually live with, and just like syphilis, it is a life-long social embarrassment the affliction of which one does best not to admit to in mixed company. Should the latter liberate one from the former, however, a single tear of relief is often an apt response.
    [Oscar Wilde]

  91. A crystal tear of exquisite craftmanship adorns her adorable porcelain cheeks. Inside her dainty chest is a tumor of the finest imported mahogany. Delight in her wedding every day for years to come! Only eight easy payments of $15.99. (ad copy for awful figurine)

  92. “What ho? I say! Is she crying, Jeeves?”
    “Yes, sir. Likely it’s the cancer, sir.”
    “And on her wedding day, too! What rotten luck!”
    “Indeed, sir.”
    (P.G. Wodehouse)

  93. Tears upon ‘er wedding day, because she’s got the cancer,
    But when the lads sailed into town, they’d all line up to lance ‘er!
    Hi-ho, away boys, hi-ho away!
    (dirty sea chanty)

  94. Three panel page, two above, one beneath occupying two-thirds of the page.
    First panel: Closeup of Lois’ cheek, a single tear leaves a track as it rolls down. “Sniff.”
    Second Panel: Medium view of the scene in the church, the pastor, the bride and a few attendants. There is a marked empty space and motion lines where the groom should be. Lois, “Sniff.”
    Third Panel: Full frame of Lois stomping up the aisle in disgust and anger. Muttering to self “Brainiac!?! On our wedding day!”

  95. As she removed the head of the bear costume a single tear fell down her cheek. The midget turned cartwheels on the lawn, yelling over the din of the motorcycle “Cancer! On your wedding day!”
    [John Irving]

  96. A final tear dripped down her cheek. Voldermort killed her boyfriend! At the Tri Wizard Cup!
    J.K. Rowling

  97. A final tear dripped down her inflamed cheek. an obscure social faux pas ! On her wedding day to Mr Darcy! What will people think!


  98. Dry those tears, because YOU have just won our dream wedding package! All expenses paid, including a week at the cancer research clinic!
    [game show script]

  99. I am appalled by your lack of taste in running such a story! On my wedding day! If this continues I will cancel my subscription immediately!
    [letter to the editor]

  100. A mango-pickle-flavoured tear dripped down her cheek, the fury in her eyes reflected in the yellow glare of the burning chutney factory. “How could you? With your beloved sister-ji! And on her wedding day!” [Salman Rushdie]

  101. Embiggen your wedding day!

    Canadian Pharmaceutical great deals on medicaments for cancer, tamoxifen, acai berry. Generic C_1_4_L_1_S Click here to unsubscribe!

  102. A tear shot from her cock and knocked out a horse from a distance of 15 metres on her wedding day [transvestite sex championship tournament]

  103. And She Did Cry! For SHE had discovered SHE had the Devil’s own Disease! Yes, I’m talking about Cancer! And it was On her Wedding Day! And What did SHE do? She got down on her knees, and Prayed! She prayed for Healing! She prayed for Grace! And above all, She Prayed for Forgiveness from Our Almighty Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And although she died, we should all hear of her courages example, To NEVER lose heart! That God Is Greater than ALL things!
    *Choir Bursts into song*
    He is Greater!

    [Christian Sermon]

  104. “While reports of a ‘final tear’ are yet to be substantiated, sources say the cancer diagnosis came on her wedding day”
    [News Report]

    Final Tears! Could they Cause Cancer? And is Nu Labour stealing Taxpayers’ Wedding Days for Immigrants!?
    [The Daily Mail]

    Given Rawls’ conception of ‘final tears’, his argument for the application of a Kantian principles fails to recognise the dislocation that cancer imputes to non-political social contracts, such as wedding days.
    [Political philosophy]

  105. A single tear of gratitude fell – strippers! Kegs of cheap domestic beer! Jägermeister shots! At his bachelor party!

  106. Once upon a wedding dreary, there she wandered, tried and teary,
    Over many a cyst and sarcoma deep within her dying core —

  107. “I’m gonna make ‘im an offer he can’t refuse. It’s the day of my daughter’s wedding.”

  108. A final drop of blood dripped down hid dying cheek. He was leaving that afternoon for his wedding day! Cancer is hell.

    [All’s Quiet On The Western Front]

  109. a final tear rolled down her cheek when she discovered she had cancer on her wedding day(citation needed)


  110. A final tear rolled down her cheek; she looked like a spaniel that has just been told its dinner will be late.
    “It’s a rummy thing, Jeeves,” I said. “Who’d have thunk it! Cancer, on our wedding day!”
    “Well, sir, I did take the liberty of looking into Miss Foster’s medical records. It seemed unlikely that you would have to follow through on your arrangements.”
    “Oh? Fancy that. Very good, Jeeves!”


  111. The Husband:
    “A final tear dripped down her dying cheek. Cancer! On our wedding day!”

    The Physician:
    “I cried – I had so nearly saved the patient, only to lose her in the end. All my staff were heroes today.”

    The wife (speaking through a medium)
    “That tear was not mine, but his! Death held no terror, compared to living with him… ”

    The cancer (who later adopts an orphan [?]) :
    “HAHAHAHAHA!! How pathetic they are! But I can’t take the credit – it was the Doctor’s fault she died!”

    [Akira Kurosawa]

  112. I fed the river with a tear, as on its banks I sat and wept. A ‘cease and desist’ order by Borges! On the day my fey beloved I am to wed!

    [Paulo Coelho]

  113. When you said your fiancee was drop-dead gorgeous . . .
    . . . I didn’t realize you meant it literally! Condolences.

    [horrible greeting card from the “Sympathy-Humorous” section]

  114. Re-write this passage, correcting errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation:

    Dripping down her cheek, I observed a tear. Its her weeding day, she has Cancer. [standardized test study guide]

  115. “An easily-avoided tear dripped down her disappointed cheek. Erectile dysfunction! On our honeymoon!”

    [Pharmaceutical brochure / late-night infomercial]

  116. A fumscullious tear ran down her scrumdiddlyumptous cheek. A cell gone scuzzled off its wump! On our wedding day!

    (Roald Dahl)

    At Hauskuldstede, in Laxriverdale, dwelt a man named Hauskuld, who was Dalakoll’s son, and his mother’s name was Thorgerda, who had a brother named Hrut, dwelling at Hrutstede. Hauskuld had a daughter to be married to Farfrig, son of Vjaskeld and Brumhilda. Hauskuld said to Hrut, “Is she not fair?” Hrut answered, “Fair indeed, but whence in our family came the cancerous growths, I know not.” And Hauskuld was wroth, as tears did slide down the maiden’s cheek.

    (Norse saga)

  117. A final tear slid down the senator’s cheek. Anthrax/VX poison gas/nuclear attack! On Inauguration Day!

    [Tom Clancy]

  118. On my wedding day I will cry because:
    [ ] I’m so happy!
    [ ] The groom is somehow wearing that horrible old tie that really doesn’t work with my dress even though I bought him a nice new one weeks ago.
    [ ] I’m getting married, duh!
    [ ] I’m dying from cancer.

    [stupid “know yourself” quiz]

  119. blushingbride1988: i have cancer
    gr00mtobe: orly?
    blushingbride1988: yarly no joke
    gr00mtobe: u must be jking
    blushingbride1988: no im not
    gr00mtobe: omgomgomgomg wut about our wedding
    blushingbride1988: i gess we shud cancel the dj

    [im talk]

  120. By the path of the tear, Watson, we can determine the victim was unmarried when the cancer was discovered.

    [Sherlock Holmes]

    So we drip upwards, tears against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the eyes.

    [The Great Gatsby]

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