I was reading a book of short stories, which included one by David Brin called 'Toujours Voir'. It was a precision short story, exactly 250 words long, and Brin described this sort of fish as 'a fable written to very exacting standards. One type of a precision story is the 250 word tale. The rule is simply this. The story must be 250 words in length. Not one word longer, not one word shorter. And it must _work_ as a story.' And this is what Brin said about writing one: 'It is like pulling teeth. Like using a tiny pick to make one of those incredible, interlocking Chinese puzzles. Frustrating!' So... here's my attempt. I managed fewer hyphens and polysyllabic words than Brin did in his, but I doubt that means I did a better job at sticking to 250 words- it just means my story's a lot simpler to read. And I'm not convinced it meets the requirements of working as a story, either, but my little shelf in the library is still pretty slim pickings so you'll have to settle for what you can get. Heh. I'm sure you can see the Lackey influence. One of these days I'll try again with my own ideas, aye wot? ;)
I wrote this while I was in Australia, over the course of a couple months or so. It's a poem, not a story (as should be immediately apparent!), but I think the concept fits well enough.
This is... a kind of a revisitation of 'Ornithology Lab', but in a very different setting and very different world. The main character, however, has a similar kind of abruptly discovered talent. It probably feels rather unfinished- that's because it probably is. If people like it, I might be motivated to continue with it. ;)