Photo by Tai’s Captures on Unsplash

“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.” ― Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon


It was a sunny day in August when we met while [OMIT ROUTINE ACTIVITY] and you caught my eye. Although I totally embarrassed myself by [OMIT NON-EMBARRASSING ACTION], you didn’t care. I was surprised you asked for my [OMIT CONTACT INFO].


There is no time like the present to change your mind.

Photo created by benzoix from Wepik. Edited by author.
  1. I’m sorry you left.

2. Did I say something wrong?

3. I’ve been thinking about you.

4. Have you made plans with someone new?

5. I feel our relationship ended with a premature cancellation.

6. There is no time like the present to change your mind.

7. I made a list of movies I know you’ll enjoy.

8. Let’s have a do-over. Then, we can watch your favorite comedy, The Do-Over.

9. Tell me what you like, so you can see less of what you don’t.

10. I wasn’t enough for you, until now. Check out my upgraded package.


I am not only a treat for your eyes, but also a treat for your mouth!

Photo by Jojo Yuen (sharemyfoodd) on Unsplash

You begged that poor ice cream artisan to make the perfect swirl. That’s how you scored exclusive access to the trendiest and most expensive soft serve on the planet: me.

Though you’re accustomed to giving orders, get used to taking orders. Stop letting me melt while you photograph me. If you insist on Snapchatting me without my permission, at least have the decency to use a glittery filter. While you need a filter to wear a crown, I come with my own mini diamond-encrusted tiara.

Do you know who I am? I’m a mixture of organic matcha and activated charcoal…

Some call Dining in the Abyss unnecessary, but I call it groundbreaking.

Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

When I created the ultimate dining experience of eating in a pitch-black isolation tank, I thought that removing sound, sight, and gravity would heighten customers’ sense of taste. What I failed to realize is my military-grade isolation tanks also removed the ability to easily digest anything. Sorry if you would like a refund for your $250 five-course meal, but here at Dining in the Abyss, once we receive your money it ceases to exist.

And I’m so sorry you were unable to appreciate our expert wine pairing by our in-tank sommelier, Theodore Chianti. Perhaps your palate isn’t refined enough to…

Unlike other trendy diets, this diet is a lifestyle that you cannot reverse

Image by Sergei Tokmakov from Pixabay

Before trying the Siren’s Secret diet, I was merely a mortal unaccustomed to preying on the lives of innocent sailors. I’ve tried so many diets and none have allowed me to eat what I want to eat, while singing haunting laments on craggy rocks. That is, until I found the Siren’s Secret diet.

Ever since I was a teenager, I would look at sirens in magazines and wonder: how could I possibly achieve that half-bird, half-human body that men crave so much? Fad dieting and fitness trends left me with a boring, unattractive human body. …

Your purchases pay my therapy bills.

Image by the author.

All items in my closet are eligible for a special two-for-one deal. For every two items you purchase, I will throw in one lavender-scented sock to soak up your tears for free!

Imposter Syndrome Denim Jacket

Price: $45, although I feel I’m not qualified to set these prices.
Description: You will become a denim-clad superhero in this jacket! Well, you’ll become a denim-clad superhero who wonders: “Should I really continue to fight crime when I only saved 99 out of 100 people?” In the front pocket, you’ll find my Master in Fine Arts diploma folded into a tiny square. …


It’s me, your brain, and I’m under attack!

Photo by Franck on Unsplash

I have been hacked by intrusive thoughts! I recommend enabling two-factor authentication for a clearer mindset.

Step One: Go to “Manage My Brain.”

After shuffling through your cyclical thoughts such as I’m crazy and I’m not normal, please find the “Manage My Brain” button located in your hypothalamus. It’s wedged in between that video of two snuggling sloths in pajamas and that memory of ripping your jeans while bending down at your locker in middle school.

Step Two: Type in your password.

Enter your password, which is probably your dog’s name + the number of times you call yourself an unloveable monster.

Incorrect password, huh? Ugh, I hate to say this, but we…

I had no idea how much work would be required to stay afloat!

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

I have found my paradise!

Congrats, you found a teaching job after fifty applications, fifteen interviews, and fourteen rejections. Paradise, for me, is the name of the cruise ship I just fell off of.

“I am living my dream.”

Your dream is tricking partially-literate teens into caring about symbolism. My dream is making whale noises to signal for help while fooling nearby predators.

“I will be brave and fearless.”

Teenagers, like sharks, can smell fear. They know that you are new; therefore, you are easy chum. I reject the notion that I am easy chum; I use the power of suggestion to manifest an invisible barrier around me. …

TOXIC is worth 14 points.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

He called pizza ZA. 11 points.

He could never remember that you preferred bread and butter pickles over GHERKINS. 16 points.

He was way too close with his college roommate JO. Like, take-a-boys’-hiking trip-twice-a-year-and-once-on-Valentine’s-Day close. Double Word Score, 18 points.

YOWZA! Your dog absolutely hated him. 20 points.

Those earrings he gave you for your birthday appeared QUARTZY, but were actually made of nickel, which you are allergic to. 28 points.

He QUIZIFIED you for wearing llama footie pajamas in your mid-thirties when he quotes Spongebob unironically. 31 points.

His hands got SQUEEZY around your female relatives to the point…

Some are born pretentious, some achieve pretentiousness, and some thrust their pretentiousness upon others.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

6:00am: I rise at the call of a rooster. ’Tis my phone alarm. Every other day I am a lowly groundling who manages a Burger King, but today is April 23rd, the day of Shakespeare’s birth — the day I become the Bard himself.

6:05am: I meditate over my copy of Shakespeare’s collected works and recite Macbeth’s dagger soliloquy. If only my high school drama teacher Mrs. Brackenbury could see my acting now. She would rue that day she cast me as Fleance.

6:27am: My wife toils in our bedroom as she fastens the many strings of my doublet, which…

Nat Hrvatin

Nat Hrvatin is a writer, educator, and performer from Cleveland, Ohio. Website:

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