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will babysit for little $$$

by Ben White

hi my name is melissa i am 13teen I am looking oppurtunities to babysit I have babysitted before for my little brother and he was 1 2 and 3 be4 he dyed but dont wurry i didnt kill him he had a diseaze I promise I only want $5 an hour and plz I really am a good babysitter you will see ONE THING I ONLY BABYSIT ON WEEKENDS CUZ I HAVE SCHOOL AND I WOULD LIKE TO PAYED UP FRONT PLZ thank you have a great day one more thing if you want you can call my mom or dad if you don trust me i understand but they will tell you i am trustworthy if you email me i will give you ther phone numbers you have to call them separately becuz they arent together anymore but email me.

Author's Note

There's nothing wrong with traditional stories. The classic narrative isn't broken.

But recently I've been thinking a lot about the stories that exist in the background of daily conversation, of emails and Craigslist, Twitter and Facebook and and and. The stories that people who would never self-identify as writers tell about themselves every day.

When we think about all the wonderful things stories can do (and what contemporary literature can do when it wants to), we think—among other things—about exploring humanity, creating empathy, and making readers think. We can craft as many beautiful sentences as we like, and we can pepper our plots with strange details in order to lift our characters from the page or the screen—but there is something effective and almost carelessly poignant about real stories. And by real, I don’t mean factually true; I mean the use of real, every day forms to help uncover the compelling stories and characters that exist everywhere. Even a personal ad, with its close relationship to the minutia of everyday life, can ask a reader to think and feel.

I've trawled Craigslist to find stories to tell and to share them as honestly as I could, and I’ve since come to the conclusion that its archives probably contain the single biggest repository of human experience. By accident.

Ben White studies medicine in Texas with his beautiful wife and edits Nanoism, a publication for Twitter-sized fiction. Visit:

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