When I say that it was tough for micro-fiction author Tim Sevenhuysen, co-editor Jill Pullara and myself to judge the winners of our first annual birthday contest, I’m not exaggerating. We received over 25 entries from 17 participants (because a person could enter more than once), and all of them were very, very good.
Below, in no specific order, you can see examples of entries we thought were serious contenders:
by Dashiell Powers
He refused to believe that it was over. Despite his best efforts, he was just too good at it to stay forever. He’d seen many come and go, and only a few remained. He waved goodbye one last time.
John, at twenty years old, was finally forced to graduate kindergarten.
(Based, sadly, on a true story)
by Ray Stillwell
Jill brought the newspaper ad to her knitting group:
For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.
She’d answered the ad. They now knit blankets for babies stillborn at a nearby hospital. For a few moments at the end of a tragedy, they can be held with love, and buried with dignity.
The Fifty First Word
by W. V. Kahler
The famous Detective stroked his petite mustache as he looked sternly at the gathered suspects.
They, in return, waited in trepidation for his declaration.
After twenty minutes of verbal reconstruction of the sinister events—followed by two minute of deafening silence—he removed his pince-nez and announced:
“The murderer is
The Dangers of Genre
by Jeffrey Williams
“Just…have to stop,” Emily thought.
She didn’t stop. She typed, “It climbed the stairs; its footsteps shook the house,” and her house shook.
“Just have to stop….”
She typed that it burst through the door. Her door burst open.
“It saw her.” Weeping, fighting, Emily typed. “Now it had her.”
by Art Carey
Driven by an uncontrollable, ravenous hunger, Ethan wielded the gleaming spoon like a lethal weapon, stabbing and scooping the sodden grains of rice, barley and rolled oats with ferocious energy. But his photo would never appear on the wall of a post office because he was only a cereal killer.
The winners are as follows:
Tim Sevenhuysen’s Choice:
A Trashy Story
by Chris J. Fries
In a neglected corner of a sprawling trash heap, a tattered teddy bear softly shed a tear of joy.
The rumbling bulldozer had made a rare visit, dredging up a broken dolly in the dozer’s diesel wake.
Dolly smiled at Teddy through dirty blue eyes.
Teddy was no longer alone.
Jill Pullara’s Choice
The 8:15 Train
by D.C. McMillen
We purposely collided on the 8:15. Before reaching this pivotal moment, we’d spent weeks admiring each other from afar. She laughed, taking the blame for our faux collision. Some small talk, then we played hooky at a nearby hotel. Now I take the 7:45.
Trisha Lynn’s Choice
I Think Yes
by Leslie Hanna
I’m blocking the tall guy’s camera with florid Bhangra dance moves but he’s nice, laughs, says “you’re awesome,” kisses me on the cheek.
Away we dance.
Later he finds me, pulls me aside.
“I have a confession.”
Whispers, “My name is Diego. I’m not Indian.
Smiles. “Can we get together anyway?”
Each of the above will receive an electronic edition of Sevenhuysen’s book Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One. In addition, a $25 gift certificate will go to D. C. McMillen as our Grand Prize winner, who chose to go with Amazon.com as the online retailer of choice.
Congratulations to all of our entrants and happy birthday to us!