Pin It
Favorite

101-WORD FICTION CONTEST Part 1 

Entries 1-31


Compiled by Michael Bowen





Precious Things


He's always hoped it'd be beautiful. It was. The water was both sheer and solid. Multiplied shades of color, it was full of imagination, but clear. Finally, it was ready.


He carried it the seven or eight blocks through city traffic. It was hot out, and the cold air-conditioned gallery was welcome. Politely, he greeted the manger, and showed his work.


The manager scanned him and said, "We don't want it here."


The artist left to go home.


The manager counted his cash, locked up, and went to a fashionable place to eat and to look at fashionable things on the wall.


-- Brenda Vanderwilde





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


Seven grim figures rose out of the moonlight. They wore loose black tunics that shrouded their lithe bodies in gloom. And fierce, elegantly curved swords hung from their belts.


Their silence pressed on me, clouding my mind. They seemed to evaporate into thing air, leaving nothing but a dark whisper. Suddenly, the shadows shifted; a swift, sleek, ghost of night leapt forward and the leader of the seven appeared, his sword trained at my master. I understood then that my only hope was to run down the cavern ... and pray that the scroll did not escape my tight grasp.


-- Alison Roy-Ting, age 13





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


Spokane, Washington, since I have been here I have failed to meet women. Women have rejected me more than any other place I have been to. It is not like I made myself ugly but without a lot of this material stuff the women like, it is hard to keep them interested. Trying to strike up a conversation is like our anal probes back in the 18th century. Well, at least being alone I can take off this human exterior shell. Back at my planet, I am beautiful and accepted. I can guarantee you we won't be trying to occupy Spokane.


-- Brian Schwebach





& amp; & amp;





Hieroglyphic Dog-Men


She reached down and started the car, with her little credit card. I grabbed her wrist with my left hand.


"Look, Ms. Day," I said.


She reached over the wheel with her left hand, threw the thing in gear and stomped on the gas.


"We're late," she said.


I let go of her arm. I rolled the glass down and lit a cig.


"We have to drive to Lexington," she said.


"You mean Lix-in-tin, doan-cha," I said, trying to talk with a Southern drawl.


"Don't let's get started with that," she said, very Southern ... to me, anyway ... Pure Kentucky ... pure American, I thought. A real Lady.


-- J.A. Gwinn ("a 47-year-old semi-retired semi driver with way too much time on his hands!")





& amp; & amp;





Absolute Fiction


It was sometimes difficult to remember her name, but it would come; usually. Sometimes he couldn't remember. That was scary. Maybe it had been a long time ago.


"Why didn't they stay together?" his friend had asked the other "What happened to her?" his friend asked. he didn't know, and now was sorry he'd brought it up.


Sometimes he wonders if he would recognize her. What could he do if he saw her? What could he do?


But he does remember. He remembers occasionally. what never could be and what always was. He remembers that.


-- Brenda VanderWilde





& amp; & amp;





The Missing Buttons


As Sara pulled the gold dress over her head, she thought it didn't feel the same, so as she straightened out the folds to swirl around her feet, she noticed the two gold buttons were gone from the collar. They were always fastened to the collar, as it shaped a fan around her head.


The buttons had been cut off.


This was going to be a happy night, she knew Jim was going to ask her to marry him, and he loved the gold dress.


But who would do such a thing? The maid, she trusted so much. The new butler?


-- Nina L. Bauer


I am 88 years old and this is my first story. I am a button collector and am selling my buttons.


Was looking at them on the table and read your ad, so here it is. Thank you.








& amp; & amp;





How It Was


A Spokane park was designated for homeless camping. Call it "Loma Vista." The NOPS (Neighborhood Oriented Policing) volunteers were overseers. All laws on the books were enforced. The homeless camping ban was no longer on the books. Running water and Porta-Potties were available. Sprinklers only worked where tents were not. People came to visit and bring snacks. Campers did odd jobs to get cash. Campers did day labor to work out of their predicament. This was from 2004 through 2014. Then world democratic socialism caught up with us. Homelessness and poverty were gone. So was billionairism.


-- Barbara Lampert





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


It hurts me to know that your love for us is "faux." I loved you from my heart and soul. You just love on the outside -- something you put with like a national holiday. Doesn't it mean anything to you, knowing how much I wanted more kids? But my love for you was everything that if I couldn't have any more. Because of you being fixed (was enough) because I thought you loved me all these years. I've learned that being in love was just "geography."


It was just a strong feeling in the beginning that one (or) two people feel with lust.


-- Alice Hernandez





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


It was a late winter evening, and the sun was setting at 6:10 in a shameless orange. Its defiance did not surprise me; I have seen the way that color retreats.


Orange does not lose easily.


In a photograph of my father, for instance. it's an old photograph but the orange in his shirt is still formidable in the picture. Under it and under his shoulders, his back is slouched and tired. Orange shows the art but the body shows the pain, and the expectation of more pain, and the life-is-a-long-day-riding-the-bus-and-I'm-the-only-one-not-sharing-a-seat kind of pain.


Orange does not win often.


-- Gabrielle Harsch





& amp; & amp;





At the Wedding


The two girls faced each other at long last, like bulls in a ring; the one glanced timidly around anywhere but at the target, the other started directly into her opponent's eyes. Unlike the toros of Spain, however, this was no match, and what was visible to the casual observer was not so, for the timid one had already conquered an the seemingly brave one tremble inside. It cost the courageous girl more than even she know to be strong. She was at long last meeting the girl who had -- unwittingly or not -- taken from her what she cherished most: Her dreams.


-- Erynne Dutton





& amp; & amp;





Mum's the Word


Jennifer had had it with her mom. Always harping at her about something. Now it was about not smoking.


"Don't ever let me catch you puffing on one of those filthy things," her mother had said.


Jennifer was home from school early and went directly to what she called her secret closet to smoke. "Mom!"


-- David Millican





& amp; & amp;





Heartfelt


Through tear-filled eyes, the young children gazed at the smoking ruins of their home. Orphans now, they were hurried away. Without space for both at either aunt or uncle's homes, boxes of files would remain in separate closet shelves for two decades. Coming from nearby school districts, a summer project brought them together. Friendship and affection developed. Engagement news was announced to Andrew's parents, with angry demands to end the relationship. On visiting Amy' s home, the old "family box" included an adoption paper, proving they weren't biological brother and sister. Plans could now continue for their "happy ever after."


-- Mary K. Cady





& amp; & amp;





The Tunnel


The tunnel is hidden just a few paces from the houses residing on the upper east end of Manito Park. I'm sure other people have been there before, but we like to think we discovered it. It's like our tunnel of dreams, the leaves on the surrounding trees representing past hopes and future expectations. With high school just around the corner and middle school fading silently into the distance, the tunnel remains: a bridge between two great milestones. I sit here now, writing, and suddenly a friend enters and sits on a nearby log. "Wanna talk?" he says. I smile.


-- Rachel Brow, age 14





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


This bear walks into the Rat Race Saloon and growls, "I'm a black belt, and I can take any rodent in the place!" Gophers dive behind the bar, squirrels leap for the rafters, and mice flee for their lives. the bartender, an old marmot, chitters, "Easy there, Karate Boy!" The bear rushes him, snarling, "Need a tummy tuck, yeller belly?" The marmot clocks him with a jug of mead, a fermented drink made of honey. "Bee swarm comin' in the winder!" cackles the marmot. Out the swinging doors sprints the mead-drenched bear, never again to give a rodent sass.


-- Eileen Edgren





& amp; & amp;





To Sleep on a Sofa, Near You


Events, great thief of my days, squiggled at the end like smoke. I spoke using props like a sandwich and finger-puppets to tell you something last time. Since the future meant "unpredictable," I was completely unable to anticipate your arrival. I wonder if you will even follow me. Derrida said one's eyes never change; one's childhood exists in the look of the eyes and has no age. Then he told me to live right is to consider zero. I felt like the prettiest girl at the dance. An impossible confidence roiled in my gut. Was it some-ONE or some-THING I loved?


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Circles for Landing


One pigeon afraid of heights turns in circles on the girder. In a similar manner, my friend -- Truculent -- who normally only saves his mouth for expanding and contracting brief storage, slowly finds his circle stamped in ignorance or personal individuality.


This relationship is known only through other township pigeons in the pecking order, whose umbilical cords, when tapped, keep repeating in gander-style pigeon-speak: No free checking for those of your ilk. Truculent, if lured by a particularly dervish gust of wind, might learn to trust windowsills more. After practicing consistency, I could even love whatever brings his faded smile.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


Chinese Philosophers in a Western Bad Dream


You know how you take a swig of half-hot soda pop in the park and you gulp-swish-gulp it down and the bee you inadvertently swallowed bites the back of your throat, gullet, stomach, intestines, back end, and it stings so horribly bad -- this bumble bee - it hurts so awfully bad you give birth to a bumble of corollary bees who catch the whiff of another unattended pop can and this time, it's your friend to whom the bees leave their secrets that you couldn't out-shout because your tongue was too thick, like a weighted parcel stuck inside your growing head?


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Repellent


Exiting with ease from tricky situations. Ducks: the skiff of their bodies. This world of ducks is minimal, according to my legless friend, Ricardo. Yet Lolita says the bird's sh** on your shoulder means good luck that comes with God. "Look and/or quack! My slippery slide needs fixing," the duck says to me. I hide my charm to be invisible. "Sometimes," the duck says, "they give to you things that easily go bad, like cherries." It only takes a moment to fade from reach, like the stained color of boat-wood under paint. Empty mind I didn't trust. A duck's skiff, either.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





To the Precious


Tattooed words on his arm -- Soft White 40 Watt -- caught in a circle of its own verbiage. Upright bass lessons taught him to think fundamentally, to see the world as corresponding puzzle pieces alive, walking around, suitable for linking. Everything looked perfect from far away, could be tinkered with, except the unsteady beat of her lighthearted persistence. "Don't argue at me with your logic, when Janet Jackson gets pinched nervous, too" she said -- bedridden -- where before only the myopic sight of her could crack his chord-like heart, since softly falling toward a dimly lit vat of cheese would turn it rather crisp.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Vis-a-Vis Launderette


The couple is extremely congenial - every Friday they have a Sabbath laundry and invite their flat-mates over. Their ceilings are arc-vaulted and certain topics get pole-vaulted. Some leave when the pheasant speaks; "I am dawn to their organic look and also the fact that they use traditional materials like gilded rings for curtain rods, which make them the perfect complement to my own necks" - and some flat-mates learn a foreign language for the luxury of speechlessness. Except gifts of sweet corn spoon bread, the couple's greatest moments meant to surpass stolen laundry include owning the ultimate matching electric washer and dryer.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Revenge of the Em Dash


He expressed a wish to see me again - asked for my address. The month remained rainy - my umbrella needed repair. Less than I paid at his store - an umbrella reduction one-third its normal price. Sometimes he fancied my discrepancy - didn't even ask me of its price. His strong umbrella gestured to mine - folded, my umbrella either shrugged or sagged. Unable to express my ecstasy in words - some lobster claws I would like very much - my pantomime hands kept repeating. Since then and still ever, he could not think about the em dash long without considering the duplicitous nature of inadequate hand-jives.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Impossible Furniture


In my mind, I make a couch while playing the snare drum and everything corporeal before couch turns into table with six chairs causing two guests to drop I and help me make dinner as the hassock of our ration changes absence to the number three.


The mood and look of the room requires each new guest to wear lampshades with polka dots and merely act red.


As we stood wondering who shrifted the disadvantage of my new, eclectic lamps, it was both like a huge shock and a real huge shock, or the real end of a huge, walking shark.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





It's a Reasonable Bet


At the Old Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, waiting on railroad tracks was inevitable as dipping my pen into the sand from a slow ant's trail. Memory estimates my brassiere was not neon; it was merely blue, a sky-blue gone lake-bound, peri-blue, a type of courage such a blue would take to endure the air most days. Who knows what the future holds after this beery weekend? Hobos and the card game I play is neither here not there, and if you could see me now, I'm clearly losing. I check into the phone bank, just to give your name a silver ring.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Politics on The Food Network


Mostly I'm angry. You said on special occasions everyone could wear coconuts and grass skirts, Martha. That was my misunderstanding. Whose fault was it the mixer broke on your TV show? That my apron was wrinkled from top to bottom? And your squint could brew Sumatra. When you took my jar of teardrops, my secret stash of honeysuckle blossoms, I felt used. Why I can't vote for you is a root system for trees long gone. So, I deep-fried my ballot already. My tongue - riddled with bite marks - pits and lolls about; the box of Chardonnay chills, dripping by slickery drip.


-- Jaina Roth





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


During nights when apples taste of autumn and leaves rustle with every breath taken, unseen creatures lurk beneath October's monstrous moon. These creatures are soundless. Bu if you look closely at the ever-changing shadows that are cast upon children's bedroom walls, you will see them. And if you are a small child, you will see shadows of their appendages grasping for your bedroom's window locks. And on nights when your house creaks from the cold, these creatures are trying your front door. And when the wolfish wind howls through the barren trees, these creatures are trying your back door.


-- Jody Young





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


Darkness had fallen over Detective Shawn Hadley's crime scene. All noise was silent and dead, just like his victim. It had been a circus atmosphere earlier. Neighbor after neighbor had arrived whispering, "It's Trish! Trish Murray!" I t had reminded him of the time when the local drunk lady had staggered onto the tracks in front of the nightly freight train. It had seemed like every kid in town who owned a bike was riding back and forth beside the track hollering, "There's a piece ... and there's another!" It sickened Hadley, but didn't surprise him.


-- Jody Young





& amp; & amp;





The Destination


Frank was feeling like himself again, after 18 hours of recovery from cryogenic sleep. Being he sold person awake onboard, he had many duties to perform that the computers couldn't. First, Frank wanted glimpse of the ship's destination, so he activated an external display. The Argos wasn't the first vessel to cross the bleak void between stars, but it was the first visit to a binary system. After the warmers cleared away frost and the screen polarized, Frank saw the ship was on course. The destination, Chiron, a yellow star smaller than Earth's sun, companion to a blue-white giant.


-- Jeremiah Donier





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


It's not every day that you get bitch-slapped by Jesus, but on the day that secured my eventual trip to Hell, that is exactly what happened to me. There's no other way to describe my conversion. I went from being a happy agnostic to being a ranting sack f insanity with one divine bitch-slap. I didn't accept Jesus as my personal savior the way some people do. Jesus came to me, into my heart, like an unwanted guest. He forced his way in, and in an act that felt more like emotional rape than religious conversion, I learned to love Jesus.


-- George L. Davis





& amp; & amp;





Homage to Xena!


All Homage to Xena, and to the loins from which she sprang, as lightning split the antediluvian night & amp; the temple bells of the Blind, Idiot God Azathoth rang out madly, discordantly, pulled by unseen hands.


"All Homage to Xena" cry thus her vanquished foes, from her gravity-defying breasts to the red-lacquered tips of her ten-evenly spaced toes & amp; to the oxygen-inhaling perfection of her quintessential nose. Across a gulf of ten thousand years, I only repeat what a savage cried just before he died headless at her hand beneath a haunted, gibbous moon, "Those boots, that leather, those thighs! Xena!" All Hail!


-- Jody Forest





& amp; & amp;





Untitled


Where Lillie stood, she lavished in the feeling of the cool sea breeze that caressed her face. The wind was sweeping through the palm leaves, billowing through her open window, feathering the curtains, making them dance.


She'd been waiting so long for her lover's return. Would their love be the same again, as it was two years prior to his leaving? She closed her eyes to conjure up a resent memory of him. Wrapping her arms about herself at the wanting of his touch, his memory now haunting. Hot salty tears stung her face, as they flowed freely down her cheeks.


-- Joyce Reilly





& amp; & amp;





Less Than Her 15 Minutes


It's fair to say, my mother's acting career did not have the impact on the American cinema she expected. She appears in only one film, and her role consists of two lines: "Mr. Kimble?" and "God help me!" The latter was her final vociferation, seven minutes into the feature, as a 1937 Pontiac Chieftain strikes her head on, killing her instantly.


"It's a small part, but pivotal," her agent Arnold Waxman told her.


"How can two lines amount to anything ... pivotal?" my mother inquired.


"Because ... you've got better than lines," Waxman said with a wink, "You've got a close-up!"


-- Robert Caisley

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • A Forever Home
  • A Forever Home

    On National Adoption Day, families become whole
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • It's Exploding
  • It's Exploding

    Why lawmakers and cops are worried about people blowing themselves up
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • GU Shake-Up
  • GU Shake-Up

    The woman overseeing reports of sexual assault at Gonzaga resigns; plus, a new study on Lakeland Village
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Holiday Light Show Lighting Ceremony

Holiday Light Show Lighting Ceremony @ The Coeur d'Alene Resort

Fri., Nov. 28, 5-7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

  • Heating Up

    Racial tensions grow from Ferguson to Spokane as protesters, parents and students demand justice
    • Nov 12, 2014
  • The Lives on the Bus

    Can the STA redesign the Plaza in a way that makes everyone happy?
    • Nov 12, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation