Stories from
May, 2010

“How old are you really, darlin’?”
“I promise.”
“Lucky me. But what if this is a fake ID?”
“Who gets a fake ID that says they’re eighteen?”

Robb Todd is listening to the same song over and over again and it is driving you crazy.

Always: Reference the championships, insert symbols for swears.
Never: Make spelling errors, have mercy.
Now: Chat their a$$es off, YANKS42.

Scott Akalis likes to hike, yet lives in Chicago. He likes to write fiction, yet lives in the real word.

From the way she scooped him from his buggy, shushed him, kissed his tears and hugged him all the way home, he might almost have been hers.

Martha Williams hugs her figments here:

She decided, after many days and many repetitions: Hell wasn’t a labyrinth. It was an empty house and a short memory.

Lara Ek is American, Hungarian, Swedish, a reader, and a writer.

“Don’t you wonder how we die?” He mimes flipping a switch and I hand him his pill. He swallows it with water he throws back like bourbon.

Ann Marie Gamble (@amgamble) is usually pretty long-winded. And the footnotes! Those are a pain to code.

This story won 1st place in our 2010 Nanofiction Contest (for Haiti).

Deftly he pours a Cabernet the color of his shirt, pushes the glass across the table to her. It’s enough time to say no.

Ann Marie Gamble (@amgamble) is usually pretty long-winded. And the footnotes! Those are a pain to code.

This story won 2nd place in our 2010 Nanofiction Contest (for Haiti).

A photo of me hung on the fence next to all of the others. Had anyone seen me? I didn’t call the number.

Tara Barnes freelance copyedits in New York. She also squeals when she finds out Ethan Canin likes something she wrote. Forgive her.

This story won 3rd place in our 2010 Nanofiction Contest (for Haiti).

He likes picking scabs. Picking at the scab and watching it fall off is like saying, “Daddy, go away.”

Viona Lam thinks thinking is adorable.

I just stare at the moon, mother said, every time—even the night you were conceived.

Stephen Orloske once encountered a witch in the woods doing something very nasty to her kitty.

Thanks to the generous support of the folks at Folded Word and many fine writers from across the globe, our contest converted $100 of student-loan debt into $650 for Partners in Health, a fantastic NGO that does astonishing work as a healthcare-provider and local-health-infrastructure-builder in Haiti (and around the world). As a bonus, thirty people will receive great literature from the independent publishing community; many more than that made a tax-deductible donation; and Ethan Canin got to read himself some Twitter-fiction!

Without further ado, the winners:

  1. Ann Marie Gamble
  2. Ann Marie Gamble (yes, that’s right—she won twice!)
  3. Tara Barnes

Honorable Mentions:

  • Tara Barnes
  • Jackie Bateman
  • R. Gatwood

We’ll be publishing the winners next week: 3rd place on Monday, 2nd on Wednesday, and our big (but still tiny) winner on Friday. Notable entries (and there are some exquisitely good ones) will appear in the coming months.

Thank you again to our readers, writers, and supporters. You are all generous, wonderful, and assuredly good-looking people.