Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Flash Fiction Challenge: The 10k Contest

Last week’s “Make Me A Sandwich” challenge went pretty apeshit — closing in on 50 submissions at the time of this writing. Go check it out, won’t you?

*blink blink*

Somehow, I have fooled 10,000 of you into following me on Twitter.

This is insane, and suggests that most of you are spam-flavored sex-bots, sex-flavored spam-bots, or brain-diseased serial killers with a penchant for loudmouthed idiocy in the form of questionable writing advice. Either way, it happened, and there you all are, spambot-or-no. So, I thought I’d thank you by giving away a little something-something, bow-chicka-bow-dow.

But I’m still going to make you work for it.

I want you to tell me a story in five sentences.

(Yes, a complete story.)

No longer than 100 words total. The shorter, the better, in fact.

The permutations of the story beyond length are up to you: I don’t much care about genre or subject matter or any other fiddly bits. All I care about is the brevity and, by proxy, the potency of the tale at hand.

Deposit your storytelling awesomeness direct in the comments below. Do not put it at your blog.

You get one entry. So, write strong and choose wisely.

You have until Monday (2/27/2012) at noon EST to get your entries in. Then, by the following Monday, I will pick my favorite out of the whole big-ass bunch of stories.

The writer of my favorite story gets a prize package. Which is not a euphemism for my penis.

Prize package includes:

(1) hard copy of Double Dead, signed.

(1) hard copy of Human Tales anthology (story in it by me), signed.

(1) digital e-book copy of: all of my writing books (including the newest, 500 More Ways To Be A Better Writer), Shotgun Gravy, Irregular Creatures, and, when it comes out (late April), Blackbirds.

(1) handwritten postcard by moi.

Now, if you’re international, you can still enter — but, you’ll either have to pony up for shipping or just accept the digital e-books (i.e. no Double Dead, Human Tales, or postcard).

So, that’s it.

Five sentences.

Buncha giveaway stuff.

Monday’s the end.

Come on and tell us all a story.

* * *


All right. Time to call a winner and then, for giggles, a back-up winner.

First, let me say — some very good stuff here. Also, some very not-good stuff here. And some puzzlingly improper stuff — stuff that didn’t abide by the rules, stuff that fell prey to very easy-to-fix mistakes.

(Also: a curious thread popping up of dudes killing wives or girlfriends. Entries like that are unlikely to ever win anything, by the by.)


Two winners. First winner wins everything I listed. Second winner wins only e-books of my writing-related books (five books in total).

First (grand) winner: Damien Kelly:

“On hurricane day, Daddy said, “Let’s put on our overcoats, and ride the dying storm.” I was nervous, but I trusted him and put on my coat and my boots. We ran around the yard a few times, and circled the roof, just to be sure we knew how to fly. Then we lifted our coat tails and jumped on the hurricane, bound for all points on the compass.
Impaled on broken branches, in a tall oak tree, staining its bark with my blood, I can see my house from here.”

Second runner-up:


“A haiku class? Sure!”

“My boyfriend will meet us there.”

Damn it all to hell.

You guys need to email me at terribleminds [at]