Wednesday, January 6, 2010

.101 Pictures Are Worth 101 Words

Well, the results are out for The Boise Weekly’s Fiction 101 writing contest. For those unfamiliar with Fiction 101, readers are invited to submit stories comprising exactly 101 words, which are then judged by a panel of locals deemed worthy of assessing the merits of instances of such a rigidly defined genre. Cash prizes are awarded!

If my description of the judges seemed a bit cynical, it’s because my submission was not one of the ones selected:

The screen door slams; Mary’s dress waves. Like a vision, she dances across the porch as the radio plays. Roy Orbison singing for the lonely – hey, that’s me, and I want you only.

Don’t turn me home again – I just can’t face myself alone again.

Don’t run back inside, darlin' – you know just what I’m here for. So you’re scared, and you’re thinking that maybe we ain’t that young anymore. Show a little faith – there’s magic in the night. You ain’t a beauty, but hey – you’re alright.

And that’s alright with me.

You can hide ‘neath your covers and study your …
Maybe they thought that it ended a bit too abruptly, but that's intentional. I spent months in the editing process, finding the perfect 101 words that conveyed exactly what I wanted to say, and I wanted to let the reader's imagination have room to wander. It has an almost lyrical quality to it, don’t you think?

I was a bit surprised when the hell-hound with whom I reside requested that she be able to submit a story as well:

I could do it quite easily; someday I will. That he feeds me morning and night is nice, of course, and has, so far, outweighed the countless negative aspects of our coexistence.

But my patience wears thin.

He’s a troubled sleeper, and is never out for more than 10 minutes, but that will suffice. He’s unaware that my constant chewing of household objects has sharpened my teeth into razors - the ease with which they'll tear through the soft flab of his neck will horrify him during the brief time he’ll be cognizant of what is happening.

Sleep well, my friend.

I know, I know ... it’s a bit sophomoric, at best. I can’t seem to make any sense of it, either. But hey, she's a dog, and well, they're just not all that bright.

No comments: