The judges’ results are in, and I definitely participated in a 100 word micro fiction short story contest. If you are too lazy to click that link, I don’t blame you, but you’ll miss out on rereading the thrilling story I wrote, rejected, and did NOT submit to the contest. Here’s the 100 word micro fiction short story that I deemed contest-worthy and entered in the contest.
Remember, it had to be a 100 word maximum length horror story that contained the word “tell” and involved riding a skateboard. Welp, here it is.
The stranger shouted, “Follow me to my course, and we’ll see.”
Up for any challenge, Jake obliged. Riding a skateboard was second nature to him, and he mastered the stranger’s course up to the final tunnel. Jake couldn’t tell what was inside, but the stranger, who conveniently stood in front of the “Danger – Abattoir” sign, urged him on. Jake skateboarded blindly into the dark tunnel, and his screams rang out as the stranger calmly observed, “Sometimes you shred a course, and sometimes the course shreds you.”
After submitting that story, the judges were falling all over themselves to tell me not how excellent the story was (I already knew that!), but that they had received my entry. They were likely playing coy in a futile attempt to appear impartial. They probably knew that they were reading more inspired brilliance from an award-winning author.
As for my editor/cousin/godmother, she didn’t like the story, especially the ending. She found the ending to be a bit crass and crude. As for me, the intersection of Crass St. and Crude Lane is where I feel most comfortable as a writer, so I left it in and waited for the accolades from the judges to roll in.
Call me crazy, but I’ll still take those America’s Got Talent judges over the Trumpy ones we have on the Supreme Court any day.
Anyway, here’s what the judges thought of my story.
Judge #1890 Likes: An interesting take on the prompts. You create a clear picture of Jake’s character and personality.
Judge #1890 Dislikes: The setting feels a little forced. Why would an abattoir be located in the midst of a skating course? Why would an abattoir be accessible via a dark tunnel? If Jake had ‘mastered the stranger’s course; and ‘riding a skateboard was second nature to him’, wouldn’t he be able to navigate safely through a room on a skateboard?
Judge #1953 Likes: The concept of a skating course that literally “shreds” was certainly an interesting–and horrifying–twist.
Judge #1953 Dislikes: I crave some hint of dread-building detail about this mysterious stranger. I also crave some details of the “shredding” sounds that might be coming from the slaughterhouse (instead of the crude pun at the end, which diminishes the horror of the ending).
Judge #2059 Likes: I absolutely loved the last line of dialogue (“Sometimes you shred a course, and sometimes the course shreds you”). It’s a great, eerie but satisfying place to conclude and the fact that this is announced “calmly” makes it even creepier.
Judge #2059 Dislikes: I noticed some repetition of words throughout the story (“course” / “tunnel” / “stranger”) and wondered if you might consider introducing new words into the text. Because the story is so short, those moments of repetition stand out a bit more and I wasn’t sure that they added to the rhythm of the story as a whole.
I think my editor/cousin/godmother might side more with Judge #1953 while I’m more in Judge #2059’s camp. As for Judge #1890, I think he’s smoking dope after reading both his Likes & Dislikes. The bottom line is that judging fiction is very subjective, and I didn’t win over all the judges. But I did participate. Oh, did I ever participate. And why?
More than ever, Mr. President. More than ever.