February 23, 2009

110 words

Part of the recently-concluded Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was a flash fiction contest. 55 words to tell a story.

My first time trying something like this, and in my enthusiasm I submitted two entries. One of them won me a third share of the third prize, so no I'm not complaining. (Actually, I'm sort of ecstatic). Both entries below, and you can take a shot at telling me which one got that third share.



One letter separates your names, sure, said the acolytes, but you must become him. Practicing relentlessly in my Afghan hideaway, I perfected every mannerism. Today they cheer, these fatuous millions, shivering in the Washington chill. Intoxicated, deluded cretins! Not even she, elegant in yellow beside me, knows. Wise the advice to shave my beard!



"She'll never know," I tell her. "Fifteen years we're married, she's like a doorframe." Like always now, our tryst is mechanical. Later, I let the kids go, halfway through class, and walk home. Her bike's parked outside. Panicky, I eavesdrop. "He'll never know," she tells her. "Fifteen years we're married, he's like a doorknob."


You can read the other prizewinning entries -- and, incidentally, find out which of my two the judges chose -- here.

For what it's worth, I didn't agree with the judges. Of the two above, I preferred the one they ignored.


MinCat said...

the second one! well, if i were a judge...

Kavi said...

110 words ! Ah ! how neat !