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12th Annual Fiction 101 Contest

Short on words, long on imagination

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HONORABLE MENTION, $50

Eric Wallace, Eagle

"Steeplechase"

The first two spires he blew to hell with his 12 gauge.

The third he demolished with a full-choked bore.

One spire every week.

Churches panicked. Cops stalked.

He switched to rifle and scope. Harder, but he'd studied bullet selection, learned to fire devastating clusters.

Four.

His daughter had died in a schoolyard shooting. Pure randomness, officials said.

He had no argument with the NRA. No problem with the Second Amendment.

His dispute was with God.

Five.

If God allowed carnage, why did congregations still so complacently babble heavenward?

He'd sever the damned connection.

Five spires down. Many more to go.

HONORABLE MENTION, $50

Doug Kizer, Boise

"Rock Paper"

During math, he passed her a slip of paper saying he loved her. After recess he found it cut into strips on his desk. He tried again, tiny triangles left on his chair.

So, he found a rock and scratched her name on it during art and later tossed it far out in the pond by his house.

The next morning he wasn't surprised to see her but she was changed. Her smile, her laugh, she was no longer someone he could ever love.

Later he found another rock, the kind he liked, round and smooth and cool to his touch.