“I can’t believe there wasn’t one entry about me.”
Thanks for entering our Fanfic Flash Fic micro-contest! The little stories were very fun to read.
Here are our favorite entries, organized by theme. Each 55-word story takes place in an existing pop-culture, historical, or literary universe.
TIGER – Nicole Kalstein
When he opened the envelope, the slip of paper screamed, “TIGER.” His heart sank as fear and suspicion bubbled up slowly, a toxic swamp in his stomach. Sure, the prediction didn’t indicate any specific tiger, much less his tiger friend, but Calvin was suddenly aware that he would never have a peaceful night’s sleep again.
UNTITLED DINOSAUR COMICS STORY – Eli Rose
2000+ comics, and they haven’t gotten him yet.
He’d thought the prediction was ridiculous. But then they started appearing. Always in the fourth stage of his conversations, always in pink sweaters. He stomped the first one fearfully, instinctively. Now it’s routine.
He’s conquered death.
Later, the Louisa May Alcott novel hits him at 3,000 m/s.
UNTITLED DINOSAUR COMICS STORY – Rodrigo Ortiz Vinholo
It didn’t matter what the slip said, it was too unreal. Too ridiculous. Jenny just couldn’t believe it. Even when it appeared on the TV, bright and green, it looked like something out of Saturday morning cartoons, even destroying houses, killing people. Now, as the creature’s foot loomed ominously over her, it felt vaguely familiar.
DEPRESSION – Nathan Kitler
Life had always been rough for Charles, but this last week took the cake. First his kite got him struck by lightning; then his dog died. Holding the slip of paper in his hand, he walked past adults with voices like muted trombones. Charles read the single word to himself: “depression.” Good grief, he thought.
SUFFOCATION – David Hilder
The paper’s “Suffocation” would not make him shriek nor weep nor swoon.
The Captain of the Pinafore, he showed no fear — it was a boon
To know that at his time of death he’d simply be deprived of breath.
Not looking, he slipped off the deck, and, oh, my stars, he drowned too soon.
REVENGE – Laura Breitenbeck
The captain’s bone leg thumps the deck in sea-time. Thump. Grips his white paper, chews the word and paces. He’ll get what he’s after? Aye, and drag us all down, like as not. Thump. Thump. Death glimmers in the sea’s dark. White weight in the great black belly of the earth, named and marked: Revenge.
FOR LOVE – Jen T.
When his name was called, Sydney Carton stumbled forward and submitted his finger to the Machine’s prick. He hoped the presence of alcohol wouldn’t interfere with his prediction, reeking of whiskey as he did. The Machine buzzed and deposited a slip into his hand.
For Love, he read aloud. Mr. Carton brightened, and sobered immediately.
Sitcoms and Cartoons
CAR – John Chernega
“This prediction says DUE .”
Carl froze. “How’d he die?”
“Shootout, Mr. Winslow. Our machine said DUEL,” said Neil.
“We’ve never had any other inconsistencies,” Harriette confirmed.
“So it’s only incorrect with four-letter deaths ending in L?” Neil goggled.
“Sounds like tampering,” said Harriette. “Hey, didn’t Steve use it before his accident, Carl?”
Carl was gone.
CANNON – Tucker Cummings
Maude never told Ned about the night she got her prediction. She knew he wouldn’t approve. Death prediction might have been a science, but it was still too much like witchcraft. And the Bible’s position on such things was very clear.
Besides, she didn’t expect to be near a cannon anytime soon. Not in Springfield.
INVITATIONS – Jonathan Dillion
Susan pondered George’s assertions — hours trying to convince her. Naturally, the word surfaced. The secret luxury of knowing, due to wealth, never ceased being a curse. A confusion. Getting fired had helped. So had a newfound lifestyle and eventual desertion.
George. Barely three friends. Detestable. Safe. She would say “yes.” No more worries about Invitations.
THAT CRAZY THING – Axel Arth
“Well Dad, what’s it say?”
“I think you need to take over walking Astro from now on, Elroy.”
“But Dad — ”
Shock setting in, George waved his children out of the room, and Jane moved closer.
Silently, he handed her the freshly printed slip of paper.
It was only three words long. THAT CRAZY THING.
UNTITLED SUPERMAN STORY – Carl Poffley
“We’ve got the machine’s predictions in!” Perry White said to the Daily Planet staff, holding the results aloft.
They clamoured around him curiously as he slowly flipped through them, until one suddenly piqued his interest. Realisation flashed across his face.
“Clark,” he said, “could you take your glasses off for a second…”
BATMAN – Tracy Canfield
“I always knew that only you could kill me,” said the Joker. “Just regretted I wouldn’t be around to enjoy Gotham City’s reaction. But when I show them this…”
He slapped the prediction down. BATMAN, it said.
“The Machine doesn’t use purple crayon,” said Batman.
The Joker sighed. “You really are the world’s greatest detective.”
CHILL – Peter Bloem
“It’s just a silly trick, Bruce. I regret ever taking the test.”
“But what could it mean… CHILL?”
“If we knew that, it wouldn’t work. What it tells you is that your father’s an idiot. Your mother’s the smart one.”
Martha Wayne bites her lips, and puts on her pearls. “We’re going to be late.”
CLEVER GIRL – Jim Warrenfeltz
Robert Muldoon got his results young, and feared them.
He avoided anything associated with his results. Bars, colleges, and especially college bars. He was a confirmed bachelor.
When the experts arrived on Isla Nublar, it happened that “Dr. Sattler” was a woman. A smart woman. This worried him.
Unfortunately, that’s not what “CLEVER GIRL” meant.
CANCER – Kevin Anderson
Dr. Silberman somehow managed to remain genial and smiling. “So you see, Miss Connor, there’s nothing to worry about. No horrible nuclear holocaust, no bullet from one of those big bad deranged killer cyborgs. You’ll have a perfectly normal death from cancer. Would you please not stab me in the knee again?”
UNTITLED STAR TREK STORY WRITTEN IN KLINGON – Tracy Canfield
“reH lugh Hegh jan,” jatlh matHa’. “<<Hargh quv>> jatlhchugh navlIj, Hargh quvmo’ bIHegh. navvetlh vIHevchugh, jIHem. toQDuj tlhoy’Daq Dochvetlh’e’ vIHuS.”
mon la’. “‘ach chaq jaghlI’vaD quv Harghvam, SoHvaD quvHa’.”
“ghobe’!” jach la’. “DIch SaHbe’ SuvwI’. batlh ‘oH Doch’e’ neHbogh. jISuvnIS, jIHeghnIS, ‘ach SanwIj vISovnISbe’.”
jIH chu’Ha’ la’. nav laDqa’. <<choljaH>>, jatlh. ro’Daj SoQqu’moH.
IMPALED BY HUNGRY TONGUE – Nik Houser
Even when Parker won the pool with IMPALED BY HUNGRY TONGUE, Brett declined to share his results.
“Aw, he’s just jealous,” Brett grinned. “Nobody’s got a card sexier than IMPALED BY HUNGRY TONGUE.”
Have your moment, Parker mused, his thoughts straying to his own pre-flight test. What could it mean?
It sounded so sexy.
CRUCIFIXION – Michael Williams
The contraption was from somewhere east, beyond the provinces: clanking brass pipes, rattling wood frame and a slim slip of flattened reed with tiny text inked in three languages. Everyone stared at it, then at Josh, then at one another.
“Maybe if I’m just really…nice to everyone? Maybe then it won’t happen?”
ASSASSINATED BY TIME TRAVELER – Brigid Cassin
The scientist shuddered in fear. “We’ve tested it countless times, mein Fuhrer. I do not understand the problem.”
“Das ist doch Scheiße!” the Fuhrer shouted. “Rubbish! Impossible! The most ridiculous thing I have ever read!”
He shoved the slip of paper into the scientist’s trembling hand. In bold letters, it read “assassinated by time traveler.”
UNTITLED ZELDA STORY – Nathaniel Forsythe
Lounging atop Hyrule castle, Ganon consulted again the strange scrap of parchment, then looked over his evil to-do list.
“Triforce — acquired.”
“Princess Zelda — kidnapped.”
“Master Sword — hidden in unsolvable forest maze.”
“Sausages — banned forever.”
“Golf courses — burned.”
He paused, in piggish thought. “Should I clear my browser history?”
Ganon vowed to watch what he clicked.
ORANGES – Andy Jordan
Vito Corleone ran his eyes down the list and frowned.
“And you really expect me to believe this?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at the man sitting before his desk.
“Don Corleone, it’s what the machine said. I can’t explain it.”
“Oranges?” Corleone said. “Half my men are going to die because of oranges?”