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Winners chosen for February’s Flash Fiction contest

Flash Fiction February

During the month of February, the Student Life Office held a contest called Flash Fiction. This event required students to write a short story with the theme of respect. Each story had to be a minimum of 250 words but could be no longer than 1,000 words.

As prizes, 10 gift cards were up for grabs for students who submitted their work. The stories were awarded first, second and third placing. Four runners up and three honorable mentions were also given. The judging panel consisted of Amy Fair, Jill Michell, Nancy Nowak and Katie Cunnion.

The second and third place Flash Fiction stories are presented below. The first place story will be featured in the next issue of The Manistream.

Third Place

The Tortoise and the Hare Continued

As young children our parents told us stories, and one might have been the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare underestimates his opponent and had to deal with losing the race and becomes jealous. The story stops there for most, however have you ever wondered what happened next. Well this is what happened:

After losing the race to a tortoise the news traveled, fast spreading over the plains and forest of a slow rabbit and a fast tortoise. The hare was upset about this wrongful news he wanted revenge towards the tortoise that was getting all the attention. The hare had heard of a wizard in the forest, he knew finding the wizard was dangerous, but he had to go. He packed his sack and started off on his trip.

As night drew in and only half way into the forest the hare became wary as he saw flashes of red flying through the forest just inches away from his cotton tail. He became so terrified of becoming dinner he began to run as fast as his little feet could carry him, flying past all the berry bushes and apple trees, getting hit in the face occasionally by stems. As the hare turned back to see that he wasn’t being followed anymore he ran straight into a tree with a thump, he rolled onto his back clenching his stomach with pain, gasping for breath.  As doing so he looked straight up to see a movement in the tree, as his eyes started to clear up he could see it was a snake. This wasn’t any snake, it was the snake with red eyes, and a gold tint upon his scales, and this was the wizard. “Who hasss disssturbed my tree” hissed the Snake. “Just me the hare, you must have heard of me, I was…” “Oh yesss the hare who wasss beat by the tortoisse, yesss what are you doing here” interrupted the snake. “I need your help, the tales that are being told are false, I want to true story to be told instead” smirked the hare. “How do I do that” asked the snake.  “I’m not sure.” “Well I can’t change the eventsss that have taken place, but I can change who getss the attention” the snake stated. “How?” questioned the hare. “I can sswitch your place, you be the tortoissse and he be you, I shall change your bodies” winked the snake. “Oh yes please could you?” excited as a little hare could be. “All you have to do is asssk” said the snake.  So with his heart pounding inside his chest, imagining him getting all the attention he had gotten before the race he unthinking asked “Oh great wizard please change my body to be the tortoise and him be me.” “Your wisssh isss my command” as he shook his tail, he waved the little hare off.

As the hare with so much excitement slowly walked away staring at his feet to see the change occur, he got almost to the edge of the forest until he noticed he was beginning to change. He decided to sleep so when he woke he would be the tortoise. Slap, Slap, Slap. As the pain flooded through his body the Hare woke up as he noticed he had been hit in the face with apples. He looked up to see two monkeys in the tree ready to throw more; they were screeching “run you tortoise, we want to see you run.” As the hare stood up he fell, again trying to get his footing he hadn’t realized that his weight was unbalanced and had to proportion it out differently, this took him a few tries to stand. After he looked up to the monkeys and said “Ha I can run, watch this.” As he stretched his little head out, he flung his front foot back as fast as he could and took a step out as fast as his little heavy body would let him, barely moving. Stunned the hare looked around as if he wasn’t sure what had happened, so he tried again, seeking the same results.

The monkeys were now laughing above asking how that was running. Embarrassed and wanting answers the Hare turned around “I’ll go back to the wizard and see what is happening.” When he was in the hares body it only took him a day stopping occasionally to eat, but now that he was a tortoise it took even longer. He had to stop every hour to rest, regaining his breathe, and to eat. It took him two days to get to the tree. “Wizard get down here NOW” yelled the hare angrily. As the wizard slithered down slowly examining the tortoise he smiled “Well I’m guesssing you’re the hare who I ssaw a couple daysss ago.” “Yes I am, how come I can’t run, and can barely walk. What is the deal with this wizard you were suppose to make me a celebrity and all I get is a couple of rude monkey throwing apples at me” snapped the hare. “No hare I turned you into the tortoise, you get all the attention he wasss getting, I’m guessssing it wassn’t what you were expecting” smirking stated the snake. “But other animals are mean, and….oh.” As the hare began to think, he began to realize while he was being ignored, the tortoise was being bullied over the false story.

 “Would you like to redo your wissh” asked the wizard. After he thought about how much bulling the tortoise must have had to go through he began to feel sympathy for him and how he must be happy to be a hare now. He looked up and said “NO I don’t wish to redo my wish but I would like to be the hare again. Let the tortoise stay the hare, he must be happier.” “Indeed he is.”Poof, he was a hare again with a different perspective on life.

Second Place

Respect is Earned, Not Given

Isaac leaned into his father’s office, “Dad, I’m going to borrow a book, OK?”

His father wasn’t abusive; in fact, He was well known to be a calm, intelligent man, who allowed Isaac a generous amount of autonomy, so long as he didn’t get into trouble. This he thought, was a poor substitute for participation in his life.

A distracted grunt was all his father managed to afford him, his eyes firmly glued to the monitor.

His father was steadfastly dull; having no real hobbies, save for reading his huge collection of books. It was a miracle that he was not potato shaped, rather the opposite, he managed to stay fit without effort, which was nothing short of a miracle for an actuary.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Isaac snagged a book from the shelf and headed to his room carrying his prize under his arm, the old staircase squeaking loudly as he ascended.

Isaac and his Best bud Eddie were cruising through the park, on their way from school, when they came upon a pretty Asian reporter in a pants suit fidgeting with her clothes as her crew was preparing to shoot.

She took a deep breath, “We ready?”

One of her crew nodded and held out three fingers “Go in three.”

“Hello, I’m Helena Han-Baskett and we’re here today at River Legacy Park where a local shopkeeper was found near death, mauled by an unknown animal. As of now, she is listed as in stable condition in Arlington Memorial. We recommend that until the animal is caught, you stay away during dawn and dusk hours, and that’s the news from River Legacy Park, I’m Helena Han-Baskett. Back to you, Bob.”

Helena let her arms drop limply to her sides. “Let’s get out of here, this place is creeping me out.”

The cameraman slapped off the lamps and began packing, “Roger that.”

“Dude” Eddie said, nudging Isaac and pointing behind the news crew. “That’s a lot of blood.”

Isaac gaped “Holy crap”

The two of them went wide around the others and came up to the striped tape barrier to get a better look.

Eddies’ face twisted. “Ugh. What’s that smell?”

Isaac fought the urge to vomit. “God, it’s like someone cooked up a pan of ass and. Let’s get out of here.”

Isaac picked up an envelope that was propped up against the salt shaker on the dining room table which read:

Had to head out for business, be back before Monday, here’s money for pizza.


Isaac grinned, “Hey, my pop is gone for the weekend. Why dontcha stay over? He left pizza money.”

“I’ll go get my playcube. Be back!”

Isaac sat on the couch, drumming his fingers on his backpack. Something was scratching away at his attention.

“Meh,” he unzipped his bag and pulled out the book he had been reading last night, and flipped through it.

He stopped at the image of a monster with long, jagged talons and scanned the following text.

“The ghoul is identified by the noxious cloud of stench that surrounds it and everything it touches. It can be easily dispatched with an oil infusion of Lavender and standard equipment”

The front door opened and Eddie poked his head back inside, “Isaac?”

“C’mon, put that down, we’re going monster hunting.”

“I didn’t bring that one.” He shook his backpack.

Isaac ducked into the restroom and returned holding little bottles of air freshener. “No, we’re really going monster hunting!”

“You’re crazy.”

“Mebbe, but it’ll be fun. Grab the olive oil.” Isaac pointed to the kitchen then headed into his room.

Isaac unslung his backpack and fished around in it. “Here’s your weapon.”

He handed a water gun to Eddie then pulled out a plastic container which held water balloons. “Let’s do this.”

Then boys made their way to the crime scene, when they were hit by a rolling wave of stench.

“It’s here!” Isaac readied a balloon and squinted into the darkness.

Isaacs eyes jerked up to see a hideous beast, slick and glistening, bowl him over. He flailed ineffectually and rocketed the contents of his stomach outward.

“Holy crap!” Eddie gagged and sprayed his lavender and oil concoction at the beast from his super soaker, which caused the beast to leap away from them, screaming in pain.

Gasping, Isaac fumbled for his balloons.

Lobbing a balloon, it went wide, and bounced off into the grass.

“Get up!” Eddie shouted, spraying more oil in the monsters’ direction.

Isaac staggered to his feet and threw a second balloon, scoring a direct hit to the torso, causing the beast to fall to the ground, howling in agony.

He sank to his knees, and dry heaved, croaking “Victory!”

“The monster hunters win!” Eddie pulled Isaac back to his feet.

A tall, broad shouldered man, wearing a long-beaked, goggled mask, heavy leather duster, and wielding a wicked looking axe facing them.

The two of them glanced at each other and back to the mysterious figure and screamed in unison.

The man shoved them to the side “Get down!”

As Isaac tumbled back into his puddle of sick, the tall figure dealt a massive kick to the beast as it rose back onto its feet, sending it crashing to the ground, where he cleanly separated its head from its body with a quick strike of his large bladed axe.

The figure spun back to face them. “What were you thinking? You didn’t bring any weapons!?”

Dropping his ichor covered axe, the man pulled off his hat and mask, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

Both boys stared slack-jawed, unable to speak.

“Well, not bad for a first try. Let’s go.”

Isaac recovered somewhat, “D-dad?”

Eddie grabbed Isaac’s arm. “Dude, your dad is a badass!”

Isaac nodded, awestruck, “About this other job of yours...”

His father laughed, clapping them on the shoulders. “First we’re going to run you through a car wash, and then we can talk.”