The Liminal Man
The box contained a burner cell phone and a sheet of paper that said: JOSEPH ELLIS DO NOT RUN I went to the railing of the terrace and checked the street. Two boys straddling their bicycles in the road were gazing up at the diminishing dot of the drone that had deposited the box on the hotel veranda. They turned and looked at me.
High-Pressure Deep Sea Environment Tank
They installed the exhibit with much fanfare but that was years ago now. No more write-ups in international news, no more lines of visitors queueing to descend the stair. These days the contents of the High-Pressure Deep Sea Environment Tank warranted but a few items in the gift shop, and those outsold the tank's actual visitors by a large margin. People preferred the cartoon version to the real thing, it seemed.
- Runner-Up in Christopher Paolini's Fantasy Fiction Challenge
In the Shadow of His WingsRunner-Up in Christopher Paolini's Fantasy Fiction Challenge
You were four years old the first time you ran away. Your mother would joke about it in the years that followed. So willful from such an early age, she would say, with a forced bonhomie. We could never control him, not really.
The Fight in the Dog
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. So it turns out that’s a fucking lie. If you are, for example, holding someone’s hand while you’re in space then the contact between your pressuresuit and theirs conducts sound from one to the other.
It took the porter forty-two minutes and seventeen seconds to carry the screaming woman from carriage 194 all the way forward to the Conductor’s car, which was immediately behind the engine itself. This was almost half the length of the entire train, a distance of 3.22 kilometres.
- First Place in Campfire Ghost Story Challenge
LógosFirst Place in Campfire Ghost Story Challenge
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. You lit two more and placed them around the front room of the cabin; on the mantle, on a musty dresser. Leah panicked if it got too dark. The candles would allay any night-terrors while conserving your batteries.
The Third Ingredient
I am seven years old. We live in England, near Norwich. My dad’s business has exploded, and we are suddenly wealthy. He buys a proper English country house, something of a dream of his. It has a big garden, and my dad - rather optimistically, considering English weather - buys a barbeque.
- Second Place in The Fantasy Prologue
The Thief of ReasonSecond Place in The Fantasy Prologue
There were not always dragons in the Valley. I will see them gone from that place once more. My father wept when I made my pledge, a rare thing. The tears fell from behind his mask like warm, summer rain. His attachment to me was a failing on his part, a stumble upon the Path. Yet I was gladdened to see him weep for me; a failing on mine. Later, upon my journey, I kept the memory of my father’s tears close, and felt a little less alone.