Short Story Contest, 2015

Deadline: Feb 28, 2015, 2,500 words.

7 February 2015


The Typo – man murders a shopkeeper who has an exterior sign with a typo in it / immigration / education

The Typo 2 – in a dystopian (for him) future without printed books, they’ve been burned, he has hidden his stash and takes a last stand against the burners. Man points out a typo on a shopkeeper’s exterior sign. No, I’m afraid you’re wrong, that is spelt correctly. Back and forth a bit and the shopkeeper Googles it and sure enough, no matter how many online dictionaries he shows the man, it is spelt that way in every single one. The man is determined to prove his point. He goes to where his books are hidden, finds the word – he is right! But how can he show the shopkeeper without revealing he has books.

The libraries are empty, there are no bookshops, books have been burned for heat – the government has turned off the heat to its citizens. To quell revolt, to control the mob, they’ve opened the libraries to looters, banned printed material of all kinds and officially allowed book burning. The louts are in charge – the masses need heat – they start burning books by the thousands – they are destroying their own past, their own culture. The louts change the past in the digital versions.

Flash forward, the man brings the shopkeeper his book (hidden under his trenchcoat, of course). He shows him and the seeds of revolt are planted. Correction – the burnings are supervised. Careful not to tread into The Book Thief.

Notes my Father Wrote – POV of a son reading through notes I left him in my books

Marginal – same except the notes are written in the margins – it’s a mystery designed to challenge his mind

The Bookcase – dramatize the haunting memory of Jack Taylor when his mother burned the bookcase his father had lovingly built for him

The Book and the Bottle – no matter how bad I feel about myself and my addiction, I am always lifted by books/stories

The Last Book – this is me paddling to Stop Log with all my books – going off the grid – ends with a fire that takes me along with my books. Or, symbolizes placing the last book in the fire to heat the place.

Blood, Water and Slivovice – an adoptee in the Serbian diaspora – belonging, identity, cultural genocide,

A Visit by the Liquid Vampire



  • Rare book theft
  • Reading Lolita in Recovery
  • Bibliomania in a dystopian setting
  • On the road
  • Immigrant story
  • Open session compassion, finding friendship, truth and finally understanding what it is to share and be a good friend.
  • Exiled to my old hometown after 30 years away
  • Idee Fixe revisited – with book burning and/or rare book theft
  • Libricide –
  • Body snatching –
  • Human body parts selling
  • Medical storytelling








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