GUEST JUDGE: Antonio Ruiz-Camacho


Winner: Ryan Habermeyer
"And The Hole Never Heals"

Our platoon crawls through an alfalfa field en route to kidnap a camel. Along the hills I imagine snipers, until it becomes a story problem on a high school physics test: If Private Mosby walks an average speed of 1.4 meters per second, and asshat freedom fighter six hundred meters away fires a single bullet from a Dragunov at a thirty degree angle traveling at three-hundred and forty-three meters per second, how long will the bullet take to reach our hero, assuming wind resistance is negligible?

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Finalist: Tara Isabel Zambrano
"Mumtaz in Burhanpur”

The girl, a tour guide in Burhanpur, India, has never seen the Taj Mahal, doesn’t intend to. She’s twenty, banana and history in her teeth. “Burhanpur,” she explains, “is the city where Mumtaz Mahal died during her fourteenth childbirth.”

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Finalist: Wendy Dinwiddie
"State Bird of Alabama"

As far as we know, the state bird of Alabama is Jamie Woods, forty-seven-year-old divorcee who works part time at the One-Stop laundromat, which is also a liquor store, which is also a nail salon, which is always 10% off for students, and which only sometimes gives you fungus. 


Finalist: Sean Gill
"Are We Having Fun Yet"

The Cherry Lake Salvage Company charged us fifty dollars for the privilege: thirty for the junker, and twenty for the hammer rental (they always got you on the hammer rental), but Dad said it was worth it, "Cause it's better than a demolition derby, and how often do we get to bond like this anyhow?"