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Two-and-a-half-minute Fiction Prahject

Two-and-a-half-minute Fiction ‘Prahject’: Take 18

Yesterday I submitted my story for NPR’s Three Minute Fiction Contest. Yes, that same contest whose idea I stole for this blog. That very same one. So I’ve gotten in lots of practice before their latest contest opened for new submissions and I’m really happy with the story I submitted. And now it will have to hold up against thousands of entries. I feel nauseous.

My labors on that story may be why this week’s entry is a little short. It’s strictly dialogue with a kind of “draw your own conclusions” type ending, but I think if I gave it a little more TLC, the setup could be pretty interesting. The imagery of walls and boundaries, physical and emotional…it could be good. Or really cliche. Let me know what you think, and/or have any ideas for it’s fleshing out.


Take 18: “Knock, Knock”

door mat with knock, knock on it

“Knock, Knock”

Knock, knock.

“Could you go make sure Tom’s ready on time?”

“Why me?”

“Because you’re the only one who’s already dressed.”

“He won’t listen to me.”

“Good God, Marcy, you just have to tell him to hurry up.”

“I’m telling you, he won’t…”



Knock, knock.

“What do you need?”

“It’s Marcy, Tom. I’m supposed to tell you to hurry up.”

“So you’re Deb’s snitch now?”

“No…I’m…Deb said…”

“Um, um, um, um. Stop driveling, I’ll be ready.”

“I’m not driveling. And who do you think you are, asshole.”

“Your soon-to-be brother-in-law, that’s who.”

“Just be ready for pictures. In five.”


Knock, knock.


“Hey, do you know how to tie a bowtie?”

“Why don’t you ask Deb?”

“Ah, she’s a little busy at the moment, don’t you think?”

“Ask my mom.”

“Look, if I thought there was anyone else in this house that could help, I would have asked them, but it appears you are my last hope to get this tie right, now will you tie this or am I going to be sporting an open collar today.”

“I don’t know if I remember how to do it or not.”

“For God’s sake just try!”

“I don’t remember.”

“C’mon, Marcy. You used to tie mine all the time.”

“I can only tie it on myself. Hand it to me through the door.”

“Are you kidding me? Unreal.”

“Tom? …Tom?”

Knock, knock.

“What’s up?”

“We need you for pictures now.”

“Well if someone had fixed my tie, I’d be ready.”

“I told you, I can only…”

“Oh, give it up. You always had an excuse.”

“And you were always an ass. I don’t know how Deb doesn’t see it.”

“There. So finally, you admit it.”

“Admit what?”

“That you think I treat Deb differently.”

“You do. You treat her better.”

“I’ve always been the same person. Maybe you just brought out the worst in me.”

“Now look who has all the excuses.”

“Dammit, Marcy, you just…”

“We need you for pictures. Get downstairs. Now.”



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