Thursday, May 24, 2012

Short Story Challenge for Writers

I need a short short story, prose or poem using this illustration as the subject. Yes, that is me behind the helmet and Corky Velveeta in the landscape (...or is it?). The story chosen will be written in the white space within the illustration. The black space will hold the title and author's name. I can increase the white space for the copy but don't make it too long. Creativity, brevity and impact are the key ingredients. The winning story will be published separately on May 30, 2012. Thanks everyone, and have fun!

The winner will have an asteroid in the Pinwheel Galaxy named after them!

The runners up will have half an asteroid named after them from the Howdy Doody Galaxy!

The absolute worst story (which we will never mention) will have a cubic inch of space given to them from the Garbage Dump Galaxy in sector 873!


  1. The Hammering Heard Around the World

    We've arrived back in time once more. We're a few hundred feet from the All Saints' Church here in Wittenberg, staying in an inn nearby. We have binoculars and a camera (both night-vision enabled) set up, and it is approximately seven minutes until that historic moment with Martin Luther will nail his 95 Theses onto those wooden doors.

    My heart is pounding; I never thought the idea would work, but, as it turns out, time travel has finally been enabled. Nervously, I shake, barely able to keep the binoculars steady, sweating fervently both from my odd suit and from the weight of the situation.

    "Six minutes, Ed," my partner, Dr. Caleb "Corky" Velveeta informs me, glancing at his Victorinox wristwatch. "Keep 'er steady...I don't want us to miss anything because our calculations were thirty seconds off."

    "Don't worry, Corky, I've got everything under control," I reply shakily. "I should start to see him pretty soon, and I'll let you know..."

    Lord, please don't let me mess this up, I pray slowly.

    Thump, thump, thump, thump. My heart seems to beat louder and louder, as I completely lose all recognition of my surroundings. Only one thing matters right now: getting that picture, and seeing this event happen - really happen.

    "Five, Ed," my colleague tells me, much calmer than I.

    "I see him!" I yell excitedly. "I see him, Corky, I see him! He's coming!"

    "Keep it down!" my friend chuckles, jovially but seriously. "Good."

    Thump, thump, thump. Things have changed now; my heartbeat seems irrelevant - it's his footsteps, Martin Luther's footsteps, that matter. Those earth-shaking footsteps, even though I can't hear them, are reverberating madly in the depths of my soul. It is as if, with each one, he is trampling countless lies under his feet.

    Thump, thump, thump. He's moving closer now; ever closer. It's almost time - and, though my colleague has not mentioned it, I'm sure it's four minutes by now.

    "Less than four minutes," the doctor whispers in awe, setting his elbow on the windowsill, as he begins to catch it all on film.

    Thump, thump, thump. He's not very far now; thirty, forty feet, I would guess. I can see some hesitation, as the reality of what he's about to do possibly begins encircling his mind like hungry sharks. Centuries, yes, even over a millennium of falsehoods were about to be challenged! Who but a madman would attempt such a feat?

    "One minute," Corky breathes in a barely audible voice. "I cannot believe this!"

    He's there now; standing before the doors. He pulls out a piece of parchment, then a hammer, then four nails - it is beginning. The indulgences, the popish lies, all of it, was about to, after reigning freely for so, so long, come crashing down.

    He places the paper over the doors, and begins pound, pound, pounding it in place. Then he puts in another, and another, and, finally, he puts the last nail, sticks the hammer back in his clothing, and steps back.

    "Praise God for Martin Luther," I declare softly, tears coming to my eyes. Corky nods in agreement, now in as much shock as I am.

    The Reformation has begun - and it has openly started with a hammering that will - and has been heard - be heard around the world.

  2. I am a very dusty writer (my health has kept me from being able to do it), so please forgive any lack in quality (and any lack of brevity, for that matter). I hope it is enjoyable nonetheless. :-)

  3. Joel, that was a very enjoyable story. Thanks for kicking this challenge off with a time travel episode. If you do get chosen, I hope you don't mind if I edit this somewhat.
    I hope you health gets better. Anyone reading this should stop and send up a prayer on your behalf.

  4. The Will to Survive

    Captain Eddie Eddings wasn’t sure if it was some fault of his own or if the problem with the systems on the lander was one that was inherited from some engineer when it was built. Regardless, Eddie was stuck on this barren moon. He was so close to home, relatively speaking, but he might as well have been on the other side of the universe. Lights blinked and alarms sounded, but nothing worked except basic life support, and that would only last for so long. The radios were dead and the lander’s rockets wouldn’t fire. No communication. No transportation. He needed help and he saw no possibility of that here.

    Donning his environmental suit, Eddie left the shelter of the lander and stepped out onto the moon’s surface. If he was going to die here, he was at least going to experience the place that would serve as his grave. He was hopeless.

    As he looked around he noticed some movement in the distance. A tiny figure became evident on the horizon. Weighing the possibilities, Eddie at once felt both fear and hope. Could this being be the saboteur of his craft? Could this being have what he needed to repair it and return home? Where did this being come from and by what means is it sustained in this world? Regardless of the being's intentions, there was now a reason to have hope to survive. There was life here in the wasteland of this moon and that meant that there was a possibility that he could live as well until he could get home.

    What will he had to survive was brought now by this strange being. It was a will he couldn’t muster without the hope brought to him now by its very presence. He had to know more. He would know more. If life was to be had, he would have it or die trying.

  5. They Went To Outer Space!!

    Eddie Eddings and Corky Velveeta travel to distant galaxies to challenge Arminians everywhere.

    Should you choose to do so, in space no one can hear you scream.

  6. @Mister Eddings: I don't mind at all. :-) And thanks; I sure hope it does, soon...

  7. Blood on the Moon

    I was running...running for my life.
    Only two of us were chosen for this trip. Me and Major Boice.
    When I found Major Boice, he had been torn to pieces. When I looked toward our ship, I saw what appeared to be Corky Velveeta walking toward me, moon dust partially blanketing his four legs. As the creature slowly approached, I could see what looked like the face of a crab.
    I had hoped to circle around and board my ship.
    What I saw made my blood freeze.
    There were hundreds of crab-like creatures dismantling my ship.
    Then they spotted me.

  8. Countdown Calvinistic Cartoons

    There was a time traveler from Kuwait,
    Who journeyed to a distant stargate.
    Wandered aimlessly in a barren fa├žade
    Until awakened by the Romans grenade.
    Now a pilgrim proclaiming the Doctrines of Grace.

  9. Inescapable

    Capt. Eddie Eddings ran as fast as he could across the barren surface of the moon. The lack of gravity made his running that much more exhausting. He strained to run faster, but could not. He had come to the moon to run away. He thought he would be safe. There was no way he could have been followed. But then he saw the familiar silhouette of Corky Velveeta on the horizon. So, he ran again. But where could he run? Then it slowly began to sink in: “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    The question that drove Captain Eddings’ quest burned in his heart like rocket fuel - not a question of “does God exist” but instead, “since God obviously does exist , then why does a rebellious race of earthlings still exist?” The answer loomed on the lunar horizon, a mysterious monolith, and it would blow the Captain’s world to smithereens, then bring it all back into perfect orbit around the One True Son.

  11. Shot Down in a Blaze of Glory

    Eddie ran all over the moon in a universe where all the good theology had been eaten by the TV. He just had to escape, and the moon was the only place left free from Joel Osteen. Then, he turned his head and saw a grenade shape. Just in time, Corky! We'll be flying down to earth in a blaze of glory!

  12. I was here...until I wasn't. :-)

  13. The Velveeta Enigma

    Sure I was scared - scared out of my mind!

    All I could hear was my heavy breathing and my heart pounding wildly as I ran for my life! What I thought was Corky the Romans 9 grenade turned out to be a robotic creation that someone created from my memory.

    After Corky died, he left instructions on where to bury his body. The third moon of Saturn was his idea and the twelve of us wanted to honor his last request.

    Shortly after we landed, individuals started reporting seeing Corky standing in the distance. We thought this was just an illusion brought on by the strange, red cosmic dust cloud.

    One by one, the crew of the Velveeta Enigma were being killed. Each helmet we found had a large hole in the side and the body drained of all fluid.

    Suddenly, I heard my name called...I turned was Corky...and he was smiling.

  14. To the Moon and Back

    There once was a grenade with a nine
    Who said he could travel through time
    His trip to the moon
    Will be over real soon
    'Cause he crossed the intergalactic date line.


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