December 2013

Though it’s for others to judge, it’s no surprise that the award for the worst piece of prose goes to my good friend: Alex Braude Congratulations Alex, on your first NITH win. You truly are a terrible, terrible writer. Also, as you can no doubt imagine, this was a hard one for the judges. Five in total, each with 6 points to spend, and every submission received at least a point. That’s an unusual result for such a big short list. Make sure you check out our current award, and have yourself a Happy Holiday Season. Coming up in 2014… performance poetry!

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The doorbell sounded in the silence of the house. An eerie sound that resembled the bells, made of spent artillery shells, that warned the soldiers on the battle field near Ypres, during World War I, whenever there was a mustard gas attack. It was an often dreaded sound, that announced death and mutilation, promising to kill another dozen of soldiers on these Fields of Craziness at the Western Front in Flanders, their bodies left behind in the dirty mud, infested with flies that feasted on their flesh. Flies, that always seemed to know where to find a good meal, and always seemed to propel at the misery of humans. Flies that will no doubt survive mankind far ahead in the future, like they had also survived the extinction of the …

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I see a lot of things from my vantage point above the bar.  People come.  People go.  They order drinks and sometimes get drunk.  Sometimes they even drink out of me.  Oh, wait, I forgot to tell you – I’m a wine glass. Yes, I’ve seen a lot of things in my day, but I’ll never forget the night that she came in.  Her name was Jasmine, and boy what a looker she was!  I could tell right away that she was trouble by the double-dealing look in her eye, and I was right. Soon after sitting down, Jasmine ordered a bloody mary and took a sip. “Excuse me, bartender,” she said in a huff.  “I ordered a bloody mary.  This is tomato paste.” “Are you sure?” asked the bartender …

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“Stop,” he said. I had no choice. I was backed into a corner with no where to go, I was cornered and there was no escape. I looked at my pursuer for the first time. He was the kind of man more suited to drinking coffee and here he was pursuing me which didn’t really fit with the kind of guy he was. Of course, his eyes didn’t fit either, by which I mean they did. They fit the pursuing but not the man. Or maybe it’s the other way around, except of course it wasn’t. Or was it. He started to say something but I held up a finger. I wanted to think this point through. Nup nothing, it eluded me like an elusive riddle which is a thing …

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U.F.P., Bajor slam Cardassia’s ‘destabilizing’ move on Bajoran space Stardate 50974.9, 2 hours ago. BAJOR/DEEP SPACE NINE (Dahkur Press) — Bajor and its ally the United Federation of Planets sharply criticized Cardassian Union’s move to impose new rules on space near the heart of a territorial dispute with Bajor, warning of an escalation into the “unexpected” if Cardassia, now a member of the Dominion, enforces the rules. Obsidian News, the Dominion’s government-run news agency on Cardassia Prime, published coordinates for a newly established “Bajoran Sector Defense Identification Zone” which covers much of that sector, including the wormhole and Deep Space Nine. Cardassia and its Dominion ally warned that it would take “defensive emergency measures” against any ship that failed to identify themselves properly in that space. Bajoran Minister Fukoo Kardiis …

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So here’s how it kinda happened. It might not have happened exactly like this but whatever, that doesn’t matter. It’s close enough and it’s a good story, so just deal with it. I woke up from my sleep with a desperate, roaring, aching, painful, awful, painful, terrible, painful, aching ache in my heart. It hurt so much, like I’d been stabbed or something. Had I been stabbed? Perhaps. By a dagger made of heartbreak and crying. My name is Allyss(It’s pronounced the same as Alice, just so you know). Allyss Teardrop. I sighed a sigh and got out of bed, walking over to my wardrobe and looking at all my clothes. I put on a low-cut dress, with my tight skinny jeans (blue) underneath the dress for extra cool. I …

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God Incorporated (formerly trading as Zeus Enterprises) 999 Clearview Way  Heaven    Dear God,   Re: Our last conversation       As I was saying on the phone, we can’t be friends any more because of what happened last night. It was an honest mistake that anybody could have made. We had too much to drink. Reminiscing about old times in Athens made me weak and vulnerable. I didn’t know what I was thinking. I was confused. I was blind. I couldn’t see. It was dark. My eyes were closed. The sunglasses blurred my vision.   I don’t know how my pants fell off. The stitching must’ve come loose. I need to fire my tailor. You should fire your tailor as well as your pants fell off too. I …

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Twenty three brown leaves skittered across the quadrangle, caught in the same breeze that whipped some of Victoria’s long, brown hair in to her mouth. She paused, pulling out four strands of wet-tipped hair and flicking away the wet sesame seed, then continued with her story. “So then I was like ‘if you’re so against it or whatever then just, like, take me home straight away’ and he, like, did. So lame.” Chelsea didn’t know where to look. She looked at the space between Victoria’s eyes, then up to the left because she had read that was a sign to the other person that you were remembering something, then up to the right because maybe looking up to the left was when you were lying and looking up to the …

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“Urg?” Grak said, curious. “Wat dat?” “Dis?” Urg said, motioning at the flickering flame on the ground. “Dis fire. It hot. It feel good when cold. It make fud tastee. But it only come when Sky Gods angry and yelling. It not work well.” Urg walked away with his fried. “Not work good. No need to improve. Old ways best.” Then they were stomped on my a time travelling Tyrannosaur who thought that the parable needed a definitive end. Next time, the apes would think twice about sitting next to an invisible ship while having a boring conversation. After he stepped on the cavemen, Cemair, of the Laser Dino Time Corps, sighed. It was a sigh fraught with what sighs are usually fraught with.  He was supposed to have been …

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The tall, thin, cadaverous inspector gazed at the mayhem below. “What the hell do they think they’re doing, Sergeant Watts? he remarked to his short, rotund sidekick. The pair of CID men stood looking down on Paddington Station concourse. Rush hour was in full swing but instead of the frenzied purposefulness of commuters rushing hither and yon, the scene they gazed down was eerily tranquil. The commuters were there in their hundreds but they were not moving with their usual haste. The open area, normally overflowing with jostling and shoving people picking their way through those who were staring hopefully at the large departure board, was instead filled with people moving slowly, almost gracefully in concentric circles, waving their arms and legs in precise patterns. The area around the board …

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I will end this anecdote with the words, ”No, this is definitely tomato paste.” It will be a common, colloquial situation, and you will most likely feel disappointed and empty. There are no grandiose schemes of romance or emotion. Everything just is. Everything has always just been. Just like the lights from office buildings when standing by the river Thames late at night, my life has been repetitive. The same actions, every day, just like the same lights go on and off in those windows at the same time.  There has never been a moment when I thought that I was special and would achieve greatness of a wonderful multitude – I’ve always thought myself to be somewhat dull. When other children wanted to be police officers, marine biologists, NobelPrize …

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I recall now, as one of those tales of misadventure one often recalls in his age, and I write down now for you, perhaps, a rather humorous beginning to my life in this house, this house that has grown so dear to me… As I recall, it was quite a rainy Tuesday, and I had just begun to write in the first volume of this, my personal diary, of now forty years. Perhaps, you may think it queer, that I chose to write it now, and not, of course, then, as I was writing in my diary. Perhaps it is because I simply deemed it unworthy of those pages upon which I scrawled in the gibberish tongue of my middle age. I write now of a rather foggy memory of …

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-          I’m here! The door was open! – Angie called out as she was closing the door. –          In the kitchen! – Jess replied. The clock in the hallway was counting final seconds to 11PM. Angie looked at it for a moment and while passing through the dining room, she remembered she had forgotten her toothbrush. She leaned her head on the kitchen door just to enjoy Jess, who was standing with his back to her. While scratching one foot with the other, her shorts jeans outlined the oval shapes she had. The silky blond hair was spread out on her shoulder down to the elbow. She turned around. –          Hey! –          Hey gorgeous! – Angie went to kiss her. Their breasts touched each other. She looked at Jess’s hand …

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