The Hummingbird Contest closes on Monday. Do you have your stories in yet?
Our contest judge is Bob Thurber, master of short fiction. To inspire you to inspire him, here are a few paragraphs from ‘Wager’, the first of his stories to be published in Pulp Literature.
I’m in this story, though only because I have to be, and I’ve taken liberties to keep my appearance to the barest minimum. The truly important people are Tony and Phil. You’ll need to excuse them both, especially Phil. The poor bastard’s a wreck, jittery from lack of sleep, fuelled by too much coffee. He hasn’t bathed, shaved or eaten since Thursday’s late afternoon breakfast, when he was chewing on a slice of rubbery bacon, commenting to Tony, his roommate and life partner, how premium quality, centre-cut bacon really should not be cooked on a paper towel in a microwave.
That’s when the phone rang and Phil answered.
The caller’s voice was flat, cold, nonchalant to the point of sounding breezy. It was a voice right out of a Hitchcock thriller, in that moment right before some woman screams. After a brief, rather one-sided conversation full of ugly and melodramatic references to shattered bones, torn flesh, broken teeth, the caller said, “Imagine how it’s going to feel to have both your eyes scooped out with a soup spoon, you deadbeat faggot.”