E-newsletter subscribers receive the best deals and opportunities Writer's Block Coffee® has to offer (sign up here if you haven't already). One of those was a short story contest based on the peculiar vintage photograph above. The prize was a free bag of coffee.
Controversy! Fisticuffs! Rapscallions Amok!
The Writer's Block Coffee team, being book worms in the first place, reviewed many submissions and took it to a vote. It came down to a tie between two stories.
This could've marked the start of a murder mystery, given the team is wired on both coffee and several lifetimes' worth of crime novels. Fortunately, they reached a peaceful ending. Both short stories would win.
The keys to both wins were the twist endings. A short, 200-word story should move and breathe like longer works. The winners took the prompt to heart accordingly.
Here The Winners
So, without further ado, here are the winners of the first Writer's Block Coffee Super Short Story Contest.
Cindi Summerlin won for her clever poultry twist. She'll receive a roasted-to-order bag of Writer's Block Coffee in the mail. Special thanks for most excellent comments she made about our coffee on her blog announcing the win.
Liz Rivera also won for her chicken-inspired twist, although it's a twist on a twist. You'll see what that means below. She's due for coffee, too.
Coffee & Cigarettes, Anyone?
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, zero entries used the cigarette as the focus. The chicken ruled the roost. It seems the classic morning ritual of coffee and cigarettes is no longer in favor. This bit of audience research proved valuable to the WBC marketing department, which has since withdrawn its partnership with Marlboro.
But not really.
We're a Camel crew.
The winning stories are below. They're enjoyed best with a cup of coffee prepared just the way you like it.
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Winning Story #1: Herbs & Spices
by Cindi Summerlin
As a child, Samuel Langhorne Clemens often pondered the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.
It was a perplexing dilemma since fried chicken was one of his absolute favorite meals. He couldn't imagine the early residents of Missouri having to wait for an egg to hatch and then become a full-grown chicken before they could enjoy the delicious morsels of fried chicken. Especially since his second favorite meal was his momma's biscuits and sausage gravy served with eggs over easy, cheese grits, and fresh-brewed Writer's Block Coffee.
For that matter, he didn't even know how any chickens survived to be full grown southeast of the Mississippi River. But he was deeply grateful that there had been at least a few so that the world, and his momma, could discover the culinary delight known as fried chicken.
While not widely known, especially in the literary world, it was Samuel who passed along his momma's recipe to Margaret Ann Sanders during a chance meeting while on vacation with his family in Indiana. She in turn passed it down to her oldest boy, Harland Sanders, who later moved to Kentucky and the rest, they say, is history.
Winning Story #2: Sydney's Gripe
by Liz Rivera
"Okay, where do you wanna start?" Nikki grimaces and takes a long drag of her cigarette.
"Well," the interviewer looks down at his notes and shifts in his seat "Start with your name and when you started smoking and what's up with your chicken."
"Umm, I'm Nikki Eggs and..."
"Is that your nick-name because the chicken is with you all the time? Is it your best friend?" The interviewer leans in. "Your therapy pet?"
The chicken struts out of the room.
Nikki stands and nods her seven-year-old head. "Now you gone and done it. You insulted Sydney. Why would you do that?" Nikki stamps out her cigarette and trails after the chicken. "Sydney wait up!"
The chicken slows and pecks at a pizza crust on the curb.
"I know that was bad." Nikki taps and lights a fresh cigarette. She blows the smoke in Sydney's face. "There you go, much better, right?" She side-eyes an older woman who stands, open-mouthed, staring at the scene. "What'er you looking at grandma?"
"You know what gets me?" Sydney takes a feather-shaking deep breath of smoke and releases it. "Everyone assumes I'm your pet."