So once again, I’ve waded into the competitive waters of a NYC Midnight writing contest, but with a twist this year – their 250 word MicroFiction Challenge asks you to tell a very brief story, and write it in only 24 hours. Here’s my attempt:
They always had three seats together. It had usually been in the cheap section, but tonight, they splurged on front row tickets. Mark and Dave wore sunglasses, and kept watching for trouble. Frank was also in sunglasses, but being dead, didn’t seem concerned.
The game was over, and the fans around them were mostly gone, except for a few drunks polishing off the leftover beers under the seats. Mark lowered his shades and looked over at Dave.
“Now or never, good buddy,” said Mark.
Dave nodded, pulling the collapsible shovels from the pocket of his jacket. They stood, as nonchalantly as possible, and with a quick look around, shoved Frank’s body over the railing, onto the football field below.
They had it all planned out. They would bury him in the endzone, just like he’d always wanted. The team has said no, of course, but if they were quick, they might get away with it.
No one seemed to notice Frank, so they turned and hopped over the railing themselves. There, they found a security guard, lying prone under the corpse.
“Guess we don’t have to bribe him now,” said Dave.
They dragged the unconscious guard to the goalpost, lashing him in place with their belts, and started digging. The turf was soft, and they managed to bury Frank within a few minutes.
“Touchdown,” said Mark. Dave nodded, solemnly. They looked at the slight lump in the field.
“He… did say north endzone, right?” asked Dave.
“Sh*t,” said Mark.
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY:
“I thought the concept for the piece was original and interesting and the ending was funny and a good twist.”
“I loved this story of friends giving their buddy the burial he wanted. It was smooth, clean, and easy to follow. The dialogue felt realistic, and I believed the whole story as it happened.”
“The story is full of humor. From the moment we meet Frank and learn he’s dead, we know we’re in for an interesting ride.”
WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK:
“I would have liked to have seen a little more development of the characters. Right now there is not a lot of differentiation between Mark and Dave.”
“What details can be added so this really lands and feels vivid? Maybe Frank is buried in his uniform or with his favorite beer in his hands?”
“Structurally, it seems like you’re setting up the conflict that Mark and Dave have to bury their best friend to fulfill his last wishes without being caught. I’d focus on building up to that, perhaps with them almost getting caught. I’d recommend ending on the button with the guard. It’s a bigger joke than the end zone and more relevant to the conflict.”