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Excerpt: 'Hint Fiction'

'Hint Fiction'

Barry Napier
Through Tiny Windows
When they opened the cadaver, they found a house. A couple argued inside. There was rhythm to their words, like the beating of a heart.

L. R. Bonehill
There had been rumors from the North for months. None of us believed it, until one night we started to kill our children too.

Daniel A. Olivas
Better Than Divorce
The bull terrier watched the car fishtail and then straighten as it sped away. The dog turned, looked down, and gently licked his master's forehead.

Max Barry
Blind Date
She walks in and heads turn. I'm stunned. This is my setup? She looks sixteen. Course, it's hard to tell, through the scope.

Peter Straub
The Endless Mystery
When, on his deathbed, he last saw her, she had not aged by so much as a day.

John Cashman
One Month Too Soon
Penelope was wakened by the cheers from the agora. She turned to the man in her bed and whispered, "What have I done?"

Christoffer Molnar
Jermaine's Postscript To His Seventh-Grade Poem Assignment
"Ms. Tyler, the girl part was about Shantell. Please don't tell anyone."

Minter Krotzer
Everyone in town went to the same gynecologist, Dickie. Even Dickie's sister went to Dickie. No one thought this was strange except for the out-of-towners.

Stuart Dybek
Broke and desperate, I kidnapped myself.
Ransom notes were sent to interested parties. Later, I sent hair and fingernails, too.
They insisted on an ear.

Will Panzo
The Man Of Tomorrow Or Maybe You've Heard This One Before, But You've Never Heard It Like This
Dying planet. A boy, a rocket, a last hope. Kansas cornfield crash landing. Ma finds it sleeping in the crater. Pa fetches the shotgun.

Excerpted from Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer edited by Robert Swartwood. Copyright 2011 by Robert Swartwood. Original contributions copyright by the contributor. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton and Co. Inc.

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