My co-work­er Craig, an ama­teur film-mak­er, is try­ing to con­vince me to pitch a short film at the RBC Emerg­ing Film­mak­ers Com­pe­ti­tion at the Gim­li Film Fes­ti­val this sum­mer. We’re let­ting you decide which of my (very) short sto­ries would be best to try and pitch.  The sto­ries are below the poll.  Give ’em a read; they’re real­ly short (as in less than 1024 char­ac­ters short).

[poll id=“2”]

Eating Everything There Ever Was

It start­ed with a local hot-dog eat­ing con­test. Lou Ver­bain took first place, and moved on to the provin­cials, where he placed sec­ond. But the first-place con­tes­tant bowed out when his stom­ach rup­tured, and Lou was on to the nation­als. At inter­na­tion­als he placed a dis­tant third to a whip-thin Japan­ese girl.

Lou was­n’t about to take that lying down, so he went into hard-core train­ing. He ate all the hot dogs in town, then in the province, and even­tu­al­ly he caused a con­ti­nent-wide short­age in meat-ish products.

He moved on. Ham­burg­ers, pies, cook­ies, any­thing he could stuff down his gul­let. He grew and grew, too, expand­ing like a weed, like a bal­loon. It was surreal.

The day he start­ed eat­ing cars was prob­a­bly the point of no return. He start­ed small, with a rust­ed-out Dat­sun, but by week’s end he was devour­ing Hum­mers and limos.

At some point hydro­gen fusion start­ed up in his stom­ach, but he did­n’t notice.

Long sto­ry short, now he’s a black hole, Ver­bain X‑1, and the Uni­verse is slow­ly falling into him.

The Trick

You want to see a trick?”

Her eyes nar­rowed. “What kind?”

Like noth­ing you’ve ever seen,” he said, and took a swig straight from the bot­tle. Red wine stained his teeth. “Promise.”

All right.” She leaned back in the chair as he stood up, crossed to the cen­tre of the room, and did some kind of odd shoul­der-shrug­ging warmup dance. He’d left the bot­tle on the table, and she took it, wrapped her lips around it, and chugged what remained of the wine. She had a buzz going and was­n’t about to lose it.

With­out pre­lude, with­out scream­ing, with­out any warn­ing what­so­ev­er, he burst into flames. In per­fect silence he burned, star­ing into her soul with those intense grey eyes he had.

She dropped the bot­tle. It shat­tered, green shards every­where. She want­ed to scream but could­n’t. She stared as he was consumed.

There was a pile of ash and a black spot on the hard­wood, and no oth­er evi­dence he’d ever existed.

The door opened and he walked in. She leapt from the reclin­er, embraced him, and said, “How’d you do it?”

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