Choose!

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).

Which story should Craig and Pat pitch at the Gimli Film Festival?

  • The Trick (79%, 11 Votes)
  • Eating Everything There Ever Was (21%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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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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