This past Wednesday, we had our 7th Sudden Fiction Contest (see the post below). 2 student and 2 faculty judges read the entries and chose their “top” 3. Almost everyone who entered got a vote from at least one of the judges – just to show you how close it was.
Thanks to everyone who participated – the real point of the contest is to get and/or keep people writing in a hopefully fun way. But a contest is a contest, so the winner is…
1st place: Jonathan Gerhardson – a 25 dollar gift certificate and guaranteed publication in an upcoming Pulp City – read his entry below!
2nd place: Keisha Heathman – an HCC souvenir
Honorable mentions: Scott Chretien, Izzy Diaz, Brian Mejia, and really everyone who entered.
ALSO – ONLINE CONTEST! See the previous posting. If you entered the in-person contest, feel free to write something new for the online version and enter again.
Now… here’s Jon’s entry. Other entries will be posted in the weeks to come…
Flash Fiction – by Johathan Gerhardson
Looking out and the ground is rushing up to meet me. Landing a plane is the hardest part of flying, but these babies are a piece of cake. 1988 International crop duster – low altitude, quiet, inconspicuous. Especially up here in east bumfuck Minnesota. You hear a lot on the news about border security but it’s a load of moose shit, well, up here it is anyways. There’s only three checkpoints around the whole perimeter of the United States that matter. The 405 from Tijuana to L.A, 20 odd miles on the Texas/Mexico border, and Niagara Falls. I’ve had harder times as a kid sneaking into rated R movies than I’ve had doing a Quebec/Vermont run.
To me, smuggling is a game. Yeah, the money’s good but the thrill of it, that’s what I’m after. I’m strictly a border man, I don’t get involved with what I’m smuggling, I don’t care to know. I’m freelance mostly, a client has a package that they need to move discreetly and so I move it for them. End of story.
After I cross the border, I wait. Rule number one in smuggling: NEVER TELL ANYONE WHERE YOU’RE GOING. No one. That my friend, is how you get busted – by the cops or otherwise. When I’m in the air I send my client the gps coordinates of my touchdown and then I wait for them to come in their box truck or white van and they load it up, pay me, and then they leave, and then I leave. It’s the safest way. I said I’m in it for the thrills, but I’m not going back to jail.
What? You think me to be nothing more than a common criminal? Just another cog in the wheel of the black market? Maybe. But we’re all just cogs in one wheel or another – and each wheel is running someone over, so, what does it matter. If you pay taxes then you have endorsed the death and suffering of infinitely more people than I have. So don’t give me that after school special guilt trip.