Congratulations, DL! It was a close one, but you edged out Sharon and Brian. In addition to considerable bragging rights, you’ve also won a free copy of The Black God’s War (ebook or trade paperback). DL’s winning piece of flash fiction is the first one presented below.
Thanks to everyone who participated! It was a lot of fun for me to host and judge the event, and I truly got a kick out of everyone’s submissions. Thanks for playing and I hope to see you again soon.
The five finalists for this week’s #5MinuteFiction are, listed in the order of submissions:
All I’m sayin’ is, if I had entered this competition, I don’t think I would’ve been one of the finalists. And the writing prompt was about my book. These folks are good! A little too good, if you ask me. I suspect foul play. Perhaps souls being promised to powerful discarnate entities? But I have no evidence, so …
The winner gets bragging rights and a free copy of The Black God’s War (paperback or ebook). While you’re waiting for the winner to be announced (tomorrow morning, after I wake up, maybe around 8 or 9 am Pacific?), you’re more than welcome to check out this in-browser, five chapter preview of The Black God’s War. You can find more info on the book, including some reviews, here on my blog.
And now, your
Devil worshippers finalists.
“When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until a young man was found, born of common stock, who…”
“Wait wait wait,” his grandson griped. “Is this another one of those chosen one saves the day stories?”
“But those are the best kind of stories.”
“They teach us that anyone could be special.”
“Nuh-uh. Special people are special. If you’re not, you just get to be killed by orcs.”
He shifted in his chair, uncomfortable about the line of questioning but proud of his grandson for seeing through the stories.
“Alright, then, what kind of story would you like to hear?”
“What was the world like when you were a kid?”
He beamed and with an impishness in his voice said, “oh, I doubt you want to hear about then. It was boring.”
“No! No no no! Tell me!”
“Alright,” the grandfather said, “let me think. Ah yes. When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until I was found…”
When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until one day it was realized that they had been fighting themselves. It was finally discovered that the two had met at the boundary between worlds. On one side, the normal world, and on the other was a mirror world. Like a small tiger cub approaching a mirror and mistaking itself for another, it had taken a while to figure out.
Ultimately, the introduction of a cosmic ball of yarn resolved this epic struggle.
When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until the city of Kalinga sold out. Their holy tomes, though critically acclaimed, and loved throughout the land, had not met with the approval his High Holiness Kann the Fourth. They gave the ten gods maps of the Mahayana passes; succored them after travel, and allowed them to stage. Sravasti fell shortly after, the stories penned at Kalinga swaying them body and soul. With the combined might of Rezzia, the ten gods, and Sravasti and Ashown against the capital, Kannauj soon fell. The monks of Kalinga quickly set to writing the histories—and it was known throughout the lands, and for all time, the great deeds of the press and the scribes who manned them.
When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until the mystics had had their fair share of pizza.
It was well known that Pawelonian pizza was not only extremely tasty, with it’s batter-dipped oorangtilian and pickled onshulung giving it that certain flavor that reminded everyone who tasted it of their first orgasm, but it also rendered the eater incredibly strong, hairy, and full of second-Sight.
The Gods knew they were at this disadvantage, and no amount of Rezzian spaghetti could ever make up for it. No matter how delicious the basil-infused spider-fish was.
The Mystics, now sprouting a fine coat of silver fur, muscles bulging like frantian tigers, eyes popping up all over their bodies, and the backs of their heads, peeking through their new, thick pelts, turned to face the Gods.
They were ready. They’d had their glass of Cabernet imported from Earth, too. They strode to the battlefield, all eyes roving in 360 directions.
That’s when they saw it. The big marquee over the Rezzian town center: “Pawleon Pizza: Fresh, Hot, Ready, & Fur-Bearing in Five Minutes or Your Money Back.”
7,000 pairs of Mystic eyes blinked in consternation.
“When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until …”
James squinted at the two additional columns of text, shook his head, and closed the thin booklet.
“Alright, that’s too much.” He hated long, expository read-aloud text that had nothing to do with the module. Everyone did.
Well, everyone except Keith. He knew all this stuff cold, and he’d been waiting months to play The Black Cultists of Rezzia. He sighed a little bit, and closed his notebook, as James continued.
“The mystics of Pawelon have hired you to guard a sacred artifact from the cultists of Rezzia.”
“What do you mean, which god, Keith? They’re cultists of Rezzia…”
“Rezzia,” started Keith, “is a place, not a deity.”
“Look,” said James, “do you want to play, or not?”
“If you keep debating, no one else is going to have any fun.”
The rest of the table nodded eagerly in agreement.
“James, I understand that you’re the GameMaster, but it’s important to me that you at least try and get some of the details right. For example, if you’d even tried to read the intro text…”
“That’s it. While Keith’s priest is checking his book to see which god the cultists worship, a pack of starving wolves attacks the party. Roll for initiative.”
Keith sighed, deflated, and picked up his dice.
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