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Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction

River Styx received close to 300 submissions for their eighth annual Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest. “We thought the overall quality of manuscripts was exceptionally high,” the editors write. The top three winners are featured in the latest issue of the magazine (39th Anniversary Issue: “Because who wants to turn 40?”)

First Place
Doug Crandell, “Dangerous to Inhale”
“The state park cannot be named. If it is, you’ll know where this happened, and if that were the case, he might come back and get me. I don’t want that. Yes, he’s dead, but one thing you’ll find out is that the dead are never really gone here. He gets to go wherever he wants, the Magic Marker Man, that is…”

Second Place
Landon Houle, “Right to the Bones, Right to the Marrow”
“My mother texts me, says, Lisa lost the baby again. I don’t think about it at the time. At the time, I’m in the bathtub, and I’m getting my phone all wet and soapy, and to my credit, I’m not thinking about electronics and water or the manner of my mother’s message. To my credit, I’m thinking of my cousin Lisa, and I type back, Oh no! …”

Third Place
John Hearn, “Billy”
“He told me he remembered the day his parents brought Billy home from Union Hospital, the day he met his sixth sibling. The christening, too, with the Boston relatives crowding the apartment early that Sunday morning, the adults dressed in their church clothes, baby Billy in a christening gown brought by his aunt Madeline. In the apartment, just minutes before the ceremony, a discussion continued over what to name him..”

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