Greetings, short story lovers, and welcome to the third quarterfinal round of our 2016 tournament.
We’ve had some journeys so far in the arena, our walls are no stranger to the idea of a road trip, but for this week’s prompt we have a very specific type of journey in mind: a delivery.
It sounds benign, all we’re requiring is a story where something (or someone) is transported from point A to point B. Yet this concept underpins a-thousand-and-one classic stories and has been used to kick off adventures for centuries. What drives the opening of Star Wars? Two droids delivering the plans for the Death Star. The briefcase in Pulp Fiction needing to be delivered drives, well, two thirds of that movie. Mad Max, Midnight Run, even Raiders of the Lost Ark could be viewed as the Nazis trying to deliver the ark to Hitler…nobody says that the good guys have to be doing the delivering.
Point being, safe transport of something is an idea fraught with possibility. Will the secret service agent be able to transport the president’s daughter to safety? Will the cease fire orders arrive at the front in time? Will the ransom reach the kidnapper?
So this week our authors have to put on their delivery hats and…well…deliver us a story in which something being transported from point A to point B is central to the plot.
Who will deliver the goods and who will return to sender?
Let’s find out!
The Delivery Dust-Up is on!
We have two judges that will render their decision next Monday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors are not allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Monday.
And remember, if you like one of this week’s stories, vote it up in the new all-time best of list (new stories appear at the bottom).