TWA Tournament Round 3 – Phat Ink

“Broken Chains” by Tony Southcotte


“Transistor” by Hannah Newell


TWA 56 Main Card THIS ONE-01-01Greetings, short story lovers, and welcome to the third quarterfinal match of the 2015 tournament.

We have a fight for the ages today, and a stunning contrast of styles.

On the one hand we have Tony Southcotte. Known for writing stories with savage yetis and devouring cockroaches, Tony also displayed a softer side with his dragon tale “Build-a-Knight.”

Battling him is Hannah Newell. She’s known for thoughtful prose like her short story “Flight,” and hand-crafting love letters on Fiverr, yet never forget that she once ended the world in a sugary hell.

Their prompt?

It’s been known as pricking, inking, and irezumi. It has something savage in its roots, and indeed, it can be caused by trauma, gun shot, or shoddy dental work. It is also, however, considered the highest of art-forms by some, for the canvas in use is no dead piece of parchment, but instead is living skin.

Their prompt, if you haven’t guessed it, is tattoos. The art of permanently implanting pigment underneath one’s skin has existed in cultures throughout time and has been seen as everything from a sacred warrior’s mark to something only tramps get. They can signal membership in an elite group, or they can be forced upon someone as a way to discriminate against them. The point is, when someone gets a mark that will last forever, odds are it’s going to mean something.

Who will be decorated and who will regret it in the morning?

Let’s find out.

Tony Southcotte leads off with “Broken Chains.”

Hannah Newell battles back with “Transistor.”

The Phat Ink Fight has begun!!

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).


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