Saturday, May 20, 2017

The BSSWC Synopses

Want to get a feel for the subject matter and themes addressed by the 87 entries into the Brno Short Story Writing Contest? Read through the synopses.

Each entry for the BSSWC was encouraged to include a title page with a brief synopsis. This was not required; six entries did not include a synopsis.

Reading through the brief descriptions — and even simply reading the titles — provides a taste for what the judges are reading as they evaluate and critique the entries. The final results will be announced in early to mid-June. Soon thereafter, the Brno Writers Group will publish the winners, honorable mentions, and as many additional entries as possible. (Entrants were asked for permission to publish their entries in an email sent Sunday, May 14. Please respond to so that your entry will be published.)

The title pages for the 87 short stories that were entered in the Brno Short Story Writing Contest are listed below, with title on the first line and the synopsis underneath. They are listed chronologically according to the order received. Note that no edits or corrections were made to these synopses. Some italics and bold font may have been removed.

In your dream...
When you sleep, everything is possible
In this story I tell you about my dream. In this dream I met my grandfather and he told my about his ring. I went search this ring.

• Memories for the future
Letter from a mother to her daughter, in which she tells the story of love and loss in times of war.

• Disclaimer
Who the f*** cares? We won’t remember this tomorrow.

• Flying House
No synopsis provided.

Overheard in Brno
I have been touched.

• The Tram
Two strangers meet on the Number 5 tram in the center of Brno.  Within six stops they discover that although they don’t have much in common, there are reasons to continue the conversation.

• The Transhumanist, a science fiction story
In an alternate history of the 20th century, Brno becomes a sprawling metropolis, where old traditions collide with rapid technological progress and economic growth directly borders extreme poverty. A brief debate commences, concerning a dead body.

A short story inspired by people and events from my own life, describing how living in Brno has affected us as students and our decisions about our future lives. The living legends and places of Brno mentioned in the story are all true.

• Chime (Tweleven)
Another Friday in Brno sets the underbelly of the city on a call to action. Clubbers need to be serviced, money is to be made, rent is to be paid. All accompanied by the ever-echoing sounds of a centuries old myth. 

Lost (and found) in the Babí lom woods
Sometimes the best way to find something is to lose and get lost.

A “friends' night out” reveals something unexpected

• Lunch break
When people choose to interact as social beings, they add some extra to the ordinary life.
This is an ExtraOrdinary story of two strangers forced by the circumstances to have lunch at the same table and focuses on the inner perception of one of the characters.

• Look up!
When the city of Brno woke up
• One night at Ludwig’s
An intriguing dialogue between the architect of Villa Tugendhat and his old friend Aleksej.

Hey, Old Man!
Brno can be mystic too

• In the Memory of Andy
“In the Memory of Andy” is a short horror story, which is meant to pay respect to the old Masaryk Circuit in Brno and to all those, who lost their lives there. It tells the story of three friends with a strange hobby of visiting memorials of the dead – necrotourism.

Belonged Home
There is one particular story that reaches from up the human heart Down Under, telling of one young man’s love to Brno, love born in the farthest corner of the southern hemisphere’s Australia.

• A Wheel of Fortune
A story about resilient Birck, beautiful Rosie, and one stupid bet.

A brief tale about Brno public transit, irresponsible gardening practices and paintbrushes.

• Hyperlook
Hyperloop is an incredibly fast transportation vehicle that is going to be built to connect Brno, Prague and Vienna. It is well-known for its futuristic design and speed, but what if it goes too fast?

• The Young Doctor
The story is about a disillusioned young man, who tries to live in Brno during the World War II. He had already forgotten about his dreams, but dramatic events will remind him of them.

• B-E-D-B
Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk visits Brno in 1906 and travels in time with help from Smetana.

• Brno
No synopsis provided.

An encounter with a mysterious stranger
This story is about a young girl from Brno who meets a strange visitor and thanks to her she realizes that she is proud of being a citizen of Brno.

My Personal Prison
Taylor Riley is a 30 year old woman that suffers from a serious social phobia. She resolves to leave her appartment in Brno only in emergency and the only people she speaks to are the messengers.

• A story with no name
This is an anti-story of two lonely hearts in Brno walking the same route with the feelings that are polar opposite to the city and themselves in that city. The city looks at them and wonders how some roads never cross and some hearts never meet to save each other.

Follow the story of a young man shrouded in mystery and a girl-child as they embark on uncanny adventures, making unexpected friends and battling less-than-friendly foes.

• Confession of an unborn child
What if an unborn child is not that unconscious of the world around us as we think? We might know life after death but what about before-birth life, can you imagine something like this exists?

• Alive City
No synopsis provided.

The Hill of Loneliness
The short story takes place in the sanatorium complex (Ozdravovna) that used to be on Kamenný vrch in Brno at the end of the 1930s. Only the lookout tower and the pool have survived.

Dark Horse
Woman of foreign descent lives in infamous Brno neighbourhood. In order to keep her sanity, she tries to reconcile her personal life with the disturbing past that keeps haunting her.

The dragon of Littlebury
Everyone  knows  about  the  Dragon  of  Brno  hanging  in  the  old  town  hall  and  some  people  had  even  heard  the  legend  about  it.  Have  you  ever  thought  about  how  it  could  have  turned  out  differently?

A Historical Conceit
What if someone told you that a widely-accepted event from history didn’t happen the way you think it did? This story reimagines a well-known chapter from Brno’s history-and might just have you second-guessing what you think you know.

Once Upon a Time
Following our dreams can sometimes lead us to the most strange and bizarre place.

• Sounds from silence in Špilberk castle
This story is about Blanche of Valois and her stay in Brno.

The Little Seagull With The Big Earthworm
Short story about a fight for not coming back and about a return to fight

• An old shipyard
No synopsis provided.

• Insomnia
Many people are not privileged enough to fully live in the present moment.
I’m one of them.

Whenever you need a place to stay, you turn home.
My home is Brno.

• The Writing
A police investigator interrogates a mysterious man, who tells him a chilling story about the strange fate that befell the city of Brno.

• The Underground
Sam and Alex are really curious boys who decide to go and explore the Brno underground, but they find a strange olive green beast there, which seems to have some extraordinary powers and also looks quite scary.

The Kingdom of Letters
When a young post officer Eliska goes to the work in the morning, she thinks it's going to be a pretty normal day (as normal as it can be in a city of Brno during the war) but then she opens one letter and all hell breaks loose. Would she be able not to uncover the resistance and safe her life?

• Be like Špilberk Castle
Motivational and testimonial story about our native and prosperous city and the thoughts aloud about finding the high calling of my life, in the scheme of things, which should be look-alike Špilberk Castle.

• The Midday chimes
“Run, Jakob. Run to the cathedral and ring the bell. Save us.”

Natasha’s Unexpected Adventure
Young Natasha experiences a surprising tour of her hometown, Brno. Travelling not only geographically but also in time, she makes new friends and learns new things about her city.

• I Bet You Completely Forgot About Easter
Seen through the eyes of your average weirdo, the story exposes Brno as a curious place inhabited by curious people. Or not curious at all.

A City of Two Tales
These tales remember the recent and distant past of a famous city. Two friends try to retrace their steps from the previous evening, meanwhile Prof. Masaryk mulls over the current state of society.

The Sixty Eighth
Living on the old Slavkov battlefield usually just means dealing with the odd re-enactment, but then the English infantryman stopped by the garden one spring afternoon.

The last šalina
A tram can take you to the end of your journey.

• Ease
People are places. Places with heartbeats.

• The Four Clans, Brno
No synopsis provided.

• You don't choose Brno – Brno chooses you
A collection of moments from my life spent in Brno, showing that transformation is inevitable – including good and bad elements, because that is how we are shaped. My favorite moments – without these I would not be who I am today.

• Just say hello
Elikem is new in Brno. He decides to make friends by greeting people at bus stops and on buses.

Stab with the pointy end
This short story takes place in times of Thirty Years' War in Brno which was almost conquered by Swedish army of general Torstenson. The main hero is young apprentice Venca who was badly hurt in the last battle. In his last hours he intended to write a short story in case somebody wanted to know story of a young dumb but brave joiner. The following pages are written by him, so please relax and enjoy.

• Closed Eyes
The best way to see the world is to not look through your eyes.

• Magna Regina Brunensis
The young clerk Tomáš Pongrác received a shoulder blade in the parcel and someone wanted to meet him at the cemetery in Brno.

• The Spirit
A short story about two lonely beings, one night in the shadows and lights of Brno and one accident that changed everything.

• A Break from It All
The interruption of a long awaited trip home to the U.S. results in a new perspective on belonging.

• Before the Light Fades Away
A story of a girl, named Helena, whose life has changed in one day during the second world war. A story not only about love, but of the injustice and cruelty of the world, and the fact that we can never be certain about our future.

A Good Day
A short story of a forgotten man, who wanted nothing but help.

Brno from a different perspective
What is real? And what is a dream?

The North Wind
A young woman leaves her home and moves to the city which feels unfamiliar and bleak. The North wind arrives to the city and follows the woman for one year watching how a strange place might become a new home.

• Speechless
Out of pure necessity, a poor student must find a roommate with whom to share a tiny flat in the very heart of Brno. Despite the differences between them, the couple manage to form a strange connection that might not be easy to deal with.

• Imprisoned
This fictional story is built upon the known facts of an infamous and mysterious accident which happened in Brno in 1976, when a florist fell into the water distribution network and disappeared. Her remains were found in 1992 and identified in 1994.

Hrabal, In The Air
The story describes a single suspended moment in time at the end of the life of Bohumil Hrabal, in which he imagines being observed by his mother, and uses this moment to explore the ambiguities which surrounded the writer’s death.

• New Year's Evey
A man grappling with the death of his wife spends New Year's Eve at a hidden place in Brno near the birthplace of Bohumil Hrabal where he searches for solace and where the unbelievable comes true.

Thea's promise
Sometimes shadow of yesterday is taking over and we require to change something about our lives. Thea didn’t know much about Brno but she decided start again there.

• Insert. Home. Delete. End*
A short story about the meaning of life seen through the eyes of three (maybe four) IT professionals and one recruiter. Where do you see yourself in five years?
• Story of Brno
A story of a young woman full of hate and love for one city. Brno.

• Jeremiah’s book
The detective Jeremiah and his partner Miloš are dealing with a series of theft occurring in the city of Brno.

• Unexpected skip
A short story about a caveman who gets to the present in Brno and expierences incidents while trying to get back to prehistory.

Snapshots from the microcosmos. The uniqueness of mundane details and daily weirdness.

Kuba's Rotation
The traumatic events of the days leading up to the incarceration of an officer of the Brno city hall  in the Cernovice mental asylum.

• The Endless Renouncement of Feelings
A story about a young woman who moves to Brno in order to feel closer to her girlfriend Kaja who spent most of her life there. Now, this woman is waiting for Kaja to wake up from an artificial coma she was put in after a car crash.

• A Walk Outside
Diving into the Brno streets one cannot but meander in walk and thought.

A story of an old man, old wanderer, old lover 
and a moment of his long, wonderful, wanderful life.

• The Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper in the so called afterlife who struggles to carry out his duty of welcoming the dead citizens of Brno as his supervisor threatens to retire and leave him to take care of everything.

The short story tells a story of an unnamed hero, who is different than the others; because of his otherness, there is no place, where he would be welcomed; he is forced to wander from place to place, chased by the Creature. Now he is coming to the new place, hoping that “this time it will be different.”

A dream of paradise
This story is symbolical and abstract depiction of a conflict of ideologies in history but also the conflict in ones soul and for me something much more personal that destroyed a beautifull frienship.

• The Walk
Two friends walk around Brno. They talk about architecture and life.

• The Last Supper
A small language school standing at the edge of bankruptcy is given another chance, but is it worth all the effort and personal sacrifice?

• Along the Edge
A short story about the young person who thinks about life and love during his journey to his favorite place.

The Passing of Forms
Holding the breath, taking a moment out of time, looking at it from all the angles, marveling at what makes it special, trying to capture the spirit, to squeeze a city into a ball, one cannot but realise that all the magic comes from everyday life.

• True love
This short story discovers love between two teenagers, which then eventually prevents the main character from committing a suicide.

• Adventures With Giant Ants
Anna and David runs before giant ants. They have to find someone who will help them.

• The Club
The inhabitants of Brno have long been used to the presence of many quirky characters which complete the cultural mosaic of the city. They have been passing these apparently less fortunate citizens with little regard or thought. However, the amount of involvement of these unique figures in the smooth run of Brno and possibly the whole country might be of much greater importance than it seems.

• The Girl and the City
Rose, having recently moved to Brno for university feels sad and isolated and hates her new home. But as the year passes and she meets new people her feelings start to change.


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