The 2017 Brno Short Story Writing Contest received a total of 87 entries. Only three were able to win money: “New Year’s Evey” by Adam Sweet was selected as the winner and won 6,000kc. “Kuba’s Rotation” by Theo Singleton was second and earned 2,000kc. And “Dark Horse” by Maya Vusilović was third and earned 1,000kc.
It was a difficult process for the jury to decide upon the winners and it took an hour and a half of discussion, argument, and, eventually, consensus. Eight additional stories were awarded honorable mention.
This list is a table of contents for the also ran entries. The list is according to the order in which the author responded to an email request for permission for publication, and includes the title, the author’s name, the synopsis, and a link to the story.
By Andrea Bodnárová
Snapshots from the microcosmos. The uniqueness of mundane details and daily weirdness.
• Overheard in Brno
By Anna Dvořáková
I have been touched.
By Kevan Vogler
A brief tale about Brno public transit, irresponsible gardening practices and paintbrushes.
• 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 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.
• 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.
• 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.
Many people are not privileged enough to fully live in the present moment.
I’m one of them.
• A City of Two Tales
K B Constantine
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.
• 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.
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.”
• Look up!
When the city of Brno woke up.
• 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.
• An old shipyard
No synopsis provided.
• 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.
• Flying House
No synopsis provided.
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.
• A Wheel of Fortune
A story about resilient Birck, beautiful Rosie, and one stupid bet.
• 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?
• Brno JCity
Whenever you need a place to stay, you turn home.
My home is Brno.
• 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.
• A story with no name
Varun Saxena & Svitlana Shurma
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.
• Lost (and found) in the Babí lom woods
Sometimes the best way to find something is to lose and get lost.
Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk visits Brno in 1906 and travels in time with help from Smetana.
• 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.
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?
• One night at Ludwig’s
An intriguing dialogue between the architect of Villa Tugendhat and his old friend Aleksej.
• Sounds from silence in Špilberk castle
This story is about Blanche of Valois and her stay in Brno.
• 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.
• 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.
• Lunch break
Florentina Elena Florea
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.
• Hey, Old Man!
Brno can be mystic, too.
Robin Alexander Smith
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.
People are places. Places with heartbeats.
• The Little Seagull With The Big Earthworm
Short story about a fight for not coming back and about a return to fight.
• 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.
• Jeremiah’s book
The detective Jeremiah and his partner Miloš are dealing with a series of theft occurring in the city of 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.
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.
• 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.
• 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?
• 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.
Sir Steven R. Schwartz Ist., Esq.
Who the f*** cares? We won’t remember this tomorrow.
• 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?
• The Spirit
A short story about two lonely beings, one night in the shadows and lights of Brno and one accident that changed everything.
• Closed Eyes
The best way to see the world is to not look through your eyes.
• 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.
• 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.
• Adventures With Giant Ants
Anna and David runs before giant ants. They have to find someone who will help them.
• A Good Day
Robin Miguel Reisinger
A short story of a forgotten man, who wanted nothing but help.
• The Midday chimes
“Run, Jakob. Run to the cathedral and ring the bell. Save us.”
• True love
This short story discovers love between two teenagers, which then eventually prevents the main character from committing a suicide.
• 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.
• 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.
• A Break from It All
No synopsis provided.