Walking papers

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

The Boss

The governor was agitated because his favorite newspaper was coming out with an expose that included the writings of his party's Assembly Speaker-elect. He'd read it at midnight, the moment it posted online, but the newsprint copy was due at any moment. Just as he sat down to work on his State of the State speech, the red and black phone on his desk rang. “Yes, sir,” he answered, a bead of sweat trickling down his temple. “I want you to call Ira Hansen and tell him to withdraw from consideration for Speaker.” “Yes, sir.”

Look at that, exactly 95 words of the finest fiction.

It's our annual contest in which people submit exactly 95-word stories (excluding title). It's a lot of fun for our editors, but we take it pretty seriously. We strip off the names and read every single story, and then we assign a number value to our favorites. The ones that overlap in the editors' favorites lists get the highest rankings.

You've probably seen it, since I think this is our 19th year doing it. If you'd like to get a sense of our idea of high quality, check out: www.newsreview.com/reno/dynamite-comes-in-small-packages/content?oid=11970988.

So write your stories, and send them to renofiction@newsreview.com. They've got to be in by 9 a.m. on Dec. 10. We're going to publish our winners in our Dec. 25 edition.

We've noticed in years past that the responses often have a theme. Zombies and anthrax were popular a few years ago. I'm kind of hopeful people strive for humorous stories this year. But we'll see, it'll probably be ISIL beheading American orphans with Ebola, which would be ironic, particularly if they infected them.

What do you win? Bragging rights. If you'd like to feel the awe of your friends and family and the respect of your enemies, send me your darkest, cutest—Dennis is a sucker for animal stories—or sexiest fantasies. It'll be great.