Fiction

Simple pleasure: diving inside a night tank while bubbles ascend and whales from the Saint Lawrence materialize and vaporize, pin eyes black in white lumpy heads.

“They Comes On the Ice” is the honourable mention of Room’s Poetry and Fiction Contest 2018 as selected by judge Zoe Whittall.

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Gymnasts are brave and like to brag about how much pain they can take. Girls who couldn’t handle it were pulled out of class and enrolled in ballet. They were going to be disappointed when they learned the truth about that one, too.

See, the living room’s TV is on. It is always on when the Tseung family is home—and sometimes even when they are out—during, before, and after meals, which are the markers the family uses to record the passing of each day.

If I think about what I’m doing, I’ll never get off the plane. After all, it’s ridiculous to believe a computer program can predict two strangers will develop a meaningful relationship. It’s even more ridiculous to test that prediction by flying halfway across the country after a few dozen hours on Skype.

The Honourable Mention in our Winter 2017–2018 Short Forms Contest.

The anonymous woman in bed beside me adamantly shakes my shoulder. She had a name last night. She must have, as part of my hook-and-line I complimented her “pretty name” and said, “it suits you.” Unless a woman’s name is Mavis, I normally compliment her pretty name.

Our 2017 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.

The eviction notice came in the middle of a long winter, on one of those afternoons when M just couldn’t warm up, no matter how many sweaters and blankets she piled on her shoulders. 

They drove me for miles until the ground was a table of white. We passed a fox licking itself with such ferocity if we were ever to turn back I swear, its hide’d been bloody.

We meet in what I can only describe as a violent way, in that he spots me as we both watch the old man die in the middle of Portage Ave.

A comic by Mikiko Galpin. Part of our No Comment project.

Louisa discovered she could reverse time on a dim suburban street, forty-eight minutes after the end of the assault.

I’d been hoping for a kitchen full of balloons, a bouquet of flowers, all my favourite food. A hand-drawn banner: Welcome Home Tasha. Maybe even a Happy 14th Birthday, though my birthday wasn’t until tomorrow. I’d been away from my family all summer.

Doretta Lau is Room’s 2016 fiction contest judge. Who better than the judge herself to inspire you to get working on your contest entry? Read Lau's short story “Best Practices for Time Travel” below, from Room 38.3. Don't forget! The fiction contest closes July 15.

He was the first guy you dated who resembled anything you knew to be familiar. His moustache reminded you of your uncle so you told him to shave it, and he did.

I once kept a tangerine in my purse. I watched it turn leathery, sweet and puckered. Eventually, there was nothing to it at all, just a dried-up husk.

Dream # 1: Diogenes Lights the Lamp
“Come, child,” Diogenes takes me by the hand. “Let me show you the way.” His fingers are gnarled and twisted, ancient twigs.

Our 2015 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.

Once, upon a day of politics trouble, I saw my mother burying her gold in the vegetable and herb garden at the back of our house. It was a school day, but I was at home because she had pulled me out of class that morning.

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