Last October I participated in the NYC Midnight 250-word Microfiction Challenge where I was put in competition with 46 other writers with the same prompts. This story made it into the top 10 for the first round and I was allowed to advance to round two. I’m really proud of it, especially considering how cowed I was initially at the idea of writing in a genre well outside of my wheelhouse.
The prompts I had to work with were as follows—
Genre: romantic comedy
Action: making a paper airplane
Old homework makes okay crafting material. Jane folds the paper airplane in third period. It ends up squashed and bent in her backpack.
Still, she aims for the broken water fountain in the corner opposite to her at lunch. It seems like a good idea. In the unlikely event of a water landing…
Jane flings the paper airplane into its maiden flight. It does not land safely and she cannot stop it. Instead she can only watch it hit Marnie Morris in the forehead.
Goth Marnie. Marnie “released goats into the stands at the pep rally” Morris. May or may not be a witch Marnie. That Marnie.
She turns and looks at Jane. All the chattery noise seems to get sucked away. Marnie stands up from where she sits alone. Jane waits for death to come for her.
“You dropped this,” is all Marnie says, holding out the paper airplane.
Jane doesn’t take it. Marnie shrugs, then starts unfolding it.
“Don’t know how you expected this to go anywhere but someone’s face,” she says. “It sucks.”
“Yeah, uh,” Jane says, relieved and suspicious she isn’t mad. “All crooked.”
“Yup. Not straight.” Marnie smiles to herself and Jane isn’t sure why.
She watches her refold it, not into another paper airplane, but a crane. Marnie reaches out, takes one of Janes hands, and puts it in her palm.
“Ta-da. It isn’t aerodynamic, either,” Marnie says. “But, you know, it looks cute.”
“Yeah. Cute,” Jane says, looking from the crane to her.