Twenty-Minute Stories

The third place winner of McSweeney’s Twenty-Minute Stories Contest has been published: “Untitled” by Mickey Hess.

You become used to most things in the world, and you bring in somebody new so it all seems surprising again. Our friend Genny sends word that she is again pregnant. She and her first child, Mazzen, stayed with Danielle and I for a few days in the summer. Mazzen is two years old, and enjoys pulling things off of things. As she was leaving, Genny asked “When are you two gonna have your own little Mazzen?” But I was glad there is only one Mazzen, and that she was taking him home with her.

If you’re not familiar with the Twenty-Minute Stories Contest, here are the rules and rationale behind it. In brief, the idea is that tight deadlines can force interesting results. That’s been the case for many of these stories. Some of the stories that didn’t fit in the print version of McSweeney’s for which they were intended, and some that are particularly notable, are being published online. I recommend them highly.