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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of east asian short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
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We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
“I’m sorry, dear, but no.” he says. “It’s too sudden.” Two young, local women approached them nearly an hour ago. His mannerism doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Until now, they’ve spoken but a few words to the husband. Their focus falling solely on his wife and their teenage daughter.
“Oh, please, Harold, this is a once in a lifetime chance!” He shakes his head firmly. The wife’s tongue clicks. She used t...
When Japan’s fighter plane—the Zero—first appeared, it could outmaneuver any aircraft it encountered. It ruled the skies. Uncontested design. The allies found themselves at a loss to deal with it. Yet, Japan did not prepare for a long war. Shirua picked up an antique teapot, careful not to burn his hands. He poured out two cups. Steam rose from the water; sweet and floral. He placed the cups and teapot on a tray, then walked to the living room, sitting down on a cushion across from his grandfather.He handed h...
It had just started to rain, so softly you could barely feel it on your skin. But the path was darkened and I could see the droplets on the pond. I stepped slowly forward, absorbing each moment deliberately, the elegant trimmed plants, the perfect pebbles. I closed my eyes for the smell of pine in the damp morning.
For many years I hoped and saved and planned to journey to Japan. I like the word journey m...
Tokyo, Japan: 1876
Japan, the land of the gods, was once a beautiful place. The hills, lush in growth, revealing all the beauty known to the civilized world. City streets swept daily, and all forms of filth, disposed of. All the people knew their place in society. Peasants, courtesans, merchants, even the untouchables. The world was orderly, and it was all due to the presence of the Samurai. Sadly, that ...
Kandahar is relatively big province in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a nation everybody that is alive in this world knows. Yeah, I said if you are alive for if not for the pandemic, most of us don’t really know what is going on in our families let alone our neighborhood, nation and the world.
I recall my days in service when they used to organize those Mr. and Mrs. camp l...
Shells rained upon Ramree Island.Takuro struggled—hands trembling—to load bullets into his rifle. The ammunition slipped between his fingers, hitting the dirt, rolling in the trench. He brought his head down as bombs whistled. They landed close enough to make him jump, dirt spattering his eyes. Shrapnel cut his uniform.Dazed, reeling, Takuro got to his feet, stumbling. He turned his head. His allies to the right affixed bayonets onto their Arisaka rifles. Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! They charged the British and Indian s...
Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Soyeon would try one more time. She stepped into the library, stretching her arms behind her, ready for another attempt. She’d get it this time for sure. Without a doubt. Everything down to the second had been memorized, and she wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.Soyeon checked the notes on her phone, then approached...
"Nang, palihog ko'g hipos sa mga butang sa mga bata. Mo larga ta'g Bohol ugma" said Jean, the 34 year old "amo" who's working in a 10-hour night shift at a call center with her husband, Carlito.
"Sige ma'am" answered Nang Karing.
She hates traveling to Bohol. In fact, she hates it there but what else can she do, she has no other obligation but to take care of the...
Content warning: Mention of violence.It was just after two in the early morning hours of upcountry Esan Thailand. It was well known that Thais in this part of the country were early risers, especially those with the extra burden of being self-sustained farmers just to survive. Neung was no exception, but even he was usually asleep at these hours. A muffled and incessant pinging pierced the night air and had aroused him from a deep and peaceful slumber.Like all good Thais he had already done his nightly ...
Turn the page. Don’t ask me what happens next. I can only tell you what happened the last time. The last time I died.
My Life as Fish, as recalled by a silverfish, 2 April 2000
Last time, I stepped off the curb, and a delivery guy, Orhan, Turkish, 23, recent immigrant through green card lottery, racing on his bike, speeding the wrong way on Morton street, to de...
This is incredible.To his left was Earth. It had a shimmering cerulean glow about it which starkly contrasted its pitch-black cosmic backdrop. Henu couldn’t see even a single star, standing in front of the Gate, and that sent a chill down his spine. His home, which was immense and humbling, could now fit in his hand. Henu wondered if he crushed it would he rid them of their suffering.He stood transfixed by the beauty of his world for a long time. With time comes perception, and with perception ...
A gem can not be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Sejong swept his books off the shelf. Rain pelted the world outside. The king opened one of his many works, the spine of it splitting under his force, and read off a page. Nongsa jikseol, methods of cultivation in agriculture. A guidebook to farming in Korea’s geography. Words that could keep his people from famine.He threw it into the rain. It splashed against the mud-coated field, water distorting the ink. A second book follo...
"We're up next!" I informed my assistant, Mary. "Remember, tonight you are a distraught Chinese lady, speechless in grief."Mary nodded as she picked the hem of her costume, a dusty green cheongsam I lent her for our university’s talent show.A giant cardboard setup divided frontstage from the back where I, Mary and the other performers waited. Techno music blared over small talk and footsteps to and from the restroom. Markos the emcee made an announcement I was too nervous to catch details of....
It was just after daybreak, and the city administrators were beating the gongs to signal the opening of the markets. The large open square was already filling with throngs of people as they swarmed in from the alleys of the neighboring wards. Dust teemed in the sweltering air, kicked up from the crowds as they milled about, crushing the sunbaked turf beneath their feet.
Street-vendors, trading goods and trinkets...
Bao Si Ran’s dreams lead her into the underworld household.
The underground household she goes to is not Hell, nor was it the Greek Underworld ruled by Hades. It is called 阴朝地府(Yin Chao Di Fu) in Chinese, which relatively translates to the Dynasty of Yin and the Underworld Court.
Depending on if the person accumulated good or bad karma in life, one can either be send to their next life t...
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