Three times a year, we award a writer who submits, in our opinion, the best original, previously unpublished work.
John Hyde Barnard of Los Angeles, California is the winner of the 39th Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award, announced and published for the first time on July 3, 2015.
by John Hyde Barnard
He brought the cigarette up to his lips. As he took a hit the orange
glow briefly lit his face and faded back into shadow as he slowly exhaled
a cloud of blue smoke. He crushed the butt on the windowsill, sparks and
dying embers leaving a trail that quickly became black and cold. As he
flicked the butt into the night air he glanced over the rooftops. It
seemed the horizon was a shade lighter. Had he been sitting there that
Unable to sleep since arriving at the apartment some hours earlier,
he sat at the open window: musing, arguing, longing and laughing with his
thoughts. He had not discovered an epiphany or revelation, only a comfort
with the warm night. It was the first warm night of the season; the
unmistakable promise of
Megan Watson pushes open the front door of the old house, escaping the cold. On the left, a welcome mat, wet from snow, rests before the entrance to a vegetarian restaurant. Shes not hungry. Turning to the dry stairwell with the faded violin painted on the wall, she begins her ascent to the shop upstairs.
Paper taped at the top stair reads, “Press Doorbell.” When the door draws open, an older gentleman with a full, white mustache, smiles down at her. Running his palm over the top of his head, he looks tired, but curious.