Ends on November 3, 2017

Does anyone remember the classic O. Henry short story "Gift of the Magi"? A husband and wife work at cross purposes because neither tells the other what they're doing. Each is doing something independently of the other, at the same time, and while neither action by itself is much of a story, the story is formed when the reader puts the pieces together and figures out what's going to happen next.

For mini-contest #35, show, tell, or evoke a story in no more than 50 words in which two characters, or sets of characters, are doing different things at the same time, but in different places. What matters is that neither (set of) character(s) knows what the other is doing--and their actions are affecting, or will affect each other. If you do it right, you'll create a story that readers finish in their heads because the readers can figure out what's going to happen when each character(s) learns what the other(s) did.

Here's a mediocre example:

Susan knew her father hated that old boat he'd built years ago. She proceeded to chop the boat into firewood for the winter. Meanwhile, Susan's father was at the hardware store. This was the year he’d get that boat in shape once and for all!

Deadline: Friday, November 3, 2017, 11:59 PM Eastern US time

Length: Maximum of 50 words.

Hyphenated Words: If the hyphenated word is generally considered a single word, it counts as one word. (Like "twenty-five" or "jack-o-lantern.") Otherwise each part of the hyphenated word counts separately.

Prizes: $25 for first place, $15 for second, $10 for third. Honorable mentions get published but make no money.

One entry per author. There is no fee for entering this contest.