Winning 420 Character Stories

Lou Beach’s 420 character stories inspired nearly more submissions in our 420 Character Story Contest than we could handle. After much pondering, Lou chose these three to win a copy of his book, 420 Characters.

Rebel runs the House of Horrors ride. “I’m not dangerous,” he told me as I let his long, strong finger linger on my upper lip. I’d seen him balance a cannonball on that finger; one heavy enough that even young Huck who is six-four and loads hardwood pulp for a living could barely manage with both hands. “I know,” I responded, brushing back my bangs with assurance, “I’m almost sixteen … and I can take care of myself.”
– Mark Katz

You are drawn by the silhouette of a branch with drought-wilted leaves drained gray by the abandoning sun. They come to life, a stuttering flap of wings. You find a bat, three bats, tonal with the dusk, flight lines dipping and swerving, weaving toward you and away in a network of urgent flight. Like making her tell you how she lost her job, stealing to buy heroin, what wasn’t seen at all, becomes stark, multiplied.
— Rebecca Bielik Zick

“Peckerwood” is the universal term of derision drivers associate with Don. Some yell out as they drive by: “Peckerwood!” Others glare through windshields and mumble, but he can read their lips: “Peckerwood!” Don is not sure what it means. The sight of him standing at a bus stop just seems to infuriate people. He daydreams about driving around in a car, smiling at people on the street, maybe even offering them a ride.
— Ray Wyssmann

One Response to “Winning 420 Character Stories”

  1. violet martin says:

    If the magic of writing is held in the alchemy of words bringing a moment of convincing experience to the reader, you are surely a daughter of the Magi.

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