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October 15, 2013 > Flash Fiction First Prize

Flash Fiction First Prize

Three Little Pigs 2.0

By Richard Lau

Tom PiggyÕs small house was made of paperback books.

The Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed, and the neatly stacked house became a flattened pile of scattered pages and covers. While the wolf caught his breath, Tom escaped.

ÒIÕll go to Jack PiggyÕs house. With his larger collection, IÕll be safe there!Ó

However, when Tom reached his destination, there was only Jack sitting in a clearing.

ÒJack! The Big Bad WolfÕs after me! WhereÕs your house of books?Ó

ÒI sold them,Ó Jack explained. ÒMy entire collection is now contained in this device called an Ôe-reader.ÕÓ

Tom squinted at the thin slab of plastic. ÒIt looks very Ôe-fragile.Õ HowÕs that going to protect us?Ó

ÒDonÕt worry,Ó replied Jack. ÒThis e-reader can do things books never could.Ó

Jack hunched over the e-reader, making sweeping motions with his hoof, performing a full-text search.

The Big Bad Wolf appeared, and Tom jumped behind Jack.

Confidently, Jack held up his e-reader. On the screen, with the display zoomed 200%, contrast set to high, in 72-point font, was the searched-for phrase: ÒGO AWAY!Ó

ÒWho? Me?Ó the wolf chuckled.

ÒGood thing I got the upgrade,Ó Jack said, pressing a button.

The e-reader recited in a stilted voice: ÒGoh-ah-whay. Exclamation point.Ó

Fortunately for the pigs, the lunging wolf got tangled in the e-readerÕs USB recharger cord.

Jack and Tom ran for Roger PiggyÕs house, which was actually a castle with thick walls of hardbacks.

ÒNo problem,Ó stated Roger, after greeting his friends. ÒCome to the second floor. I have some books just for this occasion.Ó

The wolf was pelted with an outdated Oxford Dictionary, an extraneous copy of The Complete Unabridged Works of Shakespeare, and the entire 1982 set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Then the piggies settled down for a night of good reading.

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