The Incredibly Short Story Contest Winners: You Decide!

Ladies and germs, take a bow.  You’ve bombarded us with stories ranging from pleas for free stuff to anniversary present ideas and even an unusual bathroom tale.  We’ve been entertained with more emotions than one could reasonably expect from an incredibly short story, and for that we thank you.  We’d also like to thank everyone who mentioned the contest, whether you have the audience of Tokyopop’s newsletter or a handful of Twitter followers.  Your relentless spamming was well worth it.

The finalists and their stories are listed in chronological order (earliest entries first) below the jump.  We’ve trimmed the list down to a quantity easily absorbed due to the abundance of tales.

Read over the stories and vote for your favorite one in the poll at the bottom! Voting will close on Friday, May 28 at midnight eastern time, and we’ll announce the final results on Saturday. Good luck to all the finalists, and spread the word so we can have lots of voters!

Sadaye M.
There once was a loremaster geek
Who, though rather mild and meek
Embarked on a quest
A public writing test
To win some books to wet her reader’s beak.

This girl, it could well be said
Had dreams of earning her bread
By using her pen
And while in her den
Writing tales from out of her head.

But though she has a writer’s dreams
Her literary collection, it seems
Lacked in nerdly books
Oh, the shameful looks!
Her geek friends thought her gauche in extremes.

Then from a new hope!
A salvation from this slippery slope
Not any manga collection,
But a Warcraft selection!
It would make her look less of a dope.

So, this is the story she told
And now, feeling rather quite bold
Very strongly implores
For those books in your stores!
Please, do not leave her out in the cold.

Ian A. – The True Line
Up in Northrend, we Trolls get a bad reputation. Adventurers claim that Drakuru was the betrayer of our race. You’ve probably bonded your blood with this very troll. You’ve probably blinded the very seer in Zeb’Halak, who saw him coming. You’ve probably stolen the beating heart of our race, and fed its power to that evil presence whispering in your quest log. And I can tell, by the blood on your hands, that you’ve slaughtered the tribe I was taken from as a child.

But I forgive you.

Just as Iggy Darktusk forgave me before I parted his head from his neck. Just as I heard the whispers of the Lich King fill my ears as I carved my runeblade into the backs of fleeing civilians. Just as I killed hundreds of the Scarlet Crusade under the rain of arrows, the roar of cannon-fire, and the frozen vision of a frost wyrm. I was a mighty hand serving under the most powerful force you could imagine.

But I am from a long line of the most powerful trolls in history. I am not a pawn. When I was raised, my numbed mind reborn into a clean existence, the weight and morals of the mortal world fell to the ground they dragged me from. I still have the scars from the Abominations’ meathooks, the Horde’s brand on my shoulder, and a tabard to kill my savior. I am from a line of Kings, and we Kings suffer no injuries. So I wait, a Champion of the Horde, a Crusader of the Argent Dawn, but still a Death Knight of the Lich King. When I see him next, I will lay down my tabard, place Drakuru’s frozen heart at his feet, and take my throne.

He will forgive me.

Kevin B. – The Late Night Visitor

There I was, alone in the dark save for the sickly glow of the television sending flickering shadows about the bedroom. My eyelids fought desperately to close, the constant lull of sleep overwhelming my desire to watch an animated milk shake make sarcastic remarks in response to an oversized box of fries. Must stay awake, I told my brain. Must stay

Every light in the house snapped on suddenly, flaring as bright as possible before the power shorted. As darkness took over not a sound could be heard save for a lone dog barking in the distance.

I heard my front door squeal sharply as it opened, and made a mental note to buy some WD-40 in the morning. Heavy footsteps made their way through the living room toward my bedroom door. There was a knock.

“Come in,” I yelled across the room, my voice quivering.

The door eased open, tension building with each passing heartbeat. Inch by inch a dark form began to materialize in the doorway.

“Who’s there?” I called out.

The shadowy form moved into the room. I could hear heavy breathing as it crossed over to where I was lying, paralyzed with fear, on the bed. The heat of its breath brushing lightly against my cheek, it spoke…

“Hey buddy, it’s Flarf. Sorry about your lights. Can I borrow your Warcraft Manga?”

Relief bloomed throughout my body. It was just Flarf, my alien friend from next door! I was so ecstatic that I wasn’t going to be brutally murdered that I leapt from my bed and rushed to my bookshelf. But, there, I hesitated.

“I don’t know, man… You still haven’t returned my Cowbow Bepop box set…” I paused, “but okay. If you promise you’ll have it back to me next week.”

That was the last I saw of it.

True story.

Katherine T.

Um, hello there.

I’m in something of a quandary here. I serve Loremaster Skosiris at the Scryer’s Tier in Shattrath. He’s worked very hard to supply our incredible library, and is understandably bitter that Shattrath is now nearly deserted due to the exodus to Northrend. He feels that Dalaran has unfairly poached his once thriving readership, and is unfortunately determined to compete with them. The supply of ill-gotten, occasionally bloodstained magical manuscripts that initially aided our expansion has dried up along with the local adventurers, so he’s turned to more… novel suppliers.

The Consortium has been more than pleased to deal with us, but their stock literally spans worlds and it has taken months to sift through and buy only relevant titles from all the bizarre offerings. (They were especially pushy about a book written in Common, “Twilight”; said it was very popular in another world. I skimmed it. Greedy liars. The Loremaster was persuaded to buy the recipe for something called a “Tako”, though. It’s all he eats now. I’m very worried.)

We pinpointed a considerably promising collection of illustrated manuscripts, written by a prophet named Tokyo Pop. According to the Consortium file, it deals with events as recent as the destruction and restoration of the Sunwell! The Loremaster was very enthused and put in an order immediately.

Turns out the Dalaran library system had purchased them a week before.

…Things have been bad. Last thing I heard, the Loremaster had hired an Ethereal mercenary to steal them. Name was Xevozz or something, nasty piece of work.

I was able to find your group through an odd Draenei machine composed of a series of tubes. Apparently you’re offering a copy of the entire manuscript set for free.

Please, I need them.

Casey W.

It had taken far longer than expected to reach the deepest crevices of the Blackrock Mountain, rumor had it that a new beast had taken up residence where The Beast once slept many years ago. Wandorf, a human warrior hailing from the House of Arathor, had set out to slay this beast; for nothing should be allowed to fester within those halls ever again. The corridors still smelled of the dragons slain so long ago, in the rookery it was almost unbearable.

Finally, he had reached his destination; a low growling could be heard around the corner in what should be the room in which The Beast once slept. But before Wandorf could ascertain the location of his prey, it was upon him, the Lore Hound had found him first. The battle lasted for an hour before the Lore Hound ran off, escaping its imminent demise. Upon inspection of the creature’s lair, Wandorf found a mysteriously sealed chest with a plaque on it…

“The entire TOKYOPOP Blizzard library!? What in Azeroth is that!?” He exclaimed at the chest before he turned and walked away, chest now dragging behind him.

Lindsay Y.

I can smell the strong scent of death beyond my cold, dark prison.  The ominous sound of battle had ceased as the crusaders lay dead in pools of their own blood.  I envied Inquisitor Fairbanks’ groans as he drew his last breath, finally ending his fetid captivity.  And yet, here I lay in my lonely prison, with a single burning torch.  In its flickering glow, I can vividly see the rotting flesh that plagued me; that cursed me to this wretched crypt.  If only the infiltrators had killed me with the lot of them…

I was there during the fight at Stratholme, and upon my return, regarded as a monster.  Those whom I had fought for tortured and tested upon my flesh as it festered, until they’d had enough and stashed me away, their dirty rotting secret.  My days as a book-keeper and magi, a distant memory.  Only my eternal pain and loneliness persist.  If only my captors had provided me with a few good books before writhing on the end of a sword.  The Warcraft and StarCraft novels, I ofttimes overhear the scholars speak of, would have served me quite nicely during my remaining eternity.  Perhaps someday… if someone happens to find me and not end my undead life, they will bring a few books, so that I may not “live” in total silence.  Until then, I will rest and dream of that day in which I would not be so alone.

Bernard C.- Of Books and Pastries

Another evening comes to a close as twilight casts itself over the streets of Dalaran.  Yet another day of buying and selling an assortment of goods to the crowds of explorers and heroes of Azeroth.  I sell freshly baked deserts to sate the sweet tooth of these weary travelers. Day after day I stand here at my booth next to the bank, freshly prepared treats sit on display.  People come and go, stopping by only to sell off unwanted items of small value.  Rocks, grass, fangs of various beasts and tufts of fur litter my booth.  I pay a small price for these unusual items, some are mere trash that I buy in order keep customers satisfied.

Aside from finding art dealers, fur traders or simply calling the trash man its business as usual.  I am here to support the visitors of Dalaran 24-7, 365 days a year.  My work though busy, leaves me feeling lonely.  Most of my customers stop by for mere seconds to unload items or spend a few moments stocking up for their adventure ahead.  Occasionally luck is on my side and books are traded to me.  To my disappointment they are mostly “Steamy Romance” novels.  It is a rare find for me to find epic works worthy of my collection.  Historical novels now include pictures drawn to depict battles waged on our world.  I would be most grateful to be sent some of these famous work retelling tales of victory.  These writings are what I hold dear, they help me through my day as I help to do my part for the heroes of Azeroth.

Sincerely yours,

– Dalaran “Pies, Pastry & Cakes” vendor

[poll id=”2″]


  1. Gosh, these are all quite good….but one of them just really struck a cord with me.

    Well done, writers!

  2. all nice. sucks that mine wasnt chosen, but than again these are alot better than my submission. good job guys.

  3. A cool, rhyme-y one and a story about TROLLS?! Oh my, which one to pick?!

    But they’re all fantastic entries. Any one of you could produce a better Warcraft novel that Richard Knaak.

  4. Hmm… Out of these 7 entries, I wonder if any of them actually visit this site on a regular basis. Kinda sucks that a competition like this is open to all and sundry, and not just the loyal followers. My entry was far better than 5 of these here, so I shall vote for one of the two that are better than mine :) Good luck.

  5. BTW, is this all there is?, or are you guys gonna post a few per day, and let us vote for the winner per day, and have a final vote for the ultimate winner at the end of the week? Seems fairer that way, plus more people get their work read.

  6. From a completely bias point of view I like Stormkiller’s idea. I do however understand and respect that it was up to iTZKooPA and the other LH staff to decide which they thought were the best 7, and it isn’t up to us.
    Maybe you could at least post the others in some Meta-post as a way of acknowledging the other entrants for their effort.
    I’m sure that the readers would love to see them all, and the writers would love to get them read. I for one, would.

  7. Thanks for the feedback, guys. We will talk about it tonight and see what we can do.

    However, we decided to do it this way for a few reasons:

    1. We received A LOT of entries that were all very good. However, for the main contest, we don’t want to bog people down by posting a ton of stories when we want high poll participation. We liked these and thought they were likely to win, so we are going with this to pick the winners.
    2. This was both a way to give to our community and readers and a promotion for the site. We got a lot of links and potential new readers, which was one of the goals of the contest. We don’t really have a way to vet existing readers from new ones, or people who check the site often from people who only came for the contest.
    3. This is our first time using this polling code. Integrating new features and design into the site for critical tasks is very risky, and we don’t want a rogue entrant of the sinister variety to discover some flaw in our new software and exploit it to win or break the system.
    4. We want to get this manga out by its release date.

    We read and love your comments – they are very important to use and it means a lot to have a steady readership and community. We know our top commenters and optimally, we would like to do something for everyone who entered. We will probably be publishing more of the submitted stories once we get through the contest.

  8. Reply to vote for my un-chosen story… or to tell me how horrible it is…

    My eyes opened and strained the glowing digital numbers into view…
    4:30am!?!?! I was later than a hooker without birth-control. I quickly
    jumped into my favorite hypercolor jumpsuit and ran out the door. When I
    got to the office everyone was already engrossed in the day’s latest
    catastrophe. No really, a full on world threatening catastrophe. They
    happen nearly every day. Most often they are code related; the while
    loop that keeps the world spinning suddenly has a mysterious break
    condition that is about to occur, or the thread responsible for querying
    the t$humans table is throwing exceptions. Today however, was a less
    common occurrence. An attack from beyond our world. Eredar invaders! I
    was quickly prepped for launch. As I flew out toward their vessel I
    wondered if I’d get home in time for the serious business this evening
    held. They’ve tried this little stunt before, claiming they chose exile
    over selling out their own people. But we’re humans of earth and we
    don’t take crap from anyone. Your flamboyant little dancing crystal said
    what? Take this! As my the beams from my F.A.C.E.M.E.L.T. gun reached
    their vessel it exploded into a million tiny pieces. For today, earth
    was safe. When I got back to the office all the guys wanted to buy me a
    drink, and all the women wanted me to give them a child, wowed by my
    bravery and skill. But I had better things to do. When I got home I
    jumped in front of my machine and logged in. “Hey guys, sorry I’m
    late,” I said. “No worries, we’re only on Rotface.” Ahhh, finally some
    real action!

  9. This may be a bit nit-picky but the first one (by Sadaye M.) has less than 150 words, and even though I really like it, Kevin B’s has over 300.
    Anyway just thought I’d point it out.

  10. As Forger pointed out, some of the stories tease the required word range. This is because some writers (I assumed) counted their title in the count, or didn’t. Many submissions also padded their count with extraneous stuff, (they “really, really, really…” and so on, wanna win). None of those made the cut though. I didn’t think it was fair to disqualify a story because of a minor subjective detail like that.

  11. Have we had the official winners announcement yet? I know it’s obvious looking here, but a congratulatory post would be nice :)

  12. Have we had the official winners announcement yet? I know it’s obvious looking here, but a congratulatory post would be nice :)

    Oops, wrong email attached to that last one. :)

  13. I’ll jump on Koopa to make a post for the results. I wasn’t at the WoWCast recording, but I believe they talked about it at the top of the show.

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