Life and Death at Columbus and Broadway

I entered Esquire Magazine’s 79 word short story contest. I didn’t win anything, but thought I would post the story here. The story might have been too sad for them, plus the competition was very fierce. Quite a challenge, to attempt to tell a story in a mere 79 words.


Life and Death at Columbus and Broadway

©  copyright 2012  by Sara Jacobelli

(Flash Fiction)

English: Violet Romer in flapper dress

Her name?  Rose or Tulip or Petunia. Nineteen, big eyed, flapper skinny. “I got this make up at Walgreens.” I rolled over, jealous that Giovanni brought her to the room to snort coke.

Story floats around North Beach she fell off a three story building or her pimp pushed her.

An old woman with a cane sits in Columbus Café fumbling in her purse, pulling out lipsticks, eye shadow. “I’m lucky to be alive.”

I couldn’t look at her.


Photo Credit: “Violet Romer in flapper dress,” Wikipedia. Public Domain Photo.


The finalists of the 2012 Esquire 79 word short short fiction contest have been announced:

Kashana Cauley, Angela Cummings, Alex Debonis, Kenneth Gagnon, Ivy Hansen, Daniel McGillivray, Courtney Sender, Richard Rauch, Bob Thurber, Casey Walker.

According to Esquire, “Finalists will gather in New York City to participate in a writing workshop taught by Colum McCann, the bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin, and attend “Fiction Night at the Esqure,” a celebratory party of the ten finalists.

Participants will perform their short, short fiction piece in front of a live audience of contest judges and literati: authors, celebrities, and publishing industry gurus. The grand prize winner will be announced at the party and will walk away with a full scholarship to participate in an advanced fiction workshop at Aspen Summer Words, Writing Retreat and Literary Festival, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s flagship program held each June in Aspen, Colorado.”



Filed under Literature, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Life and Death at Columbus and Broadway

  1. Pingback: Life and Death at Columbus and Broadway | Capitare a Fagiolo

  2. nab

    great poem, how did you find out if you won the contest the results havent been announced, or have they?

    • I checked the status of my submission to Esquire and it went from “submitted” to “declined” so I don’t think I won anything. They were supposed to let us know Sept. 15. I sent away for a list of winners, and I will post a link to the winning entries when they publish it. A lot of well known writers compete in this contest, so it’s tough.

      Glad you like it. Although I labeled this piece “Fiction,” it was inspired by a real person. I really have no clue as to what her name is, what struck me was the transformation from young girl to old woman in such a short amount of time.

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