I like to think The Badger Boy (7000 words) conveys a terrible sense of inevitability. Old Bill and Florence move away, into the country, to escape a dreadful memory, but equally dreadful memories from the nearby village come back to haunt them. Somehow the two combine in Florence's mind, and nothing Bill can say can prevent her hoping against hope that what is really impossible might, horrifically, come to pass. I wrote Downtown (1,100 words) in a deliberately concise fashion, consciously trying to erase not just words but entire sentences which didn't add to the story or which could be wrapped up in a shorter fashion. The story follows a paperboy as he rides his bicycle downtown, a news story blaring out on radio or television from various places on his delivery route, and the sleeping memories of his older brother still at home. Of course these three strands are connected - but you'll have to read Downtown to find out how.