Remember that 300-word contest? The one to win an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Mark Lawrence’s much-anticipated upcoming novel, Prince of Fools?

Well, whether you remember it or not, the winner was announced!

Håkan Pettersson won the contest with his entry titled The Chauffeur. You should check it out (its only 300 words) and read the 83 other entries. All are worthy of a read.

Here’s my entry:


13. New Solitude

A rock fell from the cliff above. Gilbert spun, eyes squinting.

A woman stood at the edge of the world. The morning sea breeze whipped her gown like a plague of microdrones. Her face was in shadow, but sunlight flowed along the glitter of technology braided along her bare arms.

“What do you want?”

She answered by turning into a swarm, diving down next to him and coalescing back into shape. He turned away.

“You look like her.”

“I am her.”

“I’m not a fool. I know she’s dead.”

“She was a flawed genetic clone. I am the original.”

His body shook, blood pounded.

“That fact does not make her any less special,” the woman said. Her appearance shifted. Any tell-tale sign of her technology disappeared. The iridescent shine to her eyes left, leaving the deep brown he knew so well. Her hand came up to caress his cheek and he let her.

“We only want what is best. One coupling and you will save humanity,” she said.

“You want me to fuck you?”

“We’d rather a complete integration.”

He pushed her away, and made a haphazard retreat. He tripped, going down on his ass on the sandy beach.

“I’m human. I don’t want to be—“

“Like me? I was human – once. Now, I am like a god.”

“Controlled by…what?”

“Code. A set of rules developed fifty thousand years ago. It has worked remarkably well for us. You are the last of humanity, Gilbert. A prince among none. Would you rather let the human species go extinct, or join a new one?”

“I’d rather be my own person. Make my own decisions.”

“We are all bound by our code.”

After a moment’s thought, Gilbert stood and walked into the ocean.

by N. E. White