Erik V. Wicks, Royal Oak • Runner-up, Flash Fiction


Viktor Donaldovitch, never a cheerful sort, was in an unusually sour temper. He was curator and director of the Museum of Giant Stalin Statues, and the job was not going well at all. Donors were getting hard to find; only Americans seemed to care. The Board seemed dedicated to making his job even harder. They had turned down his suggestion to start a new wing of giant Ayatollah paintings without even listening to his presentation. And now, they had refused his request for a new acquisition. In far-off Bishkek there was a pristine Giant Lenin, arm raised, staring resolutely into the past. And there, it would seem, it would stay. In the galleries of the Museum, the Bishkek Lenin’s fellow huge bronzes endlessly and silently debated the fine points of socialist theory. Viktor walked among them and lamented the sad state of the arts.

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