Subscribe to Granta today

Fleeing Complexity

|

One Sentence Story Competition

Photo by Mykl Roventine.

Fleeing Complexity

Irby in the Marsh

The fire spread quicker than the little bastard was expecting. ■

By Jon McGregor and taken from This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You published by Bloomsbury on 2nd February 2012 at £14.99. © Jon McGregor 2012.

Inspired by this story Granta launched a tweetable (140 characters) short story competition which closed on 2 May. We received scores of entries and today we announce the winner and runners-up, as judged by Jon McGregor. The winner will receive a signed and stamped copy of his latest novel, This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You and Granta 119: Britain.

Note from the judge:

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading through the cracking selection of stories that Granta readers have sent in for the ‘Fleeing Complexity’ story competition. My choice of the winner and runners up is a very personal one: what I’m looking for in a piece of fiction as short as this is something that gestures very simply towards a much larger story. Many of the entries which fell short of what I was looking for were trying to cram more detail and closure into the sentence than was needed, which tended to make them somewhat unwieldy. Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long. But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Excellent.

WINNER

It was my turn to wear the dead boy’s glasses. ■

 Cassie Gonzales

*

RUNNERS UP

2ND PLACE

The locked bathroom door would not hold and the window would not open. ■

solchica ‏ @solchica

*

3RD PLACE

Cyanide may smell like almonds but it doesn’t taste like marzipan. ■

 Sam Thewlis

*

4TH PLACE

Bombs fell but my grandmother kept combing her hair. ■

By Slavka Jovanovic

*

SPECIAL MENTION FOR

Frying Complexity

The fryer readied faster than a little batter suggested. ■

Cynan Jones @cynan1975

*

SPECIAL MENTION FOR

All night the fish dreams of leaping clear of the water. ■

Aseem Kaul

The latest issue of Granta Britain, which features Jon McGregor and Cynan Jones, is out now.

Come and join us at one of our launch events in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Birmingham tonight.

Comments (74)

You need to create an account or log in to comment.

  1. Anshuman Singh

    Sun Mar 18 15:19:47 GMT 2012

    Makes me put my lazy brain to work sincerely and let my imagination loosen up.

    #
  2. imssol

    Fri Nov 15 10:41:38 GMT 2013

    YachtBooker is the largest international reservation system for Yacht Charters. It enables charter companies to distribute their charter fleets to charter agencies all over the world http://yachtbooker.livejournal.com/

    #
  3. Super_man

    Sat Jan 17 12:29:55 GMT 2015

    its freebie visits in Moscow, one of Global Greeter's newest iterations.

    make any screen a touchscreen

    http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/get-best-touch-screen-gloves-at-reasonable-rates

    #
  4. Hlam

    Fri May 25 15:17:01 BST 2012

    Bombs fell but my grandmother kept combing her hair. ■

    By Slavka Jovanovic

    Too bad it rings like a 'steal' and pretty obvious one: "Selo gori, baba se ceshla" - is a famous saying all around the Balkans which translates as The village is burning but grandmom keeps combing her hair...

    #
  5. Monika Pant

    Tue May 01 04:59:38 BST 2012

    can we give multiple submissions?

    #
  6. Anshuman Singh

    Thu Apr 05 18:40:51 BST 2012

    Can one person make multiple entries? I guess that's quite asking for too much but hope seems to lighten up!

    #
  7. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Fri Aug 08 07:37:11 BST 2014

    Belonging to one of the two blocks: Axis and Allies. Several small countries Participated in the war, Although they were under occupation. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1116955

    #
  8. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Fri Aug 22 10:04:28 BST 2014

    On peut également conclure que le lieu de l'accident a été pietine, contaminating, et dans une certaine mesure nettoyes / desinfectes. Qui a fait cela, et qui est de la région and control. http://acrobaticschool.com/the-course

    #
  9. DebraSanto

    Fri Oct 11 10:09:08 BST 2013

    Hello there, I noticed your website in a new directory site of personal blogs. I dont know how your weblog came up, must have been a typo, Your web site looks really good. Also i wanted to take your rss feed but i couldn't. Don't know why!!? Respectfully, Debra @ http://bedding-sets.exaviews.com/animal-print-bedding/.

    #
  10. davidjohn

    Sat Jan 10 12:12:27 GMT 2015

    All comments are moderated. Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material. external led lights
    http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/JermaineClark/1466587/

    #
  11. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Sun Aug 03 13:02:17 BST 2014

    First, let’s exempt kids with allergic reactions or special cooking needs. If your kid can’t eat gluten or glucose, contact the cafe in enhance and ask what they can provide. If they can’t create something your kid can eat, then ask authorization to carry something appropriate. Everyone should be OK with that. http://bestsafetyrazorpro.buzznet.com/user/journal/18179775/steps-sharpening-straight-razor/

    #
  12. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Tue Aug 05 07:33:28 BST 2014

    I spent a lot of time looking for a way to create a landing page with minimal effort and found this universal template. I hope you'll find my comment helpful. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/antiquewinecompany

    #
  13. davidjohn

    Mon Jan 19 10:10:17 GMT 2015

    The software will show binary trading signals when you login to your system. From the system you can easily copy trading signals or you can go for auto trading option. https://rally.org/f/3kapK9NCWjb
    sissor lifts

    #
  14. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Fri Aug 08 07:51:45 BST 2014

    Another advantage is that you avoid calls from suppliers asking about the status of their invoices and payments are centralized workload reducing and preventing errors. https://www.linkedin.com/company/ceg-tek-international

    #
  15. 93447

    Wed Jan 14 05:09:22 GMT 2015

    This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you!

    https://www.facebook.com/IHerbCouponMoq651

    #
  16. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Mon Aug 04 07:37:11 BST 2014

    I know — you just want to have a awesome, soothing meals, and you don’t want to have to encourage your kids into consuming something beyond their collection. Please think twice and analyze all your choices before you sin. http://mrfishingkayak.edublogs.org/2014/07/18/what-is-the-best-kayak-for-fishing/

    #
  17. davidjohn

    Mon Jan 19 10:54:50 GMT 2015

    It began by my risking my life literally sticking the apartment's live mains cables together to get electricity. I used to drink a lot and smoke draw, so I was soon sucked into acid, speed and various junk.
    cenaless
    https://www.facebook.com/cenaless.net

    #
  18. BrettKilb3

    Sat Aug 02 04:20:25 BST 2014

    You need to be a part of a http://bhwconference.com/ http://bhwconference.com/ http://bhwconference.com/ contest for one http://bhwconference.com/ of the highest quality websites on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this http://bhwconference.com/ blog!

    #
  19. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Fri Aug 08 13:23:12 BST 2014

    Chinese workers making more money for making the goods we buy from them, or from our own companies with factories there. Some cite that it will bring back US factory jobs. http://www.crunchbase.com/person/christian-broda

    #
  20. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Mon Aug 04 13:53:22 BST 2014

    Relish, however, needs no shining example. Recommendations alone enclosed this new identify with a fashionable hype since it started out right after Christmas. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/realestate/andrew-heiberger.html?_r=0

    #
  21. mathiasQuin

    Tue Jul 15 08:27:27 BST 2014

    What’s http://sexchatrooms.sexy/ Happening i am new to http://japaneseporn.sexy/ http://freeonlineporn.info/ this, I stumbled http://gaychatroulette.sexy/ upon this I've found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other http://freewebcams.sexy/ users like its aided me. Great job.

    #
  22. 93447

    Thu Jan 15 11:20:17 GMT 2015


    Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family.

    http://www.stage.as/

    #
  23. davidjames

    Sun Jun 08 16:57:13 BST 2014

    You are allowed to post names, but not links, unless they are approved and on topic.
    more books
    http://www.rebelmouse.com/languageofdesiremichaelfiore/

    #
  24. davidjames

    Mon Jun 09 07:53:23 BST 2014

    You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
    easiest way to turn a girl into your girlfriend

    https://www.rebelmouse.com/girlfriendsystemreview/

    #
  25. ajohn1070aaa

    Tue Dec 30 09:46:10 GMT 2014

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material.social bookmarking service
    https://www.fiverr.com/james_seo/give-you-30-manual-social-bookmarking-pr10-to-pr5

    #
  26. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Thu Aug 07 08:52:53 BST 2014

    Now, suppose demand drops from 200 widgets to 50 widgets. Junior Lackey gets the sack. Productivity drops. Profits (at the 50 widget demand level) increases versus keeping both people employed. Marginal utility isn't the deciding factor. http://observer.com/2008/02/boy-developer-ben-shaoul-wants-to-live-forever/

    #
  27. Super_man

    Tue Oct 21 08:04:28 BST 2014

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material...

    http://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Stainless-Unpeeled-Priority-Chef/dp/B00JJOEV9Y

    #
  28. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Thu Aug 07 08:22:54 BST 2014

    However, I knowledgeable we did not key in on some of the further the procedure of market issues in regards to strategy and management. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/nyregion/ben-shaoul-takes-the-village.html?pagewanted=all

    #
  29. Usman

    Sat Oct 25 11:57:56 BST 2014

    Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing knowledge with us. This site is fantastic. I always find great knowledge from it.
    "https://www.fiverr.com/fawadyk/write-unique-seo-content-up-to-500-words"

    #
  30. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Wed Aug 06 14:47:03 BST 2014

    KKRC indicated these two specifications had not previously been indicated, which a review of the published characters with the Travel and leisure Cupboard shows to be true. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=antique+wine+press

    #
  31. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Wed Aug 06 14:15:40 BST 2014

    Which tended to make them somewhat unwieldy. Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long. But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. http://www.linkedin.com/company/the-antique-wine-company

    #
  32. davidjohn

    Mon Jan 26 11:01:33 GMT 2015

    That starts with frankly and openly discussing girls' sexual and reproductive health needs.
    neuroflexyn
    http://neuroflexynreview.net/

    #
  33. davidjohn

    Mon Jan 26 11:01:33 GMT 2015

    That starts with frankly and openly discussing girls' sexual and reproductive health needs.
    neuroflexyn
    http://neuroflexynreview.net/

    #
  34. Super_man

    Thu Nov 20 06:03:15 GMT 2014

    funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Felix Sater..

    Cameron Lambert
    http://lancetyson.flavors.me/

    #
  35. BlackMen1

    Sun Nov 30 11:33:39 GMT 2014

    which tended to make them somewhat unwieldy. Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long.
    kavitaatiohoito
    http://www.zlimline.com/fi/zlimline_cavi.html

    #
  36. davidjohn

    Sat Oct 25 10:57:34 BST 2014

    Thank you for not rambling on and on just to fill the page. Thanks..

    Greg Aziz
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregaziz/15344052770/in/set-72157648334400550

    #
  37. Usman

    Sat Oct 25 11:49:11 BST 2014

    Got some appealing information and would like to give it a try. Applaud your work and keep sharing your information.
    "https://www.fiverr.com/fawadyk/write-unique-seo-content-up-to-500-words"

    #
  38. aileen123

    Thu Jan 15 17:01:45 GMT 2015

    which tended to make them somewhat unwieldy. Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long. But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Excellent.
    https://www.facebook.com/bubblegumcasting
    bubblegum casting

    #
  39. davidjames

    Thu Jun 26 12:13:42 BST 2014

    Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success.
    Alexis Hodges
    http://louboutins-usa.com

    #
  40. gamesr3d

    Wed Jul 02 15:10:16 BST 2014

    العاب سيارات
    http://www.games3lnet.com/cars-games

    <a href="http://gamesr3d.blogspot.com/2014/04/mario-game.html">
    لعبة ماريو</a>
    <a href="http://gamesr3d.blogspot.com/2014/04/Win-Million-game.html">
    لعبة من سيربح المليون</a>
    <a href="http://gamesr3d.blogspot.com/2014/05/Zuma-Game.html">
    لعبة زوما</a>

    #
  41. Stacy Junior

    Fri Oct 24 02:30:35 BST 2014

    Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me. nice granta i like it.

    Crystal X Nasa Terjamin Asli
    http://crystal-x-nasa.weebly.com
    Crystal X Asli Nasa
    http://crystal-x-nasa.weebly.com/home/crystal-x-asli-nasa
    Pusat Crystal X
    http://pusatcrystalx.blog.com/2014/08/17/pusat-crystal-x-jogja
    Pusat Crystal X Jogja
    http://pusatcrystalx.blog.com
    Manfaat Dan Khasiat Crystal X
    http://pusatcrystalx.blog.com/2014/08/21/manfaat-dan-khasiat-crystal-x/
    Crystal X Asli Nasa
    http://www.lintas.me/publisher/crystalxme.com
    Distributor resmi nasa
    http://distributorresminasa.tumblr.com/
    Jual Crystal X Asli Mengatasi & Menghilangkan Keputihan
    http://www.pulsk.com/578007/Jual-Crystal-X-ASLI-Mengatasi-amp-Menghilangkan-Keputihan.html
    Pusat Crystal X Jogja
    http://www.pulsk.com/578004/PUSAT-CRYSTAL-X-JOGJA.html
    Pusat Crystal X Jogja
    https://plus.google.com/+Crystalxmepusatcrystalxjogja
    Crystal X Asli
    http://crystalxasli.webs.com
    Pusat Crystal X Jogja
    http://pusatcrystalxjogja.blog.com
    Pusat Crystal X Jogja
    http://pusatcrystalxjogja.blog.com/2014/09/04/pusat-penjualan-crystal-x-jogja/
    Crystal X Asli
    http://crystalxasli.wirenode.mobi/
    Crystal X Asli
    http://crystalxasli.sosblogs.com
    Pusat Penjualan Crystal X Jogja
    pusatcrystalx.braves #

  42. Stacy Junior

    Fri Oct 24 02:33:04 BST 2014

    If you are going for most excellent contents like me, only pay a quick visit this web site daily because it presents quality contents, Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me. nice granta i like it.

    Crystal X
    http://purecrystalx.blogspot.com
    Crystal X Asli
    http://purecrystalx.blogspot.com/2014/05/crystal-x-asli.html
    Jual Crystal X Asli Mengatasi & Menghilangkan Keputihan
    http://purecrystalx.blogspot.com/2014/08/jual-crystal-x-asli-mengatasi-dan-menghilangkan-keputihan.html
    Crystal X Asli PT Nasa
    http://purecrystalx.blogspot.com/2014/07/crystal-x-asli-dari-ptnasa.html
    Menjual Crystal X Asli
    http://menjualcrystalxasli.blogspot.com
    Ciri Ciri Kemasan Crystal x Asli dan Palsu
    http://menjualcrystalxasli.blogspot.com/2014/06/ciri-ciri-kemasan-crystal-x-asli-dan.html
    Crystal X Asli PT Nasa
    http://menjualcrystalxasli.blogspot.com/2014/06/crystal-x-asli-ptnatural-nusantara.html
    Menjual Crystal X Jogja
    http://menjualcrystalxjogja.blogspot.com
    Manfaat Crystal X Nasa
    http://menjualcrystalxjogja.blogspot.com/2014/06/mengupas-manfaat-crystal-x-nasa.html
    Menjual Crystal X Jogja
    http://menjualcrystalxjogja.blogspot.com/2014/07/cara-penggunaan-crystal-x-yang-aman.html
    http://seputarcrystalx.blogspot.com
    Pusat Penjualan Crystal X di Jogja
    http://seputarcrystalx.blogspot.com/2014/09 #

  43. davidjohn

    Wed Jan 21 10:51:54 GMT 2015

    Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
    neuroflexyn review
    https://www.facebook.com/neuroflexyn.reviews

    #
  44. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Thu Aug 14 11:07:19 BST 2014

    An extensive, stylish establishment, Kreso’s creates attractive re-use of the city’s old Arco Cinema, with a celebration place huge enough to provide 400. The bourbon record functions some four-dozen records, and there’s a decent brief selection of set up and bottled beer. http://parkofficeltd.co.uk/

    #
  45. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Tue Aug 19 07:37:26 BST 2014

    Appreciate this one, you are a great author. It's really written in depth analysis and have urged visitors to look forward more on your writing. http://www.crunchbase.com/person/marnie-bennett

    #
  46. reginiahandsaker

    Mon Jan 12 05:42:29 GMT 2015

  47. mylink1257

    Tue Jan 27 06:33:52 GMT 2015

    Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon.
    <a href="http://uplike.com">Tattoos</a>

    #
  48. mylink1257

    Sun Jan 25 06:50:16 GMT 2015

    I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. .
    <a href="http://www.polkanoid.com">polaroid pictures</a>

    #
  49. Super_man

    Sun Dec 07 07:38:02 GMT 2014

    i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site....

    PDF Links.twentyseven
    http://idaquwok.exteen.com/20141203/twenty-seven

    #
  50. aileen123

    Sat Jan 10 19:19:02 GMT 2015

    . Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long. But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Excellent.
    http://www.sextaperihanna.info/
    girlsdoporn

    #
  51. davidjohn

    Tue Jan 06 13:00:51 GMT 2015

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material.

    kayla itsines review

    http://facebook.com/kayla.itsines.review

    #
  52. davidjohn

    Thu Jan 15 07:17:57 GMT 2015

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material.

    no credit check loan  
    http://www.instantloannocreditcheck.com/

    #
  53. aileen123

    Mon Jan 12 19:39:03 GMT 2015

    Also, some of the entries were more than one sentence long. But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Excellent.
    http://www.sextaperihanna.info/miss-colorado-2012-runner-up-sex-tape/
    girlsdoporn

    #
  54. Muhammadfaizan

    Sat Nov 01 05:40:59 GMT 2014

    I am such a huge fan of their work. I really am impressed with how much you have worked to make this website so enjoyable.
    https://www.fiverr.com/fawadyk/manually-create-30-pr9-dofollow-seo-backlinks

    #
  55. Super_man

    Wed Nov 05 10:02:18 GMT 2014

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material...

    psd loft
    http://c1.psdloft.com/

    #
  56. peterjhon1

    Wed Nov 12 06:32:01 GMT 2014

    abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material..... texas rehab centers
    http://www.examiner.com/article/pre-screened-texas-drug-and-alcohol-rehab-centers

    #
  57. peterjhon1

    Wed Nov 12 06:48:47 GMT 2014

    weight but also enhances my physical appearance. I recommend everyone to use this product and enjoy the great benefits it has got for you. .. blog comments buy
    https://www.fiverr.com/james_seo/give-you-30-manually-backlinks-all-high-page-rank-pr4-pr5-pr6-links-just

    #
  58. Super_man

    Thu Nov 13 07:37:49 GMT 2014

    accounts of users posting such material..... texas rehab centers ....

    omeupomar

    http://www.omeupomar.com

    #
  59. BlackMen1

    Sun Nov 16 10:58:16 GMT 2014

    But the winning story, by Cassie Gonzales, is right up my street: sinister, funny, suggestive, and very, very simple. Felix Sater
    http://about.me/felixsater

    #
  60. mylink1257

    Mon Jan 12 15:37:02 GMT 2015

    Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
    <a href="https://seniorhomecares.com/agoura-hills-ca-senior-home-care/">Agoura Hills Home Health Aide</a>

    #
  61. khan

    Tue Jan 27 11:54:01 GMT 2015

    And we have so much infomation in our forum. nichbbijohn94.wordpress.com
    https://nichbbijohn94.wordpress.com/

    #
  62. Super_man

    Tue Nov 18 10:38:21 GMT 2014

    we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material...

    Free PDF Links
    http://pdfsff.com/

    #