What do you do to escape? Do you run? Swim? Read? Bake? Do you travel, visit new towns and mountains, galaxies and universes? Maybe you write. Or maybe writing is not an escape, but something else entirely. In any case, everybody here goes someplace, sometime, in your head or in your car, it doesn’t matter. What matters is why – it’s the why that’s interesting.
Sir Terry Pratchett answered this week’s ultimate question thusly:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” —A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)
Pratchett’s answer is just shy of being a true gargleblaster — he clocks in at 43 words and he repeats the question in his answer — but I’m willing to give him a little leeway. He wasn’t exactly one to follow the rules, and it’s a great perspective on, well, perspective.
That’s Sir Terry’s reason for going away. What’s yours?
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: why do you go away?
This week’s question requires only two things for a good answer: the place or person you are leaving and a reason to go away. Please note that the verb tense of the answer should match the verb tense of the question. Don’t tell us why you went away, or what will drive you away. Why do you go?
A few other reminders:
PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; mistakes stick out.
Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece. And remember, any words surrounding your gargleblaster — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. Submissions are moderated. All entries will show up on our submissions grid, and up to 42 entries will be moved to the voting grid, which opens on Thursday. Everybody: read, comment, vote!
If you don’t make the voting grid, don’t despair – you’ll get a detailed love letter from our wonderful submissions editor, Rowan G., letting you know what needed improvement. Email us or head over to our pages on Facebook and Twitter with any questions.
Winners will be announced on Friday
Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.
What else is happening around here?
We’ve got the nonfiction grid opening on Mondays, the speakeasy for fiction and poetry on Tuesdays, the gargleblaster micro challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.