Fifth Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest
Once upon a time, men and women throughout the land lived in fear. This caused them to do foolish things that made them feel better temporarily, but didn’t make them any safer. Gradually, some people became less fearful, and less tolerant of the foolish things they were told to submit to. The lords who ruled the land tried to revive the fear, but with less and less success. Sensible men and women from all over the land were peering behind the curtain, and seeing that the emperor had no clothes.
Thus it came to pass that the lords decided to appeal to the children. If the children could be made more fearful, then their fathers and mothers might also become more fearful, and the lords would remain lords, and all would be right with the order of things. The children would grow up in fear, and thus become accustomed to doing what the lords said, further allowing the lords to remain lords. But to do this, the lords realized they needed Frightful Fables and Fear-Mongering Fairytales to tell the children at bedtime.
Your task, ye Weavers of Tales, is to create a fable or fairytale suitable for instilling the appropriate level of fear in children so they grow up appreciating all the lords do to protect them.
That’s this year’s contest. Make your submissions short and sweet: 400 words or less. Imagine that someone will be illustrating this story for young children. Submit your entry in comments; deadline is May 1. I’ll choose several semifinalists, and then you all will vote for the winner. The prize is a signed copy of my latest book, Cryptography Engineering. And if anyone seriously wants to illustrate this, please contact me directly—or just go for it and post a link.
Thank you to loyal reader—and frequent reader of my draft essays—”grenouille,” who suggested this year’s contest.
And good luck!
The First Movie-Plot Threat Contest rules and winner. The Second Movie-Plot Threat Contest rules, semifinalists, and winner. The Third Movie-Plot Threat Contest rules, semifinalists, and winner. The Fourth Movie-Plot Threat Contest rules and winner.
EDITED TO ADD (4/1): I’m looking for entries in the form of a fairytale or fable. Plot summaries and descriptions won’t count as entries, although you are welcome to post them and comment on them—and use them if others post them.
EDITED TO ADD (5/15): Voting is now open here.
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