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Briefest Best 

All the fiction that fits into 101 words

The holidays are past and we're still a week or so away from the start of the 2015 Idaho Legislature. During this brief lull, we might be introspective, still crafting (or maintaining) our New Year's resolutions and trying to get back into the routine of work or school. This is a good time for thinking and planning before the events of the coming year consume us.

It's also a good time for reading—specifically, good fiction. You're in luck with this week's edition of Boise Weekly, wherein we publish the winners of our 13th annual Fiction 101 contest.

Here you'll find the top three 101-word entries, two honorable mentions and four judges' picks culled from more than 220 writers. Illustrated by one of our favorite local artists, Erin Ruiz, the stories are by turns somber, morbidly funny, weary and bizarre—all the things that make for great literature. That they're merely 101 words long doesn't diminish them; rather, it's a far greater achievement to convey a feeling or craft a scene in few words than it is to use many.

Thanks again to our panel of judges, Rick Ardinger, Jessica Holmes, Britt Udesen and Christian Winn, as well as the hundreds of writers who submitted their briefest best.

We hope you enjoy these stories and that maybe they inspire you to practice your own art, no matter what it is or how small it may be.

Elsewhere in this week's paper, BW News Editor George Prentice delves into the complex world of bitcoin trading—the digital currency that has regulators, and more than a few others, scratching their heads. Frequent BW music contributor Ben Schultz counts down 14 of his top albums of 2014 (spoiler: Iggy Azalea's debut studio release is not among them). Staff writer Jessica Murri details the conservation efforts under way in the Boise foothills as part of a 3,400-acre trail easement, while food writer Tara Morgan takes a trip to Kuna to sample Peruvian restaurant Lima Limon.

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