Three-Minute Fiction: Sneak Peek A lot can happen in three minutes. For instance, Mrs. Wainwright can swear before a court that the house truly is haunted, in the story "Habeas Corpses." And 8-year-old twins can find a strange neighbor next to their soon-to-be new house, as in the tale "The First." These are just two of the 5,000 entries we received during this round of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. We are getting closer to announcing the winner of Round 5. In the meantime, host Guy Raz takes a look at some standout entries along the way.
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Three-Minute Fiction: Sneak Peek

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Three-Minute Fiction: Sneak Peek

Three-Minute Fiction: Sneak Peek

Three-Minute Fiction: Sneak Peek

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/130793587/130793691" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A lot can happen in three minutes. For instance, Mrs. Wainwright can swear before a court that the house truly is haunted, in the story "Habeas Corpses." And 8-year-old twins can find a strange neighbor next to their soon-to-be new house, as in the tale "The First." These are just two of the 5,000 entries we received during this round of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. We are getting closer to announcing the winner of Round 5. In the meantime, host Guy Raz takes a look at some standout entries along the way.

Read The Stories

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GUY RAZ, Host:

In just a few weeks, we'll announce the winner of round five of our Three Minute Fiction contest. And while we sort through the 5,000 entries we received, here are a few more of our favorites. Remember, all entries had to begin with the same line.

BOB MONDELLO: Some people swore that the house was haunted.

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LYNN NEARY: Some people swore that the house was haunted. Some people swore that the house was...

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MONDELLO: Some people swore that the house was haunted. One, Sheila Wainwright, even vouched for the validity of this claim in Judge Harrow's court.

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MONDELLO: The city attorney buried his head dejectedly in his hands for the entire performance. Why me, Jules Munroe thought, examining the slits of pink light crowding his vision. Why did I have to return to this god-awful hole in the wall to practice law?

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MONDELLO: Muffled chuckles came from the peanut gallery. Father McElroy, an avid legal spectator, almost choked on his candy apple. Munroe sighed. What other courthouse in America sold candy apples and homemade boysenberry tarts?

NEARY: The day we first saw it, we'd gone house-hunting in my father's '66 Mustang when my father slowed the car to a stop in front of an empty, two-story house. That's when Mr. Cautington approached us.

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NEARY: Is that right? This time my father whispered it.

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NEARY: My parents closed on the house one month later. Nothing was ever the same again after that.

RAZ: Thanks to our own Bob Mondello and Lynn Neary for reading those stories. You can find the full versions and many other picks at our website, npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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