Sole Provisions Short Short Essay Contest



Why should you enter the Sole Provisions Short Short Essay Contest?!?

 The Prize:

One pair of shoes from Sole Provision’s Fitflops OR Orthaheel collection.

Rules and Writing Criteria:

  1. Essays are to be 150-450 words long to be considered.
  2. You must include one of the following words in the title -  sole, soul or Seoul.
  3. You can write about true events or fiction.
  4. Judging criteria are funniness, good writing and creativity.
  5. Essays will be judged by FnS publisher Jacki Schklar and announced on September 12th.
  6. Essays must be submitted by midnight Eastern on Monday, September 9th 2013. Submit your entry simply by adding it to the comments section below! You can write up to 2 entries/submissions.

Follow Sole Provisions and tell them you appreciate their participation in our contest!



  1. Signs of loneliness are not palpable to the soul – extorting cries human ears cannot hear. A secret punishment not roused up for slumbering humanity. Sense of touch become scars on the flesh. In an existential commitment where liminalities are lost, “mimetic” behavior escalates & mimes are mistaken for leaders. Entire civilizations are characterized by the absence of a “master of ceremonies,” leading to the rise of tricksters. Imitation, whether in learning or in social activity, is only possible if we are not aware we are imitating … if we are, imitation produces no effect in learning nor pleasure in involvement. Daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain is immeasurably worse
    than any torture of the body.

    The first-viewing of any film is enjoyment on the immediate level. It is impossible to see all the subtleties & complexities. You miss key sequences, shots or narrative facts.

    Riding the rails to Hollywood with hobos, I see poverty. I sleep on the floor; I go hungry. I marginalize. I disenfranchise. I alienate & subjugate. Disqualify. I remember being “broke” (when back home, you are wealthy). It’s an age of creativity where we ask radical questions; where the unquestioned grasp on life is loose. I’m too uncomfortable to stay uncomfortable. A voyeur at the helm of exclusion. I tempt fate when she steps in to raise the stakes.

    A hobo steals my shoes—one of which has a studio ID card sewn into the sole—& is pulverized by an oncoming train. The railroad cops, finding the ID, announce I am dead. Meanwhile, however, I am actually beaten & robbed of the $5 bills I hand out to hobo’s before returning to my film studio. In a stupor, I assault a cop & am cuffed. I tell them who I am, expecting cessation: but without ID & the headlines full of the news of my death who will believe me? I am convicted & sent to a prison work camp where life finally bestows upon me THE experience we seek: human suffering with no escape clause. Now I gain the knowledge to make a film on devastating poverty & genuine suffering. Except the lesson I learn is the exact opposite of that I expect. I see the last thing sufferers want is to watch people suffer. They need a break. To rumble & implode with laughs. For an instant forget everything that is wrong. To feel how wonderfully silly is.

    So, because everything that could go wrong, did—I gain the experience that a perfect story bestows upon her protagonist …. I return to the place I began & sees it with new eyes: The world changes not. I do.

  2. I Sold My Soul

    Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I sold my soul to the devil to be able to cook. Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best exchange. First of all, I wasn’t specific enough. I wanted to be a world class chef with my own show on the Food Network. I don’t know if you’ve watched the Food Network lately, but I’m not on it.

    Instead of magically knowing how to make perfect French sauces and rich desserts, I’m the casserole queen of my block. I can mix a can of soup, veggies and chicken in an oven-safe glass dish, stick it in the oven, and get perfect results every time. I don’t even like casseroles, but now I’m stuck bringing covered dishes to pot lucks and PTA meetings.

    People eat my casseroles and ask me what the secret is for making them so perfectly every time. I simply shrug and wonder if I’ll still be making casseroles in Hell.

    I obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I made the deal, but you know how the Devil is. Once you sign on the dotted line there’s no getting out. I wonder if Hell will be as hot as my kitchen is now that the oven is always on.

  3. The Seoul of Punctuation

    The best thing about teaching English in Korea was the being in Seoul. The teaching English part of the deal kind of sucked. Even though I hoped they didn’t notice, I think many of my adult students realized that I felt that way.

    How did someone who didn’t know the difference between a colon and a semicolon and who would put a comma any old place in a sentence get a job teaching English? Easy, I applied.

    As I stood in front of students hoping that their English was just bad enough not to realize that I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about, I dreamed of the days when I would be independently wealthy and wouldn’t need a job to get by.

    Those days never came, but my English did improve. Now I know that a colon is used when you want to convey a sense of happiness, like this :) . A semi-colon on the other hand is used to convey mischief or a joke, like this ;) . Commas, well I still think you can put them just about anywhere.

  4. I’ve Got SOLE!

    Am I soleful? ABSOLUTELY! I have more than 100 pair of shoes in my closet, so no one can ever claim that I lack sole! Collecting shoes is not only a wonderful hobby, but a hobby that makes me look good and makes my soul feel great!

    Sure, others may not understand my shoe obsession, but I don’t care. Maybe I don’t understand some of their ridiculous ideas, but I don’t criticize them. What they don’t know is this: The right pair of shoes can either make or break an outfit. See, I get this; and that’s what makes me so stylish. I buy my shoes first and then build the outfit. I can always find clothes to match my wild and soleful shoe choices.

    I won’t deny this fact either: I sometimes sell my soul for an irresistible pair of shoes. If my husband says, “No, you have enough on the credit card,” I’ll use my Paypal account or my Bill Me Later account. He can’t track those. I also sacrifice my comfort for shoes, which is why winning this contest would be perfect for me. Some days, my tiny little piggy toe is screaming in pain. But, hey, I looked good for the day—my calves were toned, and the shoes matched perfectly. If I win this contest, at least I will have painless days, and my piggy toe on my right foot will love me and the person who selects me!

    Please choose me as the winner of this sole contest. I take my shoe addiction seriously. I love shoes and will cherish my win with both soles/souls. Even if I don’t win, I had loads of fun creating this entry. I was given the opportunity to use two of my passions: writing and shoes! So, thank you, no matter what the outcome.

  5. It was a dark and stormy night when I busted my sole while busting a move to “Soul Man” at a Seoul Hilton Karaoke night.

    “What do you think of that as my lead sentence?” I asked Vincenta Faborgini, my hard working agent and confidante.

    “In a word? ‘Overkill’,” she said, taking a drag of her Pall Mall.

    “You can’t be a smoker,” I replied. “They won’t allow smokers in a winning Essay.”

    “What if she comes to a bad end?”

    “A dramatic twist? I like that.”

    Vincenta, looking twistful, pulled out her Walther PPK and aimed at her heart.

    “Stop! Don’t do that now!”

    “You’re sweet. Because I’m too young to die, right?”

    “You’re old as the hills, but we haven’t passed the minimum 150 words yet.”

    Vincenta put the gun away. Then I thought: Maybe I spoke too soon? Add a little internal monologue and I’m home free.

    “Just passed the minimum. Fire away. It will make a great ending to a brilliant essay on the little known curse of suicide due to excessive use of smoking-related plot twists,” I said.

    “I decided to quit instead. Filthy habit.”

    Okay, I thought, adding another internal monologue to my entry, I’ve written more than enough words, but frankly what is the point of this essay?

    “There’s really no point to this essay,” Vincenta said, as if reading my mind.

    “If you’d had the guts to shoot yourself, there would have been a point,” I grumped.

    “Grumped? You want to go with that as a verb?”

    “Funny sounding word, and it breaks up the he said-she said pattern,” I said.

    Then she explained her complaint. “No, I mean the prize. Granted they’re great shoes and all, but what am I supposed to do with ten percent of your footwear?”

    What a buzzkill, I thought, writing my pithiest internal monologue yet.

    “I’m in it for the artistic satisfaction and the joy of victory,” I added. “If I win, you can have one of the shoes. That’s fifty percent of my earnings.”

    “I’ll do anything for a client who is that sincere,” she said, pulling out her Walther PPK again and aiming it at her chest.

    “Wait!” I said. “Aim for your head. Remember what they say about Hollywood sincerity, ‘You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood and stuff it in a flea’s navel and still have room left over for three caraway seeds and an agent’s heart.’ You’d probably miss your heart”

    “Why you thoughtless jerk,” she said aiming the gun at me.

    Then she shot me dead, providing an even more shocking ending and a better essay topic: Handguns in the mitts of wackaloon Hollywood agents.

  6. Suitcase to my Soul

    I’m a procrastinator and hate mornings- a bad combo for early airport departures. On a recent trip, I cursed myself for getting a late start. Upon arrival and out of breath, I wrangled my rolling my suitcase into the skycap line.

    “You’re overweight,” said the skycap.

    “Jesus. Good morning to you, too,” I said and mouthed a “What the fu-?” to the guy behind me.

    “Ma’am, you’ve got excess baggage.”

    “Seriously?” I said, “it’s that obvious I’m somewhat f*cked up just from looking at me? Without any knowledge of my parents’ divorce, my test anxiety, a bullying ex-husband, and my I-want-to-kill-all-happily-married-couples attitude, you can eyeball me and know I’ve got issues? Are my fears and resentments that palpable?”

    “Lady, your bag needs to weigh less than 50 pounds. You’re tipping the scale at 67. Your baggage is over the limit. You wanna remove the excess?”

    “Let me get this right,” I said. “On this windy morning, you want me to get down on the rough ground, in my brand new tights, and bend over, despite a line of nine businessmen behind me, unzip my suitcase, reveal my unconventional packing methods, risk the possibility of my unmentionables catching a gust of wind, at which time I’d have to chase my stretch lace panties into oncoming traffic, where I’d likely be hit by a bus full of South Koreans fresh off the plane for a great exchange rate vacation in America. Yeah… No, I’ll pass.”

    “Ma’am,” he said, “you’ve got too much baggage. You gotta deal with it.”

    “Right here, on the curb, you want me to deal with my excess baggage? Really…and just how do you suggest I magically deal with it? Is there a leather couch beyond that conveyor belt? I’ve got 45 years of baggage. It’s gonna take some time.”

    “Ma’am, we try to keep this drop area a drama-free zone. You look resourceful. I’m sure you can find a way.”

    “Sir, I’m not resourceful. I’m a divorced, 45-year old, single mom. I’m at the bottom of the food chain. Read plankton, dude. You think I can just stuff the excess baggage into another bag and lug that around? Or, worse, hand it off to some guy to carry for a while?”

    “Um,” piped up the guy behind me, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t take on her excess baggage. I’m on my third wife and my son was just expelled from another school. I’ve hit capacity.”

    “I guess you’re stuck with it,” said the skycap. “I’ll have to charge you $90.”

    “I’m good with that,” I said. “It’s been quite a journey. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Those carry-on types are total bores.”

  7. Dwayne Dear,
    Must I remind you? In our Sole Custody Agreement dictated by the SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, I (the plaintiff and “the mother”) KARLA FLICKER KLIMPFER, beat you (the defendant and “the father”) like a monkey’s brass drum.
    As the Primary Residential Custodial Parent and the parent entitled to receive feline support on behalf of “SCRUFFLES,” I would like to bring to your attention the following pressing issues.
    The court reinstated your visitation rights on alternate weekends of months beginning with an “M” and ending with a “Y.” Don’t be late.
    It is important to remember that Scruffles’ nutritionist insists on “Fancy Pants Pussy” Steamed Wild Alaskan Salmon in a champagne consomme. Scruffles and her litter coach will know if you try and pass off those cheapo generic kibbles again.
    Let me also remind you that I won final decision-making authority regarding all major matters affecting Scruffles’ welfare, including but not limited to matters of health, education and religion. Therefore, if Scruffles and I choose to celebrate National Farm Animal Day with a sojourn to a petting zoo, that is my – our – right.
    Scruffles and I forgive you for the mental anguish and neglect you inflicted upon us during our intense legal conflict. Damn lawyers.
    Ms. Flicker to you!

  8. Brain Food for the Zombie’s Soul

    Every photograph is the same. While I appreciate a stack of homemade hoecakes as much as the next Southern Belle, I just can’t bring myself to get past the pictures of a teeth-gritting Paula Deen grinning up at me from the flirtatious covers of magazines at the checkout to reach the soul of Southern cooking inside.

    “She looks like a zombie.” Son Two and I are at a bookstore large enough to merit its own bobsled team. Paula Deen is gazing at us with a gleam in her eye and a glazed-tooth grin. It may come from a butter-induced stupor, but I can’t help but think she’s sizing up our brains to see how many deep dish pies she could get out of the pair of us.

    “She’s just posing for the camera,” I said, shivering and checking over my shoulder for random undead figures lurking in the nonfiction aisle.

    “It looks like she’s staring at me.” He shifted on one leg to lean behind me. The creature’s eyes seemed to follow him. A trick of light on the glossy cover made her appear to drool. If she licked her lips, I was going to peel out of that bookstore like a Nascar driver on the last left turn.

    “Let’s go to the coffee shop,” I whispered, backing away from the bookshelf. We’ll get something with caffeine to keep us alert.”

    “Mom. If I got any more alert I’d be an exclamation point.” Son Two is as tall as an industrial refrigerator, but only as wide as an icicle in the freezer compartment. He can take in food all day, but somehow the shelves stay empty.

    “Back up slowly and don’t make eye contact. She’ll try to lure you in with homemade doughnuts and full fat cream cheese.” But it was like I was talking to Angel Food. Son Two was gone and there was nothing but air.

    I tried to run, but out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a cover picture of made-from-scratch banana pudding that would make a monkey weep. I tripped over my artificial Louboutins and landed red soles up in Paranormal Romance. That’s what I get for being such a heel.

    I guess it goes to show that when it comes to Soul Food, Paula Deen is a shoe-in.

  9. Rock and (No) Soul

    Does anyone remember when rock concerts were anything goes, drinking, smoking whatever, dance on your seat, rush the stage, lighters in the air, crazy? I do. I hit that sweet spot age-wise: too young to have seen the Hell’s Angels stomp Meredith Hunter at Altamont, and too old to spend a whole show trolling Facebook, like this woman sitting next to me did at a show the other night. Her giant-ass phone spilled so much light, she lit up like the boy in Poltergeist.

    It was distracting to me, but I wasn’t as annoyed as her date, who’d apparently paid scalper’s rates to bring her there to not watch the show. And now, since it was after 9 o’clock, he couldn’t even get drunk, because they’d stopped selling booze.

    (Parenthetical digressive rant: At least they sold it for a brief window of time.The show I saw before this was completely dry and… and… had a smoothie truck. SMOOTHIES ARE NOT ROCK AND ROLL. ROCKERS CHOKE ON THEIR OWN VOMIT, NOT UNDER-BLENDED CHUNKS OF STRAWBERRY.)

    Anyway, that Facebook girl missed the whole show and spoiled it for her date. I’d have felt sorry for him if he hadn’t been sporting the double-douchiest facial hair imaginable: mutton chops and a soul patch.

  10. I’ve Got a Piece of Johnny Depp Under the Sole of My Shoe.
    ”True” Confessions of a Celebrity Worshiper

    by Gwen Ellery

    (Insert legally available picture of Johnny Depp with my Photoshopped head poking in from the side)

    Not long ago, I heard that Johnny Depp would be visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London for the unveiling of a wax statue of him in the role of Jack Sparrow. Oh, my God. I _had_ to be there. I spent that month’s grocery money on a Eurostar ticket to London. It turned out I’d had faulty information about the event, and Johnny wasn’t there, but here’s the amazing thing: Even his statue emitted a daze-inducing aura. Here’s the effect it had on me:

    (Insert same legally available picture of Johnny Depp as above, but this time my Photoshopped eyes have much larger pupils and I’m larger in the foreground, smiling goofily)

    After that incident, I went nuts. I began to understand why people collect scraps of clothing that have touched stars or saints. I’d always scoffed at such idolatry, but now I got it: Those scraps of had touched some primal but buried idea of God.

    Or maybe they’re just substitute blankies. A way to recapture mother-love.

    Celebrity worship became my new religion. Below is visual record of that period. Notice the crazed look in my eye. I was not myself. I was possessed by charisma in its most potent form:

    (Insert several captioned, legally available celebrity pix with me hamming it up in the fore- or background)

    Then — thank goodness — I got a wake-up call. My husband, who is usually accepting of my eccentricities, laid down the law. “It’s me or them,” he said after I’d come home from my latest celeb-sighting. “What happened to us? Aren’t I enough for you anymore?”

    I gulped, tempted to tell him, once again, about the special high — the near-spiritual power —
    of my celebrities. But the look on my man’s face checked the words in my mouth. His pupils widened, and I felt it, a tiny glow. A magical pull.

    “Did you feel that?” I asked him. “The spark between us?”

    He nodded and reached out to brush my hair from my temple, cupping my jaw.

    And for the next hour, we spoke no more. Not of celebrities. Not of their godlike qualities, nor of my addiction to them, which I was determined to get under control. We were only human after all, so we made human love. Finally, my hubby was enough for me—that is, until later that night, when I dreamed of wearing nothing but high heels, walking a plank that was none other than Captain Jack.

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