This piece was awarded first place in the Flash Fiction section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.
* * *
Long ago, the Jade Emperor, Ecclestone, challenged some animals to race across the river. The rat was disqualified for pushing the cat into the river after the cat demanded a stewards’ enquiry, having been rescued by a crane. The dragon created some rain for the others but this necessitated a safety duck. The snake was forced to complete a penalty lap of the pond for hitchhiking on the horse’s leg, the boar went into a pit to refuel and the rabbit only made it over by jumping onto an advertising hoarding. Eventually, the race was abandoned for breaching safety regulations.