• Visit Indigo

    Sledgehammer is proudly presented by Indigo, which offers editing, design, and more to authors and publishers around the world.

    Visit us at www.indigoediting.com to learn more and to schedule a free sample edit and initial consultation.

    Indigo: editing, design,
    and more

    Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
  • Join Our Networks

  • Photo Gallery

    To view photos of Sledgehammers past, visit our Facebook photo albums!

    All photos property of Sledgehammer Writing Contest. Most photos copyright Doug Geisler.

“Untitled” by Team Hammertime

An animal trainer
“Don’t eat that!”
Spending $4



By Team Hammertime

Once upon a time there was a man named Mr. Dean. He was an owl trainer. The date is August 7, 2243.

It’s so hot out today – too hot – maybe I’ll get a dry ice doughnut from VooDoo Doughnuts to cool me down and fight off this deadly heat After all, earth is only 15 billion light years away. It’ll only be a five minute trip.

In five minutes I’m in Portland, the only city with Voodoo Doughnuts . I heard 230 years ago it used to be a beautiful city full of parks and forests, but now it’s just a cloudy, crumpled city, full of pollution. I went inside. The next available person was dressed as a voodoo doctor. I ordered two boxes of doughnuts – one box of dry ice doughnuts, paid my $4, and went to work. Voodoo Doughnuts were the only thing that would cool me down from the planet’s heat.

Once I got to my work, I put the doughnuts down on my desk and started typing. Then an owl tried to sneak a box of doughnuts, but once I saw the tip of his feather, I turned around and said “SHOO! SHOO! DON’T EAT THAT!” and the owl flew away. I had to be careful. Once the radioactivity started to consume our planet, we became linked – humans and owls. If one of us died, the other died. Owl training seemed like a good job – keep them alive, keep yourself alive.

Once that was done, I moved the doughnuts in front of me so I could see them. I train owls, but I can’t trust them.

But then a black cloud flew over me. I remember thinking – “This is crazy – we don’t ever have bad weather here. It’s too hot. There are never clouds.”

But as it got closer, I realized it was a black cloud of owls – coming for the doughnuts. The heat was was getting to them too, and they knew because of my trip that there was relief in my doughnuts. I panicked, but one of owls grabbed a doughnut and split it, shooting the crumbs into the cloud of owls.

Later, an owl tried to sneak up behind me. I turned around and started to yell. A second came in and stole two doughnuts from the box and started to swallow them whole.

I smacked them away from the box, and realized it was pointless. I could just get more. The owls grabbed the doughnuts and took them to their den.

I was reading the news while I was flying back to the doughnut shop. Gah! Voodoo Doughnuts had run out of business. The batter had run out because of the pollution on earth. No more sugar would grow. No more flour. The owls would take what I had left, and I wouldn’t survive the summer I decided to make a trap for the owls.

I went to the cornfield and gathered some corn and took it home. On the way, I passed Hobby’s planet, where I bought some string, eyes, and gray paint.

I started to make a trap. I formed some corn leaves into a mouse shape, painted it gray,and filled it with corn kernels. Then, I headed out to the owl’s den. I put the mouse a few yards outside of the den and then started to make squeaking sounds.

The owls flew out of their hole and fought over the corn mouse. I dipped behind the swarm and went into the den, where I stole back the VooDoo doughnuts and went home. Finally, they were mine again.

It’s two months later, I felt sick. The owls were dead from the heat.. There was nothing I could do. Everybody I met seemed to be sick or dead. I feel as if I may die, lying here writing the last page in my journal…

© 2013 Aidan Tenud, Asher Tenud