NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Ten Ring Fingers by Tamara Breuer of Washington, D.C., and Ghost Words by Matheus Macedo of Winthrop, Mass. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.
She found the first ring on a night that smelled of body odor and beer. The bar's last customers had finally given up hope of taking her to bed and staggered away, leaving her to clean the stains of their desperation. She mopped the floor as quickly as possible to escape the place that made her feel uncomfortable in her own skin.
The letter smelled of lavender and vanilla, like she couldn't decide which perfume to use so she used both. Her hand-writing had been drawn with the careful precision only seventh-grade girls in love have patience for. Hidden behind the words were indents and scratches, ghosts of words that weren't quite right, rewrites on top of rewrites.
The envelope lay flat and perfectly sealed in the middle of the hallway. If it had not been in front of her locker I may have left it there. I thought of all possibilities before tearing open the smooth flap of pink paper.
A column of Russia's T-90 tanks rumbles over the cobblestones in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 during the country's Victory Day parade celebrating the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.
The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.
Several high schools had to cancel their proms in 1963, during a time of tumultuous civil rights protests across the South, and in Birmingham, Ala., particularly. Fifty years later, some of those African-American students finally got the chance to dance the night away. Gigi Douban reports.
In this week's Sunday Conversation, host Rachel Martin speaks with Detective Sgt. Joe Matthews, who worked for decades on the Adam Welsh murder investigation in Florida. She will speak to him about how the case changed overtime, how it affected him personally and professionally, and how it feels to close a case that he worked on for so long.
Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of National Grammar Day and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, tells host Rachel Martin about what she has referred to as an "apostrophe catastrophe." The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has a policy against possessive apostrophes in the names of places. The reason, The Wall Street Journal reports, is that the apostrophe quote implies private ownership of a public space.