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by Vincent Wood

So the Human of the Year shortlist was announced and you get really excited because you think you’re in with a shot this time round. You look them up in a hurry and you don’t seem to be on there. There must have been some stiff competition this year, you think, but something doesn’t seem quite right.

You have a strange thought in the back of your head so you check the names on the longlist, all 7 billion of them, and you can’t see your name anywhere. At one point you think you spot your name but that was some guy from South America with a similar name but one of the letters was different. You double check and triple check just to be certain you’re not there and when you still can’t find your name you resolve to call the organisers.

After talking to you for a few minutes they agree to look over the names on the longlist, all 7 billion of them, and they do it, once, twice, three times and … yup, sure enough, you’re right, you’re not there. They’re really sorry and put your name into the system but tell you it’s already too late for this year, the shortlist has been published already, maybe next year?

You thank them for their time and they tell you that that sort of gracious attitude will put you in good stead for next year but it’s too late for this year and that’s all that matters. Next year maybe, next year.

Vincent Wood is a creative writing graduate from the University of Greenwich, London. He’s had several short stories published both online and in print by various magazines. As well as winning a special commendation from First Writer Magazine’s Eighth International Short Story competition, Vincent was also shortlisted for Askance Publishing’s 2012 short story competition and Aesthetica magazine’s Creative Writing Award 2014.