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It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest is a tongue-in-cheek contest held annually and is sponsored by the English Department of San Jose State University in San Jose, California. Entrants are invited “to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” – that is, deliberately bad
The contest was started in 1982 by Professor Scott E. Rice of the English Department at San Jose State University and is named for English novelist and playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, author of the much-quoted first line “It was a dark and stormy night”. This is the opening from the 1830 novel Paul Clifford
These are the entries (winners and dishonourable mentions) from the year 2002 to 2017 which I personally find funny or clever in some way.
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Hope you Enjoy…
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Weather
It was a dark and stormy night and because of this nothing interesting will happen until the next page when the weather permits human interaction.
Rami Jackson, West Orange, New Jersey
The night was dark; which is a bit redundant, since night is by definition dark, unless it’s a stormy night when lightning causes moments of brilliant light, or except in places like Norway or Alaska where summer nights can be pretty light, but still, most of the time when you say “night,” people are going to think “dark.”
Joseph E. Fountain, Fredericksburg, VA
It was such a beautiful night; the bright moonlight illuminated the sky, the thick clouds floated leisurely by just above the silhouette of tall, majestic trees, and I was viewing it all from the front row seat of the bullet hole in my car trunk.
Tonya Lavel, Barbados, West Indies
It was a dark and stormy night, well, not pitch dark so much a plumby, you know, that time of night where it turns into that kind of eggplant color, which I hate – eggplant not the time of night – and it wasn’t stormy so much as drizzly, like a cold that’s not so bad but really annoying, where you sound a little plugged up and all your mucus just sort of hovers at the edge of your nostrils or drips down the back of your throat, it was like that.
Maisey Yates, Jacksonville, OR
It was a dark and stormy night, although according to meteorologists since the lightning density on the satellite imagery for the area was only about 0.5 strikes per square mile, it wasn’t stormy, and according to members of the American Society of Cinematographers because the lights from the city reflected off the clouds and created about 13 lumens of light, it didn’t really fit the technical definition of dark.
Steve Petermann, Plano, TX
The day was like any other, except that this was a Wednesday so it was really only like 1/7th of the other days.
Randy Wilson, New Albany, IN
The day started out as uneventfully as any other, and continued thus to midday and from there it was nothing at all to ease into an evening of numbing, undiluted monotony that survived unmarred by even the least act of momentary peculiarity – in fact, let’s skip that day altogether and start with the day after.
Jon Starr, Rumford, ME
Creeping slowly over the hill, the sun seemed to catch the small village nestled in the valley by surprise, which is a bit unusual really, as you’d think that something with a diameter of 865,000 miles and a surface temperature of 5780 degrees Kelvin, and which is more normally seen from 93,000,000 miles away, wouldn’t be able to creep anywhere, let alone catch anything by surprise.
Malcolm Booth, Brinsworth, Rotherham, U.K.
Dawn crept up like the panther on the gazelle, except it was light, not dark like a panther, and a panther, though quiet, could never be as silent as the light of dawn, so really the analogy doesn’t hold up well, as cool as it sounds, but it still is a great way to begin a story; just not necessarily this particular one.
Warren Blair, Ashburn, VA
Sometimes I look to the sky and pray for something heavy to fall from it and put me out of my misery – something like a baby-grand piano, a bit of space junk, an anvil, or a meteorite; or, better yet, for heavy objects to fall on everyone except me in a biblical downpour of baby-grand pianos, bits of space junk, anvils, and meteorites.
One day—though this was no average day, it was gloomy; uncharacteristically forecast for mid-July, yet not extraordinary considering the geographic location, on the northern coast of Germany, where drastic changes in weather are indeed quite common although not so common that they were expected yet common enough to leave no one shocked by the small gathering of clouds above their heads—Linda went on a walk down the street.
Benjamin Matthes, Founex, Switzerland
Trevor looked out the window and immediately felt like he was in the middle of the movie “Doctor Zhivago” . . . only without the Bolsheviks . . . or the balalaika music . . . or all the adultery . . . basically, it was just a cold and snowy day
Joshua Long, Harrison, Ohio
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Adventure
Mack Bolan levelled his customised M-16 assault rifle and used the underslung launcher to fire an enraged salmon at the nearest Mexican kamikaze unicyclist, or whatever – let’s face it, it’s book #947 and you’re probably not paying close attention by this point.
Lewis Gurran, Wrexham, Wales
Whether I shall emerge from this tale as the hero of my own life, or whether that station be the lot of another, these pages must show, and the path for you, dear reader, will be, as it was for me, long and tortuous, though pages 247-252 will clear up a lot.
John Hardi, Falls Church, Virginia
The sea roiled like water in a pasta pot about to boil, an apt simile thought Captain Samuel Turner, because if they didn’t fix their engine soon he and his crew would be floating face down like overcooked manicotti—bloated, white, limp and about to be consumed by something that wished it were eating ahi tuna instead.
Alex Bosworth, Ketchikan, Alaska
Captain Blackheart well knew the penalties for piracy, but out here in international waters there was no one to stop him, so he scanned the horizon with his brass telescope before heading below decks to check on his high speed DVD copying machines.
Phillip Davies, Cardiff, Wales
Certainly most people in Morris’ place would have had certain misgivings about being stranded aboard a life raft, facing the unrelenting hunger and the possibility of having to eat the weaker members of the crew just to eke out the chance of survival for a few more days, but as Morris was an Asiatic black bear he had absolutely no qualms about it whatsoever.
Charlie Hill, Auckland, New Zealand
Finally after ninety-seven long days adrift Captain Pertwee was rescued, mercifully ending his miserable diet of rainwater and strips of sun dried Haddock which was actually far ghastlier than it sounded what with George Haddock being his former first mate.
Phillip Davies, Cardiff, U.K.
As Farmer Brown’s train pulled out of the station at 10:00am traveling east at 50 mph, he had no idea that at that very same moment Farmer Green was 100 miles away on a west-bound train heading straight for him at 60mph and that because of a tragic track-switching mistake he was going to die in a fiery head-on train crash at exactly … uhm … well … err … sometime later that day.
Shanon Conner, San Angelo, TX
As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course.
Ron D Smith, Louisville, KY
It was a tricky situation, given the complex behavioral instincts of the Lowland Gorilla, and this accidental group encounter with a silver-backed dominant male was taxing Professor Wiesenheimer’s knowledge of interspecies primate interaction to the limit, yet confidently and without hesitation, he turned to his startled pupils and whispered, “Run like Hell.”
Mark Watson, Raleigh, NC
The sharks circled the leaking life raft like a pack of rabid personal-injury attorneys at a five-car pileup, and Clarence could just taste the fear (which tasted like chicken) and wondered morbidly if he too, might taste like chicken.
Wendi Tibbets, San Jose, CA
Many years have passed since the events related here, but I remember them almost as well as if I had really been there, because I think about them frequently, turning them over and over in my mind, changing the facts to make me into more of a hero than I actually might have been, had I been there to do half the things I claim I did.
Thor F. Carden, Madison, TN
Leaning back comfortably in a plush old chair, feet up, fingers laced behind his head, Tom Chambers inventoried his life and with a satisfied grin mused, “Ah, marlin fishing off the coast of Majorca, a bronze star for that rescue mission in Jamir, the unmatched fragrance of pastries fresh out of the oven at Café Legrande, two sons who would make any father proud … I’ve never done any of that.”
Ernie Santilli, Drexel Hill PA
How best to pluck the exquisite Toothpick of Ramses from between a pair of acrimonious vipers before the demonic Guards of Nicobar returned should have held Indy’s full attention, but in the back of his mind he still wondered why all the others who had agreed to take part in his wife’s holiday scavenger hunt had been assigned to find stuff like a Phillips screwdriver or blue masking tape.
Joe Wyatt, Amarillo, TX
Oliver Smith, spy on Her Majesty’s service – not that she knew about it, because that tended to spoil the whole secrecy thing and really, who’d want an un-secret spy, anyway? Not to mention that any spy worth his salt would kill anybody who knew his identity … so I wouldn’t go around mentioning that I read this if I were you – looked both ways before crossing the street.
Rafaela Canetti, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gerald began – but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash – to pee.
Jim Gleeson, Madison, WI
It was a day, like any other day, in that Linus got up, faced the sunrise, used his inhaler, applied that special cream between his toes, wrote a quick note and put it in a bottle, and wished he’d been stranded on the island with something other than 40 cases each of inhalers, decorative bottles, and special toe cream.
Chris Harget, Campbell, CA
Maybe it was because he was feeling dizzy after the four litres of crème de menthe he’d drunk, or perhaps it was because the day had started with his slippers exploding completely unexpectedly as he ate his cornflakes, but, as Anthony looked behind him for the fortieth time, walking home from the bar, he could have sworn he was being followed by a large silver-backed gorilla.
Terrë Yuki, London
As the foeman’s axe descended, Ragnar Thorvaldsson thought – quickly, but with uncannily prescient anachronism – that his paltry contribution to this raid would not be recorded in the great sagas, or even a minor tale, but at best he might be remembered centuries hence only as “third oarsman” in the Boys’ Own Book of Viking Adventure Stories.
Paul Dawson, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Description
From his bare feet and the wooden club he carried everywhere, to the bear skin that he wore over his stooped body even while the opposition donned pinstriped suits. criminal defense attorney Alonzo Cloodwick, bearded and sorely in need of barbering, seemed like something of a throwback to an earlier generation.
Peter Hochstein, New York, New York
Some stories are so compelling they almost seem to write themselves, but not this one.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Dorfman, Bainbridge Island, WA
Our tale begins with the encounter of two gentlemen; I’m going to describe the second gentleman first.
Mark Donnelly, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
“I have always found character introductions at the beginning of novels to be a rather clunky literary device,” said Edmond Wordswell of Liston Street, Cambridge, a 39-year-old tax attorney and sufferer of severe lactophobia, the tragic result of having been abandoned in an empty milk bottle carrier as an infant.
Sarah Harper, Silver Spring, MD
Special agent Mark Park’s strong chin and firm mouth showed that he was a man to be reckoned with, while his twinkling blue eyes revealed surprising depths of kindness and humor, the scar on his cheek a past filled with violence and danger, and his left ear a fondness for M and Ms, but only the red ones.
John R. Cooper, Portland, Oregon
The tiny boat got tossed around on the ocean like a pinball in a pinball game played by a player who was really good at hitting all of those bumper things to get a really high score.
Maile Valentine, Lakeland, FL
His hat fit his head as snugly as a manhole cover does the thing it fits into.
Steve McAllister, Austin, TX
Kathy, who had bound her breasts and cropped her hair, and lied about her gender to join a monastery of Jesuits in northern Kentucky, until she was discovered one night in the shower, winced as the dentist pulled her tooth.
Terry Johnson, Tularosa, NM
Yet again Imelda was exacerbated, or at least she assumed she was, as she was never sure exactly what the term meant though when she felt bloated and crampy as she was now, she was pretty sure she was, exacerbated that is.
Matt Fidiam, Soquel, CA
My tongue moistened my parched lips and my stomach started to churn as I hungrily admired Leslie’s hair, which loosely resembled my great aunt Betty’s daughter Cornelia’s famous tuna casserole – brown, dry and crisp around the edges, yellow and creamy in the center with just a hint of grease spilling out over the top.
Paula Price, California, MO
“Send an ambulance; I’m glistening profusely … bosom heaving . . . luscious, ripe orbs threatening to burst the seams of my black lace bodice … pulse galloping apace like a knight’s sleek steed … exquisite pain radiating down my graceful, alabaster arm, shooting upward to the finely chiseled jaw … I shall swoon – oh, my address?” the romance writer gasped into the phone before collapsing.
Linda A. Fields, Framingham, MA
“I know what you’re thinking, punk,” hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, “you’re thinking, ‘Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?’ – and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel loquacious?’ – well do you, punk?”
Stuart Vasepuru, Edinburgh, Scotland
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Romance
13-year-old Bobby Mitchell expertly applied his baseball card collecting prowess to strategically select which of the Simpson sisters to court, passing on the clearly mint condition Jennifer, to select Mindy, a lower grade indeed, her features not as fully centered or printed boldly to the edges, and with an undesired crease plus a corner ding, but Bobby knew that Mindy would be the longer lasting member of his collection, unlike Jennifer, the trophy card that would be constantly sought and surely stolen.
Clark Snodgrass, Huntington Beach California
She was like my ex-girlfriend Ashley, who’d stolen my car, broken my heart, murdered my father, robbed a bank, and set off a pipe bomb in Central Park—tall.
Rachel Nirenberg, Toronto, Canada
Osgood knew he wasn’t popular, well-liked, or even very good looking, and could suck the life out of a room like a fat kid sucking the filling out of a Twinkie, but surely a date with the beautiful blonde in the corner wasn’t out of the question, he thought as he licked the cream from his fingers.
Marie Gaither, Asheville, NC
She wanted—no—she needed Robert, oh, what she would give if he knew that he was the first thing on her mind at the start of each day, if he knew that she yearned, yearned to be happily by his side at the spring dance, yes, she needed Robert—unless Brian dumped that bleach blond snob Leah in time, in which case she’d need Brian.
Heather Armstrong, Williamsburg, VA
John thought of Kate and smiled–with any luck the tide would carry her body out to deeper water by nightfall.
Tom Billings, Minneapolis, MN
As he caressed her hair, cheek, forehead, chin, collarbone, shoulder, upper arm, and stomach, she knew that her decision to take Octoman as a lover was the correct one.
Lynda Clark, Nottingham, UK
“I’m nothing without you,” Steele Harrison told Mavis Prescott, which was true on many levels, but primarily because he was her imaginary friend.
Tom Wallace Columbia, SC
The young lovers’ lips latched to each other not unlike the way in which two coital snails would, with much slime and suction, frothing as if someone had just poured salt on them.
Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA
Six months old, and already their love had picked up memories like lint, which, now that Maddie thought about it, was appropriate, since she and Brian met at the laundromat, when Maddie found herself hampered by a stubborn washing machine coin slot, but then snickered at the thought of being “hampered” while doing laundry, and then found herself explaining her snicker to the nearest laundromat patron, who turned out to be Brian and who, better yet, turned out to have a sense of humor even, well, dryer than her own.
Kirsten Wilson, Superior, CO
He had a way with women that was at first endearing, then gradually engendered caution and finally outright rejection, like potato salad at a summer picnic.
Paul Sutcliffe, Pittsburgh, PA
The day Anthony and Charlotta met was a special one, not merely because of the truly magical first encounter of the would-be lovers – they reached for the same pair of chopsticks at The Lucky Dragon’s all-you-can-eat Chinese food lunch buffet – but also because it was the day the lizard aliens came to earth and destroyed all of mankind with their poison gas bombs and acid catapults.
Krista Holm, Helsinki, Finland
Betty had eyes that said come here, lips that said kiss me, arms and torso that said hold me all night long, but the rest of her body said, “Fillet me, cover me in cornmeal, and fry me in peanut oil”; romance wasn’t easy for a mermaid.
Jordan Kaderli, Dallas, TX
Todd didn’t think he would ever be able to love another woman the way he had loved Lily, but he was really eager to try.
John Glenn, Tyler, TX
“Your eyes are like deep blue pools that I would like to drown in,” he had told Kimberly when she had asked him what he was thinking; but what he was actually thinking was that sometimes when he recharges his phone he forgets to put the little plug back in but he wasn’t going to tell her that.
Dan Leyde, Edmonds, WA
Tucked in a dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver.
Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ
Her fixed gaze at dinner reminded him so much of an owl that he found himself wondering when she would regurgitate her meal into a pellet and told the waitress they didn’t need a dessert menu.
Leah Sitkoff, New York, New York
As the young officer studied the oak door, he was reminded of his girlfriend – for she was also slightly unhinged, occasionally sticky, and responded well to being stripped and given a light oiling.
Ian Fishlock, Harrow, London U.K.
For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss – a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.
Molly Ringle, Seattle, WA
Their relationship hit a bump in the road, not the low, graceful kind of bump, reminiscent of a child’s choo choo train-themed roller coaster, rather the kind of tall, narrow speed-bump that, if a school bus ran over it, would cause even a fat kid to fly up and bang his head on the ceiling.
Michael Reade, Durham, NC
As she slowly drove up the long, winding driveway, Lady Alicia peeked out the window of her shiny blue Mercedes and spied Rodrigo the new gardener standing on a grassy mound with his long black hair flowing in the wind, his brown eyes piercing into her very soul, and his white shirt open to the waist, revealing his beautifully rippling muscular chest, and she thought to herself, “I must tell that lazy idiot to trim the hedges by the gate.”
Kathryn Minicozzi, Bronx, NY
Like a mechanic who forgets to wipe his hands on a shop rag and then goes home, hugs his wife, and gets a grease stain on her favorite sweater – love touches you, and marks you forever.
Beth Fand Incollingo, Haddon Heights, N.J.
Carmen’s romance with Broderick had thus far been like a train ride, not the kind that slowly leaves the station, builds momentum, and then races across the countryside at breathtaking speed, but rather the one that spends all day moving freight cars around at the local steel mill.
Bruce Portzer, Seattle, WA
She had the kind of body that made a man want to have sex with her.
Barry J. Drucker, Bentonville, AR
Though her beloved Roger had departed hours ago, Lila remained in their rumpled bed, daydreaming about his strong arms, soulful eyes, and how, when he first fell asleep, his snoring sounded not unlike two grizzly bears fighting over a picnic basket full of sandwiches, but as he drifted off into deeper slumber, his snoring became softer, perhaps as if the bears decided just to rock-paper-scissors for it instead.
Lili R. Lillie, Alamo, CA
Her name was Mauve, like the color of paint, which was apt: not only was she “pretty as a painting,” she was also “smart as paint,” and certainly as thin (assuming sufficient solvents had been added); she was, however, Arnold discovered when she stepped from the shower, a lot more fun to watch dry.
Steven W Alloway, Granada Hills, CA
David loved Marisela’s voice, which was like fresh honeydew melon wrapped in fine prosciutto, and pierced with a round, teal gourmet toothpick, set on a Lenox Fruits of Life serving plate upon a mahogany table in a brilliantly sunlit (albeit in need of redecorating) dining room, but he wasn’t very fond of anything she said.
Stephen V. Masse, Medford, MA
I saw her from across the room and knew I had to meet her, not because of her ample bosom, or her full lips, or her beautiful creamy skin, or the way her hair was twisted into a nice tight bun, or the buttoned-up blouse that begged to be torn off her body, or the skirt that was perhaps a size too small, but because she was my kid’s teacher and I was here for the parent-teacher conference.
Lori Yates, Kezier, OR
Billy Bob gushed like a broken water main about his new love: “She’s got long, beautiful, drain-clogging hair, more curves than an under-the-sink water trap, and she moves with the ease of a motorized toilet snake through a four-inch sewer line, but what she sees in me, a simple plumber, I’ll never know.”
Glenn Lawrie, Chung-buk, South Korea
Derwin Thoryndike vowed to place a 14-carat engagement ring on the finger of Glenda-Sue Ellington, so now all he had to do was save up enough money to buy the ring, get it inscribed, and then locate a person named Glenda-Sue Ellington and convince her to marry him.
Harvey McCluskey, Vancouver WA
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Fantasy
The elven city of Losstii faced towering sea cliffs and abutted rolling hills that in the summer were covered with blankets of flowers and in the winter were covered with blankets, because the elves wanted to keep the flowers warm and didn’t know much at all about gardening.
Kat Russo, Loveland, Colorado
Our fearless heroine (well, mostly fearless: she is deathly afraid of caterpillars, not the fuzzy little brown ones but the colossal green ones that terrorized her while she was playing in her grandmother’s garden when she was just five or six years old, which, coincidentally, was also when she discovered that shaving cream really does not taste like whipped cream) awakened with a start.
Alison Heft, Lititz, PA
“Why does every task in the Realm of Zithanor have to be a quest?” Baldak of Erthorn, handyman to the Great Wizard Zarthon, asked rhetorically as he began his journey to find the Holy Hammer of Taloria and the Sacred Nail of Ikthillia so Baldak could hang one of Zarthon’s mediocre watercolors, which was an art critique Baldak kept to himself unlike his predecessor, whom Zarthon turned into the Picture Frame of Torathank.
SSG Kevin Craver, Fort Polk, LA
The dragon cast his wet, rheumy eyes, heavy-lidded with misery, over his kingdom – a malodorous, rot-ridden swamp, with moss cloaking brooding, gloomy cypresses, tree trunks like decayed teeth rising from stagnant ponds, creatures with mildewed fur and scales whom the meanest roadside zoo would have rejected – and hoped the antidepressants would kick in soon. —
Constance Barrett, Ruby, NY
Joanne watched her fellow passengers – a wizened man reading about alchemy; an oversized bearded man-child; a haunted, bespectacled young man with a scar; and a gaggle of private school children who chatted ceaselessly about Latin and flying around the hockey pitch and the two-faced teacher who they thought was a witch – there was a story here, she decided.
Tim Ellis, Haslemere, U.K.
“Toads of glory, slugs of joy,” sang Groin the dwarf as he trotted jovially down the path before a great dragon ate him because the author knew that this story was a train wreck after he typed the first few words.
Alex Hall, Greeley, CO
Towards the dragon’s lair the fellowship marched – a noble human prince, a fair elf, a surly dwarf, and a disheveled copyright attorney who was frantically trying to find a way to differentiate this story from Lord of the Rings.
Andrew Manoske, Foster City, CA
Veronica, two months pregnant and attempting to get her boyfriend to notice, and Ricky, who wanted to end things with his expansive girlfriend, sat at a table-for-two around lunchtime at the Olive Garden in Columbus, Ohio, eying the bottle of house rosé which, unbeknownst to them, doubled as the portal key to Khrysandelt: The land where everything glitters slightly more than normal.
Andrew Allingham, Fairfax, VA
Within the smoking ruins of Keister Castle, Princess Gwendolyn stared in horror at the limp form of the loyal Centaur who died defending her very honor; “You may force me to wed,” she cried at the leering and victorious Goblin King, “but you’ll never be half the man he was.”
Terri Daniel, Seattle, WA
Truly, twas Gimoneus the wise, grand sorcerer of Elantorfan, keeper of the ancient rune of Turgochit, came nearest to slaying the mighty dragon of Ralmorgantorg; for he was old and sinewy, and the wretched beast near choked to death on his femur.
Warren Wol, Livermore, CA
There once was a nasty, evil troll who lived beneath a bridge and took pleasure in collecting gold from the unsuspecting users of the infrastructure; however, no one used the bridge because an evil troll lived under it so the troll didn’t do much of anything.
Rachel Flanigan, Honolulu, HI
As he strolled among the Kenthellians, through the wide parndamets along the River Elinionenin, thrimbening his tometoria and his Almagister’s scrollix, he thought to himself, “Wow, it is sure convenient there’s a glossary for made-up fantasy words on page 1048.”
That was magic alright, though she belatedly realized that she should have known because everybody else was wearing robes while holding staffs with knobs on one end and screaming nonsense like “Merlin’s beard!” when she unceremoniously dropped in their midst and it really shouldn’t have taken her being changed into a creature of the amphibian persuasion to comprehend that.
Yap Tee Giut, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
“My name is Vangir,” the stout dwarf announced, “son of Valdir, son of Tolfdir, son of Torsson, heir to the dwarf kingdom of Darag-Vur, King of the Under-Folk, ring-giver, dragon-slayer, M.D., DDS.
Austin Stollhaus, Louisville, KY
In the forest of Thrangul, Dobo Snabeley stared at his quest companions, Bolto Dwaven, Eagle Thepnis, Night Hunter, and Lythan Elva, looking to a map of Husker-Du, Dobo knew they would traverse this entire world to burn the Wand of Shazna in the firepit of Mound Hapla, so Dobo chucked it in the camp fire instead, and went home.
Nad Razvi, Essex, UK
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Childrens
She couldn’t decide whether it was the tail-less rat devouring another neighboring rat’s brain in his glassed cage, or just the way the doctor and his white-haired assistant were applying the saw to Aslan’s skull casing as he lay dismembered on the great table, but something told Lucy they’d tumbled through another portal and out of Narnia.
“Lionrhod,” Winter Park, FL
Little Billy Wonka spent his days running through the Gumdrop Forest, dashing through the greenery of Marzipan Valley, hopping along the banks of Honey River and racing to and fro between the Chocolate Factory to his Gingerbread Abode . . . which is not surprising considering his colossal daily sugar intake.
Russ Wren, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The doctors all agreed the inside of Charlie’s intestinal tract looked like some dark, dank subway system in a decaying inner city, blackened polyps hanging from every corner like tiny ticking terrorist time bombs, waiting to burst forth in cancerous activity; however, to Timmy the Tapeworm this was home.
E. David Moulton, Summerville, SC
Shortly after that interfering do-gooder Snow White had introduced Sneezy to non-drowsy antihistamines, he had to change his name to Brian, where he then left the mines with Ray (formerly Sleepy) who was now a caffeine addict and Bob (formerly Grumpy) who was on 100 milligrams of Prozac a day, and Doc whom Snow pointed out had never actually graduated from medical school and was being sued for malpractice–oh how he despised that high and mighty ho.
Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia
The handsome man bent down to kiss the pale lips of the catatonic maid just as the first small bubble appeared in the corner of her mouth, followed, in slow motion, by a stream of popping translucent spheres, and Prince Jarris, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of the Seven-and-a-Half Mountains straightened up, climbed upon his horse and rode away to search for another sleeping beauty.
Domingo Pestano, Caracas, Venezuela
The wood nymph fairies blissfully pranced in the morning light past the glistening dewdrops on the meadow thistles by the Old Mill, ignorant of the daily slaughter that occurred just behind its lichen-encrusted walls, twin 20-ton mill stones savagely ripping apart the husks of wheat seed, gleefully smearing the starchy entrails across their dour granite faces in unspeakable botanical horror and carnage – but that’s not our story; ours is about fairies!
Rick Cheeseman, Waconia, MN
I’m convinced that the Doc is dealing drugs to most of the mining crew because they either can’t stay awake, constantly sneeze, grin like maniacs, or won’t look you straight in the eye (not to mention behaving like a moron) and they wonder why a dwarf gets grumpy!
Neil Prowd, Charnwood, ACT, Australia
The woods were all a-twitter with rumors that the Seven Dwarves were planning a live reunion after their attempted solo careers had dismally sputtered into Z-list oblivion and it was all just a matter of meeting a ten-page list of outlandish demands (including 700-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedsheets, lots of white lilies and a separate trailer for the magic talking mirror) to get the Princess Formerly Known As Snow White on board.
Shelby Leung, Dulwich Hill, NSW, Australia
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Crime
Detective Sam Steel stood at the crime scene staring puzzled at the chalk outline of Ms. Mulgrave’s body which was really just a stick figure with a dress, curly hair, boobs, and a smiley face because the police chalk guy had the day off.
Doug Self, Brunswick, Maine
As hard-boiled detective Max Baxter ate his soft-boiled egg, he thought about the gorgeous dame he’d found last night lying in a pool of her own blood—it being inconvenient to lie in a pool of someone else’s blood—and wondered how she liked her eggs.
Pam Tallman, Huntington Beach, California
So many questions raced through the heiress’s mind: Who had killed the maid and which guests were lying to her and who the hell was going to clean up all this goddamned blood because it sure as hell wasn’t going to be her, she could tell you that much.
Samantha Bates, Columbia, Tennessee
Detective Hammer Logan III woke with a start, images of the bizarre bayou murder still fresh in his mind’s eye—a dame in trouble, body covered with bloody toothprints and saliva—but as sleep lifted, the grizzled detective remembered that he was a dog and the dame a coyote, so he spun on the bed three times and slept the rest of the day.
Jacob Smith, Dallas, TX
Patrice—the most-feared henchman of the global terrorist mastermind Ivan Terrible—staggered back to his car, wiped the dead cocktail waiter’s blood from his hands, picked up his smartphone, and texted a terse status update to his employer’s personal assistant: “Tell IT that our server is down.”
Gwen Dallas, Austin, Texas
Sherlock Holmes brusquely dismissed his companion’s theory that the victim had died from an allergic reaction to either seasoning or seafood, saying “Watson, although the problem is alimentary, it is neither the Thyme nor the Plaice.”
Owen Roberts, Edina, MN
Pet detective Drake Leghorn ducked reporters at the entrance to the small hobby farm and headed down to the tiny pond where a lone goose was frantically calling for her mate and he wondered why – when so many come to look upon the graceful mating pair – why would someone want to take a gander?
Howie McLennon, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Bishop threw back the shot of bourbon and reflected on his career as a private dick, a profession he always thought of as perfect for a man named Richard who kept to himself and was often unkind to others.
Jon Maddalena, Mesick, Michigan
Wearily approaching the murder scene of Jeannie and Quentin Rose and needing to determine if this was the handiwork of the Scented Strangler – who had a twisted affinity for spraying his victims with his signature raspberry cologne – or that of a copycat, burnt-out insomniac detective Sonny Kirkland was sure of one thing: he’d have to stop and smell the Roses.
Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ
The victim was a short man, with a face full of contradictions: amalgam, composite, dental porcelain, with both precious and non-precious metals all competing for space in a mouth that was open, bloody, terrifying, gaping, exposing a clean set of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, but clearly the object of some very comprehensive dental care, thought Dirk Graply, world-famous womanizer, tough guy, detective, and former dentist.
Terri Daniel, Seattle, WA
The grisly scene before him was like nothing Detective Smith had ever seen before, but there were millions and millions of things he had never seen before, and he couldn’t help but wonder which of them it was.
Sean Griffin, Tacoma, WA
As Holmes, who had a nose for danger, quietly fingered the bloody knife and eyed the various body parts strewn along the dark, deserted highway, he placed his ear to the ground and, with his heart in his throat, silently mouthed to his companion, “Arm yourself, Watson, there is an evil hand afoot ahead.”
Dennis Pearce, Lexington, KY
The appearance of a thin red beam of light under my office door and the sound of one, then two pair of feet meant my demise was near, that my journey from gum-shoe detective to international agent had gone horribly wrong, until I realized it was my secretary teasing her cat with a laser pointer.
Steve Lynch, San Marcos, CA
The dame sauntered silently into Rocco’s office, but she didn’t need to speak; the blood-soaked gown hugging her ample curves said it all: “I am a shipping heiress whose second husband was just murdered by Albanian assassins trying to blackmail me for my rare opal collection,” or maybe, “Do you know a good dry cleaner?”
Tony Alfieri, Los Angeles, CA
Detective Pierson mentally reviewed the group of suspects milling around the recent crime scene – two young siblings eating gingerbread, a young girl in a red hoodie, a beautiful girl with narcolepsy, and seven little people with the profession of miners – then gave his statement of “It’s a grim tale” to the press.
Shannon Gray, Wichita, KS
The homicide detective was an aging woman with a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered personality, an individual who reminded me of the kind of woman my mother, a Sunday-school teacher, would have been if she had been a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered homicide detective.
Bill Crumpler, McKinney, TX
When the corpse showed up in the swimming pool, her dead bosoms bobbing up and down like twin poached eggs in hollandaise sauce, Randy decided to call the police as soon as he finished taking pictures of his breakfast and posting them to his Facebook wall.
Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA
“One cannot easily shake off old habits,” was all that retired Detective Tim O’Hara could say when, after rifling through the dead old man’s pockets (which, as he expected, were all empty), inspecting his throat, and forcing open his cold, stiff hand to get his fingerprints, he was gently but firmly pulled away from the coffin by his brother Harry and piloted out of the parlor under the perplexed stares of uncle Mel’s friends and relatives.
Jorge Stolfi, Campinas, SP, Brazil
She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida – the pink ones, not the white ones – except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn’t wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren’t.
Eric Rice, Sun Prairie, WI
I entered the bedroom again, looking for anything the killer might have missed in his obvious attempt to clean the crime scene, when it hit me, the victim hadn’t been eating just any potato salad, it was German potato salad, the kind usually served warm, with bacon and although most people prefer the traditional American potato salad, it was clear that this victim didn’t, oh no, he didn’t prefer it at all.
Lisa Lindquist-Perez, Daytona Beach, FL
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Horror
“Release the Netherhounds,” sneezed the Dark Commander of Castle Direkill, though there were no interlopers but his allergy to dogs (and cats, though this is not a story about cats, but about dogs that take care of intruders) was intolerable, and it was expected he would have Netherhounds, being a Dark Commander and all.
John E. Robinson, Saint Paul, Minnesota
A cold wind arose from the moss-covered tomb with a haunting asthmatic whistle and horned its way around the ornate marble monuments, increasing speed and raising its menacing sound as it set course towards five-year-old Samantha Wainberry, who forgot to wear a sweater.
Domingo Pestano, Caracas, Venezuela
As the shambling throng of zombies edged closer Leopold raised his quivering axe to shoulder height, pausing only to consider that the phrase ‘living dead’ is contradictory; that staggering about implied a fully functioning nervous system supplemented by an intake of oxygen; and that if they were really dead, then why persist in stumbling about in this vastly paradoxical manner?
David Meech, Auckland, New Zealand
Jacob and Elisa had been warned by their parents on numerous occasions never to venture into the Amber Woods after dark or risk some vague and unspoken fate once within the trees, so they didn’t and just played in their front yards instead.
Eric Lorenz, Phoenix, AZ
Duane made a very unfortunate zombie; the coroner had removed his dentures and all of his clothes before he reanimated–thus he was destined to stagger naked through the woods, attempting to gum small animals to death.
Stephanie Leanne Myers, Baton Rouge, LA
“You’re a dead man, O’ Flanagan,” said the mortuary supervisor to the corpse laid out before him, chuckling to himself at how comical that remark was, a sentiment not shared with the rest of the night shift who all secretly yearned for the day he retired, having heard the same joke on innumerable occasions with just the surname of the deceased changed.
Ted Downes, Cardiff, U.K.
My name is Caroline and if you’re reading this I’m either dead or I’ve gotten lost in some alternate dimension where Liverpool has exploded and been replaced with a fancy water park … though it’s probably the first one.
Aiko Baker, Murfeesboro, TN
“Don’t know no tunnels hereabout,” said the old-timer, “unless you mean the abandoned subway line that runs from Hanging Hill, under that weird ruined church, beneath the Indian burial ground, past the dilapidated Usher mansion, and out to the old abandoned asylum for the criminally insane where they had all those murders.”
Lawrence Person, Austin, TX
Ronald left this world as he entered it: on a frigid winter night, amid frantic screams and blood-soaked linens, while relatives stood nearby and muttered furious promises to find and punish the man responsible.
Rebecca Oas, Atlanta, GA
Gripping his terrified victim by her sensual slender neck with his foul piercing talons like a lawnspiker, Igor the Terrible bellowed, “How do you want to die? over the coals? with a plastic bag over your head? with your blond hair seeped in red blood? in agony? today? tomorrow? – hurry up, please, my fingers are getting sore.”
Edward Vincent Tennant, Edgemead, Cape Town, South Africa
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Sci-Fi
On the third day the M’hree charged out of the xota’ani, the shrill fluting of wattambos and the clatter of ingpas on khotzi-hide vamscaps leading me to curse this primitive planet, the shuttle crew that had marooned me, and the skinflint Publisher who didn’t believe in Glossaries.
Anna MacDougald, Winnepeg, Manitoba
The Mushroom Men of Knarf were silently advancing on the unsuspecting earthlings, and their thin milky blood ran colder when they smelled spores from fungal toenail infections rising from many of the invaders’ feet, for to them it was a wondrous and shocking scent of kinship, homeland, and asexual reproduction.
David S Nelson, Falls Church VA
“If you do not surrender to me by the stroke of midnight (Coordinated Universal Time) the Large Hadron Collider along with written and signed formal apology then I will reduce you, your planet, and your so-called ‘LHC’ to a fine saccharine flour; and then I will take that flour, mix it with milk and raisins and make scones which I will feed to ducks, and I’ll take their feathers and make a fantastic feather boa, and it will look stylish, so who’s laughing now?”
Aishia Trueman, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Timothy Hanson, Commander of the 43rd Space Regiment in the 52nd Battalion on board the USAOPAC (United Space Alliance Of Planets Attack Carrier) and second in command to Admiral L. R. Morris of the USAOP Space Command, awoke early for breakfast.
Joe Schulman, Cartersville, GA
Racing through space at unimaginable speeds, Capt. Dimwell could only imagine how fast his spaceship was going.
Gary Smith, Florissant, CO
“Send a message back to Command Central on Earth and ask for their advice, which we will be able receive immediately even at this great distance, thanks to the ingenious manipulation of coherent radiation through a Bose-Einstein condensate and the bizarre influence of the Aspect effect, which enables us to impart identical properties to remotely separated photons,” Captain Buzz told the feathered Vjorkog at the comms desk, “and tell them our life-pod is going to explode in eight seconds.”
Christopher Backeberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The real problem with the “many universes” interpretation of quantum mechanics is that if it’s true, then somewhere, in some universe, anything you can possibly imagine has already happened, which means that somewhere, another version of me has already finished writing the rest of this science-fiction novel, so I’m not feeling real inspired to do it myself.
Steve Lauducci, Bethlehem, PA
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Prose
Sven, who rode his unicycle while training for the biathlon, thought the triceratops was the most regal of dinosaurs, exercised in the quad of his apartment complex down the street from the Pentagon, sang in a sextet (he is a baritone), had a deviated septum, fought for fun in the octagon, seemed to have nine lives and spent a decade living with the aborigines, was the kind of man you could count on.
Jeff Green, Celina, Texas
When Glenn left the house, the sky was a satin Spinnaker Blue with White Feather clouds, the still-moist lawn and street were glossy Sunlit Glade and Bastion Grey, and, contemplating the to-do list jotted on Ivory Cream notepaper as he started the Sundance Yellow hatchback, Glenn knew he would go flat Condition Red berserk if his wife didn’t hurry up and select a color for the dining room.
David Franks, Greenland, AR
“Nurse, I need more blankets, and my water pitcher is empty, and also my bedside lamp isn’t working,” Tom said coldly, dryly, and darkly, yet at the same time patiently.
Kimberly Baer, Woodbridge, VA
As James King, detective in the Queens branch of the NYPD stared at the rooks pecking at the disheveled corpse of Bishop Robert Knight in the alley behind the pawn shop, he checked for his mates.
Mark McGivern, Albert Lea, MN
It wasn’t sour grapes – Clementine knew that her parents just plum disapproved of her Kiwi lover; try as she might to explain that the love between the pair was all peachy, she might as well have been comparing apples to oranges, so although she was bananas for him, and the ring was certainly no lemon, she was forced to reply to his “Honey, do you?” with a mournful “You know I just can’t elope.”
Kevin Hogg, Cranbrook, BC
Milton’s quest for the love of Ms. Bradley was a risk but no sorry trivial pursuit yet he hadn’t a clue why she had a monopoly on his heart’s desires – in fact, it boggled his mind and caused him great aggravation because, in his checkered and troubled careers, he had always scrabbled hard and it drove him bonkers that she considered life just a game.
Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE
As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.
Mike Pedersen, North Berwick, ME
Her flaming red hair whipped in the wind like a campfire, stroking the embers of passion hidden within the hearth of my heart and I began to burn with a desire that seared me to my very core – oh the things that I would do if only I weren’t incarcerated for arson!
Aubrey Johnson, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Darnell knew he was getting hung out to dry when the D.A. made him come clean by airing other people’s dirty laundry; the plea deal was a new wrinkle and there were still issues to iron out, but he hoped it would all come out in the wash – otherwise he had folded like a cheap suit for nothing.
Lynn Lamousin, Baton Rouge, LA
It was a quarter ‘til eight in the ninth precinct when I got the call of a possible two-eleven at a nearby Seven-Eleven that turned out to be just a four-fifteen – that is until my number two from the ninth discovered the one-eight-seven under the Tenth Street Bridge, some two-bit mob soldier with a blossom of five .357’s right in the ten-ring.
Jeff Riley, Fort Worth, TX
Surveying his shattered and splintered ship, Baskin pronounced it wrecked, glanced at his first mate, Robbins, and began a careful assessment of his new surroundings: sand as white as whipped cream, lush greenery layered like a cake against the fruit-filled treeline, a vanilla sky blended into an evening as dark as chocolate with a pie-shaped moon, prompting him to wonder aloud, “what’s so unappetizing about being stranded on a desserted island?”
Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge, LA
Words cannot describe the exquisite loveliness of the brilliant azure sky with its cerulean striations of periwinkle, cornflower, and cyan.
Mary Barberio Northville, MI
The double agent looked up from his lunch of Mahi-Mahi and couscous and realized that he must escape from Walla Walla to Bora Bora to come face-to-face with his arch enemy by taking out his .30-.30 and shooting off his nemesis’ ear-to-ear grin so he could wave bye-bye to this duplicitous life, but the chances of him pulling this off were only so-so, much less than 50-50.
Charles Jaworski, North Pole, AK
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Puns
In a flurry of flame and fur, fangs and wicker, thus ended the world’s first and only hot air baboon ride.
Tony Alfieri, Los Angeles, CA
Using her flint knife to gut the two amphibians, Kreega the Neanderthal woman created the first pair of open-toad sandals.
Greg Homer, Placerville, CA
Legendary U of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olsen needed someone to take the charge, someone who was willing to be mercilessly flattened, someone to sacrifice his body for the team, and that someone stood up at the end of the bench and announced, “Lute, I am your fodder.”
Robert Greer, Queen Creek, AZ
Old Man Dracula forgot to put his teeth in one night, and so had to come home hungry, with a sort of “nothing dentured, nothing veined” look on his face.
Matthew Pfeifer Beaman IA
Business was kinda slow at the “If You Build It” sperm bank.
Simon Petrie, Hawker ACT, AUSTRALIA
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Nature
The air-conditioner hummed like an over-sized bear eating a large salmon he’d fished out of the water and if you’ve never heard an over-sized bear eating a salmon, just imagine an air-conditioner humming and you’ll know.
Stephanie did not intend to become an animal coroner when she went to veterinary school, but the workload was manageable and, for cats, she usually just had to check the “curiosity” box under “cause of death.”
Doug Purdy, Roseville, CA
It was said among the Khalid of the western deserts that a woman should be a hyena in the kitchen, a giraffe in the garden, and a pelican in the bathroom, although nobody now knew what this was supposed to mean.
Lewis Gurran, Wrexham, Wales
Martha Lessen broke horses – not in the same way she broke her mother’s good china, nor the way she broke the privy door out back of the bunkhouse, not even the way she broke the heart of Gunther Svenson, which, in that case, is quite surprising since one would think breaking a horse and breaking an ass would be quite similar.
Kevin Fry, Callaway, MD
He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him – perhaps because his build was so short and so wide, or maybe it was the odor that lingered about him from so many days and nights spent in the wilds, but it may just have been because no one had ever seen a porcupine in a bar before.
Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE
No man is an island, so they say, although the small crustaceans and the bird which sat impassively on Dirk Manhope’s chest as he floated lazily in the pool would probably disagree.
Glen Robins, Brighton, East Sussex, U.K.
It was common knowledge around town that Bill drank like a fish, the kind of fish that consumes large quantities of cheap scotch on a daily basis.
Brent Sheppard, Morganton, NC
Deep in the wild forests of Matracha, atop a mountain made entirely of crystal, lies a glade where rare birds frolic, and the trees bear delectable fruit and wondrous flowers all year round . . . it has nothing to do with the rest of this story, but, hey, pretty cool, huh?
Amelia Mellor, Melbourne, Australia
A faint breeze wafted through the forest trees like a soft whisper; leaves rustled, the sun above glancing off their trembling sides; waves lapped lithely at the sabulous beach; a loon sang its somber song as the morning fog lifted from the lake, dissipating into the early morning air—God, how Evan hated nature.
Brian Reinke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Characters
Phoebe, age 15, very much regretted not having a little sister or brother, but reflecting on the embarrassing moment of earlier that morning when she had walked into her parent’s bedroom at a most inopportune time, she thought Ben Franklin’s list woefully incomplete, for there most certainly were things, besides laws and sausages, that you might like, but you definitely did not want to see being made.
Herbert Krimmel, Los Angeles, California
Statisticians say that the most common first word of an autobiography is “I”; I, however, not being egocentric, have not begun this autobiography with that pronoun, although I am a statistician.
Dwayne Roberts, Mesa, Arizona
In the cramped, dingy dressing room that hinted of elephant sweat, Poppy’s whiteface itched, the skull cap produced a nagging headache and the large floppy shoes, ironically, pinched his toes, as he frowned behind his perpetual red smile, lamenting the words of his parents: “Go to clown college first; then if the lawyer thing doesn’t work out, you’ll have something to fall back on.”
Barbara Myers, Toledo, Ohio
Well . . .” began the mother as she attempted to answer her daughter’s question, amid fuzzy memories of a balmy night in Cuba, several empty bottles of pineapple rum lying around the bed she had shared with the Captain accompanied by the worst headache she could remember, “I wouldn’t use the word ‘accident.’”
Alex Main, Springboro, OH
Primum non nocere, from the Latin for “first, do no harm,” one of the principal tenets of the Hippocratic oath taken by physicians, was far from David’s mind (as he strode, sling in hand, to face Goliath) in part because Hippocrates was born about 100 years after David, in part because David wasn’t even a physician, but mainly because David wanted to kill the sucker.
David Larson, San Francisco, CA
As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this … and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words.
Rodney Reed, Ooltewah, TN
Through the verdant plains of North Umbria walked Waylon Ogglethorpe and, as he walked, the clouds whispered his name, the birds of the air sang his praises, and the beasts of the fields from smallest to greatest said, “There goes the most noble among men” – in other words, a typical stroll for a schizophrenic ventriloquist with delusions of grandeur.
Tom Wallace, Columbia, SC
Bulwer Lytton Fiction – Insanity
As Lieutenant Baker shrank his lips back to their normal size, he tried desperately to think of a situation in which his new-found power might be useful, as have I, your narrator.
Dan Blaufuss, Glenview, IL
“Hmm …” thought Abigail as she gazed languidly from the veranda past the bright white patio to the cerulean sea beyond, where dolphins played and seagulls sang, where splashing surf sounded like the tintinnabulation of a thousand tiny bells, where great gray whales bellowed and the sunlight sparkled off the myriad of sequins on the flyfish’s bow ties, “time to get my meds checked.”
There are certain people in the world who emanate an aura of well being – they radiate sunshine, light up a room, bring out the best in others, and fill your half empty glass to overflowing – yes it was these very people thought Karl, as he sharpened his mirror-finished guthook knife, who were top of his list.
Jason Garbett, London, U.K.
Ted feared that the line between his jobs as plastic surgeon and butcher was blurring when he found himself injecting Botox into a rump roast he was preparing for his wife and mother-in-law, who was a decent person except for the hideous wart on her nose that begged to be removed – a simple task for his boning knife.
Wayne Carmichael, Tyler, TX
I’d been tailing this guy for over an hour while he tried every trick in the book to lose me: going down side streets, doubling back, suddenly veering into shop doorways, jumping out again, crossing the street, looking for somewhere to make the drop, and I was going to be there when he did it because his disguise as a postman didn’t have me fooled for a minute.
Bob Millar, Hässelby, Sweden
Butch glared balefully across the saloon at Tex, who had been stone dead since the scorpion he had unwittingly sat on had bitten him on the butt some half an hour or so ago, little suspecting that this was going to be his toughest staring contest since the one against old Glass-eyed Juan, during the great sand-storm of ’42, at the height of the Arizona conjunctivitis epidemic.
Geoff Blackwell, Bundaberg QLD Australia
As soon as Sherriff Russell heard Bradshaw say, “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us,” he inadvertantly visualized a tiny chalk-line circle with a town sign that said “population 1,” and the two of them both trying to stand inside of it rather ineffectively, leaning this way and that, trying to keep their balance without stepping outside of the line, and that was why he was smiling when Bradshaw shot him.
Keriann Noble, Murray, UT
Thank you for reading this and congratulations for reaching the end.
No seriously, well done.
You deserve pat on the back, a medal and maybe even a planet to be named after yourself.
I hope you didn’t have any other plans for the day.
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