Jim Porter: 2010 Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest results | SierraSun.com

Jim Porter: 2010 Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest results

Jim Porter
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Every year we excerpt a handful of winners from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, an international literary parody of competitorand#8217;s bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.

The competition is to honor the memory of Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton who opened his novel Paul Clifford with Snoopyand#8217;s immortal words, and#8220;It was a dark and stormy night.and#8221; That introductory paragraph looks fine to me, better than my writing, which shows what I know.

* * *

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss and#8212; 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. (The Winner)

* * *

She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad checks, but in this paperless age you would first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so.

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* * *

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 and#8211; but thatand#8217;s not our story; ours is about fairies!

* * *

The band of pre-humans departed the cave in search of solace from the omnipresent dangers found there knowing that it meant survival of their kind, though they probably didn’t understand it intellectually since their brains were so small and undeveloped but fundamentally they understood that they didn’t like big animals that ate them.

* * *

The dark, drafty old house was lopsided and decrepit, leaning in on itself, the way an aging possum carrying a very heavy, overcooked drumstick in his mouth might list to one side if he were also favoring a torn Achilles tendon, assuming possums have them.

* * *

The wind whispering through the pine trees and the sun reflecting off the surface of Lake Tahoe like a scattering of diamonds was an idyllic setting, while to the south the same sun struggled to penetrate a sky choked with farm dust and car exhaust over Bakersfield, a town spread over the lower San Joaquin Valley like a brown stain on a winoand#8217;s trousers, which is where, unfortunately, this story takes place.

* * *

Elaine was a big woman, and in her tiny Smart car, stakeouts were always hard for her, especially in the August sun where the humidity made her massive thighs, under her lightweight cotton dress, stick together like two walruses in heat.

* * *

In Southwestern Germany just east of the Luxemburg border and north of France where history pitted various related Hapsburg Royals against each other and the Archbishops of Trier, the Abbots of St. Maximin, various members of the nobility, and mobs of axe-bearing villagers, there stands a ruin whose building stones mostly were carted off to build other buildings.

* * *

The Zinfandel poured pinkly from the bottle, like a stream of urine seven hours after eating a bowl of borscht.

* * *

Cynthia had washed her hands of Philip McIntyre and#8212; not like you wash your hands in a public restroom when everyone is watching you to see if you washed your hands but like washing your hands after you have been working in the garden and there is dirt under your fingernails and#8212; dirt like Philip McIntyre

* * *

He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him and#8212; 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.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Reno. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s appointee to the Fair Political Practices Commission and McPherson Commission, both involving election law and the Political Reform Act. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or at the firmand#8217;s website http://www.portersimon.com.