Jim Porter: 2015 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest results
Special to the Sun
The Bulwer-Lytton contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. It takes its name from the novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began a novel with “It was a dark and stormy night.”
But you know that. This is not your first rodeo.
Here are a few of the 2015 winners. More next week.
Seeing how the victim’s body, or what remained of it, was wedged between the grill of the Peterbilt 389 and the bumper of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT, officer “Dirk” Dirksen wondered why reporters always used the phrase “sandwiched” to describe such a scene since there was nothing appetizing about it, but still, he thought, they might have a point because some of this would probably end up on the front of his shirt. (2015 Winner)
“We can’t let the dastards win,” said Piper Bogdonovich to her fellow gardener, Mr. Sidney Beckworth Hammerstein, as she clenched her gloved hands into gnarly, fuzzed fists, “because if I have to endure another year after which my Royal Puffin buttercups come in second place to Marsha Engelstrom’s Fainting Dove Tear Drop peonies, I will find a machine gun and leave my humanity card in the Volvo.”
Ozymandias looked upon his mighty statue and despaired, amazed that the sculptors could have gotten his nose so wrong and wishing the darned thing would just crumble into pieces and blow across the lone and level sands, but leaving his legs since they were actually rather flattering.
After weeks at sea, Captain Fetherstonhaugh and his hardy crew had at last crossed the halfway point, and he mused that the closest dry land now lay in the Americas, assuming of course that it was not raining there.
A thousand miles from the coast a cheer went up from the burned, ragged survivors of the Cortez party as they descended upon the hapless prairie dog devouring skin, fur, blood, everything in their ravenous quest for sustenance since their expulsion, two months previously, from the Reno Holiday Inn without the concomitant expulsion from the safe of their wallets and passports.
If old Elijah’s warning about the North Korean cruise ship of Liberian registry, crewed by Thai slaves wasn’t enough, dinner at the Somali Captain’s table in a lifeboat near confirmed it.
Walking through the northernmost souk of Marrakech, that storied and cosmopolitan city so beloved of voyagers wishing to shake the desert dust off their feet, Peter bought a French-language newspaper and realized, with dizzying dismay, that “Camille” can be a man’s name.
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.
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.
As Granny sewed the bloody wolf pelt onto the stained red cape, Little Red downed another shot, reminding herself that even alcohol has a better taste than the gastric acid of a wolf.
John thought of Kate and smiled — with any luck the tide would carry her body out to deeper water by nightfall.
AUTHOR’S TRIBUTE: TODAY’S COLUMN IS DEDICATED TO OUR DEAR FRIEND RUSTY PAULI, A GENTLE GIANT.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee, Tahoe City and Reno. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.portersimon.com.
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