It’s a hot July in South Texas again, so hot that not only can you fry an egg on the sidewalk, you can cook steak on the dashboard of your car (the local news reporter proved it), though why anyone would want to eat a steak left on the dashboard for two hours and who would ever want to drive that smelly car again, I certainly don’t know; regardless, it’s hot! This must mean that I’m on vacation and it is time for the third annual report of the Bulwer-Lytton contest results. In case you don’t know about the Bulwer-Lytton awards, here’s a Wikipedia link that explains it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulwer–Lytton_Fiction_Contest
This time of the year and weather this hot call for a little light reading before the semester gears up, so here are my favorites among this year’s winners. Enjoy!
Grand Prize Winner
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
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.
Winner: Purple Prose
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.
Dishonorable Mentions: Vile Puns
Convinced that the fabled Lost Treasure of Eggsbury was concealed within the statue of the beloved Sister Mary Francis in the village square, Professor Smithee would steal away in the darkest hour of each night to try to silently chip away at her impervious granite vestments – a vain and fruitless nightly exercise, he well knew, but it was a hard habit to break.
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.
Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mentions
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.
Carmela's knees buckled and she (a responsible consumer) collapsed down onto the sidewalk, as her environmentally green grocery bag bounced -- spewing forth organic mixed lettuces, crispy eco-friendly cucumbers, juicy natural cherry tomatoes, home-grown herbs -- while in perfect synchronization, a recyclable plastic bottle burst open, spraying droplets of Lite-Italian dressing upon the freshly tossed salad.
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.