I’m a little late with this one this year, but here we are. My favorites of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, with the complete list here. [Also, can somebody please build them a new homepage? Unless the homepage is a meta-joke and supposed to be this bad.] It’s a pretty weak year, though. :(
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.
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.
When Hru-Kar, the alpha-ranking male of the silver-backed gorilla tribe finished unleashing simian hell on Lt. Cavendish, the once handsome young soldier from Her Majesty’s 47th Regiment resembled nothing so much as a crumpled up piece of khaki-colored construction paper that had been dipped in La Victoria chunky salsa.
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.
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.”
Winner: Historical Fiction
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.
Mary Ann R Unger
Winner: Purple Prose
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.
Scott Davis Jones
“Trent, I love you,” Fiona murmered, and her nostrils flared at the faint trace of her lover’s masculine scent, sending her heart racing and her mind dreaming of the life they would live together, alternating sumptuous world cruises with long, romantic interludes in the mansion on his private island, alone together except for the maids, the cook, the butler, and Dirk and Rafael, the hard-bodied pool boys.
She purred sensually, oozing allure that was resisted only by his realization as an entomologist that the protein dust on the couch from the filing of her crimson nails was now being devoured by dust mites in a clicking, ferocious, ecstatic frenzy.
Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mentions:
His chest glistened like a pumpkin seed, either one fresh out of the pumpkin but with all the orange strands of pumpkin flesh removed, or one straight out of the oven after being coated in just the right amount of oil and then baked; the point is that it was smooth, fairly shiny, and that color.
The life-saving salve had not arrived to help Dr. Sybil Carter dress the mutant killer bee wounds because landslides blocked roads, the rivers were jammed by earthquake debris, and even the jungle foot paths were clogged with dead bees and their victims, yet without the medicinal unguent, many more would die, so reluctantly giving in to her promise never again to speak to her aviator ex-boyfriend, she picked up the radio and begged him to fly in the ointment.
David K. Lynch
Living next door to the Lesters for nearly twelve years now, Mrs. Nestor, fully aware of her husband’s fondness for pulchritudinous posteriors, was unable to deter Chester Nestor’s constant quest for Mr. Lester’s sister Hester’s monster keister.
As Ethel arranged the list of company phone numbers under her clear plastic desk cover, perfectly aligning the lower right corner of the list with the lower right corner of the plastic, then swiveled her chair to file one more inter-office memorandum on trimming the budget, she considered how different her life might have been if her parents had named her Tiffany.
Oneida Revere picked at her meal and stared dully across the table at the charismatic charlatan who had seduced her with the illusion of love and tarnished her family’s sterling reputation; she was wise to his bent mind games and though it felt like a knife through her heart, she knew it was time to stick a fork in it and call it done – her days of spooning with Uri Geller were over.
Terri Daniel and Craig Rieger