“It was a gloomy, tempestuous period between sunset and sunrise….”
Yes it is that time again, time for deathless prose to fall drippingly from the hissing neurons of a thousand writers brains as the results of the 2005 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are released!
The competition honors the memory of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), best known for “The Last Days of Pompeii” and for the opening words of his wonderfully wretched work Paul Clifford (1830) which opened with “It was a dark and stormy night…”
Full results can be found at the Bulwer-Lytton website but here is a quick selection of some of the best of 2005:
“The night resembled nothing so much as the nose of a giant Labrador in excellent health: cold, black, and wet.” – Devery Doleman, Brooklyn, NY
The golden-haired dawn curled back the fading face of night in a perpetual coiffure like an Ace comb in God’s hand parting the day, making pompadours of mountains, crew cuts of Kansas wheat fields, and trendy cuts of the oceans’ rolling waves. – Gordon Grant, Savannah, GA
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
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away, in General Hospital born I was, and quite happy were my parents, but when a youngling still I was, moved we did. – Mary Potts, Oneco, Fl
She was standing weepily at her father’s grave in the old family cemetery, where the ancient headstones tipped and tumbled like a flock of spring lambs, when she raised her weary eyes to see a shirtless man, his mighty thighs clutching the loins of a raging steed whose breath came hot as a desert wind, and made a mental note to get her hairdryer repaired. – Nancy Lee, Chapel Hill, NC
And finally the Grand Prize Winner:
As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual. – Dan McKay, Fargo, ND
Once you are done laughing, drop by the the Bulwer-Lytton website for much, much more!
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