By admin On Jun 18 2007, 12:00 pm
This contest is closed to new entries! Only those whose entries are posted below are invited to post again.
We have just over 50 entries moving on to round three. Some interesting stats from round 2: The line from round one that was chosen by the most editors (5 of 7) was chosen by only one editor to move on to round three. No line in round two got chosen by more than 4 of the 7 editors. 60% of the lines were voted forward by one editor.
Below, I’ve posted the comment # and the line. If your line is one of those posted, you have until noon on Friday to post, in the comments, your three lines. You must post both the first two lines, as well as the third line, but no more than that or your entry will be disqualified. You may not change the first two lines. They must be as posted in the first/second rounds. Please be very careful when posting—look for typos and errors before posting your entry. Please remember that this contest is for unpublished, uncontracted work as the “prize” is the chance to submit the work to the requesting editor at the end of the competition.
4 The letter arrived three days before Christmas, blown in on a bleak Oklahoma day by unkind fate. Maria didn’t recognize the return address, but did recognize the sender’s name, although they hadn’t been in touch for years.
5 Just when Christine Abernathy thought life couldn’t get any worse, her umbrella collapsed. Icy Oklahoma rain cascaded down her head, drenching her clothes through the heavy winter coat.
7 “How the hell am I gonna explain a dead body in the middle of my lawn?” I watched the fur fall from his broken corpse in thick clumps.
11 In dreams, he pushed her away. Never with much force and always with anguish darkening his fair features, but the rejection stung just the same.
12 Aneirin saved my life the day I met him, and saved it twice again before he finally killed me. It’s a chance encounter: I’m in a seedy little pub on the edge of Montmartre, drowning my sorrows in a pint of ale, when a stranger sits down next to me and slings his arm around my shoulders like we’re old friends.
13 “This man…this man,” the high pitched voice squealed in shrill outrage, “is pleasuring five women at once!”
The open condemnation of the entire Spirit High Council could not repress the swell of warm pride in Sarky Mitchell’s heart.
14 Alexa Ranger knew when she was three years old that one day she’d meet a dragon. A gold one.
15 Twelve inches separated Dr. Brad Berkowitz from heaven. Twelve inches, and a little thing called medical ethics.
17 The greatest king of Scotland, dead for nearly a thousand years, would be reborn in a woman’s dreams.
Malise looped her needle through the glittering warp and weft of her tapestry, embroidering the resurrection of her favorite monarch.
19 Smoke snaked on languid currents around the sweat-glistening bodies of his clan-more than the people of his blood, they were now his responsibility. With the council in transition, Croma was claiming his rightful place as a tribal guardian.
20 It had been a long time coming.
Margie McKeever had known before the night had even begun that it would end up like this.
21 “The dog shoplifts.”
Sandra Morton eyeballed the German Shepherd sitting on the sidewalk outside her house — a glossy, black-and-tan, big-boned beauty and, according to Seeing Eye liaison Tom Crane, a terminal kleptomaniac.
22 Science probably used thousands of words to describe the beauty and horror of colossal star pulsing in its final moments before going supernovae, but as a linguist, a preservationist, Esmé Domair could think of none. The holographic images alone reduced her to a respectful silence, but the knowledge that she would soon be within distance to observe the phenomenon first hand gave her a particular chill of fear.
23 “You have made a grave mistake, god or no god.”
The remainder of Tamara’s words were lost in the haze of Amunkha’s fury.
24 On an average day in the US, you would never walk out your front door and find a llama waiting for you. The sun shone like a ball of white fire overhead, making me squint at the tequila bottle in my hand for a moment, but no, not a hallucination — he still stood right beside my trailer, wearing a straw hat and aviator glasses.
25 Half awake, Sabine felt incredibly relaxed — until a lazy stretch nearly toppled her off the sturdy tree branch supporting her naked body.
27 Dr. Chiana Moore watched in amazement as the unconscious wolf became an unconscious man.
“Holy crap — I hit a-a werewolf!” she breathed, the tranq gun slipping from nerveless fingers.
28 When he was done, she’d be the greatest whore in all Christendom.
If they’d been in London, her body might have already been sold to the highest bidder.
29 Usually, the sight of Tobias on his knees sent Kellen’s senses into overdrive. Today, however, it royally pissed him off.
30 Bubble bath made terrible camouflage.
Myra St. James tilted her legs, trying to get the fast- disappearing bubbles to better cover her lower half.
31 It’s frightening how similar a wistful smile is to a bitter one. A small turn of the lips, a twinkle of the eye hardening to glass.
33 Massaging the man of steel is murder, and I don’t mean just on the elbows. Five years as the exclusive masseuse for the Greater Seattle Superheroes Alliance taught me that lesson well.
36 It was the kind of day that poets never write about. Jimothy could think of half a dozen ballads, at least four epic poems, two sonnets, and a limerick, all of which related to the weather, but none of them recounted the sort of relentless drizzle that had assailed him since before dawn.
37 The child on the bench puzzled me. Her long, powder blue party dress and matching bonnet did not seem appropriate for the carnival at all.
38 Claw marks separated the shirt into three pieces.
Dark green blood dripped from the ends, hitting the cement in an annoyingly cheerful beat.
40 The early spring day started out sunny and normal – not the kind of day that would end with me soaking wet and curled up in the trunk of my own car. But my life lately has been anything but normal.
41 If it kept her in Hollywood, Robin could cope with his incessantly trilling BlackBerry and his kiwi-flaxseed smoothies — but she drew the line at fluffing Mr. Bird’s feathers.
When the producer had charged her with “watching the boss’s tail,” Robin had assumed she meant the phrase in a figurative, cover-his-ass sense – not literally trailing behind him with an armful of rainbow-dyed ostrich plumes, like a bridesmaid in some drag-queen wedding.
45 He had barely touched her when it triggered. A fiery blackness shrouded his vision, burned through his chest, and smothered his heart.
46 “Good evening, madam,” he said, as he approached with the drink tray, and shot her. It would have been rude to finish the workday without a simple social convention.
47 It was just more proof that the universe continually had too much fun at her expense. Somewhere along the line, for reasons yet unknown, the Joker had stacked the deck again and given her the number that lived in infamy.
49 “Are you in love with someone from another planet and having problems because of differences in customs, diet, or anatomy? Find your lifeline in ‘Aphrodite’s Advice to the Alien Lovelorn’, featured in Your Truth at newsstands everywhere.”
51 The gown was the color of aged claret, dark, rich, intentionally brutal in the colorless surroundings. It was the color of blood clotting in still night air, of shock, and of pleasure at its most arcane.
52 “I’m not the kind of girl you can just run up and lick.” Delilah held up a hand to fend off the rodent bathing her face with love.
53 Except for being dead, he looked like every other tall, dark and drunk guy in the bar. Police detective Rick Morgan glanced at the knife and the puddle of blood and knew the guy slumped in the chair, whoever he was, would not be getting lucky tonight.
57 Sam felt the engine sputter and then die — exactly according to plan.
Of course, this may not have been his best plan ever.
59 “My father wants me to get married and have babies, and I want you for that job.”
Iris Bellows looked up from the folder she was absorbed in, surprised to see a strange man in her lab babbling on about her having his babies, and pressed the alarm button with her toe.
61 Only one thing could have brought her back to Vienna from her self-imposed exile—Mozart’s death. The haunting, stringed lilt of his Requiem Mass played through the bitter metallic tang of her rage, a fitting mental accompaniment to the pulse of revenge already stirring in her blood.
62 Even dead men need good music. Sean searched through the stacks of vinyl for something more suitable for Jon than the soft rock sounds whimpering out of the living room stereo.
63 If there was one thing that Kelly Rawlins knew, it was that when you got home from work on a Friday night, you were not supposed to find the man that took your virginity and dumped you the next day sitting on your couch. So when she saw Jake Caine lounging against the cushions, his eyes caressing her with wicked delight, she froze for what felt like an eternity before her gaping mouth closed with an audible snap.
64 I forgot to breathe the minute I set eyes on him, as if by not exhaling I could savor the image. Crazy, maybe, but if you’d seen him in the hotel that day, you would have been breathless too.
65 An ordinary person would consider a lack of vampires to be a good thing. I, however, could only think of three increasingly terrifying reasons for their disappearance.
69 When the media called Michael Brannon the big bad wolf of the courtroom, they had no idea just how close to the truth they were. The crowd parted automatically as he stalked me, the nightclub patrons scurrying out of his way like prey they didn’t realize they were.
70 Egraen sat with her back to a stone, elbows lightly braced on her knees, and waited for the evening to turn to shit. On the opposite side of the fire, Kaemon—the source of her unease—sprawled like a colossal hummock of muscle and bone, grinning with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
71 Stalking someone was far easier said than done. A fact now glaringly obvious to Danni Summers as she sped along I-95, turning up the volume on the radio to hear the latest information on the whereabouts of her prey.
73 The Reverend Mother used to tell acolytes that if men were going to brawl, they should at least be naked and glistening with oil.
Leda’s money was on the hulking brute with the Cydian blade, but right now she needed the other guy to win.
76 Seated across the bar from Mariana was her target, the most dangerous pirate in the galaxy. He was here now, weeks before she’d expected him to take the bait, and neither his decade-long reputation nor the grainy holos in his Unipol dossier had prepared her for the sheer physical presence of the man.
79 The son of a bitch was going to kill her with sex…_again_, but what else could she expect from a rogue sex demon. Even while Cassandra “Raven” Caledre reveled in the feel of Fallyn’s perfect body gliding against her naked flesh, she lifted the ceremonial dagger, determined to kill him before the demon finished releasing her soul.
80 The damned walls would’ve burst into flames if not for Aedan’s rigid control of his Sru. Even so, tendrils of power evaded his grasp to let wicked fire lick the hallway.
81 Do you think I won’t find you?
Kendra Douglas jerked awake, almost feeling Adam’s heavy breath on her neck.
82 Rosalind’s butter-yellow silk gown made her stand out from the crowd of black-clad sophisticates like a baby chick amid a murder of hungry crows. Lost in a shifting sea of beautiful faces, she looked for her escort, but saw only tanned skin, white teeth, and greedy gazes that tracked her path through the ballroom the way ordinary party guests would have tracked the waiter with the best tray of hors d’oeuvre.
84 “I tried to tell you I wasn’t cut out to be a soul sucking bitch.” Melody avoided her boss’ compelling eyes, afraid of the look