In honor of all the entries in the contest, here's a song about homonyms!
As I've come to expect, all the entries were fun to read, and some of you really rose to amazing heights on this one! Thanks to all who entered. Here are the results:
I liked this phrase for its lean prose and good rhythm:
"Bottle and beast exchanged"
I loved the juxtaposition of roll and LOL here:"No doubt the Wright brothers are rolling in their graves… no lol'ing."
Beth Overmyer 10:28am
Any sentence with wail of literary pretension in it needs recognition:
"His unfinished book, he’d said, was a sough caught between the wail of literary pretension and the whale of historic butchery."
Aldous Mercer 1:47pm
This sentence says so much more than just the image it evokes:
"At 140, white lines on the Manitoba highway shrink to dots in the rearview mirror."
Rick Anderson 1:55pm
I think this is the trifecta of homonyms:
"Wright's sweating. He's failed his wizarding exam twice already. If he doesn't write the right rite this time, he'll be expelled."
Shaggy Dog story? No, shaggy dog sentence! And oh my godiva, the puns:
Stephanie Evans 11:51am (except I sense the hand of her witty husband here)
Let me get back to you on this offer:
Regina Castillo 12:42pm
Coffee, nose, keyboard. Yes, these guys cracked me up:
Michael G-G 11:30am
Judy G 4:44pm
Special recognition for pulling at my (non-existent) heartstrings:
Andrea Wenger 5:54pm
Special recognition for classing up the place with some good poetry:
Here are the seven entries that made the first cut:
Kate Outhwaite 12:49pm
Laura 2:23pm [although I'm not sure we agree on what waled means]
C. Swift 3:21pm
Writers Ottoman 3:45pm [although I'm not sure we agree on what wailed means]
Here are the four entries that made the final round
(1) Realityanyalyst 10:33am
Rain was thundering down, the night I met Death.
I was at my writing desk when he came in, silent and dark and terrible. Outside my window the endless water drowned my garden, dammed in by stone walls. I looked quickly away, reining in my despair. "I know why you're here," I said.
"Do you," Death replied, more gently than I could have imagined.
"And it's not right. I've been damned for years and I figure I may as well reign in Hell as here. I have a chess set --"
"No," said Death. "Do not ask me that."
"You don't have a choice," I told him, pointing at chalk symbols on the floor. "I invoke the rite of challenge."
"Then you will lose," said Death, "either way. I have to take someone."
"Yes," I said, smiling wanly at him, "I know. Play, soulwright."
(2) CDeminski 10:41am
Row! Damn the oars that heave and sigh. The wail of the sea tells me that the weather's going to change boys.
Row! To the right, to the right! This ain't no sashay boys, this is a sprint.
Row! The waves are no dam against this rain, whether we stay or go. No whale surfaces here, although they are friend, not foe.
Row! This is a rite of passage, from boys to men you'll be if we reach the shore. Slough off your fatigue and think of your favorite gal, we don't want to have to bail these boats.
Row! The reign of the Lady of the Sea is fierce boys, she's slew many before us with wale upon wale on their flesh, her sachet of salt scent tells me so.
Row! I'll write the truest tale when we make it boys and raise a glass to you, so row!
(3) Steve Forti 10:57am
Marshal Marshall marshaled martial artists through the back door. “Hurry, and stay quiet.” Moments earlier, they had been sparring against faux foes in their nearby dojo, but now Marshall needed their help fighting these ecoterrorists intent on blowing up this damn dam.
“A single fissure in the right spot could be catastrophic,” Jenkins muttered. “And then…”
“Say goodbye to that town of fishermen and wheelwrights.”
He’d once heard a whale wail as it crashed into the wale of an old ark, but the sound of the bomb exploding was far worse on the ears. It was topped only by the groaning of buckling supports as the water burst through in arcs bound for the stream below.
Marshall cringed, then opened his eyes, realizing it wasn’t the bomb. A production assistant had tripped, knocking over a ladder and sending a pitcher of water flying across the room.
“Cut!” the director sighed.
(4)Wry Wryter 2:25pm
I must write about its wail; a haunting sound of utter distress. The length of an oar, the baby whale helplessly thrashed in the shallow surf; we tried to push him out to deeper water. As he fought us, to remain beached, a nasty wale rose across my cheek. How could something so magnificent seek death? Was he suffering some kind of life ending rite? How did he know to swim to where the water ended?
As we tired, he too rested, on his right side motionless, as if to say I’ve had enough, let me go.
Doctor Ore, from The Wright Aquarium, was the first to hear the high pitched music of the mother, singing to her baby on the beach.
“Quickly,” he said, “push the baby into deeper water before his mother leaves, or joins him on the beach.”
We heaved. We cheered. We cried. He swam.
And the winner is CDeminski 10:41am. Send me your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of THE CUT by George Pelecanos, a wonderful book and the start of what I hope is a new series from a great writer. (If you're not a fan of crime fiction, we can find another book for you!)
Thanks again to all who entered! You guys slay me!