Nothing like a nice train ride from Boston to NYC to provide enough time to read the contest entries and name a winner!
Special recognition for a cameo appearance by Laird Barron
A line that should open all novels from here on out:
"Ellie hefted the heaviest pan. She gave it a practice swing."
Papillon crew 4:28pm
Special recognition for writing poems for entries:
jdh 10:48pm ** double-special recognition cause I had to look up 'saponified' and 'nacreaous'
Call P. Diddy and get this man a record deal!
Michael Seese 6:12pm
Taking special notice to NOT INVITE to the gin joint!
Wry Wryter 8:02pm
Our own version of the Gridiron Dinner
These entries made the first cut:
Terri Coop 9:39pm
Kate Outhwaite 3:43am
These entries made the second cut
“Step away from the cauldron.”
“We don’t want any trouble.”
“Drop the paddle. Is it even hygienic?”
“It’s a potion, not soup. You think bat wings are clean?”
“Those aren’t leaves?”
“Twin bats, plucked at new moon”
“Astuteness strikes again.”
“Where’s the fire?”
“Don’t cops tire of saying that?”
“I mean, heat source.”
“It’s called electricity. There’s this plug—”
“Right. Quit spinning that paddle.”
“Too late. Double, double—”
“Stop! You’re under arrest!”
“You’re not a real officer.”
“Literary agent. Hence, cliche police.”
“Rats, foiled again.”
“That’s it. Downtown.”
“You mean . . .”
“I’m going to book you.”
Nate Wilson 5:19pm
Harry stopped one of the boys running past his shop. "What's going on?"
"They found Zitten Spin at the observatory. The giant telescope collapsed on him and that inflatable pod of his. Been trapped in the debris for two days. They tryin' to dig him out. Might be too late, though."
"Zitten... he the brave one?"
"Nah. He's the one freaks out if he don’t shave every day."
"So you're sayin'..."
"Yup. The thin-skinned Spin twin's in double stubble Hubble rubble bubble trouble."
Harry groaned. "That's horrible."
"Yeah." The kid nodded, then headed for the observatory.
The rugged boy sporting an impish smirk called us Double Decadence. Jada asserted he’d stir trouble faster than wheel could spin wool. She scorned him as uniformly as I encouraged him, we two sides of twin. Whensoever I yinned, she yanged.
A challenge-seeking rogue, he pursued her. Her! Persistent until she pivoted, enmity unraveled to amity. True Love, she proclaimed. Pah.
I, too, twisted. Schemed. Pretending to be Jada proved easy—feigning highbrowedness, knitting poise with equanimity.
Allowing him to bubble inside me? Genuine ecstasy.
Gravidity sparked. Joyful pregnancy. I became two while Jada frayed away a mere half.
"Trouble Magnet," his wife called him, among other things.
The taped and broken nose didn't help his defense.
Marty admitted his moral compass could spin, evidence of his double life. The deceitful twin owned the accouterments of normalcy: friends, family, stable job, Friday afternoon golf. A fascination with amateur wrestling explained away the occasional bruise. Only then could he dip into the shadows.
Spandex embraced, he buttoned the scarlet cape at his throat, stemming a bubble of laughter. When he flew this time, he'd make a special effort not to smack a building with his face.
For the first time I can remember, the winner was clear on the very first read. I have "Holy Smokes!" in my notes for this one. Total knock out in the first round for:
Madeline Mora-Summonte 7:55pm
Lucy didn't name them both because she couldn't, wouldn't, keep them both.
In the Double Bubble Laundromat, she chooses a washing machine already on spin. The name brand detergent? The person has a little money. The fabric softener? A woman. Lucy nestles the sleeping Girl Twin in the laundry basket, then turns away.
She lifts Marlon from the cart. Maybe, just maybe, he'll be good to his Mama. Girls are nothing but trouble. She knows. She's one, and all she ever got, or gave, was trouble.
Marlon watches over her shoulder as they leave his sister behind.
Madeline, if you'll send me your mailing address I'll send you a copy of the THE CRONING by Laird Barron. Somehow I have a feeling this one is right up your alley! Congratulations!