I had to decamp from ChezYowl on Sunday, after almost two weeks of being with Her Grace. Needless to say, I needed your writing contest entries to cheer me up! A good dose of revenge, mayhem and clever really did the trick. Thank you!
Herewith the results:
Words I had to look up:
Colin Smith Cullion
Michael Seese annuli
Steph Ellis and Just Jan ganglion
Steve Forti is just sneering at me now.
I slink back to my hammock to dream up another plan.
In Virginia for a wedding and unable to enter this week. I bet that gives Janet a sense of demented serenity, thinking she has thwarted. I've got no time to think, no computer, literally typing off the cuff on my phone while waiting for the shower.
But I wanted to share a true story from yesterday when picking up the rental. I only can choose from intermediate class cars. I get to the parking lot and the only piece of crap ride left is a friggin station wagon. What a crock!
Guess who's rolling up to the ceremony in style.
Here are the standouts:
The Scarred King sighed. Beautiful Alliona! She rocked him to his foundations. What to write, to woo her?
In the scratching of the pen, he heard wedding bells.
Two weeks later, Alliona arrived.
With an army.
The Scarred King gulped.
Admitting to being the Scared King had always been too awkward. He'd never confessed he needed remedial English lessons. He'd thought spell check would save him.
Alliona came for him, sword swinging.
"Wait! I meant, you're pret-"
Abruptly, he was the wrong kind of smitten.
Folded in Alliona's breastplate, his note: "Your pride I be smitin! SK"
Two weeks later, Alliona arrived. With an army.
Might just be the best two lines of the week.
And of course I loved the theme here.
Strange things have been happening around here I tell you.
The cats were going crazy stalking and chomping insects all over the shack. Seemed like millions of the buzzing things.
Ramona nailed the last one. I trapped that bug under a glass, fetched my magnifier.
It was an adorable ant-sized creature. Pink wings and a green body with yellow feathers on its tiny head. It smiled, I tell you, smiled! It stood with pride but looked scared while it frantically waved a miniature sign.
WE BRING WORLD PEACE!
The glass rocked off the counter. Ramona pounced. Swallowed.
Gotcha, she said
This story just tickled my humorous.
And such a lovely metaphor for the world today, too.
Jenn traced the rocket-shaped scar on Cal’s foot and waited. Not a twitch.
With a touch of pride, he said, “Told you I’m not ticklish.”
“Just making sure. One giggle and they’ll throw you to the... you know.”
“They’ll try anything. Chris Fleming videos.”
“Baby goats in diapers.”
“I’ll be strong.”
“Keep a straight face for ten minutes, and we’re set for life.”
Their eyes gleamed.
“Aaaaand our next contestant on Live or Laugh – Caaaaaaaal!”
Striding onstage to bloodthirsty applause, Cal filled his mind with miserable things and tried not to notice how hungry the lions looked.
Chris Fleming videos
I had to look up the Chris Fleming videos.
Did you click the link?
The skin was scarlet; scars feathered and raised, constricted her movements. She stretched as far as she could for the alcohol, but they had put things just out of reach.This is the start of something exquisite, no?
She forgave them a million times each day; they were weak, consumed by pride.
She reached again, her feet briefly leaving the ground. She took the bottle back to her quarters. There, she removed her frock, provoking her mind's ear to recall the tearing sounds of flesh.
Removing the lid from the bottle, she saturated a sheet with the alcohol before wrapping it round wounds where wings used to be.
Leona spied the shoes beside the door. The shower was running. Fingers to lips, she pointed—sofa, la-z-boy, curtains, credenza.
His family hid.
Oscar, his new boss, whispered, “Birthday and a promotion? Glad I gave him the afternoon off.”
She forced a smile. “Me too,” and stashed him behind the door.
She hung the banner—U. ROCK!—and let loose the balloons.
The shower cut off. Was she making a mistake? No. A lioness had pride.
Her husband yelped. The intern screamed and clutched her towel.
Leona smiled with demented serenity and whispered, “Fool me twice.”
It says nothing good about me that I just loved this!
Broccoli on her plate and napkin gathered neatly in her lap, she wondered vaguely if the knight still felt the prenup rider was worth the gold disc armor and twenty roc knaves he now theoretically owed her.So much left unsaid, and so perfect!
She wouldn’t have agreed to the rider at all, but she’d found him bold, pure-hearted, and eloquent, with an unflagging optimism about reformation that could have put even a mother to shame. In short, she murmured fondly, he is absolutely everything a knight ought to be.
[burp of smoke]
Er, “ought to have been.”
We go early, walking up Montgomery with cars on 26 roaring below. Lionel sees the bloody foot first and lunges to sniff it but I manage to keep him back. Everyone up here has cameras but the closest house is being remodeled and I can see scaffolding blocks the view. "We'll alert someone," I tell Lionel. He twitches his scarred ears and I feel pride and shame. At home, Lionel alerts the sage bush by peeing on it and I think that's close enough for now. I get a tea and Lionel gets a bone from the good-boy crock.
And another entry with so much left unsaid, and tantalizing.
This is GREAT writing.
Thursday:Do not get me started on Mrs. Pesterly.
Ms. Pesterly’s arms were crossed. Again.
“Your quiz, Lonny. Now. You’ve had enough time.”
She greeted him as she often did: “See me before lunch.”
It wasn’t only hunger that had Lonny’s stomach turning as he approached her desk.
“Read Meredith’s answer to number five.”
“Stop. Drop. Roll.”
“Li on de grownd and rol. Herl rocks at scary villin til he falls. Pri de gas can away. Giv him a kick in groyn.”
Thirty years later:
The boy across the table smiled as he read the inscription: “To: Ricky—Never be discouraged. Lon Hunter.”
Or her colleague Mrs. SniggerPuss who attends writing conferences to make sure writers know the One True Way.
Of course I'm dithering on picking the standout from these standouts.
It's not helping that they're all wonderful in different ways.
Plus I'm sulking at being thwarted so neatly (again!) by Steve Forti. Honestly, I may need to rebrand myself as a coyote.
Let me know your thoughts here: who got overlooked, who you think stands out.
Complete results later today.
Also, isn't Ramona just the bee's knees?
I've been beating my head against the wall today on a variety of things.
It was lovely to come back to the standouts and re-read them. A reminder that this really is all about the work. A reminder of how much I love my job. So, thank you!
And I just had to give this to Amy Johnson.
I think we're all in agreement on why.
Amy, email me with your preferred mailing address. A copy of Louise Penny's new book A Better Man is the prize IF you want it. (If you don't like/read crime, that's ok, I've got other choices for you.)