** how surprised are you to see how quick I was with the results? (yea, me too!)
You were a bloodthirsty bunch this weekend! I had to find a copy of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to cleanse my eyeballs after reading your entries! Yowza!
Herewith the results:
Special recognition for dire threats about the judging!
"On a side note, if Matthew Masucci does not win with his entry, then I will assume all contests rigged and include a bribe with my next entry."
Cole Howard 4:45pm
Oblique in a tantalizing way!
Special recognition for entries that were just utterly delightful.
Papillon Crew 9:25am
Sheila JG 9:34am
Special recognition for an entry that evokes New York perfectly!
Heroin Jones 10:06am
Yow! Special recognition for making me hide under my desk.
Matthew Masucci 1:03pm
Special recognition for making me say "awwwww"
Just Jan 12:46am
Special recognition for a neat turn of phrase:
"A lamb is bent and red beside the wolf, who lies—sought, caught, shot"
"A whole chaos of fuzzy red squirrels."
Special recognition for my favorite literary goat: Bill E.
Sha'el, Princess of Pixies 11:14am
These entries just cracked me up!
Schalfin 11:10am (the shortcut to Betelgeuse leading to the L-train!)
Tara Tyler 12:43pm
M.R. Jordan 12:26am
This isn't quite a story but holy moly it's good writing:
The manager of the Paradise
Motel drives a new car and compulsively
sweeps the parking lot each night. Bill roams the hallways;
a skinny man, walking fast, herky-jerky. Scrounging
for cigarette butts. Vince stands
in his doorway, a chasm, and
says, “These drugs are killing me.”
I patrol the Paradise Motel with blinders on;
a bent harness pinches my ribcage.
A pale-faced young woman’s
asleep, sitting upright, in a Naugahyde
chair in the chaos of the parking lot.
They’re completely conspicuous,
as unobtrusive as the blood-red
neon sign that shouts vacancyvacancyvacancy;
these questions of sanity that trouble
an indifferent world.
Here are the six finalists:
Terri Coop 12:18pm
The ambulance left the police station. No sirens. Twenty years on the job and murder is still nothing but heartache and paperwork.
Unfolding a blank report, I bent over my old typewriter.
The punks were at the west desk. The old biddy at the east. Both were filing complaints.
She crowed about foiling a car theft.
Across the chasm, the hoods had red-ass about someone pulling a gun and chasing them away from their car.
I hit the “return” key. One section to go.
Conclusions: The old lady was a faster draw and a better shot.
I stare at the folding chair with the bent legs and traces of duct tape, pretending to worry. Detective Grady watches me with narrowed eyes. God knows what Kyle’s doing.
“You know what happened here,” Grady says. Not a question, so I don’t answer.
That is a question, so I respond. I shrug.
Technically my shrug’s the truth. I don’t know where Red is, just that he’s gone. Gone like the chaos and destruction that followed him here and engulfed us both, pushing me into a chasm of bitter darkness.
I hope Kyle hides the body well.
Alaskan Ninja 1:23pm
Chaos. Everyone was screaming except me. I stood silent, white knuckles still fixed on Peter's camera.
“Take my picture,” he'd said, and headed toward the bent little cedar which clung defiantly to the outcrop. He ducked the safety rail, didn't think twice. Through the pinhole aperture I watched him stumble, saw his leg fold beneath him. The flat sole of his shoe lost purchase on the crumbling red shale.
I didn't even cry out as he slipped backward into the chasm. He tumbled end over end and I just stood there, rooted and silent as the cedar.
Colin Smith 1:29pm
I pushed open the familiar red door of the betting shop.
"The last time," I told myself as I stood in line. I re-read my tip. Ten-to-one odds. I pulled out my bill fold—the last remains of the empty chasm that is my bank account.
"You're bent on self-destruction," my wife had told me when she walked out. Ten-to-one odds on fixing the chaos of my life.
"The last time," I muttered, approaching the counter.
"Which horse, Steve?" said the bookie.
"The two-thirty," I said pushing the last of my savings toward him. "All that on The Last Time."
As Juliana slipped under the blanket’s red fold, her phone buzzed. Eric. With a sigh, she picked up.
“Sorry about dinner,” he said. “I’m working late.”
“Again?” In the heavy silence that followed, she could feel his disapproval. She was too clingy. Insecure. She should get a life.
“I can’t leave. Work’s crazy right now. Total chaos.”
Uh huh. The lies cut a deep chasm between them. Like the Grand Canyon, she thought. Uncrossable. Unforgiveable.
Juliana hung up. She bent over the toilet, stomach heaving. Nine weeks along—and it wasn’t his.
She had to tell him. But when?
Elaine AM Smith 5:16pm
CC crying behind the gym, during Winter Formal, was a shock. A door slammed. I stashed my bottle, stowed it behind a bin and looked for an exit.
Drama! CC found her Brad deep in anyone’s Ginny. It was all chaos and replaced clothes. In her character assassination, CC blasted them with two-barrel insults. After that, I didn’t expect her sobs.
My intentions were good-enough when I put my hand on her red, satin-covered shoulder.
There was a chasm between my act and her interpretation. “Sorry, CC. It’s Reid.”
Precision-perfect, CC kicked me. I folded bent and double.
And the winner is Terri Coop 12:18pm.
Congratulations Terri! Send me your mailing address and we'll get a copy of PURGATORY CHASM and THE WHOLE LIE off to you.
Thanks to everyone who entered!