You all were in rare form this weekend!
It was a compelling array of entries and I am still not sure who will take home the prize.
Words I had to look up
Here are the entries that stood out for me.
“Don’t be so xenophobic. Turn off Fox. Not everyone has to be like you.”
“I get that, but there are some things you just cannot accept. Things that are morally wrong. We need a good cultural abluent to cleanse these people from our country.”
“Calm down, Earl. They’re not committing some official protocol deviation.”
“They are! And they’re spreading, like some mindless hive response. It’s sickening. This isn’t the toilet paper direction debate, or pronouncing bah-gle, or leaving one second on the microwave. No, I will not accept it. This goes too far. Nobody should bite string cheese like that!”
We just don't use the word abluent often enough!
A cold wind blew through the galley as Jake closed the roof hatch. He shivered and checked the weather radar again, “Goodbye blue skies.”
Pounding on the bulkhead, he yelled, “Sammy, I’m gonna need help reefin’ the main.” He heard movement below and drew a filleting knife from a drawer.
The Pacific crossing had taken its toll aboard the Carbon Foxhole, tempers flared daily.
Sammy appeared, wearing his blue Yankee’s hat, and said, “C'mon Masshole!” as he headed out to the cockpit.
Jake followed and drew up behind him, sliced his throat, then pushed him overboard. “Now…How bout’ them Sox?”
Why a respectable Yankees fan would get on a boat with a Sox fan is of course asking me to suspend too much disbelief.
So much depends upon the
So much depends upon
Oxazepam in the morning
Clozapine at night
In the evening shade
So much depends upon
That fucking word
By gutless words
(You never heard) like
So much depends upon
His oxygen taken
Stolen like breath
This is extrordianary, and all the more so for evoking William Carlos Williams.
She entered the party, and the room went dysoxic. Her cold, somber expression froze each guest as she stalked past them like a fox pursuing a hen.
The victim stood wordlessly in the back of the hall, watching her approach. The once-blaring televisions on the wall seemed to quiet.
When she reached him, he felt a shiver go down his spine, and his blue tie seemed to tighten itself. At that moment, he would rather have stared Death in the face. Death's words would have been more pleasant.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Biden," she lamented. "We've lost."
Well, this is just plain old horror.
But that phrase "his blue tie seemed to tighten itself" is masterful.
Another jolt to Alison’s hypothalamus. Muscles contracted. Tendons twitched.
And again, her head clamped, eyes fixed on the fox.
Sweet, loving silver fox. Luxuriant fur, two white paws.
Alison shouted, screamed blue murder, cried, peed.
The hard-eyed man set the animal in a carrier, fingered a switch.
Alison braced, but the apparatus released. She turned, vomited.
Her mind reached for dear Sox, her gold-eyed familiar - and she doubled over, retched, drooled bile onto the kitchen floor.
"Shiversion therapy." Stepdaddy as scold, his demonic voice and Jameson breath in Alison's ear. "Ain't gonna be no witchin' in my house."
I have a feelling this is really good, but I don't quite get it.
She is his oxygen. His passion. His obsession. She just doesn't know it. Yet.
He is the shiver down her spine. The shadow sliding behind her on the sidewalk. The sly fox slinking in the woods near her house. The presence she senses but does not see.
He daydreams. His knife traces the cold blue roadmap of her veins. He licks the hot red river it leaves behind.
She pays attention now. Looks over her shoulder. Watches out her window.
He has gotten sloppy. She has gotten ready.
He just doesn't know it. Yet.
It's not quite a story, but this is stunning writing.
The car roared as it sped off. It had a foxy sound, she had to give him that, deep enough to give her shivers unrelated to the cold. And that turn radius was so...xyresic. Still, the neon blue muscle car made him look like he was compensating for something. He probably wasn't taking her rejection well. If he could just trust her, he'd see they'd all be happier this way.
Sighing, she shifted into the highest gear.
This is a very clever twist!
Returning is easy, the blood-scent of the copper plated doorknob pulling me back to the cold chasm. Out of the blue-fir copse.I love this!
At the crest of the hill I stop. There is a light in the house. I didn’t leave one on when I left. The shadow of a fox skirts around me. A wide berth given.
Halloween adrenaline junkies inside, probably. Shivering teenagers, pushed to bravery by dares and desoxy chemical courage. But it’s a fool’s errand. I have never seen a ghost in the house, and I have lived there for over 300 years.
What a great ending line!
I've to feed the fish. Twice a day as instructed- the instructions are specific and numerous. I head next door, shivering, nauseous, oxygen overload, overbreathing. I should never have agreed to this. The fish needs a certain light, certain temperature, certain .... I open the bag.Throw the fox in the tank. The blue, cold water blushes with frenzy. But it's the speed that's unnerving. I stand back. Wait.
The fish nods. I've done well this time. But his planet-sized eyes say more. More.
This line is perfect: The blue, cold water blushes with frenzy.
Faux fur sox and fox fur stoles held October chills at bay. Oh, not outside under skies blued with unshed sleet, but in Gabrielle’s beloved rent-controlled studio. But barely. Her nose never got warm until the heat came on mid-November.
Shivering substituted for gym workouts, fasciculating muscles generating a slight thermal bump, from freezing to merely cold.
But 2020, an anomaly, pushed Gabrielle to act. No more. You hear that everyone? No more.
Home, working furiously. Fueled by an inner kerosene lantern. Fingers flashing, fashioning.
Flannel, fleece, folded three-ply, bilateral ear straps.
Not Covid mask. Nose mask.
this is brilliant: Faux fur sox and fox fur stoles
So is this: under skies blued with unshed sleet
I don't quite the get the story though...
I thought Bob was the perfect guest to take to the party. Smart, funny, friendly—never cruel or harsh. I’ve reconsidered my opinion. He was so xenophobic. Cold to everyone. Just sat in the corner, Bluetooth earphones in, staring shell-shocked like a cornered fox.
“Bob?” I said, when I finally got his attention.
“SHSHHSH!” he said. “Don’t let them see me!”
I started to object, but he glared at me.
His plan seemed to work. All night I tried to introduce people to him. They would look at Bob, look at me, and smile. As if there was nothing there.
ohhh, this is brilliant.
Love love love that twist.
-It is cold for octobre, he says.
-Yeah, I say, tugging my ice-blue scarf tighter. Perfect for pie-baking.
-Pas pour moi, he says. Without my gym, I must avoid the carbs.
-Sorry, I say, checking my ID for the hundredth time and scooting forward.
-I still walk, he says. The mask cannot stop me.
-Stops me sometimes, I say.
-Not today, he says.
-Not today, I agree.
Time passes comfortably, despite the toes numbing in my fuzzy orange fox sox.
-It is cold, he says, shivering.
Ahead the doorway yawns; something sparks.
-Only outside, I say, and we step in.
Given who wrote this, I'm sure it's brilliant but I don't quite get it.
I thought maybe they were going to vote, but the French threw me off.
She shivers, not from the cold, but from the life-affirming moment. Everest's icy blue summit. She takes a cheeky thumbs-up photo and dances a jig.
Upon her descent she stops short. The queue down is a hundred climbers deep. Her guide's panicked words sink in. He'd turned back 800 feet before the top. "We can't continue-the wait's too long!"
She'd refused to turn back. Now she's trapped in the death zone running out of oxygen. SHIT!
She pens a note:
...forgive me, my darlings. OXOX
While she's wedged in line, her life and note drift away unnoticed.
"Cold blue shiver, please."
The barman raised an eyebrow. "Okay."
She watched him pour blue curacao and… mint syrup?? into a pint glass.
So, this was Oxford.
She liked the lectures but the rest? Disappointing. She'd been here seven months and not discovered one magic portal.
No wonder everyone drank.
The cocktail arrived: looked exciting. Tasted of fox piss.
But when the barman turned aside, she saw it, behind him: the door.
Ancient wood, rimed with ice. Carved with mysterious figures.
She leapt the bar, brimming with electric certainty--
It was a freezer.
brilliant line: brimming with electric certainty--
I'm utterly torn between several entries.
Who do you favor?
Who did I overlook?
What did I fail to understand?
Updated results later in the day.
Update on the update: well it's been a a week!
sorry about that. This past week was one of those "oh wait, I think I'm sick, I'm sleeping 20 hours a day" but you don't feel bad, you just can't get out of bed.
Well, I could work for about three hours, then it was back to bed! You know you're not well, and not just lazy when getting back in bed feels so wonderful you wonder why you ever got out.
Contest results will be posted on a separate post.
Thanks for your patience!