Here's an early look at the entries that stood out for me.
She sneezed and sniffed.
“Like this?” He aimed the camera.
The viewfinder framed the shadowy grays of sky, river, and hills.
A breeze ruffled his blonde-tipped fake Frohawk with its perfect zig-zag design, wafted his musky pheromone cologne her way.
She sneezed again and wheezed. Shitty bombshell of a billionaire!
How do you tell this life-long boyo his taste stunk? The new camera, appropriated hairstyle, synthetic musk cologne—-all for her sake.
Her eyes watered and itched.
“You have your stuff, darling?”
He was supposed to have been her next victim. Instead, he’d become her one and only vanishing point.
The descriptions here are excellent.
Where I foundered was "vanishing point."
I had to look it up, but that's not the problem. I like looking up things.
The problem was I didn't understand how becoming a vanishing point related to the story.
Now, that may just be me. Ok, probably is.
They'd thought she was blonde, natural, soft.
She wasn't. But she was catwalk perfect, spotted in the street: shadowy cheekbones, billionaire lips, unsettling eyes.
The fashion houses fought for a contract.
Her photo? Everywhere. Fast.
Now, at the pinnacle of her career, she was glitzy, gleaming, full of life - but hungry. So hungry.
Time for her bombshell.
She screamed. Loud. Piercing.
All those who'd gazed on her - envied over magazines, lusted over the internet, ill-wished and gossiped over soggy posters on rainy stations… stopped.
Her smile grew, eclipsed by her teeth.
They'd thought she was human, natural, soft.
Sixteen missing to date. Cold cases, all of them.
They look to me for comfort, and so I deliver: fudge bombshells to the muddied volunteers, blonde-brownie sundaes to officers burdened with overtime, and frosty treats for the bloodhounds. On the house, of course.
In this life, I’m the king (emperor, if you will) of ice cream.
The local news loves to run stories about the billionaire who scoops up hope while a shadowy force preys on the neighborhood kids. The entire town eats it up. It’s the perfect spin.
Just don’t look in my freezer.
It says nothing good about me that I saw it coming!
“A perfect call”
“Billionaires shouldn’t exist”
“Bombshell new testimony”
“Ugh, Lon. Why must the news be so stressful? And what’s with the need for superlatives in every headline? Like here: “Rights demolished by Supreme Court’s shadowy docket.”
“Nevermind. It sucks, Mel. Long-cherished freedoms taken for granted, now taken away by unelected overlords. But that’s life in this post-word splitting reef. When you gotta go whole hog on prompts, the world goes whole hog on chaos.”
“What can we do?”
“Only thing there ever is to do: rebel.”
“That’s dumb, Lon.”
“Desperate time, Mel. Desperate times.”
post-word splitting reef just doubled me over with laughter.
High in the Hollywood Hills, billionaires are a dime a dozen. Many earned their money through perfectly acceptable means, such as going all Elon then price gouging the world. Others profited through more shadowy endeavors.
The bottle blonde—peroxide and whiskey—dropped on me a bombshell of an offer.
"My richer-than-god dumber-than-dirt husband is testing his home-built airplane Saturday. Make it look like an accident, and you'll get a cut."
Pity that the signature on her ill-advised "miscellaneous expenses" check was carboned to two other documents.
And a power of attorney.
Life is good here in the Hills.
Blonde curls. Pressed khaki uniform. 127 Badges. 21,566 boxes of cookies sold. That’s billionaire equivalent for Junior Russian Girl Scouts. Her prize? Present cookies to the President.
Marching Bands. Bunting fluttering. Shadowy bodyguards forming a perfect semi-circle on the podium.
She stepped up. Smiling, she held out a box of home baked cookies. He took two and patted her on the head while cameras flashed. No one noticed her ruffled blue and yellow anklets.
It would be almost 12 hours until the bombshell hit. She would be high in the Ural Mountains by then, practicing wilderness life badges 26-54.
Nicely political without being over the top!
Annette had a perfect, millionaire’s family. Then she spotted the gorgeous blonde in Oliver’s arms and knew things would never be the same.
She cleaned up bombshell after bombshell from the shadowy places in the home they’d built together. Before the kids could see. It was for the best, she figured. Soon enough they would have to deal with the stench life can bring.
The kids were playing in the yard when Annette glanced out the kitchen window and saw her approaching them. The golden girl opened her mouth. A stick fell out. Annette smiled, knowing she was a billionaire.
Is Annette a dog? I mean a four legged canine dog?
I don't quite get this.
Let's just blame the heat, and the fact I woke up in the middle of the night worried my air conditioner would stop working. (not good in 95+ heat!)
I died alone. A perfect ending to an unfulfilled life. Within seconds I went through a dark tunnel with no light at the end as many had described. I arrived in front of a blonde androgynous being who looked over my shadowy past with a handheld device. I had been a billionaire who bought whatever I desired regardless of the consequences to others.
"Does this mean I'm going to Hell?" I asked.
The being looked at me and smiled. "You mean, back to Hell. Yes, I'm afraid so. Right through that door," he pointed. "Planet Earth."
It was a bombshell.
Now this is a very interesting concept!
Melanie Sue Bowles
“Know what your problem is?”
My stomach lurched. I looked up from my laptop. My husband’s perfectly tanned face darkened the door of my cozy writing nook.
“You sit in this shadowy hole, doom-scrolling. Wasting your life. Wasting!”
He flipped his bleach-blond hair off his forehead. I suppressed an eye-roll.
“Lucky to have me,” he muttered, stomping away. I waited for the front door to slam then looked back down at the screen to reread the email from my editor:
“Your book is going to be a bombshell! Who would’ve thought murder could be so funny? We’ll all be billionaires.”
I'm a little worried for Jim!
(that's Mr. Melanie Sue for those who wonder)
That’s a bombshell, alright.
Some little blonde kid found it under the swingset during recess, I guess. Thought it was an old shadowy bottle or something. Started playing with it and tossing it around before some ex-military gym teacher shit his pants, blew a whistle, and ran for his life.
It could have blown at any point. Lucky kid; probably end up a billionaire if he can keep that curiosity in check.
There’s a catch to disarming these. One wire, five or six seconds later you know if you live or die. Snip and pray.
oh geeze. This is cruel, cruel I tell ya.
Maybe it's a test?
Did it blow up?
Did it not?
I glance across the room at the tiny, blonde woman who had just broken the silence. Darla. Of course this had all been Darla. The rest of our colleagues stare out the window, faces wan, slack jawed.
“How can you say that?” I point at the shadowy forms hulking overhead. Monsters, our monsters, consuming life as we know it. The weight of everything hits me like a bombshell. “We’ve ended the world, Darla.”
She nods. “And after they’re done, they’ll know who to thank. Not Jamie, that billionaire prick. Us. The scientists.” Darla smiles. “We’ll rule the world.”
oh boy, this does not bode well does it?
Dad was right; Evvie should've been a copyeditor. Marketing influencer was all dreary sponcon and shadowy TikTok contests for creepy billionaires.
This promised world-changing bombshell turned out to be a slogan contest for 'the perfect blond roast', which the world needs like another indie hole in the head. Still, $1000 and a tropical vacation was worth it. Evvie only grumbled a little that 2019 marketers got salaries.
It was the surprise of her life when she showed up to collect her prize. It was 'the perfect blonde roast', and she should never have accepted that free dye job from L'Oreal.
I had to look up sponcon. How behind the times am I? Did you know the word?
Mitzie was blonde beyond her roots, one too many cousins married down a branchless family tree.
In her trademark manner—vacant blue eyes, tapping a manicured finger against perfectly ruby-glossed lips until her teeth bled Dior 999—Mitzie offered a petulant sigh.
“Hurry, darling. Get your vacation trinket. Anything'll do.”
A vapid ancestral twig and billionaire’s boy through and through, Billy flung fistfuls of sand, shouting with glee, “I got one, Mommy!”
But when Billy’s unexploded bombshell, the American’s Golan Heights souvenir, rolled from the shadowy depths of Tel-Aviv airport’s x-ray, Mitzie’s stupor stopped.
“Run for your life!”
One of the best first lines I've ever seen, ever.
The blonde walked in. She was smirking and shadowy as always; a perfect disaster of a dame.
"I've a bombshell for you," she drawled, lashes fluttering like a flag in wind.
"Come on, out with it." I don't play games.
"Got a racing tip your life's about to change. We're getting the professional stuff now."
I blink, incredulous. "Fortified oats? The boss must be a billionaire. Lucky day!"
She tosses her silky mane.
"Lucky day, huh? Hope that luck follows you to the track."
She turns and leaves, her hooves clicking, tail waving high.
The odds always favored Lady Luck.
I'm always a sucker for unusual view points, and of course, being horse-mad since the age of 10, this one is right up my alley.
Meeting of the Banished, Craig F’s bar, 10am
Present: Colin, JDF, NLiu, Dena, Craig F.
Colin: JDF is right, I have a clever escape route out of here.
(Excited chatter from group)
Colin: Janet has her eagle eye on character cliches. Let’s mix it up, slip out when she’s chomping elsewhere. Take a cliché and re-pair.
NLiu and Craig F.: We’re shadowy and blonde.
(They side-step a renegade cop and flee)
Dena and JDF: We’re a bombshell life.
(They abscond past a beautiful female)
Colin: That leaves me with billionaire and…
(Realises he’s alone)
Colin: ...an almost perfect plan.
This is hilarious and meta and did I mention hilarious.
The day Jenny turned ten, M.A.S.H. dreamed up her perfect man. Blonde. A billionaire. (He had to be a billionaire on account of the mansion they’d live in).
She’d be an architect, busy drawing up plans. He’d be Bruce Wayne, minus that whole shadowy alter-ego. (Bats were definitely not her thing).
The day she turned twenty, Jenny married him lakeside at the country club. (Too good to be true).
His fist dropped the bombshell a week later. (Followed by his boot).
Suddenly, Jenny realized she’d never had a reason to pick up a bat before. (Now, she had a billion).
The only problem is I don't understand what M.A.S.H. refers to.
There were a lot of terrific entries that weren't quite stories.
What did you think?
Any I've over looked here?
Which ones are your faves?