BULWER-LYTTON 2019 WINNERS – PART 1

As you few readers know, we annually present a handful of our favorite Bulwer-Lytton winners.  

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is named after novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The contest is to write a bad opening sentence to an imaginary novel like his: “It was a dark and stormy night.”  

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Space Fleet Commander Brad Brad sat in silence, surrounded by a slowly dissipating cloud of smoke, maintaining the same forlorn frown that had been fixed upon his face since he’d accidentally destroyed the phenomenon known as time, thirteen inches ago.  (2019 Grand Prize)

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Dropping his now-empty Remington .30-06 and tearing across the tundra after two weeks of hunting in the Alaskan wilderness in the company of none other than three-time Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt – the rustic outing being the spoils of his winning bid at the Sun Valley Country Day School live-auction fundraiser – Bart Michaelman realized with dismay that, in this particular instance, he did in fact have to outrun the bear.

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Three days without food or water, archeologist Phil Thompson with his leg hopelessly trapped in a wilderness rock-fall, and with hungry buzzards circling overhead, saw his entire life pass before him and he once again experienced, as a child, his mother’s comforting words and tender touch, as she gently awakened him from his recurring nightmare of being eaten by birds.

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Anthropologist Roland Weatherby stumbled upon the detritus of the cannibal camp, including the smoldering remains of his faithful guide Davey, and raged in disbelief at the thought that, even in this digital information age, primitive tribes feasted on the red meat of human flesh paired with a subpar 2016 Chardonnay.

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Realizing that his symptoms indicated a virtually undetectable, fast acting neurotoxin, CIA coroner Quinn Abner frantically wrote up the details, lay on the floor and, as a professional courtesy, did his best to draw a chalk outline of himself.  

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As he pounded on the door, Billy ‘Four-Toes’ Capalone, wondered, not for the first time, if he wouldn’t have been better off in the joint, or even taking a concrete nap, but instead, he straightened his tie and gripped his bible, determined not to blow his cover in the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program.

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Detective Wilhelm Schmidt’s raspy voice poured through the telephone receiver like a dump truck of gravel unburdening its load—much like the trucks that worked around the clock at Rohrer’s Quarry off of 1-81, transporting payloads of lime, sandstone, crushed rock, and gypsum—though with Detective Schmidt’s heavy German accent, excavation on its own would not suffice, and a second, albeit entirely different industry would need to be invoked to really paint a crystal clear picture of his voice.

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Prisoner #4420991 selected two large snow cones for his pre-execution last meal, much to everyone’s surprise, but #4420991 knew that death by lethal injection would come as sweet relief when balanced against the snow cone headache he expected to have.

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It was a dark and stormy night, and since this was Miami in July and everyone had left their convertible tops down, the rain fell in Cadillacs.

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It was a Dark & Stormy Night; the rain fell in torrents outside the Breast Western—the country-themed strip club where the exotic dance duo of Stormy and Dark rattled the house (for it was a Tuesday), and fiercely agitated the lustful flames of the patrons who struggled in the darkness to rearrange their Wranglers. 

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The High Gondonderil gazed on with horror as the Elgaborian legions marched at a single, pitiless pace into the once peaceful streets of Sar-Andrada, the capital city of the kingdom of Xanthil, located in a fantasy universe which might seem extremely confusing at present but which will doubtless make perfect sense to you, dear reader, once you realize that, like most fantasy universes, it’s basically just Tolkien’s Middle-earth with different names for things.

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Contrary to popular opinion, Jehoshaphat—the 9th-century (BCE) king of Judah who reigned for twenty-five mostly peaceful years yet is best known for his defeat of the Moabites at Elin Gedi in 849 BCE—rarely jumped.

            Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada.  Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts,personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters.  He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or www.portersimon.com.   Like us on Facebook.    ©2020

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