Sunday, February 04, 2007

Worst Fiction

Yesterday's retreat reminded me that years ago I won second place in a WVU contest for faculty and staff to write the first sentence of the world's worst fiction novel. As I recall, there is a national contest for this as well (I'm too lazy to google it to check that). At any rate, I thought I'd share my entry, and the entry of the first place author.

The prince had danced with all of the eligible women at the ball, most of their brothers, some of the castle livestock, and anyone could see he was thoroughly bored, so Cindy was determined to make an unforgetable impression, twitching her ammo belt to reveal the right amount of cleavage, adjusting her satin cape and matching eyepatch, checking that the spikes of her wrist gauntlets were glittering, she tugged the leash of her dire wolf, stepped briskly across the floor, slapped the prince firmly across his plump cheek and in a husky voice snapped, "Wake up, dolt! My pumpkin's double parked. You interested in hauling ashes?"

But mainly I wanted to share the first place entry. Maybe you can guess the year from this...

Bill Case
Ronald Reagan Abercrombie (his mother had named him for her favorite TV actor, and the Abercrombies, whose pretensions to New England respectability were still strong then, not diluted by the events that came later, never forgave her) slipped his feet smoothly into the size-12 Bruno Magli leisure shoes the well-spoken African-American man had tossed at him from the window of the speeding Ford Bronco on LaCienga Boulevard, thinking fondly of the last leather shoes he had owned before his vegetarian girlfriend shamed him into wearing only cloth and plastic on his knurled and tired footsies--she was gone now, gone far away and would never--he hoped!--return, not in this life, not without some sign from above--the kind of sign he saw out of the corner of his eye through the smoggy Los Angeles air--a sign that called out to him, him alone, in a gaudy neon imitation of the tablets Moses wrested from the mountaintop in some old black-and-white movie his mother dragged him to in 1959, from its perch on the six-story block of flats, once owned by The Italian, now home to fallen movie stars, lost hillbillies, hopeful models and not a few forgotten felons--not that the shoes fit, mind you, but their very looseness was itself a luxury to him, who had known so many and missed them all.

I think you can see why it took first, yes?

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