A Dark and Stormy 2020

Okay, so 2020 is a pretty dark and stormy year, but this post is actually about the 2020 Bulwer-Lytton fiction contestLast year I won in the Fantasy and Horror category. This year I didn’t do quite as well, but I did get two dishonorable mentions! First off, though, here is the grand-prize winner for 2020:

Her Dear John missive flapped unambiguously in the windy breeze, hanging like a pizza menu on the doorknob of my mind.
        –Lisa Kluber, San Francisco, CA

Here is my Dishonorable Mention in the Western category:

As sheriff, I had handled most of the Dwarf gang, having shot Sleepy, Bashful and Sneezy, strung up Grumpy and Dopey and disemboweled Happy, but Doc, since you got away, I’m sending Happy’s entrails to you, until we meet again.
        –Arlen Feldman, Colorado Springs, CO

And this one was A Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mention (which might end up being the title of my autobiography):

The rules of drama are many and varied, but the most important, as stated by the great writer Chekhov, is that if there is a banana covered in axle grease in act one, then you’d better hope that the theater burns down before act five.
        –Arlen Feldman, Colorado Springs, CO

I usually read some of the Bulwer-Lytton winners at the Turkey Read-off at MileHiCon, but since the con is going virtual this year, I don’t know if there will be a Turkey Read-off. However, since I am semi-responsible for figuring out video conferencing for the con, I suppose I could always just insert a winner or two into every panel–tastefully selected to match the panel’s topic of course…

Anyway, here are some of the entries I submitted that didn’t make it:

  • He was a sad masochist who was addicted to pain pills, so he didn’t take them.
  • They claimed to be wise men bearing gifts, but I wasn’t falling for it, not after all of the warnings about Manger Danger.
  • She insisted that all of her clothes and belongings came from the most exclusive brands, be it Prada, Saks, or Tiffany’s, and even her baby had to have the best, outfitted entirely from Gucci Gucci Goo.
  • She kept threatening to give me a piece of her mind, but at the will reading she also gave me her left lung and a small slice of her gall bladder.
  • In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the criminals who commit it.


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