There were over 300 entries, the majority of which were very well written, and I’m a one-man outfit. I apologize for taking ten days to decide. But I gave each entry multiple and thorough readings — and the winner is:
Here is Kayla’s sentence:
When I recognized the face staring back at me with mocking familiarity, I decided by the end of this night one of us would be dead.
I chose this sentence, after much heartache and deliberation, because I found it the most provocative, the most intriguing, the most profound — the one, in short, that would most compel me to keep reading. Which is saying a lot because so many of these sentences struck me that way. For instance:
“There, there, there I unsteadily stood, under the stars that I hadn’t looked at yet tonight, but that I knew were there, boggling at the bourbon at the bottom of the glass I was barely holding, gazing at the slow-moving sad-faced visage of a God I didn’t believe in.”
“Sirius Emerson knew he was seeing stars glinting off the lukewarm ice cubes hovering in his glass, or maybe a constellation of oak barrel particulates, he wasn’t sure, but twenty-three years of research wouldn’t allow this to be anything more than that.”
“And then He disappeared, leaving my beliefs and my whiskey forever tainted.”
“Night sky full of stars, belly full of whiskey, and a glass full of something I never believed in.”
“He worshiped at the altar of atheism, only to be baptized at the bottom of a whiskey glass.”
My thanks to you all.