$100.00 for the Best First Sentence
  • Journal Pulp is offering a $100.00 cash prize for the following:

    Best first sentence for a novel about a monomaniacal archeologist who discovers for certain the actual resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and who resolves that, despite its being so heavily guarded, she will open the golden lid of the Ark — or die trying.

    Rules and guidelines:

    No outrageous run-ons. You can submit anonymously or under your real name, it doesn’t matter.

    No minimum length requirement.

    Submit as many separate entries as you’d like.

    Leave your sentence in the comments section below.

    The winner will be selected by the Journal Pulp.

    The contest will be open for two weeks from today: June 18, 2014, through July, 2, 2014, at midnight.

    If your sentence doesn’t appear in the comments after you’ve submitted, it’s almost certainly because of my (overly) aggressive SPAM filter. Please note that I check the SPAM folder carefully and regularly, and that your sentence, if it’s not SPAM, will be approved.

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    June 19th, 2014 | journalpulp | 234 Comments | Tags: , ,

About The Author

The sawed-off shotgun of literary pulp.

234 Responses and Counting...

  • Tara 06.19.2014

    Things get this way when I’m searching — when the past rushes towards me and I can’t tell if there’s anything new.

  • She thought Tubby lived up to his name, but Snitch had the skinny on him.

  • There it was on Google Earth; this heavenly box could become her coffin.

  • Mark, her assistant loved her and would help her, but he knew nothing could dissuade her from trying alone, flying alone, and possibly even dying alone.

  • Indiana Jones was a cunt; she was just an archaeologist with a vagina . . . and a bone to pick.

  • She never had that panache that Harrison Ford seemed to exude, but it didn’t matter because she has the real thing.

  • She never had that panache that Harrison Ford seemed to exude, but in the end she’d found the real thing.

  • A secret is the most dangerous thing in the world and is only an idea. Manipulation War Greed etc. could all be avoided if the unknown wasn’t so valuable.

  • When Rachel was six-year-old she opened all the Christmas presents under the tree, she experienced wrath first-hand; now she had the Ark of the Covenant to open and surely any wrath could not match that of her mom’s.

  • Rachel loved weapons of all kinds; if the Ark of the Covenant was a weapon from God, it was going in her den.

  • No rest shall come until the cold, golden surface of the Ark touches her finger tips.

  • That moment when you’re walking the line between a milestone and an exit point in life. This was happening, and I was ready.

  • As Cauliflower opened the lid of the heavy wooden chest and looked inside the box, her cellphone beeped its receipt of the message from lottery headquarters that acknowledged her enormous winnings, and just then Lance stopped kissing her blistered feet and tugged at her sleeve to bring her attention to Lucky, who was barking happily as he raced towards his long lost mistress as she stood on the unsteady top rung of the McGuyverish ladder the two recently reunited lovers had constructed with bones selected from a half-dozen of the hundreds of skeletons of so far less fortunate explorers that lay strewn across the floor covered in millennial dust, and as she looked inside she hoped with all her might that the stories about the lid trap were not true.

  • It’s amazing how tranquil that moment is when a flashing, golden dream threatens to disintegrate your hand, turning you to gritty chaff as you reach out and grasp that for which historians prattle about in moldy classrooms.

  • That same dream, no nightmare, awakens Megan from her slumbers with a shudder and a gasp, as her death makes final the futility of her quest to open the ark.

  • HM

    The story of Pandora’s Box kept flooding into her mind as she daydreamed of the gold flicker of the elusive Ark and the warmth of it finally beneath her hands; it would be her ultimate conquest and nothing was going to keep her from it.

  • If only those useless tweeded twits at the University could see her now.

  • Nobody knew that I knew where the gun was hidden.

  • “Listen…” She said as she dropped to her knees beside him, “Listen to me!” She cried, “You are the love of my life but my work is what keeps me breathing, this is why I wake up in the morning! How could you ask me to choose?!”

  • Zaz

    If this would have happened any other day it would have been okay.. Any other time, but today? When everything is on the line?!

  • My life’s work was right before my eyes, yet I pondered whether that “Golden Arc” was worth my ticket into the “Golden Gates of Heaven.”

  • Zaz

    In the end when it all comes down, people find that the ‘stuff’ they have means little and the love and relationships they had mean everything… and sometimes we don’t realize this until its too late.

  • Zaz

    This was everything I had devoted my life to, this was my drive, my passion, what runs through my veins; no way in hell was a 5 1/2 foot 150pound pathetic excuse for a man going to keep me from my destiny.

  • Standing over the golden mystery of King Solomons temple , her hand trembling towards

    the golden wings, the professors time had come.

  • After a lifetime of searching, she found herself 10 feet and one angry-looking alligator away from glory.

  • She pulled the dirty knife away from his throat, slowly realizing where these years of research and hunting had really brought her; violence and death, lies and tricks, nothing is worth a life.. “But this,” She thought, “maybe this was worth one more life.”

  • The only thing that could possibly keep her from the Arc; her lifelong hunt and passion, were the old bones in her broken-down body. Who would believe such a ridiculous tale from a crazy old obsessed bat?

  • Who knew dying was so fun?

  • She closed her eyes and she could see it, the darkness at the foot of her door and the secrets it held within.

  • You’d be surprised how fast your life can change when you’re knee-deep in muck,

  • My friends all have their bucket lists, but they’re full of coal compared to what I’ve got in mind.

  • His heart seized as the cold thread of logic wound round his thoughts; this was it, the end, the finale, the loud bang at the end of the Broadway show, but no one was clapping.

  • Some battles are won in the library, some battles are won in the books you’re reading about.

  • I RULE!

  • How about this, she thought, as she updated the status on her Facebook page, why don’t you — all of you — go fuck yourselves.

  • It is not the fear of death that kills me, but the fear of failure to discover immeasurable wonder beyond the guarded gold; I will conquer this fear.

  • I had only dreamt so much about my future fame as an archaeologist, but it looks like it’s going to be brighter than I’d have ever thought of.

  • Eleven; thou shalt not ever give up, to your dying breath.

  • Oh my god I found it! I really found it! Now, how am I going to get to it? How am I going to get through all of these slimy, very large, deadly snakes!? I have to figure it out, or die trying!

  • Tibetan prisons are really not the most accommodating of dungeons.

  • As she browsed the map, once clean and crisp, but now telling the stained and tattered story of the past nine painstaking months she had spent searching, she felt a dark cloud of doubt and hopelessness consuming her mind.

  • Her cold, damp bed sheets were the only remnant of the dream, but wait…no…it couldn’t be.

  • The sensation that takes place in your mind and soul when you realize that you fear never finding that one thing more than you fear anything else, even death, is completely life-altering.

  • Once, I was a normal girl, but that is a story for another time.

  • I cracked the door open just enough so I could barely peek through, and I can remember, even as a little girl, the look on my father’s face as he stared into the distance, gazing upon something in a far-away land.

  • It’s mine, and you half-ass guards aren’t going to stop me because it’s mine AND I NEVER QUIT, so hand me a screw driver.

  • I want to begin this tale by saying that just because I am telling this tale, doesn’t mean that I am still alive, at least in the traditional sense.

  • My senses were overwhelmed, and I felt my body start to fail me; if I didn’t think of something soon, I would spend the rest of my life, however short, in this spot, and I simply could not let that happen.

  • Barbara knew she shouldn’t press her luck, that it was dangerous and stupid to open that box, even if she could get past the guards, which was all the more reason to do it.

  • She sat down exhausted.

  • Sometimes it’s best that things are locked away and kept safeguarded from fools like me.

  • Like Pandora, I was destined to open it, either out of mere curiosity or just a sense of fate, I had to open it, and like Pandora, I paid.

  • I’ve always been crazy. I know I’m crazy…difficult to explain why you’re crazy, even if you’re not. “Nutty as a fruit cake, mad as a hatter”. Those idioms spoken by idiots have been used to describe me, especially since I’ve been on this quest, my quest! The lunatic will keep her path. The price will be paid but I will not count the cost. I’m not afraid to die, why should I be? After all, there is no reason for it!

  • The wood, guarded, imprisoned, blanched in the ancient sun, begs me by name for flesh again, for water.

  • Obsessively I had pursued The Ark until it rested seductively in front of me — a subdued but magical box that held the cup that Christ had drunk from on his last night before the shame and indignity of his death; next, I would open it.

  • The evaluation that access to the Ark was impossible left him annoyed, like a baboon feeling slighted.

  • The way she saw it was this: her whole life had been one single-minded quest after another and they all ultimately ended in failure, so if this was her last, best effort, then fuck it, nothing was going to stop her short of a bullet and maybe not even that.

  • Mary now simply had no choice in attempting to deliver to the world what only she knew God destined her to bear.

  • Just like the 1978 Dead Kennedys concert in Sacramento on the strip mall parking lot in front of a used record store, there were too many dicks in the pit.

  • Life is about leaving everything in the world. No regrets, No fears, this is who I am and this is who I will be.

  • All those “so-called” archeologists and religious zealots think she’s following a dream, but her students know that she is stalking a nightmare.

  • Dammit, it’s stuck.

  • God appeared to her to show the world the Ark, and she would do it.

  • She would become famous for posterity.

  • The main physical advantage presented to Maria is that the entire defense was primarily designed to keep out those with a penis.

  • As with the Dead Kennedys on the Sacramento strip mall parking lot in front of a used record store in 1978, there were too many dicks in the pit.

  • As her left eyebrow continued to rise with every sip from the unprecedented fourth martini, so did the likelihood of the world never being the same.

  • As the left eyebrow continued the rise upon her forehead with each successive sip from the unprecedented fourth martini, so did the likelihood of the world never being the same after it turns once more to the sun.

  • As the left eyebrow continued the rise upon her forehead with each successive sip from the unprecedented fourth martini, so did the likelihood of everyone on the planet never being the same the next time they once again involuntarily, inevitably and helplessly turn towards the sun.

  • As the left eyebrow continued the rise upon her forehead with each successive sip from the unprecedented fourth martini, so did the likelihood of everyone on the planet never being the same by the next time each once again involuntarily, inevitably and helplessly turns toward the sun.

  • She prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitableness of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity.

  • She prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitableness of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity, which unknown to her at the time was indeed the stuff of miracles.

  • She prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitableness of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity, which unknown to her at the time was indeed the stuff of miracles and more times than not also one’s source of demise not only for the act, but for the sake of others who benefit from its witness.

  • Olivia’s eyes narrowed through the dust as they fell upon the next “illumination” of the heavy medieval manuscript, the eighth that day that had shown and promised her a certain and grisly death for the troubles she was about to endure, and she read aloud the caption, “Quam stultum est… quae superbia… (What foolishness, this… what pride…).”

  • She prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitability of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity, which unknown to her at the time was indeed the stuff of miracles and more times than not also one’s source of demise not only for the act, but for the sake of others who benefit from its witness.

  • PAF

    She had come too far to give up now, no one was going to stop her from making the discovery of a lifetime.

  • Now provided with the sole information needed, she prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitability of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity, which unknown to her at the time was indeed the stuff of miracles and more times than not also one’s source of demise not only for the act, but for the sake of others who benefit from its witness.

  • Now provided with the sole information needed she prayed to herself that the impossibility of success could somehow be exceeded when the inevitability of an attempt is commensurate to its necessity, which unknown to her at the time was indeed the stuff of miracles and more times than not also one’s source of demise not only for the act, but for the sake of others who benefit from its witness.

  • I’ve spent my entire life searching for that one thing in life that I was born to do, that one thing that would make my mark on the world and become my destiny; and that one thing was in my hands.

  • For as long as she could recall, signs that read, Do Not Touch, only served to put the thought in her head.

  • For as long as she or anyone else could recall, signs that read, Do Not Touch, only served to put the thought in her head.

  • Ann

    Lola was acutely aware that her emanating sexuality, unscrupulous intellect, and serpentine tongue were exceptional weapons for always acquiring what she desired from men in authority, and this time she would need her entire arsenal.

  • Once the rendered imagery from resonance data revealed to everyone in the room what they all have been hired for all these years to help her find and how diabolically impenetrable the underground fortress now appeared before them, it saddened many of them how this golden opportunity dovetailed perfectly with her fatalistic tendencies, much less the life-long monomaniacal obsession that brought them all together.

  • Once the rendered imagery from resonance data revealed to everyone in the room what they have been hired for all these years to help her find and how diabolically impenetrable the underground fortress now appeared before them, it saddened many of them and delighted others how this golden opportunity dovetailed perfectly with her fatalistic tendencies, much less the life-long monomaniacal obsession that had brought them all together.

  • Now with even him realizing he was more obsessed than a white mouse in a cocaine experiment, he vowed to limit himself to and subject others with only one submittal per 24-hour period for the duration of the writing contest.

  • Funny how the smallest decision, can alter the world.

  • Everyone was wrong, and now I’m crying.

  • Among the rubble of the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem, at the bottom of a ten foot cavern, Lana extended a feeble hand towards the house of God, a coffin-like alabaster box, fossilized in the Israeli dirt.

  • I don’t care if I die; I’m going for it.

  • People say the world is round, but Maryann knew better; it’s crooked and she would use that fact to her advantage in her quest for the Ark.

  • She had a choice, uncover the resting place of the Lost Ark or kill the world’s most wanted terrorist – Abdul Mostafa.

  • The big wheel of fortune had been spun. It landed on a twist of faith. I will take my chance that I have the right answer. Am I playing with fire or am I a prisoner of fate? Will I be in line for glory or a victim of circumstance?

  • She could not believe she was looking at the golden lid that contained all she ever wanted in her life, her heart was racing madly as she approached the lid but suddenly there was a tap on her shoulder which startled her and she woke up in her bedroom, gasping for air and drooling all over her nightgown.

  • Slipping past the guards, she stared at the treasure that had eluded mankind until now and reaching out to feel the golden lid under her fingers, she slid it effortlessly open.

  • There was no way telling why he was awake at this hour or where the screams were coming from..

  • He wasn’t surprised to wake up in a jail cell, yet again, but he was surprised to see the sheriff leaning back in his chair with his throat cut open.

  • My little brother looked up at me again in utter confusion, I couldn’t believe I was at my own funeral either.

  • I’ve made it this far, now what?

  • I watched the cave opening from the dark expanse of sand; my body laying nearly flat, the grit seeping into my clothing as the guards paced back and forth; feeling no excitement at all, I imagined their blood feeding the thirsty ground with the cold, calm of certainty of their deaths and the satisfaction that the Ark is mine.

  • Arrogance and certainty are perfect lovers I mused; the blowing sands, having scrubbed away the doorway to my destiny, had gifted me with the stealth I needed to take what was but a myth yesterday while the guard’s blood sacrifice would be dripping from my fingers in but a few moments and as a lover I whispered into the dark, ” Your true keeper is here”.

  • Despite the proclamation on the money being exchanged, she knew from an early age that none of them should ever be trusted.

  • Let me make one thing perfectly clear, since I was a young girl I have been plotting my life’s ambition and now that I am finally of age I will open the golden lid of the Ark of Covenant.

  • Let me make one thing unmistakably clear, since I was a young girl I have been plotting my life’s work, now that I am of age, I shall seek out and break open the golden lid to the Ark of Covenant.

  • It’s been said, what you think you become.

  • When it comes to being sexy, there’s no substitute for intelligence.

  • Mine, all mine.

  • Manifestations transcend beyond entry, the ultimate of goals lie within; the hope that equates passion to desire a quest eternal to an unending dream, until at last the way is found.

  • The delusion of a plain existence always frightened her more than any danger could.

  • Obsession begins with a tiny, seemingly insignificant thought.

  • Psychosis is the spark that keeps life interesting.

  • I’m sure Eve didn’t have such a quagmire when presented with the forbidden fruit by the silver tongued serpent; for the past 7 years, I’ve been on the brink of proving the existence of one of the most revolutionary archaeological finds in the history of mankind- The Ark of The Convent.

  • She couldn’t get her dad’s voice out of her head: “Peoples gots to have dey niggas, someone dey kin look at and say “At least I’m bettah den him”.

  • There are few things more cliche than the archaeologist obsessed with a legendary artifact, but Karen Johnson lived and breathed the stereotype.

  • There were no others as obsessed with the legendary Ark of the Covenant as John Remington was, save for perhaps a few obscenely Fundamentalist Christian middle-aged women living in the Bible Belt of the United States.

  • I’ve got a B.A. in history, Master’s in archaeology, Ph.D. in Egyptology, three field schools, and seven seasons in the field under my belt, and even now, with my life’s work within my grasp, I still feel like that little girl digging holes in my back yard.

  • The Ark of the Covenant discovered me long before I finally discerned it’s resting place, so many years ago, as a young girl with my nose buried obsessively in my grandfather’s field journal.

  • It was a bittersweet moment at quests end, “Without a goal, life has no value anyway,” Rachel sighed as she pried the Ark open.

  • As her lungs burn with the cold air being drawn into them, step after strenuous step, all she can hear is the distant sound of a turning point that is quickly approaching.

  • He was at death’s door, only, damn, he had misplaced his key.

  • As she looked across the trash-ridden and seemingly barren land, save two large men standing in front of a well-kept shed, she knew below the surface of this desolate territory was remarkable history.

  • I was down to my last Clif bar, and seeing as it was Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, things weren’t looking good.

  • She was down to her last Clif bar, and seeing as it was Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, things weren’t looking good.

  • “I suppose my three best pieces of wisdom are as follows: never give up, no matter how cliché that sounds; always bring a backup compass; and there is no such thing as ‘too many’ Clif bars.”

  • Everyone will know me as “The girl who proved the existence of the Jewish God and gave up her life for humanity, a true sacrifice only second well known as to Jesus! What honor could be better than that?”

  • The brush strokes on the painting before her gravitated around the vanishing point that was placed by the painter to confer depth and perspective on the Ark, but she knew that in such static renderings nothing lay beyond the vanishing point, only canvas and the sheetrock from which the painting hung.

  • I finally know what my true purpose is! Sad though, my true purpose is to end all future purposes for myself once I open this box….

  • I shall go down in history as the girl who opened a box!

  • Ann

    Nothing turns me on more than an intelligent woman because you don’t know what is going to happen next.

  • There is nothing a human being can’t achieve if she is made to expect it.

  • If she is made to expect it, there is nothing a human being can’t achieve.

  • Vows suck.

  • Who first said some mysteries were better left uncovered? Because they deserve a fucking medal.

  • The Ark lay in shadow, its golden angels covered in thousands of years of dust.

  • In the grip of a cold sweat, she pried open the door, half-expecting an ancient curse to leap out and devour her.

  • She ran her fingers over an ancient doorpost, which ignited, not only her dreams, but the nightmare that went along with it.

  • Beneath her fingers, the rough wood of the temple door, where she suspected the Ark was had been kept all these years, ignited her lust for discovery.

  • Internally, she realized that her dreams and nightmares were at war when it came to finding the Ark.

  • Was she going to die if she continued to pursue the dream of finding the ark of the Covenant?

  • The danger wasn’t in pursuit of finding the Ark; it was in the discovery of it.

  • When it came to finding the Ark of the Covenant, international, religious, and archeological pundits were at war.

  • The real question was, is the ark still in tact?

  • She closed her eyes and breathed in the stagnant air of a long-enclosed crypt.

  • Before her, a mound of stone barred her entrance to, what she believed was, the sacred vault where the Ark of the Covenant lay hidden.

  • She shaded her eyes against a bright sky in the hope that a peculiarity in the topography would present itself.

  • With a pair of old, dusty binoculars stuck to her face, she searched a landscape that mocked her.

  • Sweat rolled down her cheek to drip off her chin as she searched a barren landscape.

  • Heat waves danced in a desiccated landscape as she searched for signs that she was in the right location.

  • A dust-devil whirled across the desiccated landscape while she searched for signs.

  • Though desiccated, the landscape was pregnant with the promise of a hidden vault.

  • The youngest of my friends from college was finally turning twenty-one in January.

  • If her calculations proved true, the political environment was wrought with the promise of harsh reprisals.

  • A dust-devil captured her attention as it whirled across a landscape of desiccated ruins.

  • As she watched, a dust-devil traced a path across unfamiliar ruins, leaving a ghost behind in the form of a plume of disintegrating dust.

  • Even as she watched, a dust-devil whirled over an inconspicuous mound of stone, uncovering, what looked like, the entrance to a hidden vault.

  • Life is funny as hell when it’s not sadder than shit.

  • If I had ever fallen in love, maybe this would be a different story, but it’s not.

  • I didn’t wake the kids when I left.

  • Ever since I was a child the untouchable never ceased to fascinate me.

  • The mysterious nature of the Bible and irrevocable doubt can now be diminished as I lay my eyes upon the glory of such a treasure.

  • It is more than I could have ever imagined, the secret and untouchable covenant has been revealed and will undoubtedly change the world as we know it.

  • After nearly two years of Rose biding her time with work in Petra waiting for some propitious moment to present itself, the fleeting chaos of the ISIS invasion was the manhole cover of Babylon suddenly being lifted and she getting waved in.

  • Granny always said that anything worth having was well protected; Rachel was pretty sure she was talking about protecting her hoo-hah, but damn the Ark applied to that saying so nicely.

  • On the other side the white lace curtained glass window of the front door was taped a pink index card with flowery cursive red ink that read, “If you’re looking for a religious experience, you’ve come to the rite place.”

  • On the other side of the white lace curtained glass door window was taped a pink index card with flowery cursive red ink that read, “If you’re looking for a religious experience, you’ve come to the rite place.”

  • I held my palms up, prayerfully, and too, my baser cravings as some ancient and savory sacrifice

  • Truth seemed to be relative.
    I held on to it as best I could, my breath as well, waiting for joy to rain down; for that rainbow within the clouds, or it’s oft sung prize to materialize and save me from indignities.

  • I held my angst in check as best I could, my hope dangling besides it there with a truth half understood.

  • Few things to her were more satisfying than calling men on their bullshit, and there was no expiration date on any of it.

  • Few things to her are as satisfying as calling men on their bullshit, and none of it has an expiration date.

  • Few things give her more satisfaction than calling men on their bullshit, and there is no expiration date on any of it.

  • Mama, please dont let your love run cold!

  • Mr. Belvedere, i shall now be returning to St. louis.

  • She found few things more satisfying than calling men on their bullshit.

  • She found few things more satisfying than calling men on their bullshit, and none of it has an expiration date.

  • Throughout the course of human history, there are those times when someone has to step up and take one for the team.

  • If dying wasn’t what he expected then what happened afterwards was a complete revelation.

  • That Hypatia appears with a red underline in Microsoft Word and Cyril doesn’t was never lost on her.

  • After a lifetime of incubation, she now carried the fatal disease.

  • As if gripped in the throws of a nightmare, she couldn’t seem to tear her eyes away from the ghastly scene.

  • A dank smell in the cavern, combined with the odor of guano, assaulted her senses as bats flickered overhead in panicked escape.

  • It was like I could taste the presence of God in the room, and I stood in silent awe for a moment that could have been eternity.

  • Two things bothered her the most; one was not knowing, the other was finding out.

  • “GOD!”

  • “It’s open.”

  • Silence.

  • All was still.

  • “Holy Moses!” Lara yelled.

  • She cried out “Oh My GOD!” then pushed the Jack, the husband of her coworker, off of her sweaty, freshly worshiped body.

  • Shit.

  • Every one of us has some fear of the unknown, no exception here, yet everything taught to me since my childhood by those stuffy old women, in their habits of black and white, is screaming to me “open the box”;… so why don’t I open it?… because it’s unknown.

  • Me

    The Ark of The Covenant seemed small compared to the chance I’d had to win that damned writing contest, but being the one who got the consolation prize, I was stuck trying to not imagine that when I finally opened this crazy thing, I’d not get nailed with the scent of something that went rotten long ago an smelled like sweaty belly button lint — the truth in love hurting as it usually does!

  • Based on her perspicuity in cartography at the age of five, her father coined the moniker Randy, and it became her designation.

  • Based on her perspicuity in cartography at the age of five, her father coined the moniker Randy, which became her designation.

  • Only time would, truly, tell.

  • She asked herself what Jesus would do, and like everyone else who asked that question, found that the answer supported what she had already decided.

  • Writing has always been a favorite past time of mine, getting lost, in automated vocabulary.

  • Nothing was going to stop her from opening the Ark, not even the thought of being known as “Indiana Jones with a vagina” for the rest of her life.

  • J.

    It had taken a long time to come to this point, and she couldn’t believe that it was finally here.

  • Whatever is inside: mana, the Ten Commandments, angels, I wanted glory.

  • If the Ark of the covenant is real, could the biblical accounts and it’s lethal, omnipotent powers be real too?

  • At least there are no snakes.

  • “This crazy bitch really does have a thing for antiquated devices,” he thought as she nudged the tip of a well maintained Beretta M1951 semiautomatic pistol against his temple.

  • A single tear slid down her cheek, glittering gold in the ark’s reflection.

  • Fast turnaround; perhaps an hour had elapsed since Leah had scribbled LET ME FIND IT on the inside of a gum wrapper and shoved it into a crevice of the Wailing Wall.

  • The feeling of dread, and yet the slight comfort she received from the embrace of the jacket, the jacket her own family had sought out for her now embraced her with more warmth than she’d felt her entire life, the “straight jacket” as they called it, her enemy and yet her savior all in one.

  • Macon, Ga–The Ark of the Covenant was a flimsy, earth-worm colored thrill ride that lifted a rattling chain of cars above the lid of fall foliage, flinty hills to the west, glimpse of river like a wet snake; Laura sat beside her husband, Reverend Doug Brown, as the cars trundled upward link by link, and said to herself that when this was over she was leaving him and her idiot children once and for all, his forthcoming pleas and death threats be damned.

  • After crossing the moat of flaming oil and neutralizing the entire security detail of genetically engineered super cheetahs, Pam stared at the rusty padlock and realized she and the Ark were separated by one last challenge: figuring out where Bill O’Reilly hid the keys to his goddamn tool shed.

  • Pat

    A militant atheist given less than a year to live can have the attitude of a benevolent suicide bomber, at least when it comes to killing religions.

  • Kim

    Since achieving tenure at Holy Cross, Robin began all of her lower level undergraduate courses, which typically had in the highest add/drop rates on campus, with the polemic assertion, “As opposed to religion, science is the truth God has been directing man to tell.”

    (Religion is the lie man has been directing God to tell.)

  • The sudden relief of thousands of years of religious constipation will be one hell of a bowel movement.

  • Before humanity can transcend adolescence, the two thousand year-old carbuncle on its forehead must be lanced.

  • By nature, religions fear truth, especially its own lies.

  • Long ago, the once powerful weapon became its own greatest liability.

  • Eva enjoyed most fairy tales, particularly those of the Abrahamic religions, in which she found an endless source of hilarity and affirmation of her lesbianism.

  • Sprawled in a black suit with only his head upright against the vestibule wall, tears of blood amalgamate to the white hair and beard of the once strong old man as he lies before them, apparently beaten to death by his own now missing gun.

  • As he began to cross Central Park that night, only the perfunctory fatal pistol-whipping remained, as the furtive onset of feebleness left the old man oblivious that the gun he carried since a young man had long converted to more of a liability than an asset.

  • Ever since 9/11, Dr. Ryan Morgan has always successfully concealed her custom-made “spikey-crowbar” within the frame of her craftily modified carryon.

  • As she stood shivering in the shower, watching the last of Jackson’s blood and brains get sucked down the drain, she wondered if it was really worth the trouble.

  • Having pulled Mom’s antique basket from the hall closet for the first time in 20 years, I wasn’t prepared for the preserved remains of chicken bones wrapped in cloth napkins, two unidentifiable sides in sealed containers, and a biscuit.

  • DK

    As a Jew, it was the only object she could openly deem holy.

  • TJN

    Under cold tough earth the Ark had waited ages for the return of the sun’s golden kiss.

  • TJN

    It tugged at her with a distant magnetism, and in her ear it whispered promises of sweet glories.

  • TJN

    Both success or failure would cause her death, but she knew that only one of those deaths could bring her glory.

  • The back of my neck burns from the intense heat of the sun, but I keep digging, crouched on hands and knees, dirt wedged underneath fingernails.

  • She stepped into darkness, and the sickening crunch of dried bones made her cringe.

  • The stench of death entombed coated the inside of her nose, her throat, her lungs, seeking life.

  • Marva liked getting wet and considered umbrellas for suckers.

  • Once she deemed too many dicks in the pit, Marva before had always abandoned a dig.

  • Rachel wasn’t about to let some entitled cunt from Barnard steal the credit.

  • Ark of the Covenant: The one object that will exalt myself above all…and bring anyone trying to stop me…to their knees.

  • TJ

    She wept.

  • The contentious contingents of the faithful archeologists flocked around Temple Mount easily agreed on one issue: their abhorrence of Dr. Pavana Prama, “the atheist from India.”

  • The contentious contingents of the faithful archeologists flocked around Temple Mount easily agreed on one issue: their abhorrence of Dr. Pavana Prama, “that atheist from India.”

  • Raiders of the lost Hark heralds the Angels Sing.

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