Best First Sentence Contest: Winner Announced
  • It was an exceptional contest — one which because of the sheer number of first-rate entries took me over a week to decide.

    Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites:

    Shonda Royall: I woke up, dying.

    Jeremy J: Not again, she thought.

    QUINN-TUP: With closed eyes, she stumbled to the blood-spread of her parents’ bodies and dropped the tiny sugar skull, pulverizing it beneath her heel.

    Doc: She was so glad to be rid of her parents, but why had Johnny left her behind?

    Cindy: Detective Curtis, weary and slightly nauseous, squatted in the dust next to a set of size 7 footprints.

    Scott: On a back Texas road, they were hurling to slaughter.

    Charles Larch: The suddenness of death is a song that bludgeons the unwary.

    coal-brains: Now condemned, the child should hang herself.

    Ann: “Leave the girl!”

    Scott: It was her twelfth autumn, but the first in New England.

    Jeff: Sleeping through the horrors was not nearly as difficult as getting them to drive all the way out here in the first place.

    MR: When the highway patrol officer knelt down on that godforsaken road and placed her hand on my shoulder, I knew it was the last time I would feel warmth.

    Lazar: Cecelia’s scream resembled her ringing ears: a muted screech echoing through her skull.

    Charles Larch: “Are we there yet?” she asked without opening her eyes.

    Allie.C: She had just woken up and now all she wanted was to wake up once more.

    Wendy Vega: Her cat Blackie was sitting by the corpses, mouth full of her mother’s chewed hand, and she realized she’d have to gut him to get the diamond back.

    Charles Larch: She knew she must keep very still while she waited for daylight.

    Chelsea: Her parents’ bodies were beginning to stink.

    Charles Larch: She smelled the blood before she saw it; metallic like the scent of a coin in her palm.

    Chelsea: If only they had started running sooner.

    Michael: My dreams warned me with caves and grinding steel, my Nana sobbing an echoing darkness, but when my eyes snapped open I screamed anyway.

    joe musso: Young Emma awoke to the very scene she had just dreamed, and, with a snarl on her lips that may have been a tarantula in a different lifetime, whispered to herself, “It worked!”

    mm pesola: They thought I was dead, too.

    And here are the top six:

    Lisa: My parents never liked driving at night.

    Lil’ Jack: The rising growl in her throat was of a black and ancient origin, and knew far more than she did.

    MR: She wept as the blood moon rose and eclipsed her innocence.

    Charles Larch: Moonlight shimmered in the blood puddled beneath her mother and father.

    Charles Larch: Be silent, be clever, she told herself.

    Sabir: Sarah woke up, but her parents did not.


    The winner:

    The night smelled sweet and it was raining just a little, a soft but steady drizzle too weak to wash away the blood.

    Congratulations, Penny Prince!

    My thanks to you all.







    November 12th, 2014 | journalpulp | 5 Comments | Tags: , ,

About The Author

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning as the constant in my life.

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