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A single bullet, acting alone

The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, of which I am terrified that I may win someday, except that I keep forgetting to send my entries in on time, is a contest to produce a bad, or rather, an exceptionally, praiseworthily bad  possible first sentence for a book, thus achieving in the process, a prize for its intentional  awfulness, which is, though a sort of merit hardly worth having, something that one might take on as an at least reachable goal should one be content with aspiring to effect much less than is normally desirable.

I suspect also that I do not enter the contest more regularly because it is even worse to have your drivel rejected than to have it publicly displayed as clever, even though or because it is intentionally flawed. I further suspect that many of my entries were not chosen simply because they were too good to be examples of bad writing.  Although the first paragraph-sentence above I think shines as an excellent example of bad writing, normally I find bad writing quite difficult to produce.  My biggest problem in winning the competition has been that I have managed to build a whole short story into the confines of a single sentence, thus transcending the idea of an ugly miscreant of a beginning, and moving right on to something more akin to epigrammatic immortality.

Take for example my sentence concerning a single bullet, acting alone.  I can hardly regard it any longer as a sentence due to the expansive forms that its various protean components have now assumed in my mind, like a strand of DNA left to grow in some petri-dish to become a full-fleshed living creature.  I am not sure that I can stuff the beast back into its nascent form, but I will give it a try.

The bullet, having been fired from the cabalistically constructed firearm of the mad alchemist Bruno Antipo in the year 1768, entered into a pan-dimensional hyperspace etched on the morning-glory lips of a black hole, where, with each revolution deeper into the maw of the gravity well, it would forever re-intersect with the medallion from whose center it was struck, and to whose center it would return every 97 years, appearing only for a few seconds,  and then leaving again, but dwelling long enough for the immortal Antipo, the grand assassin, to have given the medallion twice as a gift to those he wished to kill, making sure that they wore the artifact around their neck with the open center near their heart at the time set for the demonic bullet to return, thus assassinating two American presidents, Lincoln and Kennedy, though unleashed by no visible human hands, as though it were a single bullet acting alone.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 20th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Just a note to the over-literal reader: the above is intended as humor.
Sep. 21st, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
And now you're thinking-- "hmmm, what about the head wounds?" Well, just ask yourselves whom do you trust, Bulwer-Lytton competitors, or historians?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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