Authorguy's Blog

Author Guy’s Vaguely Sinister Contest!

Posted on: August 11, 2011


We’ve all read them, those lines that speak in dread foreboding of grim and ghastly events to come. Lines like, “That’s funny, my watch stopped too”, or “What do mean all the lights are out?” When the phone lines are down you know something dire is in the wind.

Well, I don’t want you to write anything like that.

For every sure-fire spinetingler, there are a lot of wanna-be lines, not quite losers, definitely not winners. These are the lines that deserve their moment in the, umm, halogen headlight of fame.

Write a line that has the shape, the form, the structure of one of these classics, but without the content. Lines like, “That’s odd, there are no fire hydrants along this entire stretch of road”, or “Buy why would only one show be missing?” Perhaps “Bob, why would the kitchen smell like spinach when we had peas last night?” has occurred to you, but since I just used it, you can’t.

Prizes are as follows: The winner (chosen by me) will receive the entire corpus of the Author Guy oeuvre, yes, both short stories will be yours! That’s ‘Chasing His Own Tale’ and ‘Chasing His Own Tale 2: Struck By Inspiration’, for those of you who haven’t looked to the right yet.

For you non-winners out there, you will have the inestimable pleasure of reading all the entries to this little contest, which is prize enough for any sane man. They should be put into the comments, of course, but if you want you can email me instead at mvonkann2000ATyahooDOTcom, and be sure to put VPP+$TR_01 in the subject header so I’ll know that this is an entry into the Author Guy Vaguely Sinister Contest.

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17 Responses to "Author Guy’s Vaguely Sinister Contest!"

“It’s humid tonight. Too humid.”

“They were the footprints of a gigantic cockroach!”

“Did you happen to notice those two bite marks on her sandwich?”

“This can mean only one thimble.”

“Why is everybody in this little town so … cute?”

“You’re Ron, mister — dead Ron.”

“Did you beer that?”

“Does this beam what I think it beams?”

[Sorry I got carried away -- I love stuff like this!]

So do I. Hopefully there’ll be lots more. Thanks!

“A single drop of water in a vast ocean of desert”

‘You ever get that feeling bob? That the worlds a bunch of strawberries and you’re the only apple?’

That is so weird, I know there were yellow moons in my Lucky Charms yesterday…

“And then three buttons popped off my coat and I couldn’t. find. a. single. one!”

Marc, the caller’s inside her house, the calls are coming from her phone!

Oh, God, it’s dead, the battery in my electric sock just went dead!

Today is a good day to dye.

He’s got a hatchet Jack! And I don’t see no trees!

“An apple a day will keep the monsters away.”

“Honey, I hear a dog barking downstairs. We don’t have a dog, we have a hamster.”

“Man you’re an idiot! I can’t believe you thought Dad’s mini bottle of vodka would be a good substitute for mouthwash!”

It was a small town with only two stoplights. They both turned red at exactly the same time.

In the awkward silence that ensued, they could all hear the steady humming of a single refrigerator.

OK. And for the purists among us, Okay. Semi-Finalists are:

In the awkward silence that ensued, they could all hear the steady humming of a single refrigerator.
“And then three buttons popped off my coat and I couldn’t. find. a. single. one!”
That is so weird, I know there were yellow moons in my Lucky Charms yesterday…
“A single drop of water in a vast ocean of desert”
“It’s humid tonight. Too humid.”
“Did you happen to notice those two bite marks on her sandwich?”
“Why is everybody in this little town so … cute?”

And I have to say that if I’d known how hard it was going to be to have to choose among entries like these I never would have done this contest. I have enough trouble being mean to my characters.
But not all of these lines had the suspense vibe going, however brilliant they were for whatever genre they were in. And since the name of the contest is the Vaguely Sinister Contest those entries have to go, with my fond wishes and valuable consolation prizes, which is to say, my fond wishes.

“And then three buttons popped off my coat and I couldn’t. find. a. single. one!”
That is so weird, I know there were yellow moons in my Lucky Charms yesterday…
“It’s humid tonight. Too humid.”
“Did you happen to notice those two bite marks on her sandwich?”

These are the entries that gave me the sensation of “Oh My Huh?” that I was looking for. The bar was set high early on, though. The winner of the Vaguely Sinister Contest is “It’s humid tonight. Too humid” by Justin Gustainis!

So I guess that means I need an email address to send the prizes to now, and stuff.

Strange, I don’t remember getting a dog…
That’s funny, I thought I placed that book of cliches over there…
Did you see that giant flying rubber duck!?! I swear it was right there!
Well, the difference between us is that in five seconds I’ll be alive, and, unfortunately, so shall you, but in your case, no one would care.

I like that last one best. The first one is good too.

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