That's right -- I've settled on TWO winners because I seriously couldn't decide between the two. So, without further ado:
WINNER #1: AMANDA THE ASPIRING
Despite the fact that "alright" is not a word (not that that's a pet peeve or anything), this entry made me laugh out loud. The whole "Isn't is gumshoe?" is incredibly dry and funny. The whole thing is tightly written. (All of Amanda's entries were tightly written, but this one's my favorite). Well done!
“Alright, shoehorn, come look at this.”
“Isn’t it gumshoe? I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be gumshoe.”
The junior detective sidled up to the spot on the wall. “It’s a smudge. So what?”
The senior detective raised an eyebrow. “Not just any smudge. Look closer.”
The junior detective leaned nearer.
“What do you smell?”
“Is that chocolate?”
“Precisely. And what’s more? A chocolate fingerprint.”
The junior detective took out his notebook and wrote something. “So this is some real important evidence, right?”
“Shoehorn--consider our culprit already caught.” The senior detective smiled and went to the car.
Winner #2: Renée the Editor
The original 100 words, with the humorous 3 choices at the end, stand alone as a winning entry. But add the 3 additional stories, one for each of the 3 choices, and you've got an epic win. This is beyond clever and I adore it. Well done!
You are standing in the footwear aisle. Your three-year-old son, Charles, sits in the basket, sipping his chocolate milk. You bend over to try on a pair of sneakers, a shoehorn in hand.
Charles can no longer see you. Crying, he throws his milk down, spilling it everywhere--but mostly on you. Your hair and prospective sneakers soaked in the chocolate mess, you groan. A young employee sidles up to you.
"Ma'am? I'm sorry, but you're going to have to pay for those."
A) Throttle her.
B) Politely decline, using customer-knows-best policy.
C) Pay, but put Charles up for adoption.
A) "No!" you scream. Grasping the employee's neck, you violently shake her. When she pushes you off, you stab at her with the chocolatey shoehorn. She jumps back and calls for help. Charles continues to cry. Security sidles up and grabs you, taking you to their office, and the police are summoned.
Charles goes home with your concerned-looking husband. You spend a night in jail, where you're, thankfully, allowed to take a shower before changing into a jumpsuit. Your case is seen immediately by a judge, and you plead innocent, claiming that you "had a bad day." You are let off with a warning.
B) You sigh. "Miss, I don't think you understand. This isn't my fault." Chocolate milk drips from your hair.
She gulps. "B-be that as it may, it was your child who ruined the shoes, so--"
"Then have him pay for it." You gesture to Charles with the shoehorn.
She stutters some more, and you interrupt her again.
"Customer's always right--I'm not paying for them."
"I'm getting my manager."
You smirk, sidling towards the nearest exit. "You do that." She goes off in a huff. As soon as her back is turned, you run out of the store with Charles.
C) The shoehorn drops from your fingers with a clack as you fumble with your wallet. You hand the employee the money, too ashamed to face the registers, and sidle towards the door. Charles cries, wanting his milk, you know.
You return home, ignoring your husband's exclamations at your downtrodden state, and rush to the bathroom to clean the chocolate off of Charles. You dress him in new clothes, and take him to the office. Placing him in front of the webcam, you snap a quick photo and put up a listing on Craigslist. Three-year-old to patient home, $2.
Congratulations to both of you! You've each won a first chapter line-edit of your completed novel. Please send the chapter as a .doc attachment via email to facelesswords(at)gmail.com.