Every year, San Jose State University holds the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which challenges writers to come up with the worst opening sentence to a story. The contest is held in honor of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his novel Paul Clifford with the phase, “It was a dark and stormy night…”, though most people might recognize the phrase more immediately from classic “Peanuts” cartoons, in which aspiring novelist Snoopy opens many of his failed novels with that phrase.
This year’s winner I present to you, with my own dedication to Cape Cod Wind Farm enthusiasts, both pro and con:
Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin’ off Nantucket Sound from the nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May,” a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin’ and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.
By David McKenzie of Federal Way, WA.
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