1st Prize – Lovelyn of Nebulous Mooch
The winning entries are below, and you can check out all entries in comments of the original contest post.
I Sold My Soul by Lovelyn
Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I sold my soul to the devil to be able to cook. Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best exchange. First of all, I wasn’t specific enough. I wanted to be a world class chef with my own show on the Food Network. I don’t know if you’ve watched the Food Network lately, but I’m not on it.
Instead of magically knowing how to make perfect French sauces and rich desserts, I’m the casserole queen of my block. I can mix a can of soup, veggies and chicken in an oven-safe glass dish, stick it in the oven, and get perfect results every time. I don’t even like casseroles, but now I’m stuck bringing covered dishes to pot lucks and PTA meetings.
People eat my casseroles and ask me what the secret is for making them so perfectly every time. I simply shrug and wonder if I’ll still be making casseroles in Hell.
I obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I made the deal, but you know how the Devil is. Once you sign on the dotted line there’s no getting out. I wonder if Hell will be as hot as my kitchen is now that the oven is always on.
Untitled Entry by John “Cork” Corcoran
It was a dark and stormy night when I busted my sole while busting a move to “Soul Man” at a Seoul Hilton Karaoke night.
“What do you think of that as my lead sentence?” I asked Vincenta Faborgini, my hard working agent and confidante.
“In a word? ‘Overkill’,” she said, taking a drag of her Pall Mall.
“You can’t be a smoker,” I replied. “They won’t allow smokers in a winning Essay.”
“What if she comes to a bad end?”
“A dramatic twist? I like that.”
Vincenta, looking twistful, pulled out her Walther PPK and aimed at her heart.
“Stop! Don’t do that now!”
“You’re sweet. Because I’m too young to die, right?”
“You’re old as the hills, but we haven’t passed the minimum 150 words yet.”
Vincenta put the gun away. Then I thought: Maybe I spoke too soon? Add a little internal monologue and I’m home free.
“Just passed the minimum. Fire away. It will make a great ending to a brilliant essay on the little known curse of suicide due to excessive use of smoking-related plot twists,” I said.
“I decided to quit instead. Filthy habit.”
Okay, I thought, adding another internal monologue to my entry, I’ve written more than enough words, but frankly what is the point of this essay?
“There’s really no point to this essay,” Vincenta said, as if reading my mind.
“If you’d had the guts to shoot yourself, there would have been a point,” I grumped.
“Grumped? You want to go with that as a verb?”
“Funny sounding word, and it breaks up the he said-she said pattern,” I said.
Then she explained her complaint. “No, I mean the prize. Granted they’re great shoes and all, but what am I supposed to do with ten percent of your footwear?”
What a buzzkill, I thought, writing my pithiest internal monologue yet.
“I’m in it for the artistic satisfaction and the joy of victory,” I added. “If I win, you can have one of the shoes. That’s fifty percent of my earnings.”
“I’ll do anything for a client who is that sincere,” she said, pulling out her Walther PPK again and aiming it at her chest.
“Wait!” I said. “Aim for your head. Remember what they say about Hollywood sincerity, ‘You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood and stuff it in a flea’s navel and still have room left over for three caraway seeds and an agent’s heart.’ You’d probably miss your heart”
“Why you thoughtless jerk,” she said aiming the gun at me.
Then she shot me dead, providing an even more shocking ending and a better essay topic: Handguns in the mitts of wackaloon Hollywood agents.
Rock and (No) Soul by K A B L O O E Y
Does anyone remember when rock concerts were anything goes, drinking, smoking whatever, dance on your seat, rush the stage, lighters in the air, crazy? I do. I hit that sweet spot age-wise: too young to have seen the Hell’s Angels stomp Meredith Hunter at Altamont, and too old to spend a whole show trolling Facebook, like this woman sitting next to me did at a show the other night. Her giant-ass phone spilled so much light, she lit up like the boy in Poltergeist.
It was distracting to me, but I wasn’t as annoyed as her date, who’d apparently paid scalper’s rates to bring her there to not watch the show. And now, since it was after 9 o’clock, he couldn’t even get drunk, because they’d stopped selling booze.
(Parenthetical digressive rant: At least they sold it for a brief window of time.The show I saw before this was completely dry and… and… had a smoothie truck. SMOOTHIES ARE NOT ROCK AND ROLL. ROCKERS CHOKE ON THEIR OWN VOMIT, NOT UNDER-BLENDED CHUNKS OF STRAWBERRY.)
Anyway, that Facebook girl missed the whole show and spoiled it for her date. I’d have felt sorry for him if he hadn’t been sporting the double-douchiest facial hair imaginable: mutton chops and a soul patch.