Arts & Culture » Books

Stolen Lines

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It seemed to have been taken right out of some stupid conversation my friends and I would have.
— Stolen Lines judge Eric C. Novack is author of local cult novel Killing Molly and publisher of Elitist Publications.

Nitpicking
A. Zayne Tawil, Livonia
Stolen Lines, Grand Prize

“Spiders don’t glisten.”

“Well, they would if they’d just crawled out of a woman’s you-know-what!”

Critique time in Matthew Pallamary’s Phantastic Fiction workshop is best described as the bastard child of forensic science and Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. So far this week, our group has scolded one writer for splashing the cuffs of his protagonist’s jeans with vomit (blue jeans don’t have cuffs), debated the jaw pressure necessary for human teeth to break skin with another, and encouraged a third to find an alternative to "splut" as the sound that brain tissue makes when it hits the ground. Even sci-fi writers can’t seek total immunity in their manufactured universes. Just because your antagonist is an undead alien robot monkey doesn’t mean that he can beat his chest whenever he likes — that’s behavior more appropriate for an undead alien robot gorilla. What can I say? It’s not easy being unreal.


Prostitutes
Laurie Smolenski, Detroit
Stolen Lines, Second Prize

I was walking to a bar in a rather seedy section of Alicante, Spain where there are a lot of prostitutes. I saw a young American girl whose friends were apparently going to pick her up at the bar. Probably unaccustomed to Spanish time (everyone is always late) she had come early and decided to wait outside. I overheard her being questioned by two policemen. They initially thought the very short skirted, out-of-place foreigner was lost, but began to wonder if in fact, the girl had business there. Her Spanish was shaky, and the poor thing had no concept of the situation or why the police were questioning her.

“I need to see your passport, please.”

“Passport? I don’t have it with me. It’s a Friday night.”

“Are you lost?”

“No. I’m just waiting on this corner.”

“Perhaps we could drop you off at the bus stop?”

“Thanks for offering, but someone’s coming to pick me up.”

“Uh, senorita, what are you doing here, exactly?”

“I’m waiting for my someone to pick me up. What’s the problem, officers?” (Officers exchange hesitant glances).

“Uh, you shouldn’t be here. Why don’t you go wait down the street?”

“What? No, I’m expecting someone at this corner, they know to come here for me.”

“Really, senorita, this is not a good place to wait.”

“Officer, I need to be here! My night depends on someone picking me up here.”

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