Some kind folk have asked if I'll post what I wrote for the writing conference's Silly Writing Contest. It took me a while to figure out how (I wound up just typing up the whole thing). I didn't want to take up space in Natterings, so I put it here.
Please bear in mind that this was a Silly Writing Contest...Shakespeare need not apply, and groans are expected.
(Note: This was the 20th Surrey International Writers Conference, and its theme was, naturally, the Roaring Twenties.
Mike Spade was a conference presenter and is an award-winning crime novelist. Miz Espenson was also a presenter, and is a very successful screenwriter on shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Once Upon a Time.)
Silly Writing Contest
Think Hammett’s Sam Spade was a tough customer? You got know he had nothin’ on SIWC’s resident detective, Mike Slade… Your job? Finish this story in 75 words or fewer. Too easy? How’s this, bucko? You’ll need to include the following words: gangster, twentieth, fringe, vamp, prohibition…and zozzled.
Mike Slade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting angle under a thin mouth. His eyebrows angled too, giving him the look of a pleasantly greying Satan.
“Yeah, sweetheart?” he said to his assistant, Eileen Sea.
She finished shutting the door behind her, leaned against it and said: “There’s a girl to see you, Boss. Her name’s Miz Espenson.”
“I guess so. You’ll want to talk to this one. She’s a knockout.”
He grinned wolfishly. “A knockout with a problem?”
“A big problem. It’s her – husbands, Boss. I think they might be…”
“…trying to whack her.”
Spade’s eyebrows peaked like Swiss chalets.
“Seems she married every gangster who bought her bootleg during Prohibition. But the twentieth…”
Eileen opened the door.
China blues smouldered through a mascara fringe. She was 100 proof temptation and Spade was zozzled.
“Call me Buffy,” she purred.
Three weeks later, nursing two fingers of Jack and three cracked ribs, Spade toasted the dame with the killer eyes.
“To Buffy…the slayer vamp.”