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Saturday, 24 September 2011

And The Winners Are ...


What a lovely problem to have, the entries in "This Sentence Starts The Story"  are simply too good!  We were heading for another tie. This could go on...but I have called it a dual win!
So without further ado I am delighted to announce the WINNERS of "This sentence starts the story"
**********
Contest: And the winners are!

Congratulations to

Jillian Brookes-Ward with her entry "On Mary'sHill
AND
Hannah Warren with her entry "The Accident
Both authors books will be featured on site , with buy links and a book review.
The new contest will open tomorrow with a brand new opening sentence.
My thanks to all those that entered.
Contest tied! “Vote Off”


Wow! We have a tie for first place in “This sentence Starts the Story” Contest.      
Both the authors have been contacted and because we can only have one winner they have kindly agreed to a vote off.
How will it work?
Okay, let’s keep it simple folks. I will open the vote again for a period of twenty four hours duration from now. Allowing for time differences this is the fairest way to do it.
Please vote in the sidebar to the right of this post. Not in the comments section. This is a completely new vote!
RULES.
Both Authors have agreed to abide by the BLIND vote system.
The stories will be identified only by The letter A and B and Story Title.
Both authors have agreed  NOT to use the open networking system to have supporters vote for their work.
They may of course utilize private email and private messaging systems. However this is not a popularity contest. The contest is for the writer that YOU voted as having the best story with the sentence provided to all contestants.
The vote will close in 24 hours.
Good luck to both these Authors.
Here are the tied entries …
Now go vote!
#A…ON MARY’S HILL.
Derek had been driving all night. He crested the hill and swerved violently to avoid hitting the woman caught in the glare of his headlights.
Reflexively he slammed on the brakes. They had little effect, only serving to lock up the wheels and cause the car to skid out of control on the icy blacktop. It turned full circle before coming to rest with its bonnet buried deep in a hawthorn hedge.
He sat rigid in his seat, his heaving chest the only part of him moving, the hiss of steam escaping from the radiator barely audible over the pounding of his heart in his ears, his hands gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles were bone white.
The windscreen had shattered, allowing the frigid night air to rush in through gaping hole to sting his face, and his breath puffed from his mouth in rapid white clouds. Myriad shards of glass littering the dashboard glittered in reflected moonlight. Some had fallen into his lap.
‘The woman!’ he thought. ‘I saw a woman. She was in the road, all in white. Did I hit her?’
He craned his neck to look over his shoulder. The lights on the car had gone out and when a cloud passed over the moon, he could see nothing in the pitch blackness outside. She could be lying in the road, injured…or dead. He had to get out and see and he had to get help, if not for her, then at least for himself, if the recovery vehicle would come this far out at this time of night.
He unfastened the buckle on his seatbelt and let it slide up into its holder. He then reached forward to open the car door – and found himself unable to move. The seat seemed to be holding onto him. There was a tightness around his abdomen, even though the belt had been released. He felt around in the dark, moving his hands over his chest and down over his stomach. His fingers probed over something rough hardness – wood? – an icy cold thinness – wire? – with sharp prongs – barbed wire? They came to rest in a warm, slippery wetness that as a surgeon, he was well familiar with. When his nostrils filled with a sickly hot, metallic smell, he understood.
The cry of a dog fox was common in those parts and often sounded like a man screaming in the night. The first carried on the still night air, caused an owl to turn its head with wide eyed curiosity. Subsequent cries went unheeded.
An hour after sunrise, a farmer in his tractor hauling beet for his cattle, came to a halt at the brow of the hill, looking down at the trail of rubber on the road, and the green BMW half way in the hedge and its front wheels in the ditch.
‘Oh my good Lor’,’ he muttered to himself. ‘Not another ‘un. Please God, not another.’ He pulled up behind Derek’s car, climbed down from the tractor and approached. Through the iced up window he could make out a shape inside. He tapped on the window. Receiving no response, he tugged on the door, finding it unlocked.
One look inside justified his dread and confirmed his fears. He pulled out his mobile phone and dialled.
‘Police please and…I’d say ambulance, but I think you would be wasting your time.’
He gave details of his location and said he would wait at the scene. When he had pocketed his phone, he peered into the car once more, shaking his head sadly.
‘You’re the third this year,’ he said.
With his head against the back of the seat and his arms limp by sides, Derek could have been asleep. In the rosy pink of the dawn, the deathly pallor of his skin was not so obvious, nor was the bluish purple tinge to his lips, but the light was certainly bright enough to reveal the length of fencepost piercing his abdomen and skewering him to his seat. Around him in a sticky puddle, his blood had pooled but not yet congealed and the slivers of glass in his lap sparkling like rubies.
‘Why won’t you leave ‘em alone, Mary Pickles? This is not your road. This poor bugger wasn’t to blame for your death. Let ‘im be the last. D’you ‘ere? The last!’
From nowhere in particular, but from everywhere at once, rose a wave of soft female giggling; taunting, mocking…insane.
#B…THE ACCIDENT.
Derek had been driving all night, he crested the hill and swerved violently to avoid hitting the woman caught in the glare of his headlights. The Ford Taunus coupé crashed against a lamppost and curled itself around it like the lid of a sardine tin. It let out a series of hiccup noises and the tingling sound of falling glass, its last death spasms. Some moments of deep, painful silence followed before the remains of man and car exploded in a spouting fountain of blazing scrap metal. The lampposts on either side of the street died out as if to pay tribute to the sight of the burning car.
Anna stood motionless in the middle of the road, absorbing the spectacle.
She knew she had about sixty seconds to get away from the scene, away from Derek and his fading superiority but her brain had temporarily locked itself in nightmare mode. It refused to give orders to her legs. Lights already flashed on in upstairs windows and two dogs were barking as if they had the scent of a burglar up their noses. Twenty seconds left. With Herculean power she tore the soles of her shoes free from the epoxy resin that paved the asphalt and moved up hill. She had just vanished over the top when the first front-door opened and a fat, pajamed man with wild grey hair stared at the burning wreckage, his face a grimace of horror. Short-sighted eyes searched the emergency numbers on his mobile phone.
It was 5 a.m. and the sun was about to announce another Saturday. The marching woman shivered in her thin trench coat. How could you plan such a thing and make it actually happen? But it was done. Derek wouldn’t be playing the first violin at the London Symphony Orchestra tonight. Not again. Never. But she would.

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