I hadn't fallen in love with Monique because of her intellectual level -- she referred to the 6th grade as her "senior" year -- or her habit of eating popcorn off the floor of theaters during movies -- okay, so maybe love is a bad archer with a low IQ -- but you couldn't carve a finer or shapelier figure out of a hedge.

"Hmm..." thought Abigail as she gazed languidly from the veranda past the bright white patio to the cerulean sea beyond, where dolphins played and seagulls sang, where splashing surf sounded like the tintinnabulation of a thousand tiny bells, where great gray whales bellowed and the sunlight sparkled off the myriad of sequins on the fly fish's bow ties, "Time to get my meds checked."

The pancake batter looked almost perfect, like the morning sun shining on the cream-colored bare shoulder of a gorgeous young blonde driving down a rural Nebraska highway with the sunroof open, except it had a few lumps.

Mike Hummer had been a private detective so long he could remember Preparation A, his hair reminded everyone of a rat who'd bitten into an electrical cord, but he could still run faster than greased owl snot when he was on a bad guy's trail, and they said his friskings were a lot like getting a vasectomy at Sears.

Courtesy of the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest. For more winners, visit their web site.