Towards the dragon's lair the fellowship marched - a noble human prince, a fair elf, a surly dwarf, and a disheveled copyright attorney who was frantically trying to find a way to differentiate this story from Lord of the Rings.
- Andrew Manoske, Foster City, CA

As she slowly drove up the long, winding driveway, Lady Alicia peeked out the window of her shiny blue Mercedes and spied Rodrigo, the new gardener, standing on a grassy mound with his long black hair flowing in the wind, his brown eyes piercing into her very soul, and his white shirt open to the waist, revealing his beautifully rippled muscular chest, and she thought to herself, "I must tell that lazy idiot to trim the hedges by the gate."
- Kathryn Minicozzi, Bronx, NY

The dame sauntered silently into Rocco's office, but she didn't need to speak; the blood-soaked gown hugging her ample curves said it all: "I am a shipping heiress whose second husband was just murdered by Albanian assassins trying to blackmail me for my rare opal collection," or maybe, "Do you know a good dry cleaner?"
- Tony Alfieri, Los Angeles, CA

There were earthquakes in this land, terrible tsunamis that swirled flooding torrents of water throughout, and constant near-blizzard conditions, and not for the first time, Horatio Jones wished he did not live inside a snow globe.
- Rich Buley-Neumar, Amityville, NY

Perry had come a long way in the nine years since being arrested by a park ranger in his '81 Firebird tenderly holding a spiral-cut, honey-glazed ham (with the bone removed).
- Jesse Kolman, Goodyear, AZ

On a lovely day during one of the finest Indian summers anyone could remember - a season the Germans call "old wives' summer," obviously never having had Native Americans to name things after, but plenty of old wives, and "Indian summer" in German would refer to the natives of India in any case, which would make even less sense than the current naming system - on such a day, however named, John Baxter fell in the creek and drowned.
- Deanna Stewart, Heidelberg, Germany

How best to pluck the exquisite Toothpick of Ramses from between a pair of acrimonious vipers before the demonic Guards of Nicobar returned should have held Indy's full attention, but in the back of his mind he still wondered why all the others who had agreed to take part in his wife's holiday scavenger hunt had been assigned to find stuff like a Phillips screwdriver or blue masking tape.
- Joe Wyatt, Amarillo, Texas

Darnell knew he was getting hung out to dry when the D.A. made him come clean by airing other people's dirty laundry; the plea deal was a new wrinkle and there were still issues to iron out, but he hoped it would all come out in the wash - otherwise he had folded like a cheap suit for nothing.
- Lynn Lamousin, Baton Rouge, LA

He slowly ran his fingers through her long black hair, which wasn't really black because she used Preference by L'Oreal to color it (because "she was worth it"); her carrot-colored roots were starting to show, and it reminded him of the time he'd covered his car's check engine light with black electrical tape, but a faint orange glow still shone around the edges.
- Lisa Mileusnich, Willoughby, OH

No man is an island, so they say, although the small crustaceans and the bird which sat impassively on Dirk Manhope's chest as he floated lazily in the pool would probably disagree.
- Glen Robins, Brighton, East Sussex, U.K.

The first time I saw her she took my breath away. Her long blonde hair flowed over her shoulders like cheese sauce on a bed of nachos making my stomach grumble as she walked across the room in a red knit dress that locked in curves better than a Ferrari at a Grand Prix.
- Harol Hoffman-Meisner, Greensboro, NC

Using her flint knife to gut the two amphibians, Kreega the Neanderthal woman created the first pair of open-toad sandals.
- Greg Homer, Placerville, CA

On a fine summer morning during the days of the Puritans, the prison door in the small New England town of B----n opened to release a convicted adulteress. The Scarlet Letter A embroidered on her dress, along with the Scarlet Letters B through J, were a veritable McGuffey's Reader of Scarlet Letters, one for each little tyke waiting for her at the gate.
Joseph Aspler, Kirkland, QC, Canada.

From my car I took thorough stock of the loose group of illegals standing around outside the Home Depot - plasterers, roofers, painters, all for hire... girls, too - and fingered the FEMA money in my pocket ruminatively. My house was a disaster, but so was my love life - what was my pleasure?
- Jeff Eller, New Orleans, LA

As Laurel made her way through the plaza, she couldn't help but notice the gorgeous co-anchor for the morning news show, out yet again signing autographs, smiling broadly, and infusing everyone around her with happiness, and Laurel wondered, just for a second mind you, how good it would feel to punch her right in her stupid little face.
- Nikkia Daniel, Marietta, GA