An Uncapped Pen

April 30, 2008

Sylvia’s Sentence — A contest

Author Tim Hallinan posted a contest on his blog recently. The challenge is to use the following sentence as the first line of a novel.

I once drank a beer in a dirt pit which had previously been Cary Grant’s swimming pool.

The description is limited to two paragraphs.  The contest ends on 12 May, and the top four entrants win an autographed copy of Tim’s new book, The Fourth Watcher.

Here’s my entry.

“I once drank a beer in a dirt pit which had previously been Cary Grant’s swimming pool. After the coroner drives off and the unis take down the tape, they don’t care so much with the scene. Don’t look at me like that. I got, what, 18 almost 19 years in. What are they gonna do, fire me? Think they can just pull some guy off the street, do what I do? I tell ya, it ain’t easy. It ain’t rocket surgery, ya know. But ya gotta know what you’re doing, see? Like that night. They been at it almost two full days, even through the night – with the lights and all. But I waited. And when the tape come down, I got in there. Right in the pit where they found her, I did. And when they was gone, I cracked a beer. So sue me. I’d tell you about it, but I got a meetin’.”

Joey Fisher has always wanted to be a cop. He wants the uniform, the gun, the badge. The whole package. Every year he takes the test and waits three days for the letter to come. Maybe next time, the sergeant tells him. Tells him the same thing every year. “Joey-the-Fish” cleans up the scene after the investigators go home. When he’s not working, you can find him at a meeting in the basement of St. Joseph’s. Either there, or maybe Ski’s – down at the end of the bar, close to the TV.



  1. I love it!

    Comment by lisakenney — May 1, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Lisa. Can’t wait to read yours. Maybe you can find a way to have Aaron say the line to Tracy? Hint, hint….

    Comment by cindylv — May 1, 2008 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

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