The Scent of an Ending Contest

2010-2011 Winners and Finalists

Second Place

the ending of

I Am the Verdict

  by    David Waldorf    is cold and fantasizing in Minnesota; who wouldn't be?

     I looked into his face for the first time, the face that little Carrie and my husband had seen before they died. Before he killed them. There was terror in his eyes as I leveled the pistol on his chest; I was glad for that, it made the moment more satisfying.

     "When I pull this trigger," I said, "the first bullet's for Greg." I clicked the safety off, and the tears started to come. "The second is for my baby girl. The rest are for what you made me that day."

     "You know," he said, "you're kind of cute."

     At his words I apprehended at last this universal truth: Love Conquers Hate.

     "I love you," I said, and threw myself into his arms.

Third Place

the ending of

The Erotic Pirate

  by    Caroline Zarlengo Sposto    housewifing and thinking silly in Memphis

     The boat rocked gently until its swollen sails were pink in the crimson sunset.

     "Call me mate," she whispered, clinging to him like a barnacle.

     Even with the limited depth perception caused by his eye patch, he knew that her bosom was as ample and convex as a baby's bottom pooching from her over-tight bodice. He ran his gleaming hook through her tousled hair.

     "Shiver me timbers," he crooned. "Shiver me spine."

     Twilight fell and her ecstatic shrieks became indistinguishable from the cries of gulls overhead as he raised his formidable Jolly Roger and began to hunt for buried treasure.


the ending of

Couch Potatoes

  by    Melony Aycupp    feasts on artichoke hearts while solving crossword puzzles in Chicago

     "You're just sitting here, I'm just sitting here, we're both just sitting here, relaxing, in our socks," she said, smiling and wiggling her toes in her woolen toe socks. "Two sofa spuds." She had never looked that beautiful, yet I knew that, although there are multiple ways of interpreting the same set of data, based on the data I had collected throughout the years, my wife was for all practical purposes a loathsome person. I decided then that it would be the last time we mashed our potatoes together. And it was.

2010-2011 Finalists Continued

Above "endings" Copyright © 2010, 2011  Melony Aycupp, Patricia Lawson, Caroline Zarlengo Sposto, David Waldorf


First Place

the ending of

The Year of Max

  by    Patricia Lawson   whose actual dog, Max, has a different DSM-IV diagnosis than fictional Max

     Max was in his corner munching kibble after lining up twelve tennis shoes across the kitchen floor.

     "He chews every damn piece five times and barks twice before picking up the next one. Plus, the shoe thing drives me nuts," Gene said.

     "But, he's amazing. It's always the same twelve tennies. Max transcends dogness." Alice gently took Gene's hand. "Oliver Sachs called, honey."

     During the year of Max, Alice had changed. She no longer fit things into little boxes and gave them labels like "obsessive, compulsive schnauzer" or "uptight asshole." Now she felt her soul stretching. It was a good feeling, that stretching.

     "I love you, Gene-boy. You count. But, Max counts, too," she said. "We all count."

     And The Greatest Counter of all, busy counting sparrows, smiled.