> Gleaned from the Internet--
> True Facts publishes excerpts from unsolicited
> manuscripts sent to a prominent editor of serious
> fiction who wishes, understandably, to remain anonymous.
> These "Lines from the Slushpile" are the
> pick of the eighties.
> "Then it's hopest," Dad said. "You
> mean hopless," my mother said. "And it's
> not hopless!"
> The light that was Frannie went out.
> Slicing the steak in Rena's cozy kitchen, I
> considered taking another stab at marriage.
> His teacher asked, "Peter, was you annoying
> His organ began to beat so hard he thought
> it would pop out of his chest.
> When Sue and Bob came home, they found their
> cook in the kitchen, shot to death. "That does
> it!" Bob said, exasperated. "We're moving!"
> Then, when man's hatred for his brother had
> ripened like a swollen fruit, the fighting started
> and like a bastard child we named it the Civil War.
> Thoughts flew like spaghetti in my brain.
> The anguish of being selected a human sacrifice,
> tied to the altar and about to go to glory, was
> enough to send the young twenty-year-old warrior's
> blood pressure sky-high.
> Our days were filled with parties, tennis,
> and golf. But I wanted more. I needed dirty hands
> and faces to fill my life.
> "You made Phi Beta Kappa in college, so
> there is no need for me to tell you the the debauching
> of the coterie is an exemplar for every criminally
> minded youngster in America--and what makes the
> cotumacious coterie so bold is too much menilty."
> "It's not easy to eek out a living,"
> said Yvonne.
> "Spider Jackson?" I scoffed. "Spider
> Jackson? He wouldn't hurt a fly!"
> She was furious with her bank teller for eating
> up her lunch hour.
> Without moving, she reached across and kissed
> "Well," she said suavely, "viola
> for now."
> The sudden expulsion of air caused the pouches
> of skin he used for cheeks to flutter like sails
> before a stiff wind.
> Dora was pleased as punch to be chosen chairman
> of the refreshments committee.
> My mind flew back in time to fathom the cause
> and effect of what I now had to face in grim retrospect.
> Mrs. Rogers said, "I'm sorry I lost my
> temper, but I was grumpy, and when I'm grumpy I
> get grouchy."
> Ken's body declared war, and since he failed
> to retreat until the wee hours, it painfully assaulted
> him in an all-out morning blitzkrieg, taking no
> The editor sighed. Look at all those Type O's.
> The four-story ranch house, flanked by cypress
> columns, looked majestically down on Route 66.
> It was like an old Alan Ladd movie I saw with
> Veronica Lake.
> Leonard had long ago given up dreams of becoming
> another Ernie Pyle, the famous correspondent, Pulitzer
> prize winner, or great playwright.
> "I'm glad I'm not out on a night like
> this," Sarah said. "We need the rain,
> Sarah," Daniel rebuked her. He picked up the
> newspaper and was soon absorbed in its pages.
> Josh was at his sexual peek.
> Kathy liked going to the supermarket. That
> was where she bumped into all her neighbors.
> "An omelet for mademoiselle," Jimmy
> pronounced, "and an 'amburger pour moi."
> I think that was when I fell in love with him.
> "Why am I like this? What am I like this?
> I'll tell you why I'm like this! Because those people
> at the party are all brittle, shallow people and
> I cannot see their souls!"
> "Thank you, Robere--you and your gendarmes
> played a crucial role in the Gaullic drama of justice."
> I knew I had a bestseller in me--all I had
> to do was plumb my depths and out it would come,
> like some literary bowel movement.
> The medical examiner zipped his bag closed
> officiously. It looked to him like an open and shut
> "Os swoh skcirt?" Jack asked when
> I arrived at the office. "I'm fine, Jack,"
> I said. "But you know I hate it when you talk
> With her splendid blond mane and her ripe figure,
> Sally splendidly embodied the splendor of our American
> "Just a few questions," the lieutenant
> said. "My ass," said the redhead. The
> lieutenant didn't like profanity but he had to admire
> the woman's spirited quality. It was easy to see
> how she had risen so fast in the business world.
> "I'd like to know what kind of jobs are
> open to me," Wes told the recruiter, "with
> the Army and the other services, and anything else
> I need to know to make up my mind which branch would
> be best for me." "Wow, you sure know what
> you want!" Sergeant Lang said. "I sure
> wish the other fellows coming in here were as sharp
> as you!"
> The garage was littered with greasy wrenches
> and screwdrivers.
> Dan wasn't much, Clara admitted, but at least
> he was an up-and-coming lawyer or businessman.
> Carlotta's eyes dropped to the handkerchief
> in her hands.
> "You know me," Sammy said. "I
> never like to lay a gilt trip on anyone."
> There was an "evil hint in the air,"
> as a professional writer might put it.
> Clues don't kill people, the inspector thought.
> People kill people.
> Dale was not one to mince words and came directly
> to the point. "Hi," he said.
> George Cohan soundlessly placed his lips to
> hers and excused himself to go and fix them another