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Lord Bodrum and the Dagger

"Not just the opening to the worst novel imaginable, but also a bad sentence in its own right."

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As Lord Bodrum drew his dying breath, he reflected on it all: on his miraculous beginnings and privileged childhood, on his undeserved fall from grace in the court jester scandal and subsequent rise to the throne of a vast kingdom upon proving his innocence, and, naturally, on the five-inch dagger with its hilt barely discernible in his waning peripheral vision, as well as the circumstances by which the handle, intricately carved with the family crest, came to be protruding from his chest, plunged there by the delicate hand of his one true love, a lily-white hand now stained with his blood owing to Lispeth's frenzy of female hysteria after learning a truth he had known for some time — that along with being his lover she was, in fact, his half-sister.

NOTE: Although this piece, my entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, was rejected for being too wordy — (never mind that the guidelines clearly say, "Sentences may be of any length…" grumble, grumble) — I believe it fulfills the contest's stated challenge of being "the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels" in a number of ways. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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