I submitted the following snippet to a writing contest sponsored by a purveyor of French wine in America several years ago. A New York fireman won. I think he entered a chili recipe. I’m considering submitting the opening sentence for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
The French country lifestyle inspires me to write fiction that I would share with America, fiction soft as a delicate meadow flower waving gently on a summer breeze along the side of a stone wall where a lovely young girl sits reading her Francisque-Anatole Belval-Delahaye and sheds tears not because Par le Fer et par la Torche inspires tears, which it does in sensitive young hearts, but because of Francisque-Anatole’s senseless death of influenza at Romans, Drone, so close to the end of the first war. She closes the book upon a flower (she doesn’t know the name of it) to save the page and plucks a grape from the dark red bunch upon her plate next to the Saint Agur and those silly American crackers she picked up on her trip to Dallas last year. Her friend takes her hand, nearly scrunching the cracker. She looks at him with dark eyes still moist from her Belval-Delahaye and he smiles. He offers her the wine he brought home from his trip to Chicago. She wonders at first why the bicyclette on the label must be red, then looks about and says, “But of course.”