Sunday, February 01, 2009

High Noon: Contest Winners

High Noon. Or thereabouts. The stage arrives from Abita Springs, the horses lathered from a hard run. Josh Gramlich is driving; Arkansas Slim rides shotgun. They pull to a halt in front of the Lana Branch Saloon and Slim grabs the iron strongbox and leaps down to the street, his boots kicking up puffs of dust. A crowd begins to gather.

Hitching his gun belt higher, Slim carries the strongbox into the saloon and plunks it down on the bar with a loud jingle. Everyone follows, and a murmur builds among the people as the handsome and slender Slim first wets his whistle from a cold, foaming glass of beer.

“All right, pawdners,” Slim intones, then belches before continuing. “The winners of the Strange Worlds Contest are right chere in this box. But I’m afraid I don’t have the key. Only one lady carries the key to this here padlock. And to my heart."

“And who would that be, Handsome Slim?” a bell-sweet voice calls out from the stairs.

Slim breaks into his patented killer smile and doffs his hat to execute a bow before the Lovely Lana, the proprietress of the Lana Branch and the most beauteous woman in the territories.

“Why you, Lovely Lana,” Slim says. “Bring yoreself on down here and open up this box.”

The Lovely Lana sashays down the stairs in her scarlet saloon gal dress and drifts up to Slim where he stands by the bar. She reaches into the glory of her hair and draws out a key, which just happens to fit the lock of the strongbox. She opens it, pushes up the lid, then steps back a bit as Slim reaches in and pulls out: some gold coins, which he tosses aside like so much trash, some black diamonds, which he tosses aside, some bundles of greenbacks, which he tosses aside.

“Tarnation,” he says. “I know they’se here somewhere.”

He pulls out some rubies, then a few emeralds, and throws ‘em aside. But finally, nestled beneath a pile of silver ingots, he finds the two slips of paper he is looking for. These he draws slowly out as if they are worth a whole bunch more than their weight in platinum.

He looks at the gathered throng, all 43 of them. “Thanks to everyone who entered the Strange Worlds Contest,” he says. “It’s time to announce the winners. I appreciate everyone’s patience, so without further ado, the winners are:
Donnetta Lee.
Avery DeBow.

If Donnetta and Avery will send me their addresses at kainja at hotmail dot com, I’ll get yore books ready for the Pony Express to deliver right away.

Yippe ki yay.”


the walking man said...

Dang stage was early, me an' the boys was late to the gulch. I guess them miners get theys pay this time.

Some times the good guys have to win. Way to go Charles and Lana for the contest and Donnetta and Avery for beating me to the gulch.

G. B. Miller said...

Even though my name wasn't chosen, that was a fabulous way to build up to announcing the winning names.

Reminded me of a good comedy sketch.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Solid post, the writing I'm sure soothing those who didn't win like a slow, smooth shot of a favorite libation easing down the back of parched throats everywhere ...


laughingwolf said...

grats donnetta and av! :D

that there tale were a good'un, hombre... got many more, methinks, or me name ain't Heavy Hoss! ;) lol

btw - i'd draw... but all outta crayons! :O

writtenwyrdd said...

Congrats to the winners!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that western yarn. It didn't end the way I hoped it would, but it was a good tale.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, just remember, Arkansas Slim could probably be bribed.

Georgie B., glad you enjoyed.

Don, you gotta keep the bloggers calm. You never know how this wild bunch might react.

Laughingwolf, I was watching Bonanza yesterday. Can you tell...Hoss.

Writtenwyrd, yep.

Jack, I'm a rootin' tootin' son of a gun.

Tyhitia Green said...

Different, but fun. :-)Congratulations to the winners! :-)

Virginia Lady said...

Awesome way to announce! I loved it, even if I didn't win. :-)

Heff said...

Well, SheeeitFire !!

Oh well, I got enough readin' in fer this day justah readin' this here post. I guess I'll mosey on, now....

Jo said...

Congratulations to the winners. For a little tiny, petite lady, Donnetta does indeed have a vivid imagination. Good choice!

Barrie said...

Congrats to the winners. Cute post.

Steve Malley said...

That was a *very* welcome laugh this morning. Thanks!

AvDB said...

Yee Haw and Jumpin' Jehosophat! I haint won a durn drawin' in all my days. Nary a one.

Thanks, man. I'm proud to add more Gramlich to my collection.

j said...

The most brilliant presentation of an award that I have EVER seen in the Blogosphere. And congrats to the winners!


*tips hat and mosies back to her blog*

j said...

*Ahem* tips WHITE hat - cause Oim a good gull ay am!

Charles Gramlich said...

Demon Hunter, I'm nothing if not different.

Virginia Lady, I kinda had fun with it.

Heff, once in graduate school, in the first year, I was talking to a bunch of "Yankee" graduate students and used the phrase "Shit Fire." You'd a thunk they were gonna choke to death laughing. Of course, I just killed 'em and moved on. Good to see someone else knows a colorful phrase when they hear it.

Jo, yes she does.

Barrie, thanks, glad you enjoyed. I'm about half way through "I So Don't Do Mysteries." Good stuff.

Steve Malley, laugh? It was all true matey. Oh wait, now I've slipped into pirate mode. Arghhh.

Avery DeBow, well I guess fate was a jest awaiting the right time.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, glad you enjoyed.

Danette Haworth said...

Just wanted to say I love your western pics!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am getting used to you wearing that getup. And I want for my hubby.

David Cranmer said...

Where's the Lana Branch Saloon located?

Lana Gramlich said...

Why Arkansas Slim, I DO declare your kindness is givin' me the vapors!
(*ROFL* You're too sweet, baby.)

Lana Gramlich said...

pattinase; Isn't that cool? Charles won't believe me when I tell him he looks cool as hell in his "Arkansas Slim" garb.
I need to get him some spurs next, I think.

steve on the slow train said...

Aw, shucks. I'd be jumpin' up and down like a hen on a hot griddle if I'd have won. Donnetta and Avery, you've got yerselves a fine prize.

Travis Cody said...

Now that's one of the best ways I've seen to announce contest winners!

Scott said...


I like the way you set that up...very nice bit of creative writing.

SQT said...

Congrats to Avery and Donetta.

Erik Donald France said...

Nice job, man. All in a good day's work after High Noon ;->

Vesper said...

:-) :-) :-)

Nice way to console me for being one of the 41 who didn't win!

:-) :-) :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Danette, they were kind of fun to do.

Pattinase, Well, Lana bought me the coat and the holster. I bought myself the hat and the gun. We actually got the coat at Hot Topics.

David Cranmer, just a little place I like to call Paradise.

Lana, lol. You reminde of that Colonel Angus skit. The spurs sound kinda interesting.

Steve, I hope they enjoy it.

Travis, there's always a story to tell.

Scott, thankee. Was fun.

SQT, and I thank you on their behalf.

Erik, High noon is a great title. Too bad it's already famous.

Vesper, If I get any more copies of the book I'll run another contest at some point.

laughingwolf said...

gotcha, pard ;)

BernardL said...

Neat winner notification, Slim. :)

AvDB said...

"Shit fire?" I've never heard that one. Then again, I grew up on the Mason-Dixon line (too Yankee to be Southern and too Southern to be Yankee). I guess I've missed a lot.

Shauna Roberts said...

Avery, that's where I was born too. Never fit in anywhere but New Orleans, which sorta exists out of the usual plane of existence.

Great story to announce the winners, Charles. I loved seeing your whole family in it.

Congrats to the book winners.

Miladysa said...


Barbara Martin said...

Brilliant way to announce winners, and, Charles, I see what you mean about the 'Lana Branch'.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, ;)

Bernardl, It's nice to be properly addressed.

Avery, being a delicate young lady and all, maybe no one's cursed in front of you. It could be mostly an Arkansas thing.

Shauna, thankee. Was fun.

Miladysa, agreed.

Barbara, synchronicity!