2006 Bulwer-Lytton Winner
Author: Betrue
Rating: All Ages
Warnings: Only for extreme lack of succinct writing.


Under the roaring sun, in the middle of the Western Kansas delegation to North Dakota's Eastern Southern Blueberry Conference, shaded by a candy-striped awning that fluttered in the April wind like an umbrella that knew it had been unfurled too late to save anyone from a downpour, sat a group of two girls (or rather, young ladies, as they are in the habit of demanding to be called), four boys, three men and three women (one man and one woman of whom were African-American, but whom we shouldn't assume are a couple, even though they are, two of whom are red-headed women, one of whom is a tall blond man, and one of whom is a graying storekeeper), and one more strange bald boy (who would also have been a red-head if he had hair, which he didn't, though it doesn't matter why), sat in various positions of attentiveness and disinterest on a quilt as tattered as the sleeves of the shirts from which it has been hand-stitched by one of the red-headed women during a long winter storm only six years earlier, and attempted not to appear as if some of them were eyeing the Jelloed ® ™ and Cool Whipped ® desserts of other people (in other groups, who had won their own regional championships and been sent on to the quarterfinals of the First National Northern Blueberry Dessert Jim-Jamboree) that were deflating in the sun like day-old cow pies instead of the fluffy berry kind, in preparation for the second round of competitions, scheduled to be held later that evening if the electricity problem could be sorted out before all the young folk got bored and started flirting as openly as two of the five young men in this group has been doing, if one were to go by the candy-red, pleasure-soaked apple-cheeks of the dark-haired boy and the smirkily smug accomplishment on the face of the bald boy who had pressed far too close to him in the opinion of the beautiful and popular, raven-haired heroine of our story, whom I forgot to mention earlier.