It hasn't been easy. Dear GOD it hasn't been easy. There were so many great entries that offered up so many great ideas and moods. I narrowed it down to ten, then added five more, then did the whole process again, and again...
Then I started writing the story itself, writing from the middle on, and once I got the feel of the story I went back over the entries, searching for a line that fit with what I was writing. And that's how I found it.
There can, of course, be only one winner. But so many of you came close. I'm going to include just a handful of these entries, just to give you an idea of the broad range I was getting. First of all, there where the funny entries, entries like Kallista's:
Tanith Low found herself running for all she was worth from a crazy pack of sugar-filled screaming, drooling zombie toddlers.
It was a dark and stormy night... actually it was a perfectly bright Tuesday morning, but being chased down the street by a giant squid makes it feel like a dark and stormy night; squid spittle feels a lot like rain, and it blocks most of the sunlight as it's running towards you.
Tanith was scared: not in the look-behind-you-feels-like-someone-is-watching-you-but-no one-is kind of way, but in the OHMIGOD-OHMIDGOD-I-AM-SO-SCARED-I-AM-GOING-TO-PEE-MY-PANTS-THEN-DIE kind of way.
Jaid's entry was a wonderful lesson in the surreal:
"I am going to kill you with this fork," said the man in the grey trenchcoat, standing before Tanith, holding a spoon.
And of course, there was Ann-Marie:
The man rounded the corner at a dead run and was immediately trampled by a herd of goats.
(Um, all of Ann-Marie's entries were about goats. I worry about her.)
Then there were the atmospheric entries, one of the best of which was Saoirse's:
The crescent moon rested its tired frame upon the peak of the South Sister that jutted, stark white, into the dwindling twilit sky.
I was sorely tempted by this one. Not only is it well written, it's also set in Oregon, and I had a girlfriend who came from Portland... But no! It was beautiful, but it just didn't fit with the story I was writing.
Then there were the people who tried to sneakily undo the damage I had done to poor old Tanith at the end of Mortal Coil... JoelsCrazy tried it with:
The Remnant left Tanith's body.
And Dane Stull attempted to reverse the damage with:
Tanith felt terrible, her head felt like it weighed a thousand pounds, she hated lying to Val and Skulduggery about being fully possessed by the Remnant but she had bigger problems, here in the United States, the end of the world... again.
Very sneaky, but I spotted it just in time...!
As I said, many great entries, which only reinforces my belief that you're all insanely talented, and deeply disturbed, people. The less said about Lauren's attempt to put Valkyrie is a very revealing Wonder Woman outfit the better... Desmond would have a heart attack!
(Hmmmm... might put that Wonder Woman outfit into the next book...)
(No! No, I can't! Inappropriate for younger readers! You are a NAUGHTY girl, Lauren!)
I wish I could go through them all, but I simply can't. And so it gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of the Ameriminion competition is THALIA, with:
Tanith wiped the blood off the carving knife and, ignoring the body of the man she had just stabbed to death, went back to carving her Jack-o-Lantern.
Simple, sinister, and there's already a corpse in the story. I like your style, Thalia. Now I have to go and finish the story.