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Purple Prose as written by Phoebe Belsley:
The wound was fatal and he knew it. Through a daze of pain he watched his wife approach, her beautiful face ashen.
"It's nothing," he gasped, snapping off the shaft of an arrow embedded in his chest. "A scratch."
"You were shot five times!" She clasped his hand in hers, lifting it to her lips. "I shall never forgive Aiden for suggesting we ride through the forest at night, never!"
A spasm of agony gripped him, and he writhed on the ground for a moment. "Dearest," he panted, "my darling, I think perhaps you are right..I am hurt. Very badly." Hot coppery blood dribbled from between his lips, and she blanched at the sight. He saw her fear in her eyes, swimming in tears. "There is so much I must tell you. The documents that prove my right to Everow Castle...the map to my hidden vault full of enough gold to keep you in comfort the rest of your life..."
"Oh, Charles!" Madeline gave a tiny hiccup. "Never mind all that - you can't die! I cannot live without you!"
"You must, my love," he croaked. "Don't let the children forget me!" She cried his name again, as if from a great distance, and then everything went black.
Charles woke to find himself lying on a road paved in shining gold. Looking around in amazement, he got to his feet. It was a beautiful place, with fields of flowers and trees bearing every sort of fruit. It was paradise, he realized. A thought came to him, and he grabbed at his chest, searching for the arrows that had pierced him in five places. Not a trace remained.
"Welcome!" called a pleasant voice. He looked up to see a large lustrous gate. Approaching from the other side was a man in flowing white robes, who pulled open the gate and waved him through.
"St. Peter?" he asked, cautiously. Had he made it to Heaven? Had all those donations to the local cathedral paid off?
The man rolled his eyes. "St. Percy. Why must everyone think I'm Peter?"
"Then...this is not Heaven?"
St. Percy laughed. "Oh, goodness, didn't you know?" He pointed up, and Charles read the large banner hanging above the gate: The Great Romance Novel Hereafter (Where Characters Who Have Served Their Purposes Are Conveniently Out Of The Way, read the smaller type beneath it).
"Now, let's see," St. Percy said, scanning a large book he had been carrying under one arm. "Ah, yes; another dead first husband...Charles de Everow? You're all in order. Come right in."
"Dead first husband?" Charles asked.
"Of course. Have to die to make way for your wife's true love."
"What?" he protested. "I was her true love!"
The man clucked his tongue and sighed. "Dear me, I always forget there are a few of you who aren't vile to the bone. Let me explain." He opened the book again. "It's all right here: your wife, Madeline de Everow marries Aiden, earl of Montmarche."
"Aiden!" Charles exclaimed. "My best friend!"
Percy smiled sympathetically. "Yes, it often happens that way. Best friend, or worst enemy. Anyway, he marries Madeline in six months."
"Only six!" Charles shouted in outrage. "Not even a full year of mourning? She said she couldn't live without me!"
"Oh, but she has to marry him, she's pregnant with his son."
"Of course," replied Percy, unperturbed. "Be glad it's not twin sons born under a magical sign."
Charles put one hand to his brow in disbelief. His wife and his best friend, less than a year after his death? "What about my children?"
"Hm..." Percy read some more, then looked up with a reassuring smile. "You'll be glad to know they come to love and accept Aiden as their new father."
Charles reeled. His children, too? "Now hang on just a minute: are you saying I had to die - very
painfully, I might add - so Aiden could marry my wife and raise my
"Why? What was wrong with me? I was a good father. I was a good husband. Why couldn't I have stayed on?"
Percy sighed. "You were so ordinary. Your name should have tipped you off; heroes are very rarely named Charles. Had you been named Griffin or Kendrick, or even had a dangerous nickname like The Black Wolf of Ravenswold, you might have had a chance."
"Charles is a perfectly good name," he insisted.
Percy shrugged. "I daresay. But, the fact remains that usually it's the villain, or sometimes the Other Man, who is named Charles. But I digress."
Charles shook his head. "But I loved my wife, and she loved me. Why wasn't that good enough?"
Percy heaved another pained sigh. "But you never once rescued her from murderous bandits. She never had to offer her body to a villain to save you. You had no dead vicious bitch of a first wife haunting your castle and leaving you bitter against all women."
"Women want that?"
"Well, it has to be exciting in SOME way. Your marriage to Madeline was entirely, utterly, boringly normal!"
"I rather liked it," said Charles sadly.
"Unfortunately, your entire existence was just a plot device. The author didn't want Madeline to be a virgin, and of course Aiden needed some internal conflict, so marrying his best friend's widow..."
"But why Aiden?"
"You really are new at this, aren't you?" Percy waved his hand at a nearby bench. "Shall we sit? This may take a little while." They sat. "The obvious reason is that Aiden has four brothers, which works out really well for sequels; you, sadly, were an only child. Also, it was Aiden's idea to go riding, therefore, he will be suspected of your murder, even though it was really your cousin William."
"He wants to claim the treasure you brought back from the Crusades."
"Right," Charles muttered. "I never did get around to telling Madeline where I hid it."
Percy beamed. "You're getting it. Naturally, she'll run out of money soon, and William will try to force himself on her - Aiden steps in and saves her," he hastened to assure Charles, who started in alarm. "That will make her trust Aiden, confide in him, and be the only one who thinks him innocent -probably innocent, she may have a few doubts later if the plot seems to be lagging. Then, when they're locked in the dungeons together on William's orders, their passions will get the better of them."
"In a dungeon?" said Charles incredulously. Percy flipped a hand.
"Some authors think it wildly exciting to make the characters have sex in strange places. It's so hard to find original love scenes."
"Oh," said Charles, dazed. "Go on."
"William will sentence them to death, but Madeline will engineer a desperate escape plan, saving Aiden and killing several of William's men."
"My dainty Madeline, kill a man?"
Percy laughed. "Oh yes, she's quite a different woman with Aiden. You'd never recognize her. For instance, she's multiply orgasmic now, likes it doggy style, and gives unbelievable blow jobs. Aiden feels a bit guilty at first, but seeing as you're dead, after all." He shrugged and got to his feet.
"Wait a minute! I was a good lover! She had orgasms with me!"
"You were nothing compared to Aiden. Those two will scorch the sheets, and the walls and chairs and saddles, if you know what I mean. As I said, you'll get used to it. Shall I introduce you around?"
Charles stood up. "Who else is here?"
Percy chuckled. "Oh, we're booked almost to capacity. Plenty of dead first husbands, generally a dull, boring bunch, all very bad in bed. Dead first wives, too, of course, although they're mostly frightful bitches. There are some dead first wives who seem like lovely people, but then you get to know them and find out they're bipolar or seriously codependent. And dead parents. We have thousands of dead parents." He rolled his eyes. "We had to start a new colony in Florida for all the dead parents. Madeline's parents are already here. And Aiden's father of course - he had to inherit his title to be a hero, didn't he? Well, right this way." He started down the path leading into lush green hills. Charles followed.
"And all that, about Aiden and Madeline...it's guaranteed? Even the part about the blow jobs? Because she never once mentioned it!"
Percy laughed, and slung an arm around Charles's shoulders. "Oh yes, I would say the blow jobs are definitely guaranteed. Every heroine gives good head these days, even the virgins. As for the rest, well, it's in the first draft, but there's always the chance the editor will change it all around."
A tribute to Amanda Quick, Stephanie Laurens and Sabrina Jeffries as written by Helen Derbyshire:
A Motive for Marriage
The carriage door slammed shut. She raised her head to look at him and gasped as she saw the intense fire burning in his eyes.
"So you won't marry me?" he growled, his eyes travelling the length of her body as she sat before him. "Perhaps I should show you what you'll be missing".
"Well, if we're caught, or I get with child, I'll be ruined - completely ostracised from society, without a hope of redemption for the rest of my life, my only options to commit suicide or marry you after all. However, my curiosity is peaked, so, by all means.." she replied.
He reached out to caress her cheek, then leaned forward to kiss her. She closed her eyes in expectation, and felt the sharp pain as his knees knocked painfully against hers. He cursed eloquently, grasped her arms and pulled her across the carriage to sit beside him.
Their lips met in a searing kiss. His arms tightened around her as he pushed her against the seat. She gasped again, and arched her back as the decorative carving dug painfully into her vertebrae. "Ouch!" she exclaimed, as this time the wood caught her neck.
He swore again and lifted her onto his lap, shifting her rapidly into a more comfortable position as he felt his left thigh muscle spasm under her weight.
"Tristan, please.?" she pleaded, her words barely a whisper against his lips. He immediately reached behind her and undid the buttons fastening her bodice. He pealed her dress down to her waist, leaving only the translucent material of her chemise protecting her skin from his touch. He pulled at the laces of the chemise. Nothing happened. He tugged them again, but the knot only grew tighter.
"Oh, here, allow me," Ariadne sighed impatiently, her nimble fingers working at the knot.
After several minutes she finally succeeded in her task. He ceased to fidget and, perilously close to losing his self control, reached for her once more. He drew the flimsy and, in his opinion, completely pointless chemise down to join her bodice and pressed her breasts against his chest. She cried out as his cravat pin penetrated her shoulder, drawing several ruby droplets of blood. "Darling, I'm so sorry," he mumbled, kissing the wound only to gag on the salty taste of the blood as he divested himself of the offending cravat.
She sat up and stopped his frantic movements, taking the cravat from him and tossing it onto the floor of the carriage. She bent to kiss his throat, her hands undoing the buttons of his waistcoat. His shirt followed the other items to the floor. He groaned with pure need as her hands roamed freely over his chest, then groaned again when his elbow hit the wall as the carriage went over a rut in the road.
Once the throbbing in his arm had reduced to a dull ache, he reached down and hitched her skirt and petticoats up past her hips, exposing her to him. Her skirts were voluminous, bunching up under his nose, the lace a delicate torment. He breathed in sharply as he felt a familiar sensation building. The next moment, he sneezed, then sneezed again. He couldn't seem to stop. The sneezes came with such force that each time he succumbed, his head snapped back and hit the hard wooden wall behind him.
Ariadne clutched at him in alarm. He looked at her with streaming eyes, waiting for the fit to subside. When he could concentrate again, he grabbed hold of her dress, petticoats and chemise, tugged them roughly over her hips and threw them to the floor. His eyes were smouldering, his breathing ragged, his voice husky, the after effects of his sneezing fit. "God, you are beautiful" he croaked.
His arms encircled her, trapped her in his embrace: one arm was wound tightly around her waist, the other gently stroking the tops of her thighs, slowly parting them. His lips found hers, drawing her once more under his spell, as his hand found the dark triangle at the apex of her thighs. Her sharp intake of breath was followed by cursing more eloquent than he had ever managed. He looked down to find his signet ring caught fast in her curls. He was momentarily deafened by her scream, his eardrum on the point of rupture, as he ripped it free.
"Alright," he said, "no more foreplay. My legendary self-control has finally snapped. I can't wait any longer!" He picked her up, and sat her on the seat opposite. He pulled his boots off, each one hitting the floor of the carriage with a resounding thump.
"Everything alright in there Lord Maldemer?" came the worried shout of his coachman.
"Everything is just fine," he replied with gritted teeth, "Kindly do not disturb me again!"
"Right ye are m'Lord". Ariadne could almost hear the coachman winking as he replied. This would be all over the equestrian community of London by morning. A delicate blush swept her face.
Tristan stood and slid his trousers over his hips, revealing his manhood in all its glory. Ariadne gasped, and looked at him uncertainly. He moved towards her and reached for her, just as the carriage swayed precariously. Tristan lost his balance, the trousers round his ankles preventing him from regaining it. He fell against Ariadne on the opposite seat, his manhood thrust into her face. She screamed, then almost choked as her mouth was filled with him.
He closed his eyes and shut his mind away from the pleasure of her mouth, the wonderful sensation her gagging was producing. He withdrew and finally wrestled his trousers off, a not inconsiderable achievement for a gentleman without his valet for guidance.
Once naked, he kissed her, stoking the fiery passions between them once more. He laid her down along the carriage seat, holding himself above her, poised to enter her moist heat. His knee caught the edge of the hard wooden seat, and before he knew what was happening, they were both rolling onto the floor.
As they fell, his head connected with the edge of the seat. Darkness engulfed him.
"Tristan!" Ariadne cried out in concern. Then she saw he was still breathing, just unconscious. "Oh he'll be alright" she said to herself. "I, however, give up!" she exclaimed, the frustration too great for even semi-eloquent cursing. "If this is what I'm missing by remaining unmarried, I shall count my impending spinsterhood (at the extreme old age of twenty four) a blessing"
She stretched out, naked, lying facedown on the floor of the carriage. "I wonder where we are. We must be nearing London by now". She thought about getting up, but was reluctant to give up the strangely liberating feeling. The carriage lurched forward, and suddenly she felt the familiar vibrations of cobblestones beneath the wheels of the carriage. "Ah, we must be near Lond.", she broke off abruptly, a new and extremely pleasurable sensation building between her legs.
"Ohh," she moaned, as the vibrations from the floor increased with the speed of the carriage. She shifted position slightly, pressing herself to that wonderful, vibrating floor as much as possible, wave upon wave of pleasure assaulting her until she could hardly breathe. Just as she was beginning to think that she could take no more of this exquisite torture, she shattered. Her whole being was consumed, she couldn't think, couldn't speak, could do nothing but give herself over to absolute pleasure.
Gradually, she returned to Earth. The bump was inevitable, considering the surface of the road.
"Good heavens!" she exclaimed, sitting up and trying to catch her breath. "Well, Tristan may have been right about missing out on something, but I certainly don't need an oppressive, overbearing, ridiculously overprotective husband who will take control of my money, my properties and my life to give it to me! What an expensive way of going about things!".
"No," she said determinedly, as she quickly dressed herself and tidied her hair, " a new carriage will do nicely".
Purple Prose as written by Emilie Conroy:
When A Pirate Bought Me Lunch
Poubelle Poitrine** was a regular ice cream truck of creamy treats, had such things yet been invented. All Captain Charmant Fromage needed now was non-existent chocolate syrup. He would bring the nuts to this lust sundae.
The Port of Soupe-Aux-Choux, France *
Aboard The Galleon "Lint"
"Do you like apples?" he questioned questioningly.
"Sure," she answered in a reply.
"You like apples?" he asked again, as if repeating himself.
"Yes." She basically said the same thing she had before, but with a different word.
"Come into my cabin and twiddle me," he cooed, slithering an arm around her burial mound-like shoulders. "How do you like them apples?"
"You are an irritating clodhopper," she spat spiting spittle. "Better to be dragged behind the ship!"
He wore a grin like a skull splitting open to reveal a glistening brain. "Water skiing hasn't been invented yet, my passionate little
rhinoceros. Besides, the brine would render your dainty small slender tiny delicate elegant little tootsies repulsive creepy gherkins."
She punched him once, twice, thrice, the heaving satellites of her bosom orbiting a subdued fervent supernova. "You speak such, yet expect that I cast myself upon the well-plowed field of your bed and splay my thighs like halves of string cheese!"
"Yup. Randy, isn't it?"
Timeswept and begruntled, Poubelle gaped at him. His hair was black so as to lack color, black enough to be #000000 if hexadecimals had yet been understood. She might have thought his head was being consumed by a black hole if black holes had yet been understood. The sheer blackness of his naturally bouncy pirate bob began to drive her insane, and so she focused on the sheep-white milky dew linen of the shirt that sheathed his muscles. The coconut frosting upon the waves reminded her of the love fountain that would spray from his tower of hormones should she succumb. "You possess the charm of an overweight flatulent drunken hockey player."
Maybe Poubelle was the pox personified, but by gosh she was a cupcake with frosting!
*Soupe aux choux literally means cabbage soup; it is also the title of a popular French novel and film.
**Poubelle Poitrine is Garbage Can Bosom and Charmant Fromage is Charming Cheese.
Purple Prose as written by Cassandra Dean:
Candy, the Vampire Slayer
"You are the chosen one."
"Huh?" Candy said.
Lucien put down the tome he was holding and focussed solely on the beautiful
young woman standing before him. "You are the chosen one. You alone shall
fight the vampires that infest this world and - "
"There are vampires now?" Candy asked, a frown creasing her perfect brow.
Lucien sighed. "You truly didn't notice that your next-door neighbour
didn't go out until night? And that he had waist-length sable hair and wore
turn of the century clothing?"
"Yeah, but I just thought he was a goth."
"Or that you lived next to an abandoned amusement park, and that various
creatures invaded it after dark?" He felt the pulse in his temple begin to
"Well, it was obvious that serial killers were gathering there," Candy said,
a patronising glint in her sky-blue eyes. "Hello. My sister is going out
with an FBI agent after having psychic visions of a murder. Not that she's
traumatised or anything. Those visions were like, so icky, but Amanda was
all cool and stuff. She doesn't even need to see a councillor after her and
Jack killed that guy. She was like, dude, you're evil, I'm so going to blow
you away, and blam, she did it!" Candy smacked her hands together,
illustrating the noise she described. "So you see, I think I know a little
bit about this stuff."
"An FBI agent?" Lucien's head was starting to really hurt.
"Yeah. Her and Jack, they tracked this serial killer guy to the abandoned
amusement park next door to our house, cos he was, like, taking his victims
there and chopping them up into pieces, some weird thing to do with his
mother, and they didn't call for back-up or anything." Candy's eyes shone.
"They could do it themselves, and it was, like, so cool. Amanda told us all
about it at dinner last Sunday. And Jack, he's like a weapons and tactical
and all this other stuff expert as well, so they didn't even need back up,
cos he so had his finger on the pulse. Did you know he was a Navy SEAL too?
So he can swim really good, which is lucky cos there was this lake as well,
and Amanda's vision involved water!" Candy frowned. "I think it involved
water. And that someone's name was John, or James, or Simon . . . " Her
face brightened. "Which is, like, our cousin's nephew's girlfriend's
friend's brother name! Oh my god! She is, like, way psychic!"
"Jack?" Lucien asked, completely confused now. His head was definitely
beginning to pound.
"My sister's boyfriend." Candy shook her head, her golden hair slipping
smoothly over her shoulders. "Hello, where were you? Didn't I just say
"But we were talking about you being the vampire slayer."
"Were we? Oh cool! That is so much better than being psychic. Amanada's
just going to die. I've got, like, a calling, and she only has icky visions
that makes her head hurt. Mum and Dad are going to be way prouder of me."
Lucien shook his head. This was what he had to put up with? "And we're
supposed to fall in love," he muttered. "I hate prophecies."
"Ew," Candy screwed her face. "But you're so old and, like, exposition guy.
Aren't you just supposed to give the background of whatever it is that I
face and then conveniently get out of the way?"
"Ah, but I have a dual role." He drew himself up to his full height,
towering over Candy. "I am that 'guy', but I'm also the vampire with whom
you ironically fall in love."
"You're a vampire?" Candy asked, a speculative gleam entering her eyes.
Lucien grinned ferally, allowing his fangs to show. A flush rose over
Candy's face, and her breathing quickened.
"That is, like, so hot," she breathed, sidling closer to him. "So, do we
pash now or what?"
"Why don't you come a little closer?" he whispered, his vision sharpening.
He knew his eyes were beginning to turn red, starting with a crimson
pinpoint deep within his pupil and then spreading to engulf both the pupil
and the iris, turning his eyes blood red.
Candy stepped forward, her luscious lips parting in anticipation. Her pink
tongue darted out, wetting them, and she smiled coquettishly at him.
Lucien smiled back, his lips pulling back to reveal the full length of his
fangs. Candy gasped, her hand raising to her chest as her breath grew
faster. He placed one hand on her shoulder, drawing her to him, into his
embrace. She came willingly, her head tipping back, her eyes drifting shut.
He lowered his head . . . and sunk his teeth into the frantically beating
pulse at her neck.
Seriously, these chicks were so gullible.
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