This month, we’ve got Cupid, whales, snakes and lovers, and more. To submit a first line, email

Elegy to Murder

Priscilla Royal

“In the fickle light of an ashen moon, Crowner Ralph struggled to glimpse even a hint that the boat he hoped to see was approaching the shore.”


Michael R. Lane

“On a bright dog day beneath Kaufmann’s Roman-numeral clock stands a long-whiskered, head-bowed man in a seedy black wool coat and unfastened galoshes.”

First Quiver

Beth C. Greenberg

“It occurred to Cupid as his fingernails slipped off the edge of Mount Olympus that Mother had finally called his bluff.”

The Reaper of Iremia

Kenneth Rocher

“The boy shivered and wrapped his cloak tighter around his body. He drew the hood lower over his face, watching the deserted street from his brown destrier while eyeing each dark alley he passed with wariness.”

Samurai Barber Versus Ninja Hairstylist

Zed Dee

“The Samurai Barber was headed to a job interview when someone shouted, ‘Yo, Samurai Barber! Cut my hair, yo!’ ”

Snakes and Lovers

Anne Lovett

“I knew it was going to be a bad day when Lorelei went off and left me with the snake.”

Whale of Wonder

Marie-Paule Mahoney

“Mama Tahlequah leaped out of the sea. Her fins flipped across the icy cold water with a loud boom.”