In honor of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Writers Contest, a test of writers attempting to compose the absolute worst first paragraph of a would-be novel, I offer my entry, which I wrote this morning and so have never submitted.
"The Short and Troubled Life of Sneezy The Dwarf"
She sneezed once, twice, three times, four, and finally -- for now -- a fifth -- leading her to reach for the box of tissue on the mantel which to her dismay she found empty. She groaned, screamed, and sneezed a sixth time as she opened what she hoped would be a soothing, relaxing novel, all the while wondering to herself if the simple thought of reading a book about plants had served as a trigger for her current sinus crisis. When she had found no tissues in the box on the mantel she quickly added the item to her grocery list but a moment later she was overcome by a sudden fit of (as it happened) irreversible depression. She sneezed again, reached for her six-inch Ronco Cheese Knife and plunged it deep into her chest. As the life drained from her allergic being, she was inconsolable and her breathing drew shallower and shallower. She felt a final tickle in her nose.
And she was gone forever.