Naked Eve

The New York Times is running a contest. I just entered it, and I invite you to do so as well. The terms: Look at a pulp bookcover, and write the first 150 hardboiled words of the story. If you win, you get published on the blog—and such artistic exposure will lead to riches beyond Croesus’s wildest dreams. Here’s the cover:


Here’s my entry:

There was something strange about the girl following me. She’d been slinking through the evening shadows for an hour, flicking her eyes away soon as I turned around—a knockout in the canary halter gripping her high breasts, her bare midriff shining when she stepped into the sunset, her rose skirt billowing in the ammonia-scented Williamsburg air.

Now my nickname in Korea was Private Hollywood, I’m packing more muscle than a seafood cannery, but girls don’t just waltz up to me on the street.

I stopped, she ran into me, and gasped wide-eyed with a sunburned hand held to her red lips. Her skirt slipped down her midriff a little, and I saw why she made me feel so funny, in a way no one was laughing at.

Heva, I remembered, from that big odd book I’d chucked into the frozen Chosin Reservoir—Naked Eve.

The girl had no navel.