It was time once again for the annual Golden Clitorides Awards Gala, and La Taverna's rooftop...
Wait a minute, that's not right. That's last year.
It was time again for the annual Golden Clitorides Awards Gala. La Taverna had broken out the good glasses (the ones decorated with various positions from the Kama Sutra), put black linens on the tables, replaced the usual glaring fluorescent lighting with long, white candle sconces, and each table featured a centerpiece of orchids arranged around a chocolate carving of a... well, a clit.
Most of the tables were filled with authors, fans, and their guests. The Birthday Robot was taking care of keeping the press out, all except for Trudy Tolliver who had been granted an exclusive of the night's events. And Stanton and Maytag had been persuaded to cover security. Most guests didn't seem to mind the full body cavity searches, and a few had even gone back through the line a second time.
Souvie stood on stage in a short black cocktail dress and tapped a spoon against her margarita glass. Gary sat in the front row, looking smug and more than a little relieved he wasn't center stage that evening. He waved cheerily to Souvie and gave her a "thumbs-up" for encouragement.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen and others, to the 2005 Golden Clitorides Awards." She cleared her throat, unused to speaking in front of a large crowd. "Unfortunately the Birthday Nymph was unable to help me with this year's awards, so the only replacements I could get on short notice were, well, um..." She finished with reluctance, "Here are Waldorf and Statler, who came out of retirement from The Muppet Show to help co-host the awards tonight." A spotlight is trained on a balcony that was built just for the awards. Inside are two wizened old muppets.
"Heh," said Waldorf, "the last time I saw this much silicone was when I got invited to a taping of Baywatch." Statler laughed along with him and there were a few titters from the crowd. Souvie shook her head and continued. "There were awards for first, second and third place in each category, except in the case where second place resulted in a tie. Like last year, the awards will remain here on stage until the end, when all the recipients can come up at once." She looked up at the balcony. "Would you care to toss me the envelope for the first category?"
Statler dropped a golden envelope over the side and it fluttered down to land in Souvie's hand. The awards would be brought on-stage at the end (she was not about to have them dropped from the balcony above). Opening the envelope, Souvie announced, "In the category Author of the Year, 2005, third place goes to Don Lockwood. Second place is awarded to Al Steiner. And the winner is... Nick Scipio."
As Waldorf tossed down the next envelope, Statler said, "I can't believe Nick won. I've seen better writing on a bathroom stall."
Souvie made a quick announcement, "Remember, folks, they were not my first choice." She cleared her throat. "For Best New Author, third place goes to Mack the Knife. Second Place goes to Wine Maker. And the winner is... Lubrican."
"Lubrican," Statler said, delivering the next envelope to Souvie, "bet we know what he's doing while writing!"
"Let's move along to Best Flash Story of the Year. There's a tie for third place between Afterblow by Gary Jordan, and It Won't Happen Again by Alexis Siefert. Second place is awarded to On a Lighter Note by Jack C. Lipton. And the winner is... Girl Friday's Finding Love."
Thankfully Souvie was given the next envelope without comments from either Muppet. "Next up is Short Story of the Year. Third place belongs to Tears Reflected by Strickland83. Second place goes to Tears on My Face by Cat5. And the winner is... Tutor's Blues by Lubrican.
"The third best Long Story of the Year goes to Thunder and Lightening by Lazlo Zalezac. Second place belongs to Once More With Feelings by (the) Nighthawk. Not surprisingly, the winner is... Summer Camp: Book 3: Kendall by Nick Scipio.
Statler laughed. "I can't wait for Summer Camp: Book 57: Sagging and Dragging." Waldorf laughed so hard he started coughing.
Ignoring them, Souvie continued, "Now for the Golden Clit for Best Story by a New Author. Third place goes to Tutor's Blues by Lubrican, and second is Wes and Les by Old Fart. And the winner is... Sea King by colt45.
"For Best Series, the number three spot goes to the Cammie Sue series by RealLifeDragon. Second place is awarded to Playing the Game series by Reverend Cotton Mather. And the winner is... Nick Scipio's Summer Camp series.
"Let's turn our attention now to the specialty awards.
Waldorf looked at Statler. "BDSM. What's that stand for?"
Statler shrugged. "Who knows with this group. Best Doggie-Style Mystery?"
Souvie was getting better at taking the envelopes and ignoring the "co-hosts" up in the balcony. "The award for Best Erotic Horror Story third place goes to My Dead Hands by rache. Darkness Comes by Yotna El'toub takes second place. And the winner is... Close Encounter by hammingbyrd7.
"Next is the award for Best Erotic Mind Control Story. Third prize belongs to A Month to a Changed Woman by MWTB. Second place goes to Dream State by JiMC, who also takes first place with Lucky Stiff."
"Hey I like that last story," Waldorf said.
Statler gave him a look. "Why?"
"Because at my age, any time I find myself 'stiff' it sure is 'lucky'."
They both laughed at that, and even some in the crowd smiled.
Souvie paused to get a refill on her margarita and then lick some of the salt from the rim of the glass. "And now for Best Erotic Poetry. For third place, the winner is The Santa by Russell Hoisington. The number two position goes to Just Feel by Danyealle. And the winner is...Twas the Night by GentleButFirm.
"For Best Erotic Science Fiction or Fantasy Story, third goes to Sea King by colt45. Second place belongs to Once More With Feelings by (the) Nighthawk, and the winner is... A Perfect World by Al Steiner.
"Next up is a new category, Best Furry/Bestiality/Zoophilia Story. Second place is a tie between Danyealle's The Dragon and the Princess and Tendal Braxis' My Dog Takes a Lover. The winner is... Lust is Lust by Stasya T. Canine."
Statler opened his mouth to say something but a growl from a big, black Borzoi quickly shut it.
"In the contest for Best Heterosexual Story, TheCaddy takes third place for A Golfer's Dream: Book III - The Real Education Begins, while second place goes to Playing the Game III: The Competitive Edge by Reverend Cotton Mather. But the winner is...Summer Camp: Book 3: Kendall by Nick Scipio.
"For Best Humor Story, third place goes to A Badly Writin Sex Story by Vivian Darkbloom. Second place belongs to The Trailer Park by Wizard. And the Golden Clit for first place goes to... Girl Scout Nookie Sale by Kenny Gamera.
Suzee threw a glass of water in Kenny's face to revive him, and the gala continued.
"For third place in Best Romantic Story, we have a tie. Third place goes to Heroes by Don Lockwood and Once More With Feelings by (the) Nighthawk. Second place goes to Lazlo Zalezac for Thunder and Lightening. And the winner is... Summer Camp: Book 3: Kendall by Nick Scipio."
Souvie waited for a comment from Statler or Waldorf, and when none was forthcoming, she looked up. The old men had fallen asleep. She gestured to Gary and he sent his Muse to retrieve the rest of the envelopes from the balcony. When Gary's Muse returned, Souvie continued. "Next up is Best Same Sex Story. Third place belongs to Ann Douglas' Mother's In Law. In second place we have Munchkin by Sacwriter. And the winner is... Once More With Feelings by (the) Nighthawk."
Waldorf woke up long enough to comment, "Is it over yet?"
"Almost but not quite," Souvie yelled up to him.
"That's what my ex-wife used to always say," Waldorf snorted.
"For third place in the category of Best Seasonal Story, the winner is Christmas Surprise by GoldenMage. Christmas Alone by Joesephus comes in second place. And the winner is... Warlord's Christmas Cruise.
"Next to last we have Best Voyeur or Exhibitionism Story. Third place goes to Agent Jackson Parks: The Pearly Gates by Desdmona. In second place is Jailbait and Switch by Vulgar Argot. And the winner is... Nine Memorable Days by Berwick Bob."
"Nine memorable days?" Statler echoed. "That's how long we've been stuck at this stupid awards show!"
"Last but certainly not least," Souvie hurried on through gritted teeth, "is the category of Classic Clitoride. The third place winner is Silk and Amphetamines by Nick Urfe. Ann Douglas' A Dark and Stormy Night takes second place, and the winner is... Katie/Lyn by Gina Marie Wylie."
Souvie clapped, as did the audience - in addition to wolf whistles, cheering, and screaming, not to mention the occasional moan or sucking noise. "I'd like to thank everyone for coming - some literally and most figuratively - tonight and helping to honor not only those who won, but those who were nominated as well. There's an amazing amount of erotica that's free out there on the net, and to be singled out from among hundreds of stories... well, that makes everyone a winner in my book." Even more applause greeted those words. "On behalf of Rui Jorge and Gary - whose footsteps it's hard to follow in - and everyone who helped with this year's awards, I'd like to thank each and every one of the authors for sharing their talents with us, and to thank the fans who took the time to vote. Congrats to everyone!"
1 As last year, all nominees became finalists.
2 Any authors who requested that their names and stories be removed from the list of finalists have had their wishes respected as well.
I will try to get the table with all the finalists and winners up sometime this week.