Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Beginning 164

Laura stared down at the hand... Slim, neatly manicured… with a pale spot, where the wedding band used to be. "It’s not him."

"Mrs Long," detective Ripkus wiped the sweat of his brow, "I understand how you must feel, but…"

"Do you?"

"Mrs Long," Ripkus lowered his eyes, fighting the urge to slap her. "Please, try to be reasonable. You’ve recognized the wedding band."

"Can it Jack," Laura snapped, "I’m telling you, its not Alex's hand."

"How can you be so certain? All we have is the hand!" Jack Ripkus summoned all his inner strength, just to keep his voice down.

"The ring was his," Laura hissed, "Not the hand."

"Mrs Long, the ring was on his hand, so obviously…"

"It’s not his hand!"

"Maybe we should call his parents, instead," Jessy Joy, Ripkus' partner whispered.

"You think I don’t know my own husband?"

"But It’s A Hand," Ripkus stomped his foot, then howled in pain, as he stubbed his toe, on the evidence table.

"Jack, calm down," Jessy gripped the detective’s shoulder. "Now, Mrs Long--"

"I will not calm down! This woman is insane . . . " The detective banged his fist on the table, sending the bloody hand in flight.

"Am I free to go yet," Laura reached for the doorknob.

Ripkus was about to protest, but Jessy held him back as she left. “Leave it, Jack. With no way to prove it’s his hand, there’s nothing we can do.”

“I know, Jessy. But she's driving me nuts. This is the fourth time. She got his shoes, but the feet were too big to be his. She took his earring, but his ears were flatter than that.” Ripkus put the hand back in the carton with the other pieces. “You know what she said when she came in for his jock strap . . . ”

“Listen, Jack. We both know it’s him; and she knows it too. She’s clever. She’s stayed one step ahead of us so far, but we’ve got to keep calm. We’ll get her. Sooner or later . . . she's gonna want his hat.”

Opening: Ann Onymous....Continuation: ril


December Quinn said...

Is this supposed to be a farce?

If so, good job!

If not...uh...maybe the characters could fing themselves about a little less dramatically, and not stub their toes. Maybe you could mention Ripkin's first name is Jack earlier, because when I saw "Can it Jack" I thought she was being a little flippant and vulgar for a woman trying to identify her husband's body parts. I still think, that, actually. Isn't she upset?

The set up is certainly intriguing and it's fairly well-written, but it does feel like a farce--there's no sense of tragedy or loss here, just an irritating problem identifying some body parts.

December Quinn said...

Oh, wait. Your dialogue tags need work. It's "dialogue," said Jack.

Or "dialogue." Jack leaned over.

Not "dialogue," Jack leaned over.

Bernita said...

Excuse me.
Totally improbable.

Kate Thornton said...

Lol! Nice continuation, ril!!

I've plowed through worse looking for the mystery in a mystery book. But the set-up sounds a little too flip. I'd have to read more on this one.

whitemouse said...

Have none of these people heard of DNA testing?

I actually like the tension of the woman arguing with the detective; it makes me curious to see what's going on with the story. However, it does seem improbable to me that they would argue this much (the conversation goes on for too long) over something that should be established empirically.

Word veri. ihnhngzg - Wow; they're really cutting back on the vowels, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

“You know what she said when she came in for his jock strap . . . ”

That's great! LOL

OR should I say:
"I'll be laughing for days," Fred took a sip of coffee.

Anonymous said...

December, I had to reread your comment and then I understood how you interpreted "Can it Jack". That's funny! Maybe it should have been "can it jack?"

writtenwyrdd said...

This is trying way too hard for me. Didn't care for it, although the continuation is funny.

Rei said...

"But It’s A Hand," Ripkus stomped his foot

That's a mighty talented foot, being able to stomp out a cogent sentence. The foot needs to be a bit less melodramatic with its capitalization, though. I think that the big toe is stealing the show.

Chumplet said...

I see where it's going, though. Her husband is still alive, and he blew up some poor schmuck with all his jewellery on. He is now in Bora Bora with his mistress.

The police are insensitive and very clueless.

pacatrue said...

I thought this was an OK opening for the first bit, but then, as already said, the conversation goes on far too long. When Ripkus started stubbing his toes and sending evidence flying in the air, I started thinking he was Inspector Clouseau in disguise.

Still, Jack Ripkus.

Now, that's a name. My life would have been very different if my name had been Jack Ripkus. PI, cop, bull wrestler. No one would have messed with me.

It's too bad my real name is Michel de la Pansy.

(Whitemouse, I got all your vowels. ryizooku.)

Dave said...

I don't think that it's believable for a cop to schedule an indentification with just a hand. They should be asking for DNA to prove it's a dead man's hand.

Is it a black hand? Two Pair of hands? Does it have eight fingers?

Dead man's hand!

Chumplet said...

Good thing it's not Jack Butkis.

December Quinn said...

Do they even need to go as far as DNA? It's a hand. How about fingerprints?

whoever said...

Snapped, hissed, whispered..and not one "said." Makes it all seem a little overdone to me.

whitemouse said...

Do they even need to go as far as DNA? It's a hand. How about fingerprints?

That only works if hubby has been fingerprinted at some point. If he's a law-abiding gent, then he probably hasn't.

DNA analysis could be tricky also, but they could at least establish whether the dead person is related to hubby's parents or siblings.

December Quinn said...

That only works if hubby has been fingerprinted at some point. If he's a law-abiding gent, then he probably hasn't.

But wouldn't they be able to lift fingerprints from his house and belongings to match? Or would that not be positive ID?

My prints are on file because I've worked at a bank where they take your prints on hire. I've given them to banks to cash checks, too. Lots of jobs require them, and lots of people give them for all kinds of reasons.

I just think they'd explore that before they'd have her come in and identify a hand.

GutterBall said...

Dead man's hand!

Dave, that's gonna be the title of my next book! Woot! Thanks for the freebie!

Dave said...

look it up in Wikipedia. There are two versions of Dead Man's Hand - the legend says two pair all black - aces and eights.

if you dare say this near a poker game, you're most likely going to be beat black and blue and senseless.

Ann Onymous said...

Author here. Fellow writers, I am here to confess a great sin. I have a very strange sense of humour.
If you doubt my confession, put it together: Detective Ripkus, Jessy Joy, severed hand...etc.

Sorry folks, what can I say, it was fun. I might even do something evil, and send more.

Nut said...

I'm curious about the hand. Was it sliced off, ripped off, or unscrewed? I mean, it could be prostetic...

whitemouse said...

But wouldn't they be able to lift fingerprints from his house and belongings to match? Or would that not be positive ID?

Akk! That's so obvious, I feel like a complete xloogq right now. *Bows before your superior crime-fighting skills*

Word veri: xloogq :-D

eunuch said...

I said it once, and I'll say it again. Women are dangerous!

GutterBall said...

Oh, I know the poker definition. I've even pulled that hand a few times, oddly enough. This time, I was going the zombie route. It's all about the undead.

Ooh! Undead poker!

Anonymous said...

I'm still stuck on Michel de la Pansy. LOVE IT.

Anon - if you're saying you were submitting this as a joke - (a) that's rude, and (b) it could still have been written considerably better.

Anonymous said...

Author here. Fellow writers, I am here to confess a great sin. I have a very strange sense of humour.

Welcome -- you've come to the right place! There's a bunch of regulars here who are clever, witty and write well. The over-arching purpose of this blog is entertainment. So, by all means, feel free to send in something funny sometime.

Ann Onymous said...

I will definitely use the advice on dialogue, thanks december. Also, to those of you who hinted at a complement, thanks. I did want people to have fun with it.

My apologies to anyone I may have insulted. I get it, the joke's not funny.

Anonymous said...

What joke? Honestly, Author, I don't think there was a joke, except you were 'playing' everyone who commented in good faith.

Anonymous said...

a 'complement'? Are you sure that's what you meant?


Anonymous said...

Ouch. The punctuation is painful. Please desist. Really, it hurts, and not in a good way.

What you missed in middle school, missed again in high school, and didn't pick up in your reading, try to learn from something like the MLA Handbook. Future readers will thank you. Even better, maybe someone will enjoy reading what you've written.

batgirl said...

The song Severed Hand by Pearl Jam has a line about recognising the hand by the wedding band.
Jack Ripkus - maybe a ref to Jack the Ripper?
Jessy Joy ... googling turns up a porn star and a 19th c. painter.
If I put these together, I get ...

Nope. Maybe if I stand on a chair the joke will stop going over my head?

Dave said...

Q: How do you get a violist to play tremolo?
A: Mark the note solo.

That joke is so, so funny but it's a musicians joke, terribly inside dear, terribly, terribly inside. It doesn't belong on the first page of a novel.

ann onymous said...

Obviously, I need to learn to express my self clearly. I just re-read my own posts, and realized, how wrong it all came out.

The book was supposed to be farce, not a serious crime fiction novel.

Ripkus, Joy, Long are ridiculous names I came up with, because I thought they would fit the characters. Which are, also, pretty ridiculous.

There was no inside joke, and if I came across talking down to people, that is not what I meant. If the readers don't think it's funny, then I am doing something wrong.

What I meant by "fun" was the process of writing it. Posting was not a joke, but I did think my opening was going to be fun to poke at.

I cut out the hand and character feelings descriptions, because I wanted to keep it lighter, for the posting.

Butkis might actually be a good name for the detective. He is a helpless, clueless character, not Jack the Ripper, more like Jack Let-em Rip.

Like I said before, thanks for the 'dialogue' comment.

Believe it, or not, thanks for the 'you stink, author' comments. I do want to get this thing right.

"My apologies to anyone I may have insulted. I get it, the joke's not funny." I knew that some people may not like the toe stubbing near a dead body. Ditto on the severed hand.

illiterate said...

author, author. Get that foot out of your mouth, right now!

Doesn't it feel better? Now go off, and concentrate on your writing. And proofreading. Not blog hopping, that one comes last.

Also, you might want to remove the 'toe stubbing' part. It works for middle schoolers, not adults. I did laugh at the other stuff, though. Regardless of your ethics, or lack of them.

As always, illiterate refuses to spellcheck her own posting.