Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Beginning 260


Fast Eddie’s nose was bent to the right, just below the hump, pushed to the side like putty and glowing with tiny capillary explosions. His eyes were bloodshot and glazed, simmering under a sagging brow. The collar of his shirt was unbuttoned, his tie hung an inch low, and he wore a canary yellow sport coat that was a half size too big for him. His dentures were in surprisingly good shape.

“She’s a beauty, ain’t she?” he said, offering his hand. “Eddie Newman, how you doing?”

I was standing by a ’69 Camaro, an SS like mine.

“You Fast Eddie? The one I’m told makes sweet deals on cars?”

His dentures gleamed. “You’ve heard about me, huh?”

“A nice lady named Carmen told me to talk to you.”

“Carmen Holloway? Works over at the diner?”

“That’s her,” I said.

“She’s a sweetie, Carmen is.”

“What’re y’all asking for the beauty?” I asked, as I strolled down the driver’s side, eyeing the body panels for rust or paintwork.

“She’s a two owner classic, seventy thousand original miles. No body work, ever,” he said, pulling a handkerchief from his coat pocket. He mopped his forehead and put on his sunglasses but they didn’t cool him down any.

“Which makes it worth how much?”

Eddie scratched his nose. "Which to the right buyer, makes it worth around 7K."

"Jeez, that is a sweet deal," I said. "I'll take it."

Eddie leaned in closer and shared his halitosis. "Between you 'n' me, this car used to be mine--I popped Carmen's cherry right in that back seat. That's what she told me, anyway, though I reckon she had a few miles on her tires by then. If you know what I mean."

"Carmen Holloway's my mother," I told him.

Eddie clapped me on the shoulder. "Well why didn't you say so?" he said. "Tell you what, son, I'll throw in an extended warranty and undercoating, and we'll call it eight grand even."



Opening: Wonderwood.....Continuation: Anonymous

7 comments:

Bernita said...

Not bad visuals - though this sort of car salesman is a hoary cliche.
Consider "Fast Eddie's nose bent to the right" rather than "was bent."
And "his glazed, bloodshot eyes simmered under a sagging brow" rather than "His eyes were bloodshot..."
Think that "His dentures were in surprizingly good shape" is adequately covered further down with "His dentures gleamed."

Robin S. said...

I like the descriptions in this one. I like the "tiny capillary explosions" and his denture description.

The used car salesman deal is a little long in the tooth, but I'd be fine with it if this is going somewhere new that's interesting to me.

A sentence I'd consider taking out or changing is: "He mopped his forehead and put on his sunglasses but they didn’t cool him down any."

Dave said...

This is a great description of the used car salesman but it doesn't thrill me as an opening. I guess it's because I don't have any sympathy for car salesmen (Hmmm, the guy who sold me the car I drive better never hear that). But you see, the dentured, bad dressing, hungover (eyes and nose) used car salesman with a comb-over like a bad bar code doesn't make a compelling hero. He's colorful (red, yellow putty, and pearly white), and he's a character. Put him in green pants and call him a leprechaun. ;)

I'm guessing that Eddie is the hero and Carmen is his friend and Eddie is too broke to pay for a new car and has to frequent the corner used car lot.

Lisa said...

The Hustler. The Color of Money.
Fast Eddie Felson played by Paul Newman.
Please don't do that to us.

Wonderwood said...

Thanks for the comments. This isn't the opening of the story, truth be told. It's the opening of the sixth chapter, and Eddie is a character that doesn't get a lot of page space in the big picture, but his role is significant.

Robin, that line you mentioned has been bothering me. I added another short dialogue sentence following the description (after I posted this), and it seems to work better, but I'll probably keep tinkering with it. Glad my instincts are in tune with someone else's ;-)

Lisa, yeah, I know. I gave him Newman as a last name as sort of a joke, it'll most likely change.

Thanks for the encouragement and insights!

Wonderwood said...

Oh, and I really liked the continuation, too! It didn't go where I expected, which is cool. I thought someone might have Eddie keep avoiding telling the MC a price, but I like your idea better, anonymous!

McKoala said...

I also liked the description, but thought his name was kind of a cliche. His dialogue was good; but the narrator's seemed to stumble into awkwardness at times. Loved the continuation!