Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Beginning 261

When Pomona saw the van pull into her driveway, she began to type faster. “I guess those High School typing classes were good for something,” she thought. Her wrists ached and she needed to pee, but she kept typing, a maniacal grin stretching taut across her thin, pale lips

. . . . and I was right then, and I am right now, and I will always be right. There’s a limit to my patience and I believe I have reached it. Now, at this very moment . . .
Two large and burly men in white jumpsuits emerged from the van. They carried aluminum-colored briefcases; a thick black cable trailed behind them. They were the blog police, and no strangers to Pomona’s address. She finished typing and clicked on the send button. “Take that, you SOB’s. My buddy Billy G will get me out of this!” She kicked and screamed as they began placing electrodes on her temples and neck.

But she was no match. The blog police were well-trained. One of them restrained her while the other adjusted dials on his aluminum encased device. He nodded to his colleague and flipped a switch. Pomona's body tensed as the current ran through her. The treatment finished and she fell limp, exhausted, but still aware.

"That's it," the first guy said. "One less angsty chick bitching online about how long it takes the Maytag man to fix her dryer or how stupid everybody in the world is, except her. Who's next?"

The other man fished a crumpled printout out of his jumpsuit pocket. "Let's see, a Miss Snark. Name sounds like an alias. And no address. This one's gonna be tough."

"Nah. Piece of cake. I know who he really is."

Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Anonymous


Robin S. said...

Wow. The anonymous author who wrote this continuation did an amazing job of keeping the voice of the New Beginning anonymous author - God, that's one too many anonymous-es to flow, but there ya go.


Dave said...

I get the feeling this is a novel about a dystopic society. To that end, miserable as it is and most likely dark and brooding as it is, why start here?

Why reveal the bad guys in the first 150 words like this? If memory serves me, didn't Fahrenheit 451 start with the firemen when the reader believed that they are trying to save the books and the shock is that at the end of the first chapter when we learn that books are forbidden.

That's what this scene wants to be but the shock is gone with the overfilled bladder and carpal tunnel wrists. Talk about the horror, the humanity ;)

And that dialog is worthy of a Matlock episode where he turns his ancient, folksy wisdom on a jury and spouts some bumpkinistic news-age mystic manure to save the innonect and convict the guilty.

I'm having too much fun with this, I have to apologize to anonymous (in advance). After all, it's Easter and all the peeps are yellow, fuzzy and cute. cluck, cluck.

;) {Smile, because we need one}

not anonymous said...

I agree with Robin, great continuation. Strange how immediately unlikeable Pomona seems. I wasn't the least bit sorry when she received punishment in the continuation. Sounds like she deserved it. Maybe the author means her to be an anti-hero??

Dave said...

Yanno, Anon, I thought of a way this might work.

If this event is a major event inside the book, then this opening can act as a prologue.

I just read "Nightlife" by Rob Thurman and the first "chapter" is in italics and it's the climax of the book.
Also, "Pushing Ice" by Alistair Reynolds, he uses a similar device in that the first chapters are set 40 or 50 thousands of years in the future and set the stage for the real climax of the novel.
This "gimmick" a little disorienting, much like Hitchcock killing an actress in the first 20 minutes of Psycho.

As a lonely 150 words, though, it suffers from context problems.

It reminds me of Wimpy, the great character from Popeye The Sailor. Wimpy used to say: "I will gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today." I think Pomona is Wimpy, gladly paying the quarter at the pay toilet, next tuesday...
Also, since Pomona is fluid overloaded and playing wimpy-weakbladder during electroshock therapy, perhaps the Blog Police will suffer from grounding during the shocks. Perhaps they will die in the St Vitus Dance of puddly, piddly, shock therapy? Unless they are wearing rubber.

McKoala said...

Oh yeah on the continuation!

The start - was it written specifically for EE or is it a short story? Couldn't quite figure it out. Too many adjectives for me; in particular at the end of that first para.

stick and move said...

Aluminum-colored? How about just "aluminum".

sylvia said...

I had the same suspicion as McK that this was written for the EE site rather than as a real starting point. I loved the continuation too.

I found Pomona pretty unsympathetic, if it is an actual starting point.

Robin S. said...

I had the same feeling as sylvia and mckoala - which is why the
"So..." ended my post.

"They" always say confession is good for the soul. I'm not sure I agree with this all of the time, but in this instance, I'm willing to loosen my rule.

Anyone? Any idea?