Friday, December 05, 2008

New Beginning 582

"I saw them and immediately thought of you."

"Derek...they're condoms."

"Yeah, they made me think of you."

Rachel put a hand to her forehead, like a clairvoyant reading someone's mind. Her uniform opened a little, but not much. A little more breast showed, but not even down to the bra. Derek couldn't even tell if the breast he was looking at was the real one or not.

"Derek, we just pour java and throw burgers and cake at customers who are just passing through. That's all we do. There's no relationship here, and after twelve hour shifts, I don't feel like banging anyone, let alone you."

Rachael looked out over the truck-stop-shop. Gas, food, and a few supplies offered to drivers who, increasingly, were not coming through the stop any more. Commerce was changing, and drivers were tending to take one of the two newer routes. But there was still enough trade to make a buck, even if there were downtimes when almost no one was coming through.

Just after lunch, a guy in a dark blue suit walked in and strode to the counter, a big shit-eating grin across his face and a big briefcase in his hand.

"What can I get you?" Rachel asked him.

"It's more like, what can I do for you?" he said as he slid onto a stool. A salesman. "You ever heard of wi-fi?"

* * *

A month later the place was full. Every seat taken, glowing Apples and shiny Dell badges lined up the length of the counter. Day traders and writers. They came in the morning, after the school run, and left before dinner. She'd never seen it so busy. Now, if she could only get them to buy more than one small coffee a day...

"Hey, buddy." One of the customers, walked over to Derek. "You got any more of those keyboard coffee protectors? This one's too small for my 17-inch Macbook."

"Sure." Derek grinned and reached for a Trojan Magnum. "That's $11.99."

Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

Derek shrugged. "It's so damn quiet today..." He put the condoms back into his pants pocket, taking the opportunity to adjust himself at the same time.

Raquel scowled. "I hope you wash your hands before serving any food."

"Serving what food?" he said, with a snort. He watched her bosom heave as she sighed. Was the left one a little smaller than the right?

"It would be nice to get a few more customers through..."

Derek shifted position slightly try and see a little further down her cleavage; perhaps a hint of lace. "Yes, it would, wouldn't it?"

Rachel picked up a sugar pourer and took a swing that connected soundly with the side of his head.

"Asshole!" she scolded. "It's not wooden, it's silicone!"


Derek slumped. "I thought you needed them for this afternoon, Mom."


The bell over the door dinged and long-haired man walked in. His denims were stained with oil and the dirt of the road and his two-day stubble put his face in permanent shadow.

Derek quickly shoved the condoms into his pocket as the stranger walked over. "What'll it be, sir?"

The man leaned against the counter and stared at the menu for a few minutes. "Coffee," he said. Derek reached for a cup. "To go."

Derek filled a Styrofoam cup and put on a lid. "That'll be a dollar."

The man threw four quarters on the counter top and walked out.

Rachel and Derek looked at each other and shrugged. "Guess that's it for today," Rachel said. "You lock up."


"I don't know..." Rachel started to fill the sugar pourers. "I can't imagine why you think I would be remotely interested..."

"I can't imagine why you wouldn't."

* * *

When Derek walked in on Tuesday, the place had been open an hour. "Nice of you to join us," Rachel sniped.

"Been a rush?" Derek cast his eyes around the empty booths. He dropped a bag on the counter.

Rachel shrugged and reached for the bag. "What's this?"

"Magazines. Something to pass the time."

"Let's see... The Advocate? Curve? Out Magazine?"

Derek reached for a coffee cup. "I saw them and immediately thought of you..."


Evil Editor said...

P4: This is Derek's POV, but P6 seems to be Rachael's.

P5: Delete at least one of the "just"s in sentence 1. Neither is necessary. Last sentence: Change "let alone you" to "least of all you," or change "anyone" to "George Clooney."

P6: Too wordy. Delete "through the stop any more."

Change "tending to take" to "taking."

Delete "even if there were downtimes when almost no one was coming through." In fact, you can probably do without the entire last sentence.

Dave F. said...

That's a funny opening.

"...was the real one or not." Does that imply that one of her breasts is real and the other isn't?

I think there's a bit of fat here. but it is an engaging opening. Good work.

A tiny story - in my rock collection, I have petrified coprolite from the early Triassic age. It's just a brown lump of soft stone from blind lizard-like dinosaurs who lived in a cave.
But, I bought several of the fossilized poo-poo's and gave them to friends with opening line:
"I saw them and immediately thought of you."

Chris Eldin said...

I liked this, but what happened to the condoms? Where were they, and what are they doing in your paragraph?

I'd definitely read on.

Whirlochre said...

This opens well but runs into problems with para 6.

There's the POV issue, as noted, but also, some confusion about the driving and the commerce. Maybe this detail could go in later in a more direct fashion.

However - condom opening is good.

writtenwyrdd said...

The condom opening is quirky and hooks me, but you do need to keep to it instead of seque into narrative fill about the truck stop. If I had more to read it might not be a problem, but I rather think you'd be better off trimming some of this interesting backstory and using it a bit later on while you continue with the condom conversation.

I was also confused by the 'real one' reference.

Robin S. said...


I like your opening. Makes me feel Rachel's frustration.

Gotta watch the Rachel/Rachael thing. (I do that as well, make changes and forget to do the search and replace on Word.)

What about the POV? Is it omniscient? I didn't think of the changing POV thing until I read EE's comments. I'm not suire how that's done seemlessly, moving from one POV to the other, and maybe this makes me a careless reader, but I didn't mind the switcharound here.

Good contin, anon!

Robin S. said...

And also, EE, that George Clooney reference of yours has me worried. It really does.

talpianna said...

I assume the "real one" reference means that the unfortunate Rachel has had to have a mastectomy due to breast cancer. Its chief effect on me was to make it difficult to see her as an object of comedy.