Friday, July 10, 2009

New Beginning 661 (short story)

Waking in strange places with a mouth full of cotton and drummers playing in my head isn’t as unusual for me as it might be for some, so at first I wasn’t alarmed at all. Not having a woman beside me and still having pants on, now those things were a little out of the ordinary. I barely started putting my fuzzy brain to work on figuring out where the hell I was and how I got there when the answer arrived. With a screech of rusted hinges, a door was violently ripped open and bright light assaulted my eyes. Lifting my hand to shield them was just an innocent reflex, but the person who grabbed me by the neck and tossed me on my face seemed to disagree. I lay there with my cheek pressed against cold metal and a knee in the middle of my back threatening to crush the life out of me one kidney at a time and I knew it was time to get just a little bit concerned.

That was also all I knew, at least about anything that had happened since I walked out the door on what may or may not have been the day before. Before this one, that is, this one where hands were groping all over my body in a much rougher fashion than I generally preferred. Those doing so were strangely silent as they abused my person and my dignity. I tried to get a good look at them, figure out who I was dealing with, but the hand holding my head firmly to the ground made it a chore to catch more than a general impression of black armored suits.

A rough hand pulled my head back and forced my jaw open; then stars flashed as unbearable pain ripped through my head, instantly clearing my mind. That's when I remembered phoning the emergency number of Mercenary Endodontist.

Just as well I still had my pants.


Opening: anon......Continuation: anon.

14 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


Black armored suits – my mind twisted onto itself like snakes caught in a gully, as I tried to remember what I had recently heard in passing about them. The drums in my head, however, had not lessened and were now joined by high squeal shrieking from my kidneys and back. I gave up on thinking.

Since I could not figure out who was assaulting me, which by logic alone meant I would not be able to figure out why, I tried to figure out where I was. That too was short-lived as I heard the sound of steel scraping against fine leather and it was then I began to scream. This seemed the better option than just lying on the floor eating dirt while I waited for my inevitable execution. Damn, I wish I hadn’t pissed off the entire dukedom.

--Vivian Whetham


It was obvious that this wasn't the bordello I normally went to--It must have been Madame Pain's House of Pleasure down the street. I never played the role of the submissive before, but I guess there is a first time for everything.

--Matthew


I couldn't help but postulate as to their apparent lack of masculine confidence, what with the power suit/armor combination; but it wasn't such a far stretch when I considered that they had, with little apparent effort, ripped a reinforced steel, strap-hinged door right off the side of the ship's bulkhead.

Wait, I thought, how the heck did I end up on a ship in what may or may not be a really bad dream or perhaps even a manipulation by a really grumpy and cruel god?

"So, are you gonna tell us where you left the keys to the Bug?" a soft voice asked me then.

I see knees, hitting the deck next to my half-smashed face, and then a head that tilts into view.

"Jeez, Vicki, is that what this is about? I paid you the five bucks I owed you already! You don't have to take my car. Besides, it's not worth much."

"It's worth five bucks, my bookie replied. And your kidneys, your liver, and your Timex."

"But I paid your lawyer's bill already, honey!"

"I'm not your wife any more. Don't call me honey."

--Writtenwyrdd


"Relax," said the voice.

"How? You know what they did to me?"

"I know." The masseuse dug into my back. "But the game was almost a week ago. You got to get ready for Sunday."

Eight sacks, nine interceptions...how could I recover after losing to the Raiders?

--Khazar-khum


I sighed. What was it this time? The last time the lit police had come for me, it'd been my revelation that I was Faulkner reborn. Surely I hadn't done that for a second time? As they roughly hurled me from the second-storey window, I remembered: impersonating the Editor.

--Jacob Topp-Mugglestone


A rough hand grabbed my chin and twisted my head around. I squinted, trying to focus on the face of my captor. The name-patch on his uniform just said "Bonasera".

I struggled to speak through my cotton-dry mouth, my words slurring into each other. "Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?"

"This is him, guys." He let my head drop to the floor. "Goddamn Marlon Brando impersonators. When will they learn? At least this one has his pants on."

--anon.

Evil Editor said...

More unchosen continuations:


Black armored suits may be normal for some people, who enjoy stiff protective wear, but I prefer something a bit more flexible, like black rubber. I decided this would be a bad time to play fashion police to the bondage squad, since by now they had my hands cuffed behind my back and a black cloth bag over my head. I was pushed down a corridor that seemed very long, but it may have also been shorter, and just seemed long to a guy who is trying to walk down a corridor with handcuffs on and a black cloth bag over his head and isn't very used to it. Then, I heard chains rattle, which I figured is never a good sign, and something cold, heavy, and unfashionable was locked around my left ankle. Then the bag was whipped off, and before I could even squint, a voice boomed out. “You are accused by the Court of High Editors of extreme and persistent verbosity, and several counts of malicious circumlocution. How do you plead?”

As the guy in front of me wearing a long black robe and a stupid curly wig as dorky as his mutton chops came into focus, I couldn't help thinking, because it's the sort of thing I would normally think, that I would have preferred pantslessness and the naked woman.

--Mother (Re)produces


I couldn't remember if black armored suits had any special significance before today or not. As they groped in silence, i heard a faint music on the air. The sound swelled, and as the melody pierced my woozy senses, it all came back to me in a rush. I cursed and wriggled away from the clutching hands. "Hey, I got a ticket on eBay to be here, same as everyone else. Now let go of me and let me get to my seat so everyone can see me."
The guards let me up, and I did one of Michael's famous 'Thriller' moves as I stepped smartly away from security. I could hear one of the guards mutter under his breath, "That Corey Feldman is such an asshole."

--Debhoag

Evil Editor said...

He says:

I barely started putting my fuzzy brain to work on figuring out where the hell I was and how I got there when the answer arrived.

But I don't see that the answer has arrived. He seems to be as in the dark after the entrance of whoever as he was before.

It's a bit wordy. You could lose a few words here and there without losing information:

Waking in strange places with a mouth full of cotton and drummers playing in my head isn’t unusual, so at first I wasn’t alarmed.

I'd barely put my fuzzy brain to work on where I was and how I got there when, with a screech of rusted hinges, a door was ripped open and bright light assaulted my eyes.

etc.

Brigid said...

I was definitely intrigued. I liked the opening, but I agree that it was a bit wordy. If you can cut some of the sentences, it would punch it up some.

_*Rachel*_ said...

I like the tone and character of this beginning. I don't usually like characters like this, but I liked this beginning enough that I'd read on.

One thing: You're using passive voice when you say, "A door was violently ripped open," and I think it would sound better in active.

The verbosity didn't really bother me.

Anonymous said...

This had a nice voice and was intriguing but -

it was wordy and could be better with trimming.

vkw

writtenwyrdd said...

I also liked the voice but despite the various details I didn't feel I knew where I was or what was going on. With that much detail, I should have.

Overall, A for voice, C for grabbing me. But I would have read on a bit, because your pov character was interesting.

Anonymous said...

giddy author sez:

you like me! Yeah, I know this is wordy and needs some serious chopping, I'm just afraid of losing the character voice. My usual writing is quite sparse but this is what the character demanded. Since it's not obvious, he's been stowed away in a small room on a starship but he doesn't know that yet.

But you like me! :) (Sorry, a little high on the positive feedback)

Anonymous said...

giddy author sez:

And in my glee I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the continuations, even (or especially) those smacking me for verbosity. You guys are hilarious!

Aimee K. Maher said...

It's like Momento with a sense of humor. I'd definitely read more if the writing was cleaned up.

_*Rachel*_ said...

I think you may have inspired me, giddy author. Different character, different situation, different story, but a slightly similar premise for a scene.

We'll see how the story goes.

Anonymous said...

Waking in strange places with a mouth full of cotton and drummers playing in my head isn’t as unusual for me. (As it might be for some is just too many wards. And you don't need I wasn't alarmed.) We can infer that is something is "normal" its also not alarming". Not having a woman beside me and still having pants on, now that was alarming.

I barely started putting my fuzzy brain to work on figuring out where the hell I was and how I got there when the answer arrived.(= Where am I. How did I get here? And it's so much better with fewer words)

With a screech of rusted hinges (, a door was violently ripped open and bright light assaulted my eyes.(= A rusted door screeched violently open and bright light assaulted me eyes.) Lifting my hand to shield them was just an innocent reflex, but the person who grabbed me by the neck and tossed me on my face seemed to disagree. ( Really don't know what this sentence means. But, the first half =I shielded my eyes)

Okay, I think you get the point. This is interesting, but it needs work. Prune ruthlessly.

writtenwyrdd said...

Your giddy happiness that people like what you wrote illustrates how important it is that we give some good news with the bad, Author. Thanks for the reminder. :)

I say it's good to experiment with voice. Sometimes you find you can achieve a style you didn't know you had in you!

batgirl said...

Am I the only one who read this as the narrator having a mouthful of cotton and drummers?
I guess so.
Some nice wry touches with an appealing voice, but yes, could use pruning (there's very little writing that wouldn't benefit from pruning).

Rachel, I think the passive is justifiable there, in that the narrator doesn't know who is wrenching the door open. If he's barely conscious, he won't be thinking about agency so much as hearing the noise.