Thursday, July 01, 2010

New Beginning 763

Friday night downtown, the voice in my head wouldn’t shut up. I talked loudly and often, and almost covered it up. My friends also talked loudly and often, and didn’t cover it up at all.

After an hour, I left them and went down the street to see an action movie, full of gunshots and car chases and explosions. The hero won the girl, and soft music played as they kissed. Their kiss was long and slow, and the voice in my head drowned out the music. I got up and walked out of the theater.

Down the street was a nightclub. Flashing lights, blaring music, louder than the voice. I downed one, two, three, and they burned down my throat and made me woozy and happy until the fourth one made me stagger to the bathroom and gag into a toilet. Then, vomit on my chin and voice deafening in my ears, I didn’t feel very well. I went out and downed another. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I shrugged it off.

I mingled with the crowd coming away from a ball game, and I taunted them and rooted for the opposite side, whoever it was, and when one guy broke my nose, and blood flowed into my mouth, I figured that would stop the voice. But no, it still brayed on.

Even the rush of air and the grind of motors and steel on steel as I stood on the subway platform couldn't hide the incessant, pointless blathering in my ears.

And then I realized: I was still wearing my iPod, and I'd downloaded all of the O'Reilly Factor podcasts by mistake.

That's when I knew it was time to jump.


Opening: Rachel.....Continuation: Anon.

10 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


I stumbled outside and tried to hail a cab. For one brief, glorious moment, the voice stopped. Then Robert Siegel was replaced by Michele Norris. I wept as I tried to shout my home address to the cabbie over the blaring voice. I should have just donated during the pledge drive. NPR's methods were getting vicious.

--Ellie


I turned, the person held out the other hand. My front denture, four teeth and some wire were offered to me. I grabbed it and ran, humiliated. I'd puked out my front four teeth and the owner of the hands chased after me with my scummy denture. The voice was screaming now. I had to go home and plug into some loud music, after I threw the denture in bleach. Friday night downtown was no fun. I hated it when mother followed me, yapping the whole time. Only she would have retrieved my denture. She'd never let this one go. Her voice went deeper into my skull. I wanted to die.

--anon.


I turned down an alley and found a cock fight. Two men unveiled their cocks and the crowd screamed with delight, as did the voice. I left the alley and took a cab to the other side of town.

I entered the Happy Endings Massage Parlor and ordered the banana split. I payed an extra $50 for her to moan in my ear -- all I heard was the voice. I gave up and went home.

My ipod short circuited in the shower. Silence. --MMM


"Man, these talking ticks are getting fresh." --The Invisible Writer

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


I stumbled outside and tried to hail a cab. For one brief, glorious moment, the voice stopped. Then Robert Siegel was replaced by Michele Norris. I wept as I tried to shout my home address to the cabbie over the blaring voice. I should have just donated during the pledge drive. NPR's methods were getting vicious.

--Ellie


I turned, the person held out the other hand. My front denture, four teeth and some wire were offered to me. I grabbed it and ran, humiliated. I'd puked out my front four teeth and the owner of the hands chased after me with my scummy denture. The voice was screaming now. I had to go home and plug into some loud music, after I threw the denture in bleach. Friday night downtown was no fun. I hated it when mother followed me, yapping the whole time. Only she would have retrieved my denture. She'd never let this one go. Her voice went deeper into my skull. I wanted to die.

--anon.


I turned down an alley and found a cock fight. Two men unveiled their cocks and the crowd screamed with delight, as did the voice. I left the alley and took a cab to the other side of town.

I entered the Happy Endings Massage Parlor and ordered the banana split. I payed an extra $50 for her to moan in my ear -- all I heard was the voice. I gave up and went home.

My ipod short circuited in the shower. Silence. --MMM


"Man, these talking ticks are getting fresh." --The Invisible Writer

Evil Editor said...

I kinda wanna know earlier than this what the voice is saying. Then I'll have some idea whether to care about the character and what kind of story it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rachel,
Would love to know as our dear Evilness mentioned - what the heck was the voice saying? I wrote the cont. about mommy fishing out the denture.
Loved the voice, so spoooooky...
Best,
Bibi

Dave F. said...

All three of those paragraphs could be the the opening. I think you should pick one of them and use it.

Joanna Hoyt said...

Is this a rewrite of the "Listen to me..." opening you sent in earlier? I liked the previous v better. I liked the first para here very well, the second OK, and was losing sympathy with the narrator by the third.

Kings Falcon said...

Didn't another version of this make the rounds once before?

Anyway, as the Evil One points out - ehm - get to the point sooner.

I can tolerate one generic paragraph, maybe two, but by the time I reach the third I start worrying and put the story down.

Let me give you an example of how to take flat prose and sprinkle in a few details.

You wrote:
I downed one, two, three, and they burned down my throat . .

Downed one WHAT?

While I'll presume a drink, what kind? You've wasted a good opportunity to show me your MC. A person shooting tequila will invoke a different image for me than one shooting vodka or rotgut or an entire appletini. Each drink choice gives me hints of: age, social status, wealth and education. Use sterotypes to your advantage here.

The tone is somewhat flat. Which makes it sound like the MC is resigned and has been dealing with the voice for a while. But if so, doesn't he know these tricks won't shut it up?

Show me how he feels. Does he tear his hair out as each attempt fails? Does he scream back at the voice? Does he claw his head and draw furrows of blood? Does he doubt his sanity? Right now his narration is more like a news reporter than a person being tormented by a voice in his head.

I'd skip the middle paragraph all together. But that's just me.

vkw said...

LOL - loved the continuation.

I agree it went on too long and what happened with me is the longer it went on, the less I cared and then I became annoyed.

I would probably read on just to find out what was happening and who the MC was. However, if this flat reporting of misery continued another paragraph or two, I wouldn't read further or if the answer to the misery was not fantastically brilliant that would be it as well.

vkw

_*rachel*_ said...

I adore those continuations--all of them! So hilarious....

This was New Beginning 680 before I rewrote from scratch. Not all that hard, considering the current version is all of 420 words.

If you want me to elaborate on the drinks, Kings Falcon, you're going to have to help me out. All I know the BAC is going to dangerous levels, and it's high alcohol content. What would you drink if you wanted to get drunk quickly?

Y'all've finally convinced me: I cut the first two paragraphs. Here's what the rest of what I sent in now looks like:
---
In the nightclub, the flashing lights and blaring music pulsed through me so strong the prickle on the back of my neck turned to the coolness of sweat. I downed one, two, three, and they burned down my throat and made me woozy and happy until the fourth made me stagger to the bathroom and gag into a toilet. Then, vomit on my chin and eyes red in the mirror, I could hear the voice in my head again. I went out and downed another.

I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I shrugged it off and left.
---
Any better?

Shoshana Beaubahna said...

Loved the continuation! Hilarious!