Friday, February 10, 2012

New Beginning 923

Alexandria buried her face in her hands as Rhea snapped the Johnny-Depp-wanna-be's G-string. Alex's idea of girls' Night Out was dinner and a movie. Unfortunately, Rhea's version included half-naked men dancing at the Hangar Club's "Thursday Night is Ladies' Knight". Alex still wasn't sure how Rhea had talked her into this. At least Rhea hadn't ordered a lap dance. Yet.

Enrigue Iglesias's Hero blared over the speakers. Another dancer, wearing a fire fighter's jacket complete with red suspenders and a pair of jeans, strut onto the stage. Adonis would have been self-conscious around him. The jacket slid over impossibly broad shoulders. His blonde curls framed sky blue eyes, which fixed on Alex.

Get out, a voice echoed in her head.

Her mouth dried. She choked when she tried to swallow.

"Can we go now?" she shouted over the music.

Rhea tore her eyes from the Johnny-Depp-wanna-be's gyrations. "After It's Raining Men. I love that number."

Alex took a sip of her strawberry daiquiri. Propellers and flying paraphernalia decorated the walls of the refurbished airplane hangar. She looked up. A small plane, a Cessna, maybe, hung from the rafters above the stage. Each time Rhea had forced her to come here, Alex wondered what would happen if that plane ever broke free.

Leave.

"Come on, Rhea," Alexandria insisted. "This is all so tawdry. Fake."

Rhea rolled her eyes. Dammit. "Okay, okay. Let's go." She grabbed her purse and her iPhone and followed Alex to the door.

* * *

Johnny Depp looked down from the stage and shrugged. Whatever. Still beats making another crappy Pirates of the Caribbean movie, he thought as he removed the thong.


Opening: Nancy.....Continuation: Anon.

24 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:


The record faded and the Johnny-Depp-wanna-be sashayed off stage.

"You're such a square," Rhea told Alex. "Sit still and feast your eyes on all this man-meat."

The lights changed and the voice of Ricky Martin started to fill the room. Rhea leaned forward as the curtains parted. A Tim-Burton-wanna-be waddled on to the stage in a thong.

Rhea grabbed her purse. "Come on. We're leaving."

--anon.

Evil Editor said...

This is a lot like the opening in New Beginning 819

http://evileditor.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-beginning-819.html

According to the author of 819, he, too, had a Cessna hanging from the ceiling, but that came after the first 200 words, and thus doesn't appear in his New Beginning.

Evil Editor said...

Song titles should be in quotation marks.

"Strutted": past tense of"strut."

"Alex still wasn't sure how Rhea had talked her into this" mildly suggests that it's Alex's first time here, but "Each time Rhea had forced her to come here..." suggests otherwise.

Is that supposed to be Alexandra rather than Alexandria?

Rashad Pharaon said...

Too late. Bobby came on stage.

Rhea's eyes narrowed to slits, her jaw dropped. She looked at Alex. "That's your..."

Alexandria's face fell into her hands. She started sobbing. "I didn't want to come...I didn't-"

"Oh, Alex," said Rhea, hugging her.

"Being a mortgage broker is so hard nowadays. Even with the rates being this low. He's not making any money," she whimpered. Praying the plane would just fall already.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

The only thing that hooked me here was the voice in Alex's head. That was really interesting.

The first paragraph is overwrought. Too many words, too many names, it just smacks of trying too hard. Less is more. Trim.

I've been up in a lot of Cessnas (it's an Alaskan thing) and damn near down in some of 'em too. They are small planes, yes, but they are also, how shall I put this, big. As in you might hang a piƱata from the ceiling, or a mobile, or Christmas decorations, but a Cessna?

Leave that to the Smithsonian. You'd need a huge room, a very high ceiling, very strong cables, and a structure that could support the extra weight on the beams.

Mm. You'd probably also wanna take the engine out.

In fact, I've been to three aviation museums, and only one of them (the Smithsonian) #@$%ed around with hanging real planes from the ceiling.

I was also kind of dashed that the warning in Alex's head might be nothing more interesting than the plane falling.

Anonymous said...

Starting with a scene that is meant to inspire negative feelings might not be the best strategy. We haven't yet developed any connection to the story. The reader can easily hit DELETE and click on the next query. It might help to start earlier, so readers care about the character and understand why she puts up with this or are intrigued by the plot, or something.

Khazar-khum said...

AR--she said it was a hangar.

However, unless it's a converted jumbo jet, military or blimp hangar, the ceiling will still be a tad low for this sort of activity.

I'm wondering why Alex is so uncomfortable, and why Rhea isn't. Are they Mother-daughter, with Alex the daughter?

Dave Fragments said...

A couple things.

Understanding that I may not be he intended audience, I don't consider Johnny Depp's physique to be g-string worthy or worth looking at dancing in a nightclub. Sorry, he's not that broad shouldered or well-muscled even in a cheap dive with beer or pina coloda goggles. Just own up that there are several near naked men dancing to a large crowd of screaming women. Don't do it as broadly as I just did.

As I look a the opening 2 sentences, I think that you need to pick one.
a) Alexandria buried her face in her hands as Rhea snapped the Johnny-Depp-wanna-be's G-string.
b) Alex's idea of girls' Night Out was dinner and a movie. Unfortunately, Rhea's version included half-naked men dancing at the Hangar Club's "Thursday Night is Ladies' Knight".
Don't they both say and do the same thing to the reader? Don't they both set up a more straight-laced girl with a libertine girl? I don't mean "libertine" in a bad way.

If a Cessna is hanging from the room, this is a plane hanger and this presentation seems to "ambush" the reader. Most nightclubs are small and dark. This place is large and probably crawling with sweating drunks. I don't get that from the openings. Calling it "hanger" doesn't get the idea of size across. You could say simply and economically (word-wise)
...included snapping the g-strings of the half-naked men dancing under the hanging Cessna at the Flyer's Club on Ladies Night."

BuffySquirrel said...

Dave knows he's not qualified to judge whether women want to look at a Depp-alike, yet sets himself up as judge anyway.

Eh.

Duxford Air Museum dangle planes from the ceilings all over the place. Mind you, they also pack them in so close you can't take photographs. So a plane hanging from a ceiling doesn't surprise me, much.

This could be interesting. I'd want to read more to see how it develops.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Who ate my comment?

Dammit, nobody hangs planes in hangars.

A museum might decide to throw a few hundred thousand into building a supportive structure for an impressive display, but would a nightclub?

Mister Furkles said...

There should be no problem with hanging a small Cessna from the ceiling. Pima Air & Space museum has at least two dozen air vehicles hanging from the ceiling including a Canadian F86. That gets up to something like five tons. And their hanging gliders are much larger than Cessnas.

The problem with hanging aircraft from the ceiling is that the under belly is not interesting on most aircraft. No B52s hanging from the ceiling either. Also, no naked men dancing. But they have a MiG 15 Fagot—the other aircraft make it sit outside away from everybody else. It’s a macho flying thing.

If you’re ever there, you may visit the MiG Fagot and tell it that there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dave Fragments said...

I thought this was a RAVE in an old airplane hanger that high a high arched roof. Some poor schlubb had a bankruptcy or a cash flow shortage, lifted his plane off the floor of the hanger and imported a bar, band, lights and near naked dancers. Looks like this building.

http://steel-buildings-blog.olympiabuildings.com/2011/01/aircraft-hanger-steel-buildings.html

Anonymous said...

Well, she does say maybe a Cessna, suggesting she's not a full time plane spotter. Could be a stripped down Cessna, different light aircraft or even -- gosh -- an ornamental fake.

It is good to focus in on the stuff that's really going to make a difference to the story, though. Well done.

Iago said...

A very quick Google image search for '"suspended airplane" and variations thereof finds multiple examples of various sizes of craft hanging from cables in various venues (malls and restaurants seem popular).

But personally, I'll see it when I believe it.

james said...

Dear EE,

I may have worded my comment about the Cessna in a way that gave a wrong impression. Sorry about that. My story has no hanging airplane in it. What I was trying to say--apparently not very well--was that 923 gave me the weirdest sense of recognition, something like when you see a face in a crowd that you could swear you know but turns out that it isn't. The comparison might not seem the same to others, but it was more the flavor than the content, and I found it fascinating. There isn't much possibility that the two stories could continue on the same track, but I cannot help but wonder.

Amyway, wish the author well, and hope she doesn't keep hers in a trunk for 20years.

James

Evil Editor said...

I was joking about yours having a Cessna. It was actually a giant disco ball, right?

Anonymous said...

Many props can be built from balsa wood and like painted and hung.

The opening:why Johnny Dep wanna whatever?

"Ladies' Knight" sets me up for a knight then lets me down.

Why would a WOMAN order a lap dance?

All the name dropping doesn't work. E. Iglesias, Adonis. Make real characters. This impossibly broad shoulder thing... Come on. Blond curls, sky blue eyes. JHC.

Work on the voice. That is the only thing you got going here.
Strawberry daiquerie? Shudder.

You got to get some guts in this. Knockoffs don't cut it.

Anonymous said...

Many props can be built from balsa wood and like painted and hung.

The opening:why Johnny Dep wanna whatever?

"Ladies' Knight" sets me up for a knight then lets me down.

Why would a WOMAN order a lap dance?

All the name dropping doesn't work. E. Iglesias, Adonis. Make real characters. This impossibly broad shoulder thing... Come on. Blond curls, sky blue eyes. JHC.

Work on the voice. That is the only thing you got going here.
Strawberry daiquerie? Shudder.

You got to get some guts in this. Knockoffs don't cut it.

Beth said...

When the very first sentence has the action out of order (the reaction is shown ahead of the action that caused it), that's not a good sign.

Start with the second line. It shows conflict and it doesn't plop me down three inches in front of some dude's gyrating hips.

Still, by the end of the page, nothing has happened and I know nothing about Alex except that she and her friend have different ideas about what to do on a Thursday night. Oh, and that she doesn't have the backbone to say "no." I don't have a single reason to keep reading.

If something really interesting happens on the second page, can you move that to the first page?

BuffySquirrel said...

Why would a WOMAN order a lap dance?

You first. Why would a MAN?

Sheesh. Because she thinks she'll enjoy it. Duh. Or are you incapable of conceiving a MANNNNNNN performing the dance?

BuffySquirrel said...

That was a needlessly sarcastic comment there Ms Sqrl. No lap dances for you!

Nancy DiMauro said...

Sorry, I couldn't chime in on Friday. Work intervened. Thanks for all the comments. This is the second in a short story set.

The voice in Alex's head (i.e. the god Apollo) is the main point since Apollo is trying to get her out of the Hangar Club before the plane falls and kills her. He has a task for her.

And yes, the location is based on a real club, in a revamped hanger with a plane suspended over the stage. Got to love research. :) I also work down the street from the Smithsonian's second air and space museum and they have LOTS of planes suspended in those hangers. So I know it's possible. Thanks for the comments on how to convey the size of the place.

Rhea and Alex are best friends with Rhea being the more outgoing. Alex has no idea what the plane really is. Cessna's the only "brand" name she knows.

I can definately trim. I'm keeping the Adonis reference because it does play into the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

Hey Buff,
A man orders a lap dance because his parts are on the outside and he can get off on a female gyrating on him. Women in the main are built a little different. I felt the reference was sleaze no matter who is on first/top. And I can't imagine someone with a pink drink ordering a lap dance. Don't fit but whatever.

LOL

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Hi Nancy,
Good job. A little more work in my opinion will get you there faster. Just an aside I live in a country known for things of a physical nature. In all I have seen over several years walking down streets I've seen many men enjoying a lap dance but not once have I seen a woman instigating or taking part in a lap dance when she was in the chair, on the bottom.

I do suggest you change the female lap dance contractor to wanting something else. She could get a guy to wash her hair (very sexy-ish), or maybe hire her waiter to feed her, or give her a head/neck massage in the bar. Or he could give her foot massage in the bar and paint her toenails. Then you've got the illusion of a sensuous experience without the tawdry.

She doesn't sound/read like a lap dancer hire-ee if she's drinking girly drinks and really wants to run away from the bar/rave/quonset hut.

I hope that helps.