Monday, February 13, 2012

New Beginning 924

A way out was easy to find, if you knew where to look. Most avoided rooftops, but that was where I met them, those who begged for my help. Tonight marked another purge, as I came to call these things. Streetlights cast a blue glow over the city, the chosen color meant to sooth the citizens. To say city life has been stressful the last few weeks would be a drastic understatement.

"No man left behind. Yeah. I don't believe in that." I sniffed. "If you don't keep up, I won't turn back for you. Got it?"

The huddled group nodded together. I counted ten of them, a new record, but I would be lucky to help half tonight. As the group looked on, awaiting my instructions, I twisted my spiked heel into the rooftop gravel, popping open the trap door leading into the club below. Music blew through the opening.

I glanced at their pale, nervous faces. A couple had the damned dragon shirts, though most had tried to look inconspicuous. Once we were all in it wouldn't matter.

"One more time," I said. "What's tonight's mission?"

"Talk to girls," they intoned.

"Good. Now, we're going in."

I waited at the rear to make sure no one backed out. When the last one dropped in, I followed, relieved.

Taking nerds to a club is tough, yeah, but someone's gotta do it.


Opening: Lisa Aldin.....Continuation: Khazar-khum

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

No idea what's going on here. Narrator seems to be keeping all the key elements of the plot a secret. One assumes this is meant to build suspense, but vagueness prevails. Maybe you have a gripping plot. Maybe not. Can't tell.

BuffySquirrel said...

Those people who cavil at the past perfect have to take some of the blame for the lack of clarity here.

"As I had come to call them", not as "I came to call" them. Unless the narrator is looking into the future?

Gah. I hate it when fashion overtakes making sense. Also, you want 'soothe' not 'sooth'.

The ideas have got a bit jumbled up here. Maybe some focus would help.

The way out was easy to find, but most avoided the rooftops.

Streetlights cast a blue glow over the city, marking another purge, as their colour was meant to soothe the citizens into compliance.

Soon those who begged for my help climbed up to join me.

"No man left behind. Yeah, I don't believe in that." I sniffed. "If you don't keep up, I won't turn back for you. Got it?"


One idea per paragraph, and off we go.

Evil Editor said...

P1: "the chosen color meant to sooth the citizens." I think you mean: the color chosen to sooth the citizens.

"city life has been stressful the last few weeks" doesn't sound right. I get the impression it's running these purges that's stressful, not city life in general.


P2: I would remove the quotation marks from around the first three sentences, making that the narrator's thought. And we don't need "I sniffed." Thus making the paragraph:

No man left behind? I don't buy it. "If you don't keep up," I said, "I won't turn back for you. Got it?"


Not that I know what's going on, but having earlier said that a way out was easy to find if you knew where to look, and presuming the narrator does know where to look, it seems odd to say "I would be lucky to help half." How easy can it be if helping half is unlikely?


A hint of what's going on might be nice. Perhaps if the first sentence read: A way out of the city was easy to find...

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Soothe has an "e" on it.
I'd love to see a blue glow cast by streetlights. In my experience they are yellowish/orange.

Most who or what avoided rooftops? I hoped for winged creatures. No clue.
Growled better than sniffed. When I have a cold I sniff.

The rest is too vague to grab me. The writing is good, the opening tells me very little. If you reorganize and give me a hint of what is going down I'd go forward.

A way out when the mc is getting a way in. A little mixed up for me. I hope you'll try again. Close but off the mark.

Please take another run at it, I am curious.

Anonymous said...

I smell dystopian...

I think some of the sentences here are a little awkwardly worded. For example,

'Most avoided rooftops, but that was where I met them, those who begged for my help.'

might read better as

'Most avoided rooftops, but that was where I met the ones who begged for my help.'

Beware of trying to shove too much into one sentence

Lisa Aldin said...

A way out of City of X was simple to find, if you knew where to look. Most avoided rooftops, due to the falling sky, but that was where I met them, those who begged for my help. Tonight marked another purge, as I came to call these things. Streetlights cast a blue glow over the city, the color chosen to soothe the citizens. To say life has been stressful the last few weeks would be a drastic understatement.

No man left behind? I don't buy it. "If you don't keep up," I said, "I won't turn back for you. Got it?"

The huddled group nodded together. I counted ten, a new record. As the group looked on, awaiting my instructions, I twisted my spiked heel into the rooftop gravel, popping open the trap door leading into the club below. Music blew through the opening.

Dave Fragments said...

I'd love to see a blue glow cast by streetlights. In my experience they are yellowish/orange.

I went through this a number of years ago at work when I had to buy new lights for our 5 story high bay. I had to create maps of pools of "lumens" for major pieces of equipment. I won't bore y'all with numbers.

Mercury vapor lights have that blue-white spectrum that seems to fill city streets.

However, certain metal halide lamps came into the marketplace that were brighter and had a distinctive yellow-orange spectrum. The workers hated them because they changed the color of equipment on the night shifts.

Plain old incandescent lamps a mild yellowish glow because they try to mimic the sun. They are/were more expensive to operate than mercury vapor or metal halide lamps.

Fluorescent have that bluish spectrum that makes people look pale and discolors makeup in ladies rooms which must drive women crazy.

By the way, at a distance, the human eye is more sensitive to red than blue. Also, blue is preferentially scattered by water in air (fog or mist) than red. That's why yellow warning lights turn to red at long distances.

That blue-white scattering is what messes up astronomers in the night sky.

More than anyone wants to know about lights. HUH!

Dave Fragments said...

I'm trying to use a descriptive opening like this and I think what you need to do is bring some jeopardy to the opening. "Stressful" doesn't have much jeopardy. "Death" might do it.

Also, if she is going into the building, starting with "a way out" reverses the reader's brain. "Getting in and out" might serve you better.

"The huddled group" is non-specific. I don;t think it serves you well. Ten nerds or ten assassins dressed as GoGo girls/Fembots/waitresses would be more specific and hence more inviting to a reader. IMHO.

BuffySquirrel said...

Forsooth EE! Dost not know the difference between sooth and soothe?

Evil Editor said...

Whattaya mean? You'd already made that point. Was I supposed to repeat it?

BuffySquirrel said...

Well, you could not have repeated the original error! :D

Evil Editor said...

I just cut and pasted the original to switch the words I was making a point about. Now what's your excuse for saying "could not have" when you meant "could have not"?

BuffySquirrel said...

Darn.

*tries to think of excuse*

*tries looking cute instead*

*goes into retirement*