Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Beginning 966

"Hey Spud, Biff, I won the Triathlon. Why are there trucks in our driveway?" Luke yelled as he dropped his duffel bag in the entry foyer of his house. Pounding and clanging from the basement answered his greeting. A deliveryman suddenly appeared in the doorway and poked a clipboard in his face.

"Are you Ximraam Stigsson?" the deliveryman mispronounced the name hideously. "Delivery for someone named whatever that name is." Luke grabbed he package from too near his face and tucked it under his arm. 

"Its pronounced Spud, asshole." Luke scribbled nonsense on the clipboard and shoved it back at the deliveryman. The deliveryman mumbled something vulgar. Luke slammed the door in the deliveryman's face. He went into the kitchen and opened the basement door.  

"SPUD," he bellowed so loud the walls shook. The clanging stopped. Luke heard whispered curses, shoulder slaps, and shuffling footsteps.

"Aw sweet Jesus, he's home already," Biff's whispered, panicked voice carried up the stairs.  

"Don't come down. It's a surprise," Spud yelled and appeared at the bottom of the stairs, bare to the waist, sweat and paint plastering his brown hair to his olive-brown body. Skimbleshans, their cat, ran up the stairs and rubbed against his legs. 

Ximrimmspud petted the cat, who then bolted up the corner stairs.

Luke slammed the kitchen basement door closed before opening the door in the pantry where Skimbleshanks purred.

Behind him stood an angry deliveryman. "Look, kid, we got a bunch of furniture for you."

Luke opened the front door for them. "OK, just put it here." He watched as the sofa tumbled to the ceiling.

He shook his head. He was all for adventure, but why did they have to buy a house designed by M.C. Escher?

Opening: Dave F......Continuation: Khazar-khum


150 said...

ID'd as Dave's from the name "Biff".

Evil Editor said...

P1: I would put the Luke yelled phrase after "triathlon." Or remove "yelled as he."

P2: I would make the first "the" the first word of a new sentence. Or say "the deliveryman said, mispronouncing... The second "the" is misspelled.

P3: Lacks the apostrophe in "It's." I would use a pronoun for "the deliveryman" at least once.

P4: comma after "bellowed." Really? The walls shook?

P5: "Biff's" should start a new sentence. Or say "Biff whispered, his panicked... Is it that easy to tell which person is whispering from another floor of the house?

P6: Not the place to tell us Spud has an olive-brown body. And assuming Spud is facing Luke, that Spud's hair is noticeably plastered to his body seems unlikely.

And the cat seems to run upstairs and rub against Spud's legs, as Luke hasn't been mentioned in this or the previous paragraph. Change "his" to "Luke's."

Dave Fragments said...

Two Notes:
Ximraam and Stigsson are real names and it is not unbelievable that one man could have both.

My computer has a bad "t" key and when it doesn't register "the" becomes "he" and "that" becomes "hat." Curses! Hey, everything else still works on the computer.

I'll comment on anything else when I get home. I need a new battery.

Dave Fragments said...

Thanks EE, I made all those changes and a few more.

Dave Fragments said...

I was hoping I might get a comment about starting the story at this point but that wasn't the case. I guess that its OK to start here when Luke arrives home and his buddies have a surprise for him.

Evil Editor said...

If the surprise is that they've installed manacles in the wall and are planning to brick him in, yes. If they've built him a go-cart, not so much.

khazar-khum said...

How is Ximraam pronounced? i"m guessing Shimram, but I'm usually wrong.

Dave Fragments said...

I think I mistyped the final letter as "m" but I can fix that easily. It only occurs once so far in the story. Mostly they call him by his surname - Stigsson - and my notes say he is the illicit son of an Arabic translator and a Caucasian sailor raised in a Thai orphanage and adopted by a Danish sailor. I don't think that I will put that in the story but "Spud" as he is nicknamed, acts that mixed up and anarchistic.


It's Arabic and I haven't a clue other than the beginning "Z" is valid as both an "sh" in sheep or a "z" as in Buzz (like bee) in other languages.

khazar-khum said...

That's a lot of backstory to saddle a character with. Especially since it sounds like it's deliberately being done to explain his anarchic tendencies.

Dave Fragments said...

It's my shorthand...
I use those tiny histories to remind me that character A is a white female or Character B is a male Chinese, or #3 an African American teen, or from the city, countryside, or from overseas and those characters will act different than we expect.

If I say to myself that a character is a martinet or gigolo, or a serious scientist and not specify in my notes their foreign origins, I tend to forget it and all my characters come out homogenous and bland.

The readers of this story may never know what race this character is or where he spent his childhood from the story. they will see it in his behavior or his words. It's the drive to be something other than a poor orphan that made this character genius enough to understand Quantum Mechanics and eventually destroy the world. It's the martinet genius aspect that changes all his dialog, makes him officious, makes him amoral, stuff like that.