Friday, December 07, 2012

New Beginning 979


“Out of time, out of options. Where you going to hide this time?”

The voice sounded like it was coming from the alley several meters ahead, but Gwen knew better. She whirled around and grabbed Rylask by one of his skinny necks, pinning the Grelund against the nearest wall.

“I’m not in the mood for this tonight. When I let go, you better run as far and fast as you can,” she growled.

The alien laughed with his left mouth while his right continued to gasp for air against the punishing grip of the young woman. One eye stalk swooped down and back up in an insolent gesture, taking in Gwen’s filthy uniform and her tangled hair. “Don’t think I’m the one who should be worried about running. Maybe you can kill me, but you’ll still be stuck here all alone. Maybe you should learn who your friends really are.”

Rylask's fifth tentacle snaked up to adjust the paper hat on Gwen's head. "I'm the only one left who'll work the drive-through during your midnight shift," he sneered.

The restaurant's back door banged open and a Grelund head poked out, eyestalks rigid with anger. "Both of you, quit hiding out here. Break time's over, I'm leaving, and those triffids aren't going to fry themselves."

Gwen released Rylask's neck. "Yes, sir," she said meekly. If she lost this job her parole officer would have her head. One of them, anyway.


Opening:.....Continuation: IMHO

11 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Good job of telling us what they're saying without info-dumping.

Not sure why Rylask says Maybe you can kill me... when the last thing Gwen said was When I let you go...

Also, his claim that she's all alone suggests this is his world, not hers; so which one should be called an alien?

If the voice Gwen heard HAD been coming from the alley up ahead, would she still have whirled around believing it was behind her?

The last thing Rylask says suggests that he is her friend. But the first thing he said didn't sound at all friendly.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Not bad, but I count at least five characters here:

Gwen
Rylask
the Grelund
the young woman
the alien

I honestly would have stopped reading at "the Grelund". Re-labeling of characters annoys me. If we need to know later that he's a Grelund, or an alien, we'll find out, yes? Right now the fact that there's more than one neck to grab tells us all we need to know: he's an unusual dude.

Similarly, we can guess Gwen's sex: few Gwens are male. Her age is probably not important.

Don't let anything interrupt the action.

Anonymous said...

Author here

That continuation was hilarious, so thanks for the laughs!

EE:
On your first point: yeah, I guess I don't know why he says that either.
The world they are on is alien to both of them; I called him an alien because it's in Gwen's POV.
The part about the voice seeming to come from ahead was meant to show that she recognized it as well as introduce the fact that Rylask is a natural ventriloquist.
The two have a lot of history together, but they're not friends. She doesn't trust him at all, for good reasons. He's meant to be taunting her, but after this sincerely offers to help her.

AlaskaRavenclaw:
Yeah, I was trying to not be too repetitive but I understand what you mean.

I thought this was good, but that's why other eyes are so useful. Back to the drawing board!

Lisa H said...

I actually liked it. I understood who and/or what the characters were in a very short time, and there was conflict and interest right from the start. Except for the things EE brought up, I think it's good.

I also really liked the continuation.

I'm such a liker today.

Evil Editor said...

The writing is good, no need to go back to the drawing board when you can tweak it on your iPad.

Not sure I see the motivation behind throwing your voice if you're starting up a conversation with someone you know. Maybe we should learn about his ventriloquism talent when he has reason to use it.

Anonymous said...

Author:
This better?

“Out of time, out of options. Where you going to hide this time?”

The familiar, but unexpected, voice came from just behind her. She whirled around and grabbed Rylask by one of his skinny necks, pinning him against the nearest wall.

“I’m not in the mood for this tonight. When I let go, you better run as far and fast as you can,” she growled.

The alien laughed with his left mouth while his right continued to gasp for air against the punishing grip. One eye stalk swooped down and back up in an insolent gesture, taking in Gwen’s filthy uniform and her tangled hair. “Don’t think I’m the one who should be worried about running. You need my help. Or you just going to starve here until the Kanli track you down?”

Dave Fragments said...

I would keep Gwen's name in the second paragraph:
Like this: Gwen heard a familiar, but unexpected, voice just behind her.

That's a personal choice. I like to identify the character real fast.


AlaskaRavenclaw said...

I find the continuation much smoother. I'd take out "but unexpected" because it's a hiccup in the flow and unnecessary-- her reaction tells us her feelings.

Never settle for good. Only excellent will do.

Evil Editor said...

Move "she growled" after "tonight," so we don't have to wait to find out which one is talking.

IMHO said...

Like!

Gets right to the action/conflict/setting; lots of information without info-dumping. I would read on.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hmm, yeah, I like this. Keep going.