Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Beginning 179

“Sir, step out of the car.” Deputy Martin held the man’s license in one hand and palmed the butt of his pistol with the other. He watched his subject clamber out from behind the wheel of the SUV. Unsteady on his legs, the driver swayed on his feet under the cold light of dawn. “Put both your hands on the car,” Deputy Martin suggested. “It'll help keep you balanced.”

“Wait, am I under arrest?” Tory asked.

"No, sir." said the Deputy. "You were stopped because you were speeding, ninety-five miles an hour in a seventy-five mile-an-hour zone.”

Tory Burns snorted. “Uk-h-h. Just because I passed that truck back there doesn‘t mean I‘m drunk.”

“No," agreed the Deputy. "Felony reckless driving, passing a semi by driving on the shoulder doesn’t mean you’re drunk.” Deputy Martin wrote on the ticket. “I’ll have to test you for alcohol level. Breathe into this, please.”

Tory ran a hand through his curly ginger hair. “Is this really necessary officer?” He reached for the breathalyzer bag, almost tripping over his own feet. “I’m already late for work.”

“It’s routine procedure, sir. Look, you can hardly stand.”

“It’s not me,” Tory protested. “It’s these shoes.”

“This is a serious matter, sir. I’d appreciate it if you took that stupid grin off your face. Your nose is as red as any drunk I’ve ever seen.”

Tory shrugged. “Can’t help it, officer. This is my face.”

The deputy glanced down at Tory’s bright, plaid trousers. "Golf pro?"

Tory shook his head no, while his fingers absently adjusted the flower in his lapel.

“I just need you to blow into the bag, sir.”

Tory put the breathalyzer to his lips and blew as hard as he could, inflating the bag to about two thirds. Then, after a couple of deft moves with his hands, Troy returned the breathalyzer to the Deputy.

“What’s this?” the cop asked.

“It’s a dachshund.”

Deputy Martin sighed. “I can't let you back behind the wheel,” he said. "Bad enough you can barely stand, but you don't even recognize an obvious giraffe when you see one."

Opening: Laura Pellerin.....Continuation: Anonymous


Anonymous said...

The continuation is genius. -JTC

Anonymous said...

I really like it.

Of course, I'm one of those weirdos, who felt disappointment, that King's 'Desperation' was not a police brutality book.

Bernita said...

Writing is clean and clear.

McKoala said...

I kind of liked the Deputy Attitude. Loved the continuation.

Anonymous said...

Liked the continuation. I'll bet the author is green with envy.

Dave Fragments said...

This is so odd.
I read this a few days ago in the Openings and hated it. I was lying in wait for it to appear.
As I keep reading it, I find nothing wrong with it. It's well written and to the point.
First time for me to be so stumped as to why I don't like it.

Rei said...

I'm indifferent to this. I'm a bit concerned by redundancy, such as "Unsteady on his legs, the driver swayed on his feet." However, only a bit. I'd have to see more to know if this is going somewhere :)

Anonymous said...

How about The Biggest Blunder awards?

Anonymous said...

Ooops, posted on the wrong thread. Thought I posted on the 'Awards'.

No offence to 179, I've read it and it's cool. I'd read it.

s.w. vaughn said...

Nicely written beginning. I'd be interested to see where it's going.

And will someone please write the novel that goes with the continuation? Poor Tory... clowns always get the shaft, ya know.

writtenwyrdd said...

While this is pretty much what I'd have said to a drunk guy while doing a sobriety test, it doesn't really work here. I think it is trying too hard. The humor is in the situation and the deputy sort of mechanically going through the drill of proving his case in court, and the obvious lack of sobriety in our hapless driver/victim. But somehow, the language doesn't quite make it rock and roll.

It occurs to me that we don't know whose side we are supposed to be on: the deputy's or the drunk's? So, perhaps we don't know if this should be funny (cop's pov) or irritating (drunk's pov). Cop humor is such that being absolutely factual and matter of fact can be a way of "getting even" with recalcitrant people, which I'm sure you knew. And the piece seems to be either omniscient or the cop's pov...

Maybe bring the focus in so we know whose side we're on?

Another thought: The scene is either going to explode into an arrest or nothing's going to happen, and he's just released. Unless the drunk has an uzi in his pocket, this seems to have unexciting options going for it. That might be the problem, too-- a lack of tension due to there being no visible crisis.

I hope this is of help. I'd read on a bit, in any case.

HawkOwl said...

Writtenwyrdd - I couldn't disagree more. :) I don't think being "on the side of" the drunk/reckless driver is an option, and arresting a drunk/reckless driver seems like a pretty volatile situation to me.

What I didn't like about it is the overdone verbs. "Palmed." "Clamber." "Swayed." "Snorted." Blah! Other than that I was enjoying it.