Friday, January 12, 2007

New Beginning 186

Glen backed out of the driveway, shifted to drive and spun the tires of his SUV on the snow covered suburban street. The doors locked with a soft thud. Linda shivered in the seat next to him, undoubtedly impatient for the heat to come on. The New Year’s Eve party was still going, but Linda had asked to leave. Glen had hoped to spend a little more time with Brandy, the party’s hostess, and suspected she was Linda’s reason for wanting out. Snow was falling fast and the illuminating cones from the headlights ended early in the onrush of white flakes. The windshield wipers gathered chunks of ice and slush that refused to lose their grip when the wipers changed direction. Glen turned on to the deserted four-lane that led home, noting the lack of fresh tire tracks.

“This must be what it’s like driving in a snowglobe,” Glen said.

“You say the stupidest things.”

“Sorry, I’ll just shut up and drive.”

After a mile, a semi came speeding down an on-ramp, its trailer fishtailing in the snow. “Watch out,” said Linda. “This guy’s drunk.”

The semi pulled along side them. Through the blizzard, Glen could just make out the block letters on its trailer: Industrial Package Supply. He pumped his fist and elbow at the driver, like he used to do on road trips as a kid. “I think he wants to race.”

“Just let him go by.”

“Like hell. I can beat him to the bridge.” He crunched the gas pedal, but the semi sped ahead.

"What are you doing?!" Linda screamed. "You'll get us killed!"

Easing off the accelerator, Glen noted the sign that read BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD. As the semi barreled onto the bridge, it jackknifed. The trailer tumbled, peeling open like a tin can.

“Glen, stop!” But there was no time. Glen had no choice but to veer through the guardrail and into the river.

As icy water filled the vehicle, the headlights shone upon thousands of foam packing peanuts swirling all around them.

“There,” said Glen, shivering, “now this is what it’s like driving in a snowglobe.”

Opening: Inkmandoo.....Continuation: blogless_troll


Anonymous said...

LMAO at the continuation.

Why, oh why are those two people together? She's a bitch, he's wanting to be elsewhere...I have no tolerance for people who hate each other but stay together anyway.

I liked the writing, though. I'd probably keep reading just to see how this goes--and hoping one of them dies pretty quick. Linda, specifically.

writtenwyrdd said...

I liked the writing, too. You give us the hint that all is not well in the relationship, that there IS a relationship, and the description of the scene is good.

So far, though, nothing is happening, and you are driving on a snowy road. If a crash doesn't occur, something better happen right away. (I really wanted him to pull over and boot her out of the car and return to the party, though.)

Anonymous said...

The prose is not particularly bad (i.e., the grammar, spelling, and syntax all work), but for me it would get tiring pretty fast, mainly because it's over-written.

For example,

the illuminating cones from the headlights ended early in the onrush of white flakes

gathered chunks of ice and slush that refused to lose their grip when the wipers changed direction

--that's a lot of words that don't say much.

I also don't care for flashbacks in the first paragraph: but Linda had asked to leave. Glen had hoped .... This approach blunts the conflict between Glen and Linda. (I would bring it out in dialog between the two, possibly as they trudge through the snow to their car.)

A minor point: A New Year's Eve party would likely have too many guests--and cars parked on the street--to allow this couple to simply "back out of the driveway."

I'd start over.

(Clever continuation.)


Anonymous said...

I think this is very well written. It's a good start, mainly because I can relate to it (sorry, cheryl). I've come close to driving into a river (bridge abutment, whatever) myself, blogless.

This isn't the first thing The Inkman has written that I like. Keep it up. -JTC

Bernita said...

I gon't have adjective allergies, but neither character gets any sympathy from me - especially him.

Inkmandoo said...

Thanks for the input. Loved the continuation.
Read the rest of the story on my blog.

Bernita said...

I just did.
I was right - he's a bastard.
Good job, Inkmandoo.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, every single sentence in this brief excerpt started with the subject, followed by the verb... The lack of variety made for a wooden style and poor flow. At least the sentences were long enough to prevent it from being choppy.


Rei said...

Allow me to second everything that anonymous #1 said. The "flashbacks" especially bothered me. It's the first paragraph, and you're already flashing back and relying on telling? That bodes poorly for your novel.

McKoala said...

I think it's a story, rather than a novel, but I agree with the backstory in the first para, would love to see that come out of a snippy exchange rather than being told. For that reason the first para didn't appeal to me particularly, but the exchange between them was nice and hints at personality.

Anonymous said...

Dear troll without blog,
You have a warped sense of humor. I like!

It's hard to confine my comments to your section after reading troll's continuation, but here goes (a fresh opinion without reading the others in the comments trail): when I got to "Glen had hoped to spend a little more time with Brandy..." I thought-this is written by a woman. Men (please forgive my stereotyping sexism) often have a more graphic and shorthand way of thinking--Brandi's a fox. Brandi was hot. Brandi had a thing for me.

A lot of men are clueless about their girlfriend's jealousies. If they recognize them at all, they're going to have some emotional reaction: Linda's jealous again and I'm sick of it. Here we go again, how can I ever assure it I won't fool around. whatever.

I liked the dialogue. I think you can probably skip the second third, fourth, and fifth sentences of the opening paragraph all together and let that bit of set-up come-out in the dialogue.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Well, that will teach me to comment first and read comments later--Inkmandoo, you're looking pretty male.


writtenwyrdd said...

I read your continuation. Your pov character is so B.A.D. Bad! I hope his life is going to spiral out of control and he gets a lousy comeuppance as karmic punishment, a la Very Bad Things.