Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Beginning 215

Laura Evans pinched the bridge of her nose, squeezed her eyes shut and willed her mother to shut up. "Mom, I love you. I'd do anything for you. But not this."

"You have to! I don't have anyone else!"

"Get Bridget to watch the store." Laura jerked open the freezer and grabbed a bag of peas, then walked to the living room, falling back onto her couch and placing the frozen veggies on her forehead. The headache didn't care.

"The last time Bridget watched the store, I ended up missing a full case of cherry-flavored condoms! Can you imagine? A case!"

So much wrong with that sentence, Laura almost laughed. First of all, one's mother shouldn't own an adult store. Secondly, Bridget flirted with seventy if she was a day.

"She says that Old Clancy, since he retired from accounting, likes for her to—"

"Mother! Stop!"

Too late. The visuals flooded her brain.

When Laura arrived at the store, Bridget was waiting outside. "Heard your ma's out of town," she said. "Thought you might need some help."

Looking at Bridget's face, softly creased with age, eyes bright as a toy panda, Laura couldn't imagine the shenanigans her mom had suggested. "Okay," she said reluctantly as she unlocked the door. "I guess I could use some company."

Bridget and Laura chatted amiably as Laura prepared for opening. Having Bridget around was almost like having her grandmother back.

"Just make some tea, shall I?" Bridget asked while Laura did a quick check of the merchandise.

Laura smiled. That would be nice.

"Oh, by the way . . . " Bridget leant in closer, confiding a secret. "Last month when I minded for your ma, I threw out a whole box of that cherry gum. Sure, it lasts forever and blows great bubbles, but it tasted like crap."

It was all Laura could do not to burst out laughing. "I'll let mom know not to order more," she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Y'know," Bridget went on, "you just can't beat a good old stick of Wrigley's to take away the taste of a man's juices."

Opening: Brenda Bradshaw.....Continuation: ril


E.S. Tesla said...

"Secondly, Bridget flirted with seventy if she was a day."

Say what?

Dave Fragments said...

The tone of this is YA, the looks of it are YA and I'm guessing that it is Sue Johanson's granddaughter or niece writing an autobiography.

Two things:
I think "So much is wrong with that sentence" is said wrong. Laura should say that under her breath - muble something like "but BRidget is 70 and ...
I don't care for the author telling it.

And it took me a few seconds to figure out she was using the frozen peas as an ice pack for a migraine. That's a nice touch but the words are a little bit off. It needs some life.

In case you're all wondering why I seem to take the subject in stride... A few years ago I sat in a hospital room with my Mother, my two nieces and their sister-in-law and listened to the discussion of breast feeding, childbirth, uteruses and all that stuff after the one had a baby girl. The shock has come and gone. :)

It's a cute opening. Brenda, you had no reason to fear. It's got a light and breezy feel and makes the character (the youhg girl) engaging. Teen angst is something we can all enjoy in a book.

And RIL - you naughty, you naughty.

Brenda said...

e.s. - In other words, she's old.

Dave: Thanks - but she's not a young girl. She's grown, and that's why she's able to watch over her mother's adult (sex) shop. Which also means it's not YA, because I doubt YA features the contents one would find in an adult store.

This opening (and about 200 other words) were written in a 15 minute time frame challenge. Very raw still, and not too close to my heart, which is why I was able to put it out here to be... well, slaughtered is the word that comes to mind.

ril: I absolutely LOVE where you went with it. My friend read your continuation and she agreed that it sounds like something I'd do with it myself. Love love love it! (I guess you knew it was contemporary romance, and not YA? *grin*)

Wonderwood said...

There's no tension, no conflict, where's the damn body? LOL Just kidding. I thought the opening was pretty good, but it could use some refining. I think you could drop this line at the end of the third paragraph: "The headache didn't care." It's a good paragraph and that line doesn't add anything. I think this line could be reworked: "Secondly, Bridget flirted with seventy if she was a day." I know what you're trying to say, but I don't think it plays as well as you want it to. And unless Old Clancy's retirement from accounting plays a role in the story, that piece of information could be dropped or worked in later, it struck me as forced right there. Nice job Brenda, it's a good opening.

Stacia said...

Lol at the continuation!

I confess the very beginning--"I love you but I won't do that" made me think of MeatLoaf.

And I agree it needs tightening. But I think it's adorable. I love the concept.

Anonymous said...

The tone of this is YA, the looks of it are YA

Ah, when's the last time you saw an adult novelty store featured in a YA story there, Dave?

Dave Fragments said...

"Ah, when's the last time you saw an adult novelty store featured in a YA story there, Dave?"

AHEM - why do you think I said it reads like YA?

And yes, it is an adult subject but not an unknown subject among kids and teens. Teen Angst starts out as dating and all those troubles.
Do you know a girl who got pregnant at 14? I do. So this subject is not out of bounds. Granted I might not discuss sex and love with an eleven or twelve year old boy. Boys like cars and dirt and sports and stuff like that. But girls, They mature earlier and need the appropriate discussion. (NO is such a simple word!)

What do you do with the young girl who comes home with clothes that make her look like a streetwalker (in blunter language, a whore)? I've been through that and had to refuse to buy certain items of clothing.
How about trying to find a lonely corner of a mall food court so a 16 year old can breast feed her kid?

Sorry about this, I got carried away.

McKoala said...

I've gotta stand up for 'The headache didn't care' line' - my favourite line in the piece. 'Old Clancy' sounded a little forced - I think it was the 'old' and the 'accounting' that made me feel like I was being fed a bit too much info. I wonder if you need para 5? You could let us stew on Bridget and the condoms for a while and wonder what exactly it is that Laura's mother is asking her to do... It's a good start, though, you didn't need to have such collywobbles.

Ril...what can I say? Truly, you are the Smutmeister. And funny with it.

writtenwyrdd said...

OMG the last line of that continuation!

I liked the voice in this, Author, but it is a bit rough still. I got the peas (they are the best for an ice pack, but corn stays frozen longer) and the dialog was decent. It does need a bit more life, still, as Dave mentions. I'd have kept reading to see where you went with it.

(Dave, you should try having a few nurses, strippers, ex-hippies, a lesbian porn actress and several militant gay men sitting around and discussing the trials and tribulations of their daily lives while under the influence of way too much alcohol... Fond memories of San Francisco, lol...)

Anonymous said...

oh my!!!! I cracked up at the gum!!
nice job!

Marissa Doyle said...

Tone YA? Huh? No way.

It's a fun start. And the continuation was bloody frickin' genius.

Brenda said...

Thanks everyone. This is a back-burner WIP, although I may have to move it up and work on it sooner. This was more fun than I thought it would be, and I didn't even vomit once. Amazing.

I'm glad others are not seeing/hearing a YA tone. That had me quite stressed out yesterday.

I do have a confession: The idea of this book came from this blog. Don't ask...

Anonymous said...

I'd read it, at least so far, cause it's funny. Mad funny.

I was in my teens, when I went looking for a part-time job. Being a complete dum-dum, I walked into random stores, just asking if they had any openings. So... inside one of the stores I looked around, and saw all those THINGS!

So, it could be YA.

Now I'm off on a bout of hysterical laughter, cause I just pictured my teen face, on that day.

Oh, and my wv is a curse.

Anonymous said...

It's from EE's 'Picking perfect cherries' and usefulnes of agents discussion, ain't it?

Do I win a prize? I don't eat condoms, but maybe a breathmint?

Cherries... yum.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and illiterate, stop faking innocence. We all know why u went into that store. Don't we?