Monday, February 25, 2008

New Beginning 453

Wink jumped into Tony’s shirt pocket, and….Wickety, Zap, Boom! they found themselves whisked into the cool misty night.

“AAHHH! What’s happening?” Tony looked down and saw the blacks of rooftops and the greens of trees whizzing past his watery eyes. When he looked up, he saw his hand grasping the foot of a tiny fairy. Her foot was the size of his thumb, and when she turned back to look at him, he noticed she wore glasses. Oh, great. A fairy who has trouble seeing.

Wink popped out and hailed a hearty “Hang On!” before ducking again into Tony’s pocket.

Tony did hang on, although hanging onto a fairy foot was no easy feat. The wind lifted his shirt up to his chin, causing Wink to grab onto Tony’s bottom lip. Then Wink’s sharp little claws found a fleshy spot on the inside of Tony’s cheek. Tony tried not to open his mouth. The thought of swallowing Wink made his stomach tremble.

Wink pulled a tiny bottle out of his pocket and took another deep draught. He banged the bottle against the side of Tony's jaw. "Ishn't dish great?"

Tony didn't think it was so great. His stomach ducked and weaved as the fairy whizzed around the taller treetops.

Wink tugged at Tony's ear. "You're my besht friend, you are. I love you!" The Elfin beer smelled sour.

The fairy dropped twenty feet to avoid a bat. Tony gasped and felt his little companion slide down his throat. Shocked and choking, he let go of the fairy and plummeted through the trees to the forest floor.

The trauma team finished stitching Tony's cuts and splinting his bones and bandaging his head and relocating his shoulder and filling him with medicine. "So, young man -- what on Earth happened to you?"

Tony closed his eyes. "I swallowed a Tiddly Wink."

Opening: Chris.....Continuation: Anonymous


Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, how's it going? I missed all you folks. I just read a few facelifts and got a good abs workout. EE, you're still on your game...

...dave conifer

Robin S. said...


If you shoot back by here to check comments, can you please email me at the address on my profile?

Chris Eldin said...


I love this place. It's like ComedyCentral.

(That's all I got. Only one simile. Not even a metaphor...)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what it says about us submitters that we all envisioned the same basic concept.

Chalk it up to experience, I guess. ;-D

none said...

Why is it so commonly held that people with glasses can't see? They can see perfectly well WITH their glasses, that's the whole bleeding point....

Vote on next rock.

Anonymous said...

Robin must mean the other Dave, right? Being as though I haven't been around in about a year.

Then again, I am in Novel Deviations I, that's gotta' count for something.

Sorry for cluttering up the comment trail...

...dave conifer

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

"Tony?" Karen, swaying, tried to stand. Her legs gave way and she dropped to the floor.

"He's flying, man," said Drake, somewhere behind her. "He's flying with the unicorns and shit."

"Unicorns don't fly," said Karen.

"Aw, shit, he's wasting the stuff." Drake lurched to Tony's side, managed to drag him upright. "Come on, man."

Tony stared straight ahead, eyes wide and unblinking.

"Shit," said Drake, "he's dead."

"Oh, man!" wailed Karen. What was she going to do? They'd been married for, what, two days? And already Tony had screwed everything up.


Wink giggled and clawed his way up on top of Tony's head. He grabbed tight hold of Tony's hair. "Well?" he shouted.

Tony grinned like a Cheshire cat and took another toke. "Dude! he replied.


Soon Tony began to feel the effects of the blueberry-scented fairy dust. Zip, Thwack, Zonkers! Tony found himself smack-dab in the middle of a very intense acid trip. Two days later he awoke in his putrid house with an origami swan stuck in his ear and a crumpled pile of leaves in his pocket. Unfolding the swan, Tony was surprised to find it covered with musical notations and some lyrics that began,

Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m comin up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
What ever it is, that girl put a spell on me

A week later, Tony changed his name to Jimi and bought a guitar.


“Oh, sure, sure. Yeah. Like we really believe ole’ Wink is a freakin’ fairy, there, Miss Chris," I said, watching her. "Now I’m serious, baby, turn us on to that inner fantasy thing going on in there, OK, honey? OK?”

Bing, Bang, Bong, Shazaam! Miss Chris came up from her fantastical thinking long enough to look around and get her bearings. “Wha…what are you talking about?” she said.

And that’s when I saw it. I saw she really was grasping the foor of a not-so-tiny fairy. She was really hanging on for dear life, in an oddly reverse exercise, from fantasy to reality, and back again.

But I caught myself thinking, watching them together, caught out, as it were, that swallowing just a bit of that Wink fairy boy wasn’t entirely out of the question. Not with the hearty “Hang On!” he was hollering at her, and her look of glee as she dove back in for more, leaving me standing there, in what passes for reality.

--Robin S.

"Shit, man," Tony said. "This is some powerful shit."

Cassie leaned back and popped a pill into her mouth, anticipating the giddy trip that they were about to take. Ten percent belladonna, ten percent nightshade, and a dash of LSD, there was nothing like Wink when you wanted to get high.


The breeze whipped through Tony's hair and grit stung his eyes as he swivelled in counterpoint to the fairy's dramatic swoops and turns. The air got colder as they got higher, above the treeline, into the mountains, then--

They just hung there, hovering as they fairy's wings hummed. Tony looked down. They were over the volcano, miles and miles from his family sitting in the little theatre. They slowly started to descend; he could feel the heat as molten rock bubbled and spit into the air.

"Now," said Wink quietly, holding on to Tony's earlobe with his needle-like claws. "I'm asking you one more time: When Peter Pan says 'do you believe in fairies?' what do you say. Think carefully, Tony; Tinkerbell here ain't feeling too good..."


Evil Editor said...

Then again, I am in Novel Deviations I, that's gotta' count for something.

Also, ND 2.

Evil Editor said...

AAHHH! is what you say after taking a swig of a delicious cold beverage after working in your yard for two hours. AAUUGGHHH! is what you want here.

It seems unlikely the wind would pull Tony's shirt toward his head if he's being towed forward. And I don't think the wind "caused" Wink to grab Tony's lip. "Allowed" him, or "prompted" him?

Anonymous said...

But what happened to the part about the leaves and the purple pony tail? (That's where I got the idea for the blueberry scented dust). Was this edited in between the listing and the posting?


Evil Editor said...

But what happened to the part about the leaves and the purple pony tail? (That's where I got the idea for the blueberry scented dust). Was this edited in between the listing and the posting?

It was edited, but not by me. The author asked if she could revise the opening. (Some continuations did come in before the revision.) The original included:

Instead, he made the best of things. He held onto the fairy with one hand and held out his other to rip leaves off trees as they zoomed by. Tony crumbled and threw leaves at the little purple fairy. Some leaves got stuck in her purple pony-tail. As she brushed at her hair, she left a trail of blue sparkle dust that smelled like blueberries.

Possibly the author realized that throwing crumpled leaves forward while moving at the spreed of sound wasn't going to get past the eagle-eyed minions.

none said...

Heh, the continuation I voted for won. Yay!

If Tony has his mouth shut, how do the claws get in there? Sounds very painful, yet Tony doesn't react in the way I'd expect.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hey Chris,

I love this. Drops us right in the middle of a very action-packed beginning where the MC is about as confused as the reader - instant identificaiton.

My trouble though is picturing where Wink is sometimes. Wink's in the shirt pocket, Tony looks down and sees treetops, Tony looks up and sees Wink's foot - in his hand. Not sure how looking up will show him Wink's foot if Wink is in the pocket or how his hand is holding the foot. My immediate sense is Wink is above him since he's looking up. Then suddenly Wink pops out of the pocket and I get whiplash.

So just a tweak or two in the location description and you're good to go. IMHO.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks for the comments everybody! And for the funny continuations!!

EE, I don't include many sound effects in my writings, so that was a great catch!! Thanks! And also for the wind dynamics. Gives me an idea for him flying backwards somehow.... Love it!

Yes, the glasses--it was a child's remark about not being able to see. I should elaborate on this point as well. Thanks!

Whirlochre said...

Maybe the AAUUGGHHH! is being saved up for when the fairy's ankle finally snaps.

I'm with the Squoil on the confusion with limbs in gob - particularly as the shirt ought to be in there too, given the updraft.

Another niggle - if this is taking place at night, then if the rooftops are black, I can't see how the trees would be green. If it's daytime, there's no need for the rooftops to be described as black - unless the author is reserving treats for us later.

Overall, this opening has potential, but in terms of style it has too much of a 'this...then this...then this...' feel to it for me.

Is the word 'feat' an intentional pun? I hope so.

Evil Editor said...

My trouble though is picturing where Wink is sometimes. Wink's in the shirt pocket, Tony looks down and sees treetops, Tony looks up and sees Wink's foot - in his hand.

Actually, I believe it's the fairy's foot, not Wink's. (If Wink is the fairy, you're right, but it seems there are three characters here.) We haven't learned what Wink is, but as the fairy's foot is big as a thumb, which would make the fairy too big to fit in a shirt pocket, we can assume Wink is smaller than a fairy. My guess is that Wink is a talking tree toad.

Chris Eldin said...

Dearest Evil has a short memory.

Wink is an erudite mouse who lives in a library and runs a popular blog. He is called Wink because his cheeks are so fat they push his eyes into a state of winkness.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Teach me to slow down when I read. Thanks, EE.

Dave Fragments said...

Dave Conifer: Robin wants you! Just like Uncle Sam Wants you.
BTW - There's at least four "Dave" people here.
Dave Conifer, Dave Kuzminsky, Dave Fragments and a Dave without a last name.

I only thought there were two characters here. EE says three. It's great action - apparently Tony being hauled around by a fairy. But who or what is Wink? Does the fairy have a name? a purpose? It's like a phrase is missing: Tony grabbed the fairy's foot and the fairy took off...

I like this, it sounds like fun

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hi Chris: I was confused about the number of characters, too. I thought I remembered Wink being a mouse, but then I thought maybe Wink was a fairy mouse because on first cold read this seems like just two characters. On second read, after clarification, it's clearly three. But I needed the whap on the head to re-read it correctly.

Really liking Wink popped out and hailed a hearty “Hang On!” before ducking again into Tony’s pocket. But I must caution you that "hail" is a list #4 said-substitute term, and cannot be used again. Those are the rules.

Work out a couple of the aerodynamics logic problems and this is a cute opener!

Hehe. Tiddly Wink. I voted for this contin, too. Gutless me, I voted anonymously :o)

ME: yours was a close runner-up. But that blueberry-scented dust coming out of nowhere was the deal-breaker for me...

EE: THANK YOU for turning off word verification!

pacatrue said...

Great place to start a story and a scene that's a lot of fun, but I also thought there were two characters, too, and so I was lost about who was where when. And how.

I hope Wink takes the boy to visit a famous Belgian artist. Like that guy who makes the chocolates. Now, that's art.

Anonymous said...

I found the alliteration of fairy foot and feat a bit distracting, could be fixed by changing feat to task, but what the hell do I know.

Wes said...

I was confused, too, regarding how many characters were in the scene and whose POV we were in.

I have a question about internal monologue. I view the passage “Oh, great. A fairy who has trouble seeing.” as being very effective in getting inside the character’s head, however it is a different tense than the rest of the submission. One of my favorite authors, A. B. Guthrie, Jr., used that technique, and it did not hurt him (As you know he won a Pulitzer for THE WAY WEST). But his novels and screenplay of “Shane” were written more than sixty years ago. How does the modern publishing industry view changing tense from past to present to show what a character is thinking?

Evil Editor said...

This isn't bothersome. I would call it past tense, with an implied "he thought."

It wouldn't hurt to put it in italics, with or without the "he thought; Tony has already spoken in the paragraph, so we'll know whose thought it is either way. Oh, great, he thought. A fairy who has trouble seeing.

Wes said...


McKoala said...

Aha. Wink, Tony and a fairy. Got it. This is probably clear in context.

If found it a bit odd that he didn't know he was grasping something. He'd feel it before he saw it; and 'grasping' sounds like a conscious decision. Also, how did Wink get from the pocket to Tony's mouth? I think there might be a step missing.

I love the quirky bits, like the fairy glasses and the difficulty of holding on to something so tiny (but agree on foot/feat!).

Anonymous said...

Does the verb to hail really work with "hang on!"?

Robin S. said...

I appreciate well done, well written alliteration, and I like it in this instance. I also like it because of its intended audience, and the reading rhythm aloud or otherwise, of this.

Sorry to be late to the party.

Evil Editor said...

Although hail can be used with or without an object, I don't recall ever seeing it used as "said." Normally you hail someone (or a cab) or you simply hail (The guy on the wall hailed as I drove by).

Whether "Hi EE," he hailed is legit, I can't say for sure, so I'd play it safe and find another word.

writtenwyrdd said...

I didn't get that Wink and the fairy weren't the same critters so I was a bit confused about that. I liked the voice, but the visual wasn't clear enough for me not to feel like I was working too hard. That said, I think it won't take much to fix, either. Sounds like a good middle grade voice.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks everybody---this is the opening paragraph of the second chapter. Wink and Tony are clearly established in the first chapter as the main characters.

I love 'hailed!' And somebody here dictated I could use it once.