Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Beginning 468

Sweet Christ on a bike but Nicola hated dollar beer night at the bar.

The place was always packed from the seedy stage to the grimy bar, wall to wall with every drunken college frat boy within a hundred mile distance. Almost three hundred sweating, stinking, immature fuck-ups swilling down cheap beer and leaving crap tips as they groped her, all packed into one tiny bar.

It was nights like these that Nicola really missed her ex. Max had been a shit and a fuck-up, but there had been something infinitely comforting about dating one of the bouncers. Max, useless as he always was in most areas of life, had always looked out for her in the bar, at least. The other bouncers did their jobs ok, but Nicola liked to have that killer instinct that thrummed inside a man and told him not to let his lay get groped.

Mother Mary on a trike but Nicola longed for cage fighting night, when the bruising hulks from across the street came in.

Yeah, it had been nice, fucking one of the bouncers, but it wasn’t like Max was hung like a war criminal, so it had been a while since she’d felt thrumming like she wanted to feel thrumming.

Getting groped by Thundarr the Terrible was terrific, and he did his business more than ok. He had a killer instinct, and a kind of groping-your-lay combination move that made Nicola wish that the towel girl job she’d applied for across the street would work out soon, so she could play where she was laid.

Yeah, it was nights like these that Nicola really missed her sex.

Opening: Moth.....Continuation: Robin


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

Jesus Christ on a Harley, she needed a drink.

She poured a shot glass full of Hot Damn and set it on fire with her lighter. Then she closed her eyes and drank it, fast, knowing she was being watched. The noise, already loud, grew deafening, the air vibrating with the noise of three hundred sweating frat boys yelling her name.

Nicola opened her eyes. The men looked different now, as if that killer instinct that thrummed inside a man now thrummed inside every guy in the bar.

Nicola smiled. Tonight was different. Tonight she was going to get laid. She was sure of it.


The bar buckled from another surge of uncontrolled testosterone. She tried counting to two, like Max always did, but she was barely a millisecond of splashed beer past zero when she felt a hand fumbing at her cleavage, its semeny fingers squirming over her flesh like dick larvae lukewarm for cunt.

'Back off, you shit.'

The signed photo of Zappa had hung over the bar since 1985, but now it span like a discus towards the geeky eruption of zits grinning wet dreams of fortysomething aunts between her nipples.


She turned to Shane and shrugged. He was stupid like the rest of them, but she knew he'd vouch for her if she smiled sweetly enough - so she smiled sweetly, just enough.

The kid wiped his bloodied lips on the cuff of his Victoria Beckham T shirt.

'You fuckin' slut!'

'Whaddya expect for a dollar?'

The band played the opening chords to Free Bird, and all hell let loose.


But no, the dumbass couldn't leave things alone and had to go and bite a customer. So Max was at the pound, and before she could bail him out some soccer mom with a shitload of kids got him.

And then they neutered him.


Miss Pettipants put down her notes, and sighed. It was one thing to give up writing cozies and try romances, but did her editor really expect her to write like this?


There was a commotion in the back of the room, and Nicola realized that a bunch of college boys had put a pretty girl in the middle of a blanket, and were using it to toss the giggling, shrieking coed up in the air. Simultaneously, she felt a hand on her ass. The last hand, she swore to herself, that would ever grope her ass.
Pulling an Uzi from behind the bar, Nicola jumped up on a table and screamed at the top of her lungs. "You fuckups! You're all fucked up! With a capital F! And a capital U. She began firing random bursts into the crowd. Kids began screaming and running for the doors, trampling each other in their mad bid for freedom.
Nicola dropped them in their tracks. When the room had quieted, she surveyed the scene with satisfaction, and jumped off the table.

"And, you're damn lousy tippers, too." she said to no one in particular, as she grabbed her purse from behind the bar and sauntered out.


Of course, now that Max was in prison for ripping a frat boy's dick off, Nicola would need a replacement.


Bernita said...

Fine, except the repetition of "bar" annoyed me, used for both the business and the bar itself.
"one grimy club"
"packed in one tiny room? space?"
Might consider if the reiteration is needed in every instance to establish the setting.

Chris Eldin said...

Mother Mary on a trike Snort-laughed for that one!

About the opening....I'd continue reading, but I'm not sure for how long. A bar packed with sweaty losers is cliche to me. I would be looking for some spark, some twist to pull me into the story within the next few paragraphs. The voice is strong though.

Evil Editor said...

p.2: A bar that has a stage and room for 300 people--including plenty of tables--doesn't sound "tiny."

Within a hundred miles is enough, without "distance."

p.3: I don't like starting two consecutive sentences with "Max." In the 2nd one, "Max" can come after "life."

No need for the first "always" in the 2nd Max sentence.

And remove "to have" from the last sentence

PJD said...

Is Nicola not a boy's name? Also, it sounds like a nicotine-flavored cough drop to me. Which in itself would be a sweet kind of irony.

I guess this is OK for me, and I'd read on for a while, but I'd probably put it down if it's all about sweating, stinking, shits and fuck-ups groping their lays.

Robin... Thundarr the Terrible? Beautiful continuation.

Nancy Beck said...

Robin, your continuation was absolutely, fucking HILARIOUS! :-)

Mother Mary on a trike AND missing her sex - priceless!

Oh, um, back to the first 150 words...I was laughing my ass off, although I'd agree with EE that having all those tables in addition to a bar AND a stage doesn't sound like the place is that small.

I'd definitely keep reading this to find out if the woman got her sex (whether with Max, Thundarr, or someone else ;-)).

Dave Fragments said...

I'm not fond of "grimy" bar and "seedy" stage. But I can live with the two words.

A tiny bar is a half dozen stools and five tables, no band - just a jukebox, a galley kitchen.

Each barstool takes up two feet of bar space. It's not like an airplane where you can crowd them in. You put drunken frat boys closer than two feet and you've got either (1) bar fights, or (2) a gay bar. Unless you are really classy, you want the band behind the bar and raised up. That makes the bar bend and curve so that two or three guys can drink together and see women.

The "Can-Can Room" (a bar I was intimately familiar with because I played Hammond organ during lunches), held 175 MAX and had a two dozen stools along a long bar with a stage behind it, twenty padded booths, a dance floor (with Yasmine, the belly dancer) and washrooms and kitchen. It sat next to a 40 lane bowling alley and was considered a large bar.

What can I say. the owner of the bowling alley explained the physical layout of the bar one day in terms of handling crowds and keeping customers well fed, liquored up and happy.

I can't imagine what 300 patrons looks like other than to say, the washroom better have troughs or those frat boys will be watering any vertical surface and the parking lot. Think of those old wild west bars with the peanut shells and the pickled floor.

The continuations were really fun to read.

The worst bar I was ever in had 2x4 furniture that could be replaced after the biker gangs fought. No chairs, just benches of 2x4's and raw wood tables nailed to the walls.

none said...

Umm, no, Nicola is a girl's name.

PJD said...


writtenwyrdd said...

I'd have read on a bit further, but the writing was a little bit too clunky for me. Lots of adjectives doing the work instead of more active phrasing. I don't mind adjectives, but "seedy stage," "grimy bar," "every drunken college frat boy," "hundred mile distance," "almost three hundred sweating stinking immature fuck-ups," "cheap beer," "crap tips," and "tiny bar" --that's too many modifiers.

That said, I really like the opening line and a lot about this piece. I just think that it would benefit by more active verbs and fewer modifiers.

Getting to backstory about Max before we have an apparent need stalls the momentum you develop with the first 2 paragraphs, though. I think the problem with paragraph three is that (I infer) she's been groped, and the grope leads to thinking of Max. But the grope really isn't present-- just a passing mention at the tag end of a descriptive list. The grope gets lost, and with it the logical transition to the memories of Max.

So expand the grope-- maybe into a paragraph of its own. Maybe make that grope its own paragraph, too, while you are at it?

Whirlochre said...

Great, great first line.

And I like the way the in-yer-face gunginess of the place is dispensed - like puke and sweat from a ladle.

No idea where this is going, but I'd read on.

Thanks to Robin, I now have no dry underwear.

'hung like a war criminal' Tee Hee.

Incontinence pants, duct tape and a swimming pool. It's the only solution.

Scott from Oregon said...

"The place was always packed from the seedy stage to the grimy bar, wall to wall with every drunken college frat boy within a hundred mile distance. Almost three hundred sweating, stinking, immature fuck-ups swilling down cheap beer and leaving crap tips as they groped her, all packed into one tiny bar."

The paragraph after this one would have led me on. This one, though, was "crammed full of menacing adjectives, all frothing and ululating for number one status, each one piercing in their desires to be the top adjective, each one screaming and shouting noisely..."

I guess my main objection to it, is that the adjectives used were all adjectives (and all other descriptors, too) one associates with a bar to begin with- "seedy", "grimy", "wall to wall" "drunken", "sweating", "stinking", "swilling"...

"groped" "packed"...

Lots of deja vu language that was less than interesting, "jam-packed" all in one paragraph.

Robin S. said...

Hey Moth,

Good stuff, honey. I freakin'love cheesy bars. So much happens in them (if you let it).

That's one of the reasons I really enjoyed doing the contin for yours (though EE fixed my first paragraph after the Mother Mary on a trike part, and it's better for it.)

Anyway, I think your setup is good for what is to come, other than the too-many-bar references, as Bernita noted, and the tiny bar thing - 'cause even if it's tiny and they're all jammed in there like a giant sardine sandwich from hell, the tiny adjective just doesn't track. (At least in my opinion.)

Love the Max paragraph. Love the line about not letting his lay 'get groped'. Great language usage there, being inside her head.

I'd read on, and I'd feel right at home - at least in memories, I would.

Anonymous said...

I guess I've gotten spoiled by Robin's bar scenes. This opening is of an ilk that I would tolerate if the plot (and jacket copy) had sparked my interest. Liked the "Sweet Christ on a bike" but the rest seems too "telly" and I usually don't go there so???? Really, "dollar beer night" and a few details is probably enough. Based only on these 150 words, I don't think I'd read on, but as I said, if the whole was more than the sum of the parts, perhaps I would.

ABSO ***** Lutely hilarious continuation!!!


Wonderwood said...

Overall I liked the opening but I think you could lose a couple of adjectives without losing any flavor.

Robin, kudos on the continuation. Mother Mary on a trike... The rest of it was great but that line had me laughing right out of the gate. Nice work, you nutty sinner.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that was a great continuation. See? NB hasn't run out of steam yet!

McKoala said...

I liked the voice and tone of this. The Max para was getting a bit backstory-ish, but that last line was hilarious and brought me right back into the story. Good stuff.

'Mother Mary on a trike', though...great line. Excellent. Can you work it in, somewhere?

I think points to both pjd and buffy; I think 'Nicola' is a boy's name in Italy? More common as a girl's name in northern Europe, though.

E.D. Walker said...

ee, Thank you for your tweaks. So much. Small changes, but a big difference. Thanks.

Robin, thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I absolutely loved the continuation. Laughed my ass off.

Dave, I'm actually basing my bar on a real bar and, I've belatedly realized it wasn't actually tiny- it just felt that way on weekends. Bleck. (and the stage is raised but its on the opposite wall from the bar- which doesn't curve at all).

I get everybody's adjectives hateration and I'll work on it.

Thanks for all the feedback, everybody.

talpianna said...

This is set in a convent, right?

Male name: Nicholas (as in Old Saint Nick)--Italian version Niccolo; Serbian version: Nikola (as in Tesla)

Female versions: Nicole, Nicola, Nicolette

Robin S. said...

Hey Moth,

Please don't forget, it's like WO said, your first line is killer good (it's the only reaosn my line was able to come along after it, after all), and so is most of the rest- it just needs a little bit or editing - not as much as you might think, after the 'thrumming' we all get when we post an opening here.

But thrummings are good - (I love your word choice there) - they make you stand back and take notice, don't you think? I'd just follow EE's line edit, and think about a few descriptors - but I wouldn't go nuts, if I were you.

Also- if you want Mother Mary on a trike - have at it.

Hey WW, (I'm now gonna be calling you Woody) I love being a 'nutty sinner'. What a great phrase! Maybe you should use it somewhere in your work. It's a hoot.