Friday, May 30, 2008

New Beginning 506

The nurse blows a puff of smoke over Johnny’s head, then tosses the burnt nub into the parking lot. “You may have a drag,” she tells Johnny, “after you’ve been cleaned up, stitched up, and paid up.” She squeezes his cheek and deposits him at the paperwork counter. Johnny thinks this squeeze is friendly. Friendly isn’t too far from sexy, so he decides to skip the paperwork.

Johnny limps back into the parking lot and sees the nurse smoking a cigarette with another woman. They are passing it back and forth. He wonders what else they share. As he walks over, he feels their eyes all over him. He stands between them and takes off his jacket.

“Your shirt is all wet,” the nurse’s friend says. She rubs her hand down the length of his arm.

"The ditch was wet," Johnny replies. "Great vacation, huh?" He laughs.

"You poor thing," the nurse calls him, and blows smoke from the corner of her mouth. Johnny likes the contrast of the gray against her lipstick. She puts her hand on his thigh. "And you must also get that leg fixed."

The nurse and her friend take an arm each and guide him back inside. "Let the doctors take care of you first," the friend says.

The nurse lights a cigarette and says: "Then we take care of you. We make sure everything is working, yes?" And she winks.

"Jesus," Johnny thinks. "No wonder the French healthcare system is the envy of the world."

"Alors! You have a fracture of the skull." The doctor sniffs, glances at his watch and crushes out his cigarette. "Come back tomorrow. Now it is already five o'clock and I am finished for the day."

Opening: Chris Eldin.....Continuation: anon


Anonymous said...

Wow, CE showing some versatility! This is a far cry from going back in time to find artists. Well done, too, I like it.

Evil Editor said...

It's not clear where everyone is. Where is the paperwork counter? In the parking lot? If the counter is inside a building, you don't just squeeze his cheek and deposit him there, you assist him from the lot to the inside of the building. If the nurse is in the parking lot, I wouldn't say she tosses her burnt nub "into the parking lot." Makes it sound like she was outside the parking lot. She tossed it to the ground.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks EE. I cut too much detail from the opening, but I see a bit more is necessary.

LOL at the continuations--all of them! And EWWWWW at the bobbitt one!!

Sarah Laurenson said...

More detail would be good, Chris. This feels like a skeleton that needs some flesh.

Post a new version in the comments?

Wes said...

Not setting the scene leaves the reader without an anchor to orient themselves in time and place. What is the time period? There's a lot of smoking by health care personnel we wouldn't expect today. That can be fixed easily as you suggest. How would you term the POV? I'm not familiar with using this verb tense in third person. I'm not saying it is wrong, just different. You could get a nice alliteration (sp?) by changing "burnt nub" to burnt butt".

Stacy said...

I'm not sure if you were going for a quasi-sexual opening, but that's the way it read to me.

I'm waiting for the rhinocerous with the thong to show up.

Chris Eldin said...

This is the second story based on the character Johnny. It's meant to be fun and a little sexy.
I've posted the beginning of the first bit on my blog, and will continues the "Johnny" series on Fridays throughout the summer.

Thanks to Dearest Evil for timing this in such a nice way! (Even if it is just a coincidence!!)

Sylvia said...

I'm afraid I read this totally in the wrong light - I thought it was going to be one of those little Johnny jokes. Then I saw the name and recognised the character and had to add 20 years to his age, but fast. :)

Robin S. said...

Johnny thinks this squeeze is friendly. Friendly isn’t too far from sexy, so he decides to skip the paperwork.

Chris - I really like your narrative in these sentences. Says so much about Johnny.

I agree with the grounding thing- but I know from the posts re: Johnny on your blog - this isn't usually the case.

The continuation with the French health care system was a scream.

writtenwyrdd said...

This was hard to follow but I did like the voice. The creepy sexual overtone was compelling.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

As long as you keep in mind that there is no plot, very little characterization, and zero character growth, you might enjoy this.

Characters welcome.
If you want me to fictionalize you as a ladie or a jealous gent, let me know.... You get no editing powers however. I call it as I see it.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

Johnny looks at the camera with a shit-eating grin.

This porn star gig was working out better than he had dared to hope.


He looks down at the damp patch and blushes. "Oh, uh, yeah. Man, that's never happened to me before. Guess it was the lesbian cigarette thing. Sorry."


He feels a strange sensation run through him. He feels like a weight has been taken from him.

The nurse looks down at the ground and flicks her cigarette away. "Sorry love," she says. "But you really should have got yourself fixed up first. Come on, let's get you inside. Shelley, love? Pick up his arm would you?"