Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Beginning 555

"Look, he's there," Ben pulled at Wyatt's arm. Wyatt popped and jerked to the music in his earbuds. He let his eyes wander across the mall to the newsstand. "There! In the black duster." Wyatt shrugged and did his happy dance, both hands in the air and hips shaking. He answered to whatever rhythm filled his brain.

"I saw some bums in brown... some boobs in beige and some bootylicious butt cheeks in almost-translucent pink spandex, but no man in black Dude, no sir, no man in black." Wyatt slid his ballcap up the back of his head and over his eyes. Ben huffed, made fists, made pounding movements with his hands and stomped; so ready to break into a hissy fit.

"Over there. You looked right at him." Ben watched for any sign of recognition on Wyatt's face. Nothing. He tried again. "Broad-rim hat, gray bandana, coal-black pants, dusty boots." Wyatt's eyes opened wide. His eyebrows nearly touched the top of his forehead.

"Jeez, dude, that's him!" Wyatt shouted.

The man by the news stand turned toward them and his eyes widened in startled recognition. In a flash, before they could move, Jacques DuQuene, jewel thief and murderer, disappeared into the crowd.

"Dammit!" said Ben. He looked in exasperation at Wyatt's tee-shirt. Dammit again. If they had to go undercover as mall-rat music fans, why did his partner's favorite band have to be The Police?

Opening: Dave F......Continuation: Anon


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

"Wait a minute," Wyatt gasped, yanking the buds out of his ears. "You can see that guy? Your vision is returning?"

"Uhh ... " Ben blushed and looked away. "I just told you I was going blind so you'd stop badgering me about going to that neo-classic-modern-transgressive-outsider-art show on campus. I mean, that's not even a real thing!"

Wyatt popped his earbuds back in and started dancing. "That means we're back on for the weekend with my uncle's slush pile!" He turned up the volume so he wouldn't hear Ben weeping softly.


It was Dean Roswell, the morning disk jockey on 94.6 Rocks FM. And he was heading right toward them.

"Hey, Dean!" Ben waved at the minor celebrity. "Watcha doin' here?"

Roswell walked over with a microphone. "Hey, Dude. We've come to Elantra Mall for today's Morning Burrito. All I'll give you a clue, then all you have to do is belch the melody of the tune I'm talking about!"

"Sure," Ben said. "We can do that."

"OK, what was Tom Petty's first number one hit?"

Ben nudged his pal. "You know that! Petty's your favorite. Come on Wyatt, burp!"


The man in the grey bandana produced a wand from his folds of his coat and hissed to his harpies, 'schmucks. Go get 'em, girls' --wo

"Doc!" Wyatt shouted joyfully.


"That's a mirror, you idiot. You're looking at yourself."


“Thank God we found him.” Ben tagged Wyatt's arm. “That's what you get for going potty while EE is within ten miles of a Victoria's Secret.” Ben, body guard to the stars, and his assistant escorted EE out before he was banned from the last Victoria's Secret north of the Mason-Dixon line.

--Bill H.

"Son of a bitch."

Before Ben could move, before Ben could even breathe, there was a loud BANG as the man in the duster crumpled, lifeless, to the floor.

Ben blinked at the man, the broke into a grin. "You did it! He won't be shoving me into a locker again!"

Wyatt nodded, slightly, the earbuds still in place.


He was right there in the window of Best Buy - a life-sized cardboard cutout of Johnny Cash.

"I been everywhere, man," Wyatt sang as he continued his happy dance. It didn't matter that the London Philharmonic was whining out the Harry Potter theme song in his ear.

Ben grinned, huffed a bit more and did a wiggly version of the jerk. He loved cruising the mall, especially if Johnny Cash was involved.

Both men collapsed when the undercover orderlies jabbed them with tranq sticks then wheeled them out before any shoppers could be seriously inconvenienced.

"Thanks for setting up the decoy," one of the orderlies called to the Best Buy manager. "Hang on to him in case we need him next time."

They knew there would be a next time - Wyatt could be distracted by anything shiny, but Ben and Johnny were inseparable.

--Kate Thornton

"Doc!" Wyatt shouted joyfully. "And Marty! Hey, isn't that the original Jennifer? Looks like they're filming Back To The Future IV. Awesome, dude! Let's go get autographs."


Anonymous said...

"I saw some bums in brown... some boobs in beige and some bootylicious butt cheeks in almost-translucent pink spandex, but no man in black Dude, no sir, no man in black."

Really liked the lines quoted and such dialogue made me like Wyatt, too. (Ah, shouldn't there be a comma before Dude, Dude?) But. . .

But I think I should mention that the whole scene ( I'm guessing this is a chapter opening?)seemed almost cartoonish (adult swim, anyone?)because of the exaggerated descriptions and imagery. And of course I was torn between envisioning the guy in the black duster as either a bona fide cowboy or a Colombine wannabe and that was kind of confusing. If (based on the jacket blurbs)the story line/plot was interesting I would read on. I'm butter in the hands of a dude doing a happy dance!!


Dave Fragments said...

It's the opening of a short story for Halloween, 4900 words.

Anonymous said...

"Ben huffed, made fists, made pounding movements with his hands and stomped; so ready to break into a hissy fit."

One, if he's not already having a hissy fit, but just getting ready for one, I guess I've underestimated the violence of a true hissy fit. And, two, if I witnessed a boy having a hissy fit, I'd have to cuff him upside the head and tell him to chill. So I kind of don't like Ben. Sorry.

Dave Fragments said...

Ben's a bad guy. I don't want you to like him.

The Man in Black is not Will Smith, or a Columbine copycat, but an avenging angel sent to do justice.

And Wyatt is the good guy. But I never thought of him as Wyatt Earp. DAMN, damn, damn, damn, damn to quote "My Fair Lsdy"... Now I have to change his name.

And that might have been the first sentence I deleted. I'm struggling with this opening. One day I think it's too much. the next day I think it's too flowery. Then I think it's too long. Etc...

This is one of those cases where I fell in love with the words and it's driving me crazy.

writtenwyrdd said...

I found it difficult to penetrate this because it's so busy. But it is interesting. I didn't get that one was bad, the other good. I did like the "I saw some bums in brown... some boobs in beige and some bootylicious butt cheeks in almost-translucent pink spandex, but no man in black Dude, no sir, no man in black." But it made me think that guy was a punk kid or just being a hound dog, not that he was a baaad dude.

WouldBe said...

I didn't see any differentiation of good character and bad in this selection, but I don't think it has to be spelled out white-hat/black-hat style in the opening paragraphs, as long as the characters are compelling. These are interesting characters. I didn't get the placement of the hissy-fit sentence.

--Bill H.

Whirlochre said...

I'm with WW in that I found it a little busy.

Enjoyable though, and I do like the way you do dialogue in general.

One thing didn't seem to work, though — it's hard to let your eyes wander when you're popping and jerking. I'd have them dart — he'll still see much the same stuff.

Dave Fragments said...

I said earlier that This is one of those cases where I fell in love with the words.

I looked at this with loving eyes and when that happens, I start looking for flaws. That's the power of falling in love with your own words. That's what we all see when someone steadfastly refuses to change a query or a sentence. I understand my own mind/writing well enough that when I think "this is a wow" -- it's not. When I write one of these openings (or middle, or end) and I feel the same way, I know I've got something wrong.

Maybe it's paranoia, maybe insecurity, I'm not sure why, but I've learned to trust the tiny voice that says "it's not what you think"...

Thanks for the comments and I'll be happy to read any more comments.

Anonymous said...

If your bad guy is having hissy fits, well, he doesn't exactly give me chills. Unless, of course, it's a diabolical hissy fit, which is hard to pull off.

Dave Fragments said...

Ben isn't what he seems. He reincarnates as a baby and then lives another person's life. The Man in Black is his executioner, the right hand of justice, his archangel Gabriel with the flaming sword. Wyatt only knows him as a boyhood friend. Up until Ben betrays him.

I rewrote the opening. I didn't trust it and the comments pointed me in a better direction.

EB said...

Dave, I'm with WW and WO (henceforth maybe I should be BW) about this being interesting yet a bit too busy to get into. Wyatt's dialogue sounded pressured or speed-fueled to me...not realistic, but interesting. Could be a fun voice going forward. I didn't get the good/bad issues at play, but not a big deal. I'd read on.