Friday, May 29, 2009

New Beginning 644

The car skimmed across the edge of the road around the mountain. Ashley held on to the seat as if her life depended on it, who knew -- maybe it would, anything was possible with James driving. She wondered why she did it to herself. Everyone in school knew James failed his driving test five times before finally getting his licence. So why did she agree to get in the car with him. Especially this car; her life would be over if anything happened to it. James talked her around of course.

Ashley's hands squeezed the black leather as James yanked the wheel in the opposite direction, aiming for the next corner, a maniacal grin plastered on his face. What boy could resist trashing a V8 around such tight corners? Ashley gripped harder, her knuckles turning white. She wished she were somewhere else, until she caught sight of those blue eyes sparkling underneath the mess of dark brown hair.

"Relax," he said.

"How on earth can you expect me to relax?"

"Well, you said your brother was out of town for the week right?"

"Yeah. So?"

"He is not going to remember how many k's were on the car when he left."

"Still I don't think you should…"

"Relax..." He tuned the radio to a local hillbilly station and turned up the volume.

"Slow down!" Ashley shouted. "You're scaring me!"

James grinned. He grabbed her thin, white shawl and draped it over his head. "I can't see, I can't see," he joked. Then he heard the siren.

"This your vehicle, sir?" The cop was huge; looked just like Mike Tyson, and he wasn't smiling.

Jim pulled the shawl off his head, and then remembered Ashley's brother's business: the Klintonburg Kitchen Kabin.

Yes, there were three K's on this car, and the evening wasn't going to go well.

Opening: Shell I.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen cointinuations:

"There's one more angel in Heaven
There's one more star in the sky
Ja-ames, I'll never forget you
It's tough, but I'm sure gonna try."

"That was Ashley Phillips singing as one of the brothers. This remarkable singer actually got her start after a tragic car accident...."


The teacher flipped on the lights. "So what did we learn from this, class?"

The freshmen slumped in their seats, bored out of their skulls. "Be careful who you get in the car with?" one asked, just to get it over with.

"Exactly right. As you saw in the video, Ashley remained a paraplegic for the rest of her life--a lot like Anny, who drove drunk, but not much like Sam, whose liver gave out because he smoked.

"But as you know, class, there are other decisions we can make that will hurt us in the end. Our next video is a real treat. Unfortunately, it's not in English, so I got the version with subtitles."

Off went the lights and on went the video. It was blurry, so half the class went back to sleep immediately; the other half watched the gun-toting men through half-lidded eyes.

"...we will tear your hearts out with explosives..."

The class began waking up. "You got an Al-Qaida training video?! No way!"

The teacher smirked. "Way."


Evil Editor said...

A couple commas should be something else, period/semicolon/colon/dash--anything but commas. One period should be a question mark.

Ashley held on to the seat/Ashley's hands squeezed the black leather/Ashley gripped harder

No need to keep using the same picture to show she's afraid.

If she's in trouble if something happens to the car, one assumes she gave James the keys. Getting in a car with James is idiotic enough; that she would give him the keys to her car, or someone else's car is hard to buy.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great continuation!

I like this. Would like to see something happen soon though. Or maybe a little more grounding, but it's keeping my interest and pulling me along. Never heard the expression k's on a car, personally. Only thing that tripped me up, but not badly.

none said...

Surely if the car skims across the edge of the road, it will go off the road. Perhaps that should be "along the edge"?

Also don't like the as-you-know Bob dialogue. But then I never do.

_*rachel*_ said...

I think:
James talked her around[,] of course.
You could probably just delete the first paragraph; the second says it all just as well. And Ashley's holding on to the seat 3 different times; one would probably do.
K's on the car... you're using the metric system? Canada's my guess.
Ah, so much easier to edit when the writing's not your own....
Glad you're back, Evil!
Is it too un-PC to snicker at the runner-up continuations?

Hepius said...

I was working on a KKK continuation, but couldn't get one to work.

I'm with Rachel. I think it's a Canadian using those metric thingies.

I like a story that starts with some conflict right off the bat. I want to keep reading and find out what happens next. I think this is a good start.

If only it had some elves! I'd really be hooked.

Xenith said...

The action is fast and happening. The words are slow and reflective.

I'd shorten the sentences. Intersperse the thoughts (if you really need them) with action. Cut any unncessary words, moreso than usuaul. Also look at choice of verbs "gripped" is more urgent than "held onto".

Something like:

The car skimmed the edge of the mountain road. Ashley gripped the seat as if her life depended on it. With James driving, it probably did. He'd failed his driving test five times.

James yanked the wheel in the opposite direction. Her grip tightened, her knuckles turning white. Why did she agree to get in a car with him? Especially this car.
A bit fragmentary, but it's just an example.

writtenwyrdd said...

I have to agree that the pace of the writing and the pace of the action described dont' match. I liked this (and I loved the continuation) but I'm leery of stories that start with cliches like driving somewhere in a car or waking up. It's done so often that the writing needs to be really good.

Steve Wright said...

Probably minot point ... when it says "trashing a V8", should that maybe be "thrashing"? Seems to make more sense, but of course I could be wrong.

Personal and idiosyncratic reaction: between the maniacal grin, the sparkling eyes, and the mess of hair, I'm actually picturing James, inside my head, as some sort of Muppet. I wonder if this is the effect the author intends? (N.b., if it is, then I will buy the book, in hardcover, as soon as it comes out.)