Thursday, March 04, 2010

New Beginning 733

There’s a special kind of shame in walking through a crowded space terminal in handcuffs. Something about having two uniformed guards part the crowd before you with their heavy-duty blaster rifles; something in the way mothers of young children draw their kids back and stare at you with a strange cocktail of fear and loathing splashed across their faces.

Sawyer let herself scan the crowd once, a small form of self-flagellation, as she exited the hover-car and stepped into the space terminal. Her belly churned with an unpleasant twist as she reflected on how far she’d fallen.

She had made many of these walks in her life by now. Squaring her shoulders and staring straight ahead she knew her face was a perfect blank, a pale slate wiped clear of all reaction. Maybe that made the crowd fear her more.

She told herself she didn't care. Let them stare. Let them all stare.

She could hear the whispers starting up behind her as she shuffled through the crowd. "She's the one." "The bounty hunter?" "They found her standing over the body."

Let them talk. Let them put her on trial. No jury in the universe would convict her. That Jar-Jar fellow had to die.

Opening: Elizabeth D. Walker.....Continuation: Ellie


E.D. Walker said...

OMG. I love the continuation.

Evil Editor said...

Nothing here is bothersome enough to stop me from reading, but I would delete a few words here and there:

p.1: "kind of," "heavy-duty," "strange."

p.2: "a small form of," "with an unpleasant twist."

P.3: "by now," "all."

Also, the first sentence of p.3 might be better as the 2nd sentence of p.2.

Bernita said...

I like this.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Nicely done. My only nit is with the small form part. Broke up the sentence a little too much for me. For me, it could be shortened as EE suggests, or stand alone as the next sentence (but then it'd be a fragment - I love writing fragments apparently).

fairyhedgehog said...

I'd read this. It's off to a good start and I'd like to read more.

John said...

This is a really good opening. My own little nitpicks:

Ever since Hunter Thompson, "fear and loathing" is a bit of a cliche. Also, since we know from the first sentence that it's a space terminal, I think in the second para you could just say "the terminal."

But I would definitely read on.

Dave Fragments said...

Interesting opening. I'm with EE mostly. Although, I'm not fond of the "somethings" in the first paragraph but they aren't harmful or disruptive or annoying. They fit the style.

Do you mean the soldiers are pointing and waving their rifles to part the crowd or the crowd moves back in response to two armed guards? It's not that you need to change the text but that is the image that floated in my mind -- two guards with rifles pointed moving into a crowd and nearly pushing it back. I didn't see the crowd parting in anticipation of the soldiers but in response.

That sounds so nitpicky but it bears on p3.

There is this great scene in Hitchcock's Psycho where Marion (Janet Leigh) is running away with the money and sleeps in her car. A state trooper with the blackest and most sinister appearance taps on her window. He's wearing these black aviator sunglasses and she just about jumps out of her skin. So does the audience. The scene wouldn't work if you could see the cops eyes. It's the anonymity that makes him scary. She's a thief. he caught her. Panic!
But after the audience's heart stops beating too fast, he's a benign and gentle cop looking out for a woman traveling alone.

It's not "maybe the crowd would fear her more..." If she looks blank, heartless, uncompassionate, uncaring, coldblooded, they will fear her.

Now that goes back to the soldiers -- are they actively moving the crowd back by pointing those guns or are they marching forward, rifles held prominently escorting a criminal?

So you are playing off her inner embarrassment with her outer bravado in a dramatic way.

And my last thoughts here are about the continuation. I rabble-roused a bunch of my family to go see "The Phantom Menace" and I sat in the theater appalled and offended by Jar-Jar. What an unfortunate character.

Hepius said...

Well done. I'd read more.

Great continuation. Jar-Jar ARRRGGH!

I'm not crazy about "blaster" rifles. Could you bump up the description a little bit? Blasters seem a little cliche to me. Too much Star Wars.

"a perfect blank" read strangely to me.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

That first para is punctuated oddly. Otherwise, I liked it.

mb said...

loved it

Dave Fragments said...

with the blackest and most sinister appearance taps on her window.

should be:
with the blackest aviator sunglasses and most sinister appearance taps on her window.

_*rachel*_ said...

I like this, a lot.

I think the main thing I'd change is shifting the first paragraph to third person past tense so it flows better. The first time I read it, it jarred a bit.

Speaking of jarred, I would pay cash to read your story if Sawyer actually did kill Jar-Jar.

Xiexie said...

It took me a moment to get through the transition from p1 to p2 with the change of tense and almost a change of POV. P1 could be in the -- is it in 2nd person? -- 2nd person and then P2 and beyond is in 3rd person.

Otherwise, I liked it a lot.