Friday, March 04, 2011

New Beginning 839 (Chapter Opening)

Skeet once again returned his gaze to the younger sister. Faith: such a wonderful name, for she was an angel with long blonde hair. Skeet imagined she had eyes as blue as heaven, as he watched the innocent way Faith slipped the gold cross back and forth on the chain around her neck. Faith slid off the pick up's hood and pondered the lake full of skinny dippers.

Oh, damn, was she giving up and joining the rest? Something about her, so pure and wholesome, Skeet felt terrible for drooling. Well, that was a god damn lie, he’d’ve liked nothin’ more than to show her a thing or two in the bed of that Ford, but the good part of him told him to knock it off and it was better if she kept her clothes on.

“I’m walkin’ home,” Faith yelled at her sister.

Skeet shook his head. Oh well, Faith had been a pipe dream. His eyes drifted to Hope. Her long slender legs and red curls were wholesome, but not as pure and unsullied as Faith. He'd heard rumors Hope wasn't a virgin, but no proof. She was a long shot.

Skeet wandered to the edge of the water and spotted Charity. Yes, he'd known Charity since grade school. The girl who couldn't say no. He shucked off his shorts and dived in. Worst case, he was in with a chance of a pity fuck.

Opening: Angela Robbins....Continuation: anon


Evil Editor said...

I cut the opening short because it was too long and because the continuation worked better without the numerous other characters who popped in. Here's the actual continuation, in case you want to include it in your critique:

Cyrus tapped Harlan on the shoulder, and Harlan nodded. He didn’t start the engine until the girl disappeared over the hill. Lysle bounced up and down in his seat, as the Cadillac crawled up the asphalt hill, the same path Faith had taken.

“So, Harlan,” Cyrus said, his voice deeper and slurred. “We using lures, or do ya think the fish will just take to the worm?”

Lysle leaned over the back of the seat and reeled, high-pitched, far nastier than Skeet had ever heard any man take to humoring himself before.

“He finds the green ones,” Lysle said while making a motion of money slithering between his fingers, “work the best. Ain’t that right, Harlan?”

Harlan didn’t say a word, but just kept on driving, until they came across the blonde walking up the roadway. She was about twenty yards up ahead, and Harlan slowed the Cadillac to a snail’s pace.

“You ever been noodlin’, boy?” Cyrus asked, not once looking back at Skeet. His silver streaked head was locked in the direction of the girl, and Skeet imagined Cyrus’ eyes scoped out that Faith girl like a sight on a Winchester. “It’s where you just go in and stick your hand up in there and one of ‘em sucks on real tight.”

Evil Editor said...

It seems like this chapter is starting at the exact place and time the previous chapter ended, which makes me wonder why there's a chapter break.

I don't like interrupting “He finds the green ones work the best." with "Lysle said while making a motion of money slithering between his fingers.“ It's already a complete sentence before the interruption so readers don't expect it to continue.

I'd also dump the previous paragraph, partly because it isn't clear, and also so that the "green ones work the best" sentence comes right after the mention of lures. With a paragraph between the comments, readers may wonder what is meant by green ones.

The description of Noodlin is also unclear.

Dave Fragments said...

Nice and gentle start.
It reads rough, kind of stop and start. Try reading this out loud and you'll see what I mean.

Out loud it reads better like this:
Once again, Skeet turned his gaze to Faith, the younger sister with the wonderful name, an angel with long blond hair and eyes as blue as heaven. He watched the innocent way she slipped the gold cross back and forth on the gold chain around her neck before she slid off the pickup's hood and pondered the lake full of skinny dippers.

"Once again" and "returned" are doing the same work in the opening line. You only need one of them.

I smoothed out the rest of the description about Faith. It's Skeet's eyes we are looking through and not Faith's. This is his version of what she is doing and it's all rosy and in love wonderful.

Anonymous said...

First of all, if he's close enough to know that it's a cross she's sliding back and forth why can't he tell what color her eyes are?

Second, am I supposed to hate him? Because I do. I hate the blond being equated with angels and the blue eyes linked to heaven. It has an icky racist feel to me.

Second, admiring her purity while wanting to do her in the back of the truck means he's that kind of guy. You know, how she should be pure, be he doesn't need to, the kind of guy who once they're together will check the mileage on her car to make sure she really just went to the store when she said she did.

I didn't read the rest that ee posted because this just had an ick factor for me. YMMV.

none said...

What's being described doesn't seem deeply felt. Skeet might as well be choosing soda at the mall. The contempibleness of the other characters comes across much more clearly than Skeet's attraction to Faith.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I also found the characters extremely unappealing.

Polenth said...

On first read, I thought Faith was his younger sister. Probably not an issue if this is later in the book and Faith's identity is obvious, but it did change the whole meaning of the passage for me.

angela robbins said...

Author here.

Thanks EE and Dave for the constructive feedback. I think EE's right; there shouldn't be a chapter break between what preceded and this entry.

To note: Skeet isn't supposed to be feeling too much emotion here about Faith. He's never met her, and (worse) he's peeping on Faith and her friends with binoculars at the lake during the night. His Uncle Harlan and Harlan's friends have dragged Skeet along for a night of terrifying events. So you're not supposed to like any of them; they're more than contemptible.
This one night will define Skeet for the rest of his life. It will determine if he's a fruit of the poisonous tree or if he will redeem himself and rise above.
Sort of a Flannery O'Connor throw back experiment.