Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Beginning 840

It only takes a few minutes to disable the brakes on a bike. Less time than it took to find pliers and gloves. So, thankyou Mandy, for leaning your bike against my picket-fence. The rose bushes give me cover and my hand can slide between the pickets and unhitch the cable. Easy

Very soon, you and your friend will finish your door-knocking, mount your pink cycles and pedal up the crest. Then you’ll freewheel down towards Hoffman Avenue. Good old Hoffman Avenue, the grown-ups have been trying to get the speed-limit along there lowered for ages. Ha ha, your pretty little smile’ll be no match for a 24-wheel truck. Take that! My only disappointment is that I won’t have the pleasure of seeing you go splat.

But, as usual, I don’t get the last laugh.

You and your friend kick-off to start up the slope, swerving right and left to gather speed. She suddenly veers in front of you. I’m guessing you squeeze the brakes, but you glance her back wheel, and wobble for a few yards before putting your foot out to stop. Not even so much as a graze or bruise. Bitch!

You examine the front brakes, then look sharply towards my house. Of course you can’t see into my window, but your face told me that you knew.

Game on.

I raise my hand and speak into the phone I hold: “Cancel the 24-wheeler; initiate plan B,” then simply hang up. You think you’re lucky Mandy? Well you haven’t seen plan B, bitch.

You start walking down to Hoffman while your friends dismount and join you. The high pitched wail of a small military aircraft swells from a distant whine to a loud roar before shooting past my house and over your puzzled face. I will remember your face forever Mandy. The look of distress as you realize there is a 200 pounder making its way down to the road. Down to you. The resulting fireball is ingrained into my memory forever, the bent and melted bike frame, pink and black.

That will teach you for pulling down my pants in gym, Mandy.

Opening: Anony Mouse.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

P1: thank you: 2 words. Period after "Easy"

P2: I would go with "bikes" or "bicycles." Do people ever refer to them as "cycles"?

"Take that!" doesn't have the right tone. Up to then it's been cold and calculating. Even though it's a kid, I like it better if he maintains the persona.

I would skip a line after p2 to show that time has passed, the time between the unhitching of the cable and the return of Mandy.

I'd get rid of "Bitch!" at the end of p4.

p5: You need to stay in present tense. The last sentence switches to past.

I think it's an intriguing start.

Anonymous said...

This is good. Wonderful first line. Awesome second line.

I'm already curious as to context, age, etc.

Dave Fragments said...

This works for me. It sounds a bit hard but then, I'm guessing that its a kid talking and they can sound really cruel to each other when they get cranked up.

The only reason I might change it (and I do this with short stories) is if when I am completely finished with the story, I go back and take a look at how I might improve the story and then, sometimes, characterizations get added, color gets added, location changed or I see a way to improve the scariness or the emotion or some thematic portion of the story.
For instance, If I write an outerspace story, I might go back and turn it into a specific story about earthmen on Gliese or twist it into aliens on anpther planet.

Or if the story is emotional, I make make it more sorrowful.

I've changed the season of a story form Spring to Fall or Summer to Winter. If one particular season suits the story better than the other.

Other than that type of change. it's a good opening.

Adele said...

As EE said, watch out for switching tenses.

It might just be me, and I don't read a lot of this POV, but I have trouble time-traveling in the first person. In para 2 we're talking about the near future: "Very soon, you ... will finish ..." but in para 3 we travel to the future: "But, as usual, I don't get the last laugh", when the event we're talking about in para 2 has already taken place. Then we time-travel to shortly after para 2, before para 3, for para 4.

The 1st person POV gives me an interesting look into your little psychopathic friend's mind, but I'm running out of brain room for organizing events.

As I said, this might just be me. Maybe other people don't have a problem.

Jo-Ann said...

Author here: Thanks for the praise! I absolutely loved the continuation, had a great laugh. Might even borrow it!

The MC is a prepubescent girl who comes from a nice, suburban family - picket fences and all - but with a unique perception of the world, and a determination to not rest until she's evened the score.

I first envisioned the story as a journey through the system's inherant difficulty in dealing with offenders who are seen to have limited capacity for insight into their own behavior - think of the 2 British boys who murdered James Bulger.

Then I got bored with that, so the story focuses on the escalation of hostilities between the protag and her perceived enemies - and how her mother reacts when she realises that she's raised a sociopath.

Dave Fragments said...

I wrote a comment here yesterday and it didn't get posted. That's the second comment that seemed to go astray.

Evil Editor said...

Possibly I forgot to publish it. Is it there now? The other one, about the cookbooks, I didn't publish because you didn't send it to the cookbook post; you sent it to feedback request.