Monday, December 26, 2016

New Beginning 1061

Come on, not blisters again.

My entire body was covered in them: pus-filled, bursting, itching boils. They could’ve attacked when I was at home, or later, during my appointment. But no. The Blister Chief Commander probably thought, Daniel hasn’t shown up for gym class since the beginning of the school year, so why don’t we strike when he’s right in the middle of the clinic, and watch him gallop outside as fast as he can?

And that’s exactly what I did; I ran to a place with nobody around: the clinic’s back parking lot. Adri followed.

“I know what you’re doing,” she said. “You wanna call Mom and tell her that you’re covered in blisters. ‘Cuz you want her to bake you a chocolate cake.”

“Wow, Adri! Did you figure it out all by yourself?”

She pulled a face. “Let’s go in.”

“I can’t go in. Not looking like this.”

“I don’t care, ‘cuz I’m burning up!”

The temperature hit ninety-three degrees, and my blistered face sweated under my knit cap. I stared at her through the eye holes I'd cut and retorted, “You’re burning up?”

She took her cell phone out of a small fuchsia clutch and began fanning herself. In her mini and tank top, I had no idea what she was complaining about. She didn’t have a wool cap covering her head. I went to peel the cap off when a car drove into the parking lot.

“You’re gonna miss – “

“No, I’m not. We’ll be exactly on time,” I glanced at my watch.

That's when I noticed the saliva-dripping growth on my wrist, the size and shape of my tongue. Apparently the Lipoma Rear Admiral figured, Daniel hasn't gone swimming in months, so why don't we strike while he's standing in a parking lot and see if he jumps in front of that car?

And that’s exactly what I did.

Opening: Ela Mishne.....Continuation: Evil Editor


P1: I'd go with just: Blisters. Again.

P2: Is it a doctor appointment? Psychiatric appointment? Job interview? Be specific.

Not clear what gym class has to do with anything. If he were currently in gym class, I could see the Commander wanting to strike now because he might not be back for months.

If he's in the clinic because of his condition, why would he run outside? It's not unusual for lots of people in a medical clinic to have symptoms. Is this a dermatology clinic? If so, say so, be specific.

In P1 he wishes the blisters appeared during his appointment. If his appointment is in the clinic, and he's already in the clinic, it seems like the blisters did wait until his appointment.

P4: I'd go with "bake you a chocolate cake again" or Bake you another chocolate cake," suggesting that he got a cake last time he had blisters. Otherwise there isn't a connection between cake and blisters.

P6: Is "pulled a face" a common expression? I'm familiar with "made a face." More specific would be rolled her eyes or scowled or frowned...

P7: He has a wool cap over his face. And he has to go in sooner or later, and the place is probably air conditioned and I assume if he's carrying a wool cap when it's 93 degrees, he's also wearing a long-sleeve shirt and pants, so he shouldn't be this reluctant to sit in a waiting room with other people who have warts and acne and skin cancer and rashes.

P9: That's a pretty specific temperature for him to know. More likely he'd say "The temperature was already in the nineties." If he does know the exact temperature, I'd use "was" instead of "hit," as "hit" suggests that it just happened as he was standing there.

P10: I doubt this kid would look at the clutch and describe it as fuchsia. I'm not even sure he'd come up with the word "clutch."

It sounds like she's fanning herself with her phone. Seems like her hand would be just as effective. In which case we don't need the cell phone sentence. And you already told us he's sweating under his wool cap, so we don't need that again. If you put Adri's clothing at the end of the previous paragraph you won't  need this paragraph at all. Unless that car pulling in is important to the plot, in which case you can give it its own paragraph.

P11: Let her finish the sentence.


khazar-khum said...

You sometimes see 'pulled a face' in historical romances.

St0n3henge said...

Yeah, there aren't any real connections here. Why is someone wearing a knit cap (ski mask? Balaclava?) in the dog days of summer? Is it because the blisters attacked? But I thought they just now came on, so why was he already wearing a mask? It sounds like he didn't anticipate this, so wearing the cap makes no sense in that context.

What type of clinic? An allergy clinic? Or are the blisters from sunburn? Or are they psychosomatic symptoms brought on by the thought of having gym class? Why hasn't he been in gym class all year?
What does a chocolate cake have to do with it? Is it a sympathy cake?

I've heard "pulled a face" before. I think it depends on where you're from. At least it didn't strike me as odd.

Yeah, unless he was looking at a thermometer, he wouldn't know when the temperature "hit" 93 degrees.

Yeah, is this kid gay? I realize it's a stereotype, but then again, it's a character, not a person. So, how does he identify a "fuchsia clutch?" Wouldn't he think of it as a little bright-pink purse instead?
Perhaps you should be writing from a different point of view. If you use third person it wouldn't matter much about things like the purse.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the sequence of events is a little confusing. Good use of voice, though. That would have kept me reading.
You've got me wondering what caused the blister invasion, and I'm kind of hoping it's related to an alien abduction...then again, I'm weird.
They use 'pulled a face' in Britain, but mothers tend to be called Mum, not Mom, so it's hard to place the setting.
Keep going,there's potential there.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the voice in this piece. I agree there are some detail issues, but those are easier to correct than voice is, so I think you're well on your way. I also liked the repetition of the general's thoughts and the boy's actions, ie: when he jumps in front of the car. It's sort of funny and intriguing. Though I don't really understand what's happening in an overall sense, I'd keep reading.

Evil Editor said...

For those new here, the blue words, which include the jumping in front of the car, are not part of the author's opening--although in many cases they should be.