Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Longer Start To A Short Story

This is harder than I thought. The story is a simple idea that can be expressed in a sentence, but the devil is in the details. I am swamped at work and my little guy gives me at most five minutes in a stretch to type. This is probably about half, although I might stretch it...

"No, no, no, no, noooo!" he screamed and covered his ears, alone in a dark hotel room. The gigantic shadow of his head danced on the wall behind him, strobing like his heartbeat to the scene of death on the television. The high school photo of a dark haired girl reflected in the glossy marble of his eyes as a single tear ambled cautiously down his cheek.

He reached over the foot of the bed and shut the TV off and the blackness swept over him. He sat hunched over with his head cupped in his hands for over an hour; the hum of the nearby freeway was his only company.

The phone exploded like a fire alarm but didn't startle him. He watched the orange light on the headset flicker until it burned holes in his retinas, but made no move to answer. The calling party was unperturbed and waited patiently until he finally picked up.

"Ned?" came the voice from the other side.

Ned said nothing but his presence was betrayed by the wheeze of air squeezing through his constricted nasal passages.

"Oh, come on Ned, say something for Christs' sake."

"Why don't you leave me alone Evie," he growled into the phone.

"Now baby, is that any way to talk to your fiance?"

"I'm warning you Evie, do not mock me."

"I'm not mocking you Ned. I made a mistake and I want a second chance."

"Forget it," he screamed.

"C'mon baby, you know I can't live without you. Who loves you?"

"Don't make me laugh."

She paused for moment and cleared her throat. "Ned, I know you left your wife and children for me. It was overwhelming--I mean, you gave up everything for me, and I'll admit that once the roadblocks were out of the way, I lost interest; the challenge was gone."

Ned's eyes narrowed to slits, but he listened intently.

"I behaved so badly, Ned. I was so cold."

"Are you going somewhere with this," Ned asked icily.

"When we were together, you did everything for me. I took from you Ned--because I could. I never stopped to appreciate what I had. I've never felt like this Ned, and I need you to come back to me; let me prove that I mean what I say."

"You turned all my friends against me, Evie," Ned yelled, " I had everything before you came along, and now I am a dead man walking, friendless and alone. You ruined my life and have a lot of nerve calling me."

A long silence filled the gulf between them. Finally Evie said, "There's a little bar on the corner of Main and Tupelo. Meet me there."

Ned didn't reply.

"I promise you Ned, if you come and meet me, the word 'No' will never touch my lips again."

Still no reply.

"I need you Ned; please meet me."


"Oh, thank you. Thank you baby, you won't regret this. Listen, I want to start completely over."

"I know Evie, just shut up before I change my mind."

"No, I want to meet you all over again, like we never met before, and start again like two young lovers with a world of possibilities before them."

"Jesus Evie, why do you always have to play games."

"Please Ned, indulge me on this. Let's start fresh. See me like you saw me when we first met; woo me, seduce me with that beautiful smile."

"You want me to pretend like we've never met?" Ned asked incredulously.

"That's right. Won't it be fun?"

"And you want me to pick you up?"

"Uh huh, but don't think I'm going to be easy buddy. I'm not that kind of girl."

"I see."

"Will you do it then? For me?" Evie asked sweetly.

"I'll think about it."

"That's my teddy bear. I'll be there at 10. I love you Ned."

"Sure baby."

to be continued...


jenbeauty said...

So amazing how some people need the constant drama and games to make their life seem complete.

Your doing great Scott.

magnetbabe said...

I'm hooked! Excellent writing; I love the descriptions.

Sadie Lou said...

Evie cannot be trusted. Poor Ned. She's going to eat him alive...

Scott said...

Thanks all!

Mr. T said...

He should go and try to pick her up.. then dump her. REVENGE!!!!

Tee said...

Good writing as usual :)

Mrs.T said...

Okay, I really am hoping for her to screw him again someway... is that wrong?

Scott said...

We have the battle of the T's going here. I shant say anything until after I finish. Interesting Mrs. T that you want her to lay one on him.

And thank you Tee!

Moni said...

Hmmmm? Evie sounds like a coniving man-ipulator. Now you know you'll have to write more, it would just be cruel not to. :)

Paula said...

Interesting story . . .some powerful draws . . .

It's harder to get to the writing than one thinks, isn't it?

Mrs.T said...

Okay, if he is stupid enough to go back to her, he deserves to get whatever is coming to him, however if he has some sort of revenge plotted, he'd better take it while the taking is good.

The Zombieslayer said...

Wonderful dialogue. I love how you let the words speak for themselves instead of talking down to the reader. Good job.

Scott said...

Moni - Oh, I will, and thanks.

Paula - You said it. I'll be checking out your collaborative blog soon.

Mrs T - Good points. We'll have to wait and see. You may have a different opinion after reading tomorrows installment.

Zombie - Thanks man. I try to put myself in both players shoes and say what I would say if I were them. Glad it comes across natural.