Friday, July 28, 2006

New Beginning 12


SEATTLE IS FALLEN, yelled the loudspeakers. ALL IS WELL. RETURN TO YOUR HOMES.

Crowds of women cheered. The tanks carried the loudspeakers down the street and repeated their message. Women waving rifles and flowers followed the tanks. The vehicles were draped in flowers and only a little blood. Two women tore a cloth owl from the sign on a nearby coffeeshop and hung it from one of the tanks like a flag.

In the Owls’ Ley coffee shop a great cheer came and died away in the same second. Everyone went right back to their drinks and their discussions of Rilke. And what began with the brutal murder of a witch and a flamewar on the river ended with a cup of espresso and Mel Torme performing on the dilastage.

The Velvet Fog was in good form for a holograph. But halfway through the second chorus of “Makin Whoopee,” the sirens began. The loudspeaker’s words seemed to match the movements of Mel’s lips.

SEATTLE HAS RISEN. RED ALERT. RUN THROUGH THE STREETS IN BLIND PANIC.

Jim sighed and put down his cup. Not again. Tucking his copy of Rilke into his jacket, he plodded out to the street, then ran around in circles waving his arms. His screams were half-hearted. How could they sound otherwise after all these years?


Opening: Jerry Stratton.....Continuation: Nancy Conner

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poohba said...
I want to read more. This opening hooked me right from the first line.

8:24 AM
HawkOwl said...
Hit me. This is to weird not to read the next page. :)

8:41 AM
JerseyGirl said...
Have to agree with the others - this is intriguing.

~Nancy

Jeb said...

I totally LOVE that follow-on! Worldly-wise and cynical sod that Our Hero (of the tired arms) is.... :D

HawkOwl said...

Oh, the add-on is priceless too. Let's keep writing this novel 75 words at a time! Yay!

Jessica said...

I don't know why, but I love that rewritten part with Jim running around in a blind panic. I picture a cartoon character. I'm easily amused.

Writerious said...

"Seattle has fallen"

Well, would someone please go and pick it back up again? Before it leaves a stain?

Kathleen said...

I liked it, but I would start with:
SEATTLE IS FALLEN. ALL IS WELL. RETURN TO YOUR HOMES.

you get that it is from the loud speakers in the next paragraph, and this way the effect isn't broken up.

Occasionally Obnoxious Copyeditor said...

The beginning (even without the added part) reminded me of 1984, a novel I love. The details are great--waving flowers and rifles behind the not-too-bloodied tanks outside, discussing Rilke and sipping espresso inside. The coffee-shop intelligentsia's reaction contrasts nicely with the parade. And I want to know what a dilastage is.

The only part that gave me pause was this: Two women tore a cloth owl from the sign on a nearby coffeeshop and hung it from one of the tanks like a flag. I couldn't picture that. Why would a cloth owl be on a sign? Are you thinking of something like a canopy? I lost the flow of the action here, because I had to stop and ponder. If you smooth that out a little, though, it's a great transition from outside the coffeeshop to inside it.

Anonymous said...

I was distracted by the repetition of the word "women" throughout. Don't know why this bothered me.

Sorry, but I didn't like the add-on much-Jim doesn't fit the picture of world of women. Make it Jane.

Anonymous said...

I would want to read more of this. I liked the mixed images, tanks, coffee shops, et al. This is a good opening--although I agreed with the Obnoxious copyeditor about the owl flag. The idea was okay, but the sentence was awkward.

Good stuff.

Daisy said...

Okay, I read the new ending this afternoon, and I'm still laughing over it. Nicely done.

meh said...

The beginning (yes, even without the added part) reminded me too of 1984, a novel that I, unfourtunately, do not love. I don't know if I'd read more or not. I might. Depending on the blurb on the back and (I hate to say it) the cover.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the repetition of the word 'women' as well.
Go through and cull your repetitions. Often there's a different thing to describe that will support who or what you're writing about. Were they rebels? If so, what from? Loudspeakers don't yell by themselves, there's someone yelling into them. So clarify that. Is it a woman, if so, what does she look like, what does she do?

Also, is it because women led the revolt that there was "only a little blood?"

Why? A revolt, coup, or battle usually entails bloodshed. Why the writer sould want women to be exempted from causing it is beyond me.

More guts... more guts.... you'll have stronger characters who just don't sit around reading Rilke and listening to Mel Tormé.