Friday, September 01, 2006

New Beginning 99

The woman approached the phone cell. She looked around quickly and picked up the receiver. Her hand shook and the wet keys did not improve things. Finally she got a connection. Whilst waiting for someone to answer, she pulled her raincoat tighter as she scanned her surroundings. All she could see were people hurrying through the rain desperately to reach their destination as dry as possible. One or two were searching for cabs but most had already accepted the inevitable.

After what felt like an eternity, someone answered.

“You have to listen...”

Pulling at her hair, she stopped and listened. She turned again, searching the crowds. One man had stopped and was facing her way. She quickly turned so that she could just see him out of the corner of her eye. Luckily the rain made her hair stick to her face making it easy for her to watch him.

“It’s too late,” came the voice on the phone. "You knew you couldn't walk out of this halfway through."

She scanned the crowd again. He was still there, talking on a cell phone . . . Talking to her?! God, it was him! He'd followed her.

“I...I can explain,” she stammered. “I thought you'd be gone.”

“If you want someone else, I'll arrange it," he said, approaching. He closed his phone and pulled open the phone cell door. "Now will you just get back to the salon so someone can finish your hair?”

Opening: anonymous


Jessica said...


Anonymous said...

Phone cell... is that like a phone booth?

Virginia Miss said...

I liked the tone but a few of the words/phrases confused me. Phone cell? Whilst? (Possibly just a regional thing, if the author isn't American.)

In the first paragraph, when she scans her surroundings, you might want to delete "all she could see were" and simply state "People were hurrying through the rain...

I assume the "You have to listen..." was said by the other person on the telephone, but it wasn't totally clear.

In paragraph 4: "Pulling at her hair, she stopped and listened." -- why stopped? what action was halted? Then again two sentences later, a man had "stopped." Does this mean he was standing and watching her?

In your last sentence you have both "made" and "making" -- you should re-phrase this.

Bernita said...

I'm sorry, found it confusing and disjointed with a number of seemingly irrelevant actions.
Why is it necessary to detail her hair?

writtenwyrdd said...

I have to apologise, I couldn't tell the "It's too late" bit was part of the continuation. But what I said holds true for "You have to listen..."

Malia said...

This was stilted with too many sentences of the same beat strung together. There was no flow, meaning it read like "and then...and then...and then...and then...and then," yanno what I mean? i.e. I went to walk the dog and then I ate supper and then I went to the movies and then I went to bed. No variation, just a play-by-play statement of what was going on.

JMHO, fwiw.

word ver: mxidxry <--- me thinks it means "Malia, go make yourself a Margarita."

writtenwyrdd said...

My original comment got eaten. So ignore the second comment, which is the first comment, and read this, the third comment, which is really the first comment. (PS: Who is on first.)

Basically, I thought that the writing wasn't bad, but the author is missing the opportunity to use the dialog as a hook. There isn't any real drama here, especially with an ellipsis used. Probably it should be a dash; she sounds like she's been interrupted.

How about saying something like "Kill him? I can't-" or "What! Please, no, I'll fix it-" or something like that.

Dan Lewis said...

What's happening here? The escape scene in the beginning of The Matrix?

I say this every time, but I don't like pronouns without names first, grumble grouch snarfle. YMMV.

It's difficult for me to believe that the voice of the "someone" in paragraphs 2 and 3 has no distinguishing features (e.g., high or low-pitched, man's or woman's, emphatic or mocking or serene tone). It seems to me like the author is being coy here. Alternatively, perhaps there is a point of view problem, because the focus character, the woman, would be paying attention to the voice with the proverbs.

There are similarly vague descriptions of the man, woman, and setting. I hope there is a payoff for making me read without being able to visualize all these important entities in the story. This compounds the problem that no character has yet given me an emotional hook to interpret the scene. It's all gestures in a foreign sign language so far.

Talia Mana said...

i thought the continuation was really well written!

i agree that the beginning was obscure, but it did create some intrigue. i found the language "old fashioned". whilst is an example others have brought up.

i think the introduction of the internal monologue in the continuation saves the day. it creates emotion and action.

“It’s too late,” came the voice on the phone. "You knew you couldn't walk out of this halfway through."
>> this sentence shows that the woman has something to fear. it suggests a possible threat to her safety

by contract the opening paras are passive. she looked around. so what? we need to feel that there is danger, excitement, some event happening

good luck

McKoala said...

To me the point of view wavers a bit - we're looking at her, then we're listing with her ('she got a connection' etc.). I think that's part of what makes it seem a bit disjointed. I'd rather have some kind of emotional engagement.

xiqay said...

Was anyone else confused by the first sentence? What is a "phone cell"?

And I didn't like "whilst" or "desperately to reach their destination as dry as possible."

But then they have already accepted the inevitable, which I take to mean they know they'll be soaked.

By the time we got to "someone answered" I'd forgotten what that was about. I was still watching everybody getting wet.

And there seems to be a disconnect in the sentences where she quickly turns so that she could see him. Isn't she hiding her face from him?

And yet, despite all the writing problems, I like the possibility-a woman running to a phone booth (I think), calling for help while somebody stalks her.