Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Next Line 21



Background: When the motorcycle ran out of gas, ending up in a pile of dirt by the side of the road seemed funny, at first.

Each time Vince looked at me, everything got funnier, until I finally threw myself face-down into the dirt so I wouldn’t have to look at him. I had almost gotten myself under control, when Vince patted my shoulder, then tipped my face toward his and began wiping the streaks of mud off my cheeks.

And then he kissed me.

That stopped my giggles quick. I jumped to my feet and began brushing myself off. “You shouldn’t do that.”

“Why not?”

I couldn’t think of a good reason, so I gave him the first that came to mind. “I’m married.”

“Where’s your husband?”

“I don’t know.”

“He left a pretty girl like you?”

“I’m not pretty. And no, he didn’t leave me. I left him.”

“Then it shouldn’t matter if—”

“No,” I told him. “It’s complicated. Please don’t ask me to explain.”

We both looked in silence at the no longer brand-spanking-new Harley. He sighed and gazed at me with disappointed puppy eyes, and said, "I suppose, Mrs. Williams, this means you won't be buying the bike after all?"


Dialogue: bunnygirl.....The Next Line: ril

12 comments:

Evil Editor said...

I'm sure some additional context would explain what she's doing on a motorcycle with a guy who doesn't know her well enough to know whether she's married.

If I were Vince and I asked a woman “Where’s your husband?” and she replied, “I don’t know,” I wouldn't assume the husband had left her (or vice versa). I'd assume she simply didn't know where he was at that moment. If I still had hopes I might say something along the lines of, "He let a pretty girl like you out of his sight?"

Anonymous said...

Throwing oneself face-down into the dirt seems a somewhat absurd reaction to just about any situation.

Bernita said...

"began wiping," "began brushing"
Such exquisite precision in action is seldom necessary. Just wipe and brush.

Dave said...

I don't understand the segment. We're both of them riding the bike or were they on two separate bikes.

Getting the giggles about some event usually disturbs the person who isn't laughing. Your character sounds silly and foolish. While his response is to join her on the ground and kiss her.

I'm confused about their attitudes. Does he think that she is available? Is she flirtting with him? He's a stranger if he doesn't know she's married. Is this a seduction?

AmyB said...

I hope there is some really good setup before this that makes the motorcycle situation funny, because one of my pet peeves in books is when authors have their characters laughing hysterically at something that's maybe just funny enough to warrant a smile. At any rate, throwing one's self face-down into the dirt seems a strange reaction.

I was totally thrown by, "I couldn't think of a good reason, so I gave him the first that came to mind. 'I'm married.'" Huh? Being married isn't a good reason?

Evil Editor said...

It's a good reason if she is married. Otherwise it's a good lie.

stick and move said...

The background sentence prepares me for a humorous situation turning serious. The snippet is of a pain in the ass situation turning melodramatic.

"Each time Vince looked at me, everything got funnier, until I finally threw myself face-down into the dirt so I wouldn’t have to look at him."

Why would running out of gas on a motorcycle cause someone to laugh so hysterically that they must fling themselves face down in the dirt? This is such a melodramatic action that if I witnessed it I would back away slowly, and hope she finds medical attention. I was bewildered by Vince's reaction to this. I'd be hauling ass.

My suggestion would be to closely examine the motives and honesty of your characters' actions. They don't ring true in this case.

Robin S. said...

"I'm married" seems like a good excuse to me, whether or not it's true.

And we now know the narrator is capable of getting the giggles, and doesn't think she's pretty.
But Vince wants to kiss her, so she can't be a complete troll(unless he is something of a troll himself, and for any action at all he would count his little blessings).

Works for me.

Love the continuation.

bunnygirl said...

Actually, this bit of dialogue came from my fiction blog, and isn't intended to be particularly polished, since like most of my fiction blog entries, it was written around 2 am.

This segment is about 30,000 words into the story, so someone who had read the "About" page and previous entries would already know the backstory, and unless they were a masochist, they would be okay with it or would've stopped reading before this point.

I only submitted this dialogue because I thought it had humor potential-- "complicated" marriage, and all. I'm glad someone finally submitted something!

Full entry is here: Day Twenty-Seven - The Motorcycle

takoda said...

bunnygirl--
I got the laugh! It was funny!
I didn't read much into it. I thought these exercises by EE are supposed to be light. I could be WAY wrong! I'm new to this site (a snarkling cross-over)

Still enjoyed it! And I LOVED RIL's line.
Maybe I just laugh too easily, but this was a fun one!

Great blog, EE!! What are your followers called? You gotta have a system here!

Cheers!
Takoda

Evil Editor said...

You are Evil Minions.

jrmosher said...

Anon 10:35 said: "Throwing oneself face-down into the dirt seems a somewhat absurd reaction to just about any situation."

Unless her face was on fire. And poor Vince wasn't trying to kiss her at all, but merely taste to see if she was done.