Saturday, December 08, 2007

First Meeting 8


"Don't forget to send a report about the Crom Dubh to the national data base," I called over my shoulder.

["The crying duck? Huh? Could you say that again, after you swallow the bagel?" Stevenson shouted back.]

The door of the coffee shop opened just as I shouldered against it. I lurched off-balance and buried my nose in a man's elegant tie.

"Oh shit," I said with my usual aplomb. "Sorry." I jerked away, skidded, and executed an ungainly pavane on the wet floor. [You executed a slow, stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries? I gotta quit relying on dictionary.com.] A pair of hands clamped on my arms to steady me. Very large hands. [Hands the size of baseball gloves.]

"My fault. Are you alright?" It had a voice as deep as a well. It was tall and broad. Beyond an aura that flared like a nervous nova, the rest didn't focus. [Wouldn't a normal nova have enough flare for this analogy?]

"No," I said, and took my awkward ass out of there.

--Bernita

Notes

We're saying "it" instead of "he" because she can't focus, and can't tell whether it's a man or Bigfoot.

It's not clear whether the person opening the door and the man with the elegant tie and the thing with the big hands are all the same guy. I assume the door guy and the hands guy are the same, as the hands guy says, "My fault," but did the door guy push her into the tie guy, or did he push the door into her in such a way that she fell into him? Probably it wouldn't take much to clear it up.

15 comments:

Church Lady said...

Now, if he had possessed a tasty auro, we'd be all over that dictionary battle again...

lizr said...

I had some trouble figuring out who she bumped into (to me, it read as if she was pushed backwards by the door and fell into an innocent bystander, but the aura-guy's apology threw me off).

Other than that mental hiccup, though, I liked it. The last line was great.

Dave F. said...

Pushing the door he just moved. That's both scary and clumsy at once.

She jerked away still off balance, skidding.

I'm not fond of pavane.
Her legs slid akimbo in an ungainly tango.
Tango is sexier and it describes her cheek to his chest so much more effectively than pavane. one arm spread and others clutching tight.

I like it as their introduction. It's so in character for them both. This is Lillie meeting the young what's-his-name. RIght?

McKoala said...

If she's shouldering the door, how does she wind up with her nose in his tie? To me that suggests she had her back or side to him?

I'm not sure about pavane, although I vaguely remembered it was some kind of dance, but I liked the rest, especially the last line.

Bernita said...

Thank you, EE.
Funny you should mention Bigfoot, but that's a later story.
The door opens out, lyzr.
Yep, Dave, first contact w/Johnnie.

talpianna said...

The most appropriate medieval dance would actually be the bransle, pronounced "brawl" and the source of the modern meaning of that word. It was very energetic and all over the place, especially after a few beakers of metheglyn...

talpianna said...

And a crom dubh would be some sort of Celtic black stone--perhaps a 2001-type black monolith?

Bernita said...

Talpiana, a Crom Dubh is a a dullahan/dullaghan/ far dorocha/the Headless One - a Celtic Death Messenger.
No doubt the name derived from a black stone of sacrifice.

Church Lady said...

I like knowing that this is part of the Lillie story.

A few minor tweaks, but I love the language in this one!

BuffySquirrel said...

The antecedent for "it" seems to be the tie. Is that right? If so, it might work better if it read "the tie had a voice as...".

Just a thought :).

Sarah said...

I had a hard time picturing the sequence of events. If I knew the door swinging direction and the shoulder she stuck against it in relation to that, perhaps it would be more clear which way she spun.

I get that she spun with the door and that's how she got into his tie. Calling him an it though made me wonder if this is SF. Probably in context, it works.

And I wasn't sure if she spun in to the person opening the door or out to someone standing behind her.

Just a few tweaks on that imagery I think.

I like this.

Robin S. said...

"Oh shit," I said with my usual aplomb. "Sorry." Hey Bernita- I'm a fan of self-deprecating humor, and I really like this line, and I like the idea in this scene.

The things that I feel pulled out of the scene by are the "it" reference, and the dance reference - but the problem I have with the dance reference may well be just me.

I like your work because I feel like your voice is very individual, very recognizable, my dear.

Robin S. said...

Forgot to say "you're right" to the 'tasty auro comment' CL had at the top of these comments. EE, was it the full moon the other night, or what?

Bernita said...

Thank you,Roin and Everyone.
There's psychological logic for her to prefer "it," to "he" at this point, but a subtlety is not good if it confuses the reader.
I'll make sure I mention which way the door opens.

Bernita said...

oh dear.
~grovels~
"Robin."