Jump to content

Welcome to Nightly.Net
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Languid


7 replies to this topic

#1
Yossarian

Yossarian

    A Cracked Polystyrene Man

  • Members
  • 2,324 posts
Ok here is my entry. I've tried to write with an American "voice" so it may appear hackneyed, I can't really tell. Also it owes a considerable debt to Raymond Carver.


Languid


Sarah was sitting on the couch when I got home, reading an ancient biography of Darwin.
"Did you get the money?" she asked eagerly. I grinned and removed five one hundred dollar bills from my wallet. "Sweet."

Sarah and I lived in the apartment left by her grandmother. It was on the top floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. She rented one of the two bedrooms to me. My parents paid my rent and living expenses while I tried my hand at photographer, filmmaker, painter; whichever artistic outlet seemed interesting that week. Neither of us worked, just lived off the success of our respective families. When money got too tight, Sarah sold one of the paintings or rare books or antique pieces of furniture that littered the apartment.

"Pour me a drink," she said. "And I'll tell you a story." In the kitchen a bottle of cheap Polish vodka stood next to some tonic, slices of lime and a bucket of melting ice. Sarah drank a lot. Handing her a glass, I flopped into an armchair and lit a cigarette.

"So my phone rang earlier," Sarah began. "But I didn't recognise the number so obviously I didn't answer it."
"Obviously."
"Then the same number rang again and I though it was someone trying to buy this Darwin book." I glanced at the biography. She had left it open, face down on the couch and the spine was already starting to crack. The thing was probably ninety years old and worth a fortune but any more damage and it would be worthless.

"So I answered and this guy starts trying to sell me printer toner. I stopped him right there because, as you know, my printer doesn't work." I did know, Sarah had accidentally knocked a beer right into her printer a few months ago.
"Anyway, this guy has a really sexy voice and so we start flirting and the next thing I know is we're going out for dinner tonight!" Sarah chuckled and took a long swallow of her drink.

"You made a date with this guy and you know nothing about him?" I said, an accusatory tone in my voice. She looked hard at me.
"Hey, he seemed nice and it's a free dinner. I didn't know if you were going to come through with the money today. It's been getting later and later each month."

I didn't care for the direction this conversation was taking so I stood up and walked towards the window. Looking out at the backyards, I told her to be careful.
"I'll be fine, I'll call you if he's a weirdo or ugly or something. So what are you doing tonight?"
"Open Mike Night at the Bowery Poetry Club."
"Are you going to read something?" she asked rattling the ice cubes in her glass. I took the glass from her and poured another drink.
"I haven't decided yet, I'm going to take a shower."

She didn't answer. Instead she sipped her drink and picked up the Darwin again.

Edited by Darth Yossarian, 21 March 2007 - 11:11 AM.


#2
Richcelt

Richcelt

    Musician, Historian, and Stalker Extraordinaire

  • Members
  • 8,375 posts
This one nearly slipped through the cracks.

Had trouble with the evolution theme? ;)

This looks like the de-evolution of a relationship. It's an interesting take on it, but probably could have used more to the story to really flesh these two out.

#3
LadyGuinevere

LadyGuinevere

    Taking on the world with an innocent smile

  • Members
  • 1,091 posts
Can't let any slip through!

I like the style and the setup, but it does feel to me like there should be a bit more too it, a resolution of sorts. Perhaps involving the book, as it popped up on a few occassions (incidentally, if it is worth a lot of money, a bit of damage wouldn't normally make it completely worthless, though it would devalue, at least in my experience).

#4
Kung Fu Jawa

Kung Fu Jawa

    Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

  • Members
  • 15,241 posts
I LIKE IT! I had to sit for a minute afterwards to take it in, but I like it.

It didn't sound "hackneyed" to me at all. Since I was looking for it, I did note some of your word choices to make it sound American. Her use of the word "Sweet" and starting her line with "So", and "Anyway," fit well with an American voice. I'm glad only the girl does it, because that's usually the case in real life.

You took an opposite look at evolution than the rest of us. Evolution is based on stimulus. Something happens and a species reacts and makes changes through natural selection Your piece shows what happens when that stimulus is taken away. The species stagnates. The characters have no obstacles to overcome. Their Manhatten apartment is given to them. They make rent by selling the rare items that were given to them merely to decorate that apartment. Sarah is drunk all the time on a drink that takes absolutely no work to make. She has someone else make it for her. She still hasn't fixed her printer. She doesn't even work at getting a date. She picks up a phone solicitor!

The story has no plot, no drivers, no character growth. But it works. Good job.

#5
Copper

Copper

    I am groot

  • Member
  • 12,595 posts
Yikes! I missed one! Sorry.

... I read it through twice. The first read left me wanting a resolution, like LG said. But on the second read, I was satisfied. I'm not sure that satisfaction is the right feeling I got though. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I accepted it. I accepted that Sarah was who she was, and wouldn't be changing. I understood that your representation of 'evolution' was more the breaking down rather than the acceleration of change.

Carl picked the right word. Stagnant.

Nice job.

#6
Kung Fu Jawa

Kung Fu Jawa

    Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

  • Members
  • 15,241 posts
Actually, I think Yossarioan picked the right word...Languid.

#7
Nixie

Nixie

    showing all my haters love

  • Members
  • 2,166 posts
i like it! :)

#8
ShadowDog

ShadowDog

    Supra-Awesome Badass PIE Pimp

  • Member
  • 42,592 posts
Very interesting. I can see why this story is getting votes. I agree with KFJ, not everything has to be plot, drivers, growth, and all that.

Also, I really really love the promise of this phrase "pour me a drink and I'll tell you a story." When someone says that I always get a chill down my spine. :P



Reply to this topic