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wurdguy
January 21st, 2011, 07:57 AM
Not knowing, I walk into the room. Whoa, there's the big guy, sitting on my couch with his feet propped up on the coffee table. Yeah, like I'm going to tell that ape to get his feet off my furniture.

“Arlon,” I say, “Hey, you're always welcome.”

He's a scary dude, and he's pretending he doesn't hear me. Need I say, he's got my attention. I try again.

“Want some chips with your beer?” I say that cos I notice he's drinking one of my brewskis. Mi casa es su casa, or whatever.

He looks over at me and says, “Hoss, you and me are going to have a contest,”.

Uh oh. Crap, I'm late with my money, and Mr. Murphy's put his muscle on my case. Man, I can't catch a break.

“This isn't necessary,” I'm saying this as my knees start knocking. “I'll get you the money tomorrow morning. First thing.”

He smiles, and, baby, him wearing a smile is really and truly scary. He ponders something for a couple of seconds, then he says, “Sure you will, and next time you fall behind, you'll be a little harder to find. No, we're going to have a contest. You and me.”

“C'mon, we go back a long way together. We're friends, let's talk.”

“I'm listening.”

“Just came to me, I got an idea for a contest.”

“That's the spirit, lay it on me.” I can hear it in his voice, he's enjoying himself.

“Right, here goes. You sit there, finish your beer, and I run like hell.” With that, I turn and blast off. Except I run into the door and knock myself back on my ass. I'm sitting on the floor, seeing stars.

Arlon gets up and stretches. “That's not a contest, you're just playing a game. Here's my contest. Rules are simple. You make me laugh, I let you slide 'til Monday.... Now the good news, you've already made me laugh, so, next Monday, okay?... This wasn't painful, was it?”

I taste blood in my mouth. “Hard to say. Maybe I'll be able to feel my lip tomorrow morning.”

“What do I owe you for this beer?” he says.

“Mi casa es su casa,” I reply. My lip isn't going to wait until tomorrow.

“By the way, no one said anything to me about your past-due account. Sorry about your face, but you are a funny guy. I never know what to expect. Guess that's why I like dropping by.”

You have to love the bastard, you just can't be too obvious about it.

---------------------------------

wurdguy
January 21st, 2011, 07:36 PM
You're too polite to ask, so I'll go ahead and lay it on you: The above is one of those little stories I write to pass the time. It's an exercise in voice and use of the present tense. You want over-the-top excellence in this kind of stuff, try anything by Mickey Spillane. Last of his books I read was The Twisted Thing in the summer of 1969, and I remember it well.... Nothing more to see here, folks. Let's move along.

fossiliferous_g
January 22nd, 2011, 12:22 PM
Love it Wurdguy! There's a menacing truth to the story which makes it that much funnier, and your use of present tense is refreshing.

Tom Slaven
January 29th, 2011, 08:33 AM
This little story had me laughing a bit as you can really sense the characters perception of the world. I found I could draw a picture of him mentally without you having to explain what he looked like, that is skinny, young, but a little slick... but not as slick as he thinks he is. Maybe just out of college?

However, and I'm not sure if it was intentional, but it almost seemed like he was a little to carefree about his predicament... but in a larger context, he could just be "that guy"... hard to really tell without more character background so that may not be fair... BUT, the "collection agent didn't seem menacing enough to me. It didn't feel like he was a guy who intimidated and crushed people for a living... almost a little to refined. I think it would have offered a bit more interesting contrast to make the collector more... blue collar and deadpan... a touch of feral if you will.

But for a short exercise, I thought it was a fun read, and was probably fun to write as well.

Good show!

wurdguy
January 31st, 2011, 03:54 AM
It was fun to write, as is most of the stuff I write about Arlon. By the way, without going into my sordid past, my guy is very much true to life. The real life example of Arlon is big, bright, and when he was a young Marine recruit, he was first in his series at San Diego -- that may not mean much to you, but that honor is hard won, believe me. As for the collectee, they come in all shapes and sizes, and from what I've observed, a sense of humor in them isn't all that uncommon.

Thanks for taking the time to read my entry. Hope to see some of your work here. I'm still fumbling around with this forum's software, so send me a hint as to where you posted, if you think that'd be helpful.

ador78
January 31st, 2011, 07:51 AM
Hey there! That was amusing.

I thought it was a well-written short. In a few paras you were able to articulate to readers the characters of each Arlon and whatsisname.

I imagined Arlon as you described, big, intimidating because of what he represents, but then I can see the humour there in his personality. He really needn't be threatening for whatsisname to be afraid and all the guilt come pouring out.

Arlon, big, serious when he needs to be, good sense of humour, uses his size and natural authority to take what he wants.


Whatsisname, medium sized, maybe early 30's (to want more money quick, but not enough experience to play it cool yet maybe just starting), honest because even though he did try to make a run for it it was more out of fear than trying to get out from paying up, PLUS he told Arlon what he was going to do.


Good practice. I think you should use this bit somewhere in a longer piece of work.

wurdguy
January 31st, 2011, 05:21 PM
Thanks for your kind words, Ardor.

Were I to use this, and I'm not sure it would fit, it'd be as a short prelude to a longer work I've had on my mind. I've already written the postlude, now the hard part -- putting everything else down on paper.

But like I say, thanks for your review.

Tom Slaven
January 31st, 2011, 05:37 PM
It was fun to write, as is most of the stuff I write about Arlon. By the way, without going into my sordid past, my guy is very much true to life. The real life example of Arlon is big, bright, and when he was a young Marine recruit, he was first in his series at San Diego -- that may not mean much to you, but that honor is hard won, believe me. As for the collectee, they come in all shapes and sizes, and from what I've observed, a sense of humor in them isn't all that uncommon.

Thanks for taking the time to read my entry. Hope to see some of your work here. I'm still fumbling around with this forum's software, so send me a hint as to where you posted, if you think that'd be helpful.

Ahhh, a Marine! Ok, well then that does make sense. Like I said, it is hard to tell without any background, but that goes for any charicter.

I'll let you know wehn I get enough of my current yarn done to post, I look forward to your insights cause I do admire your writing style.

Thanks,
TS