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View Full Version : The Juice - Prequel scene



aj47
January 2nd, 2012, 04:16 PM
It was late, or maybe early, about four-something in the AM of January the 1st. I was in no condition to drive home and Bill had said I could sleep in his guest room. TJ had just left and Bill and I were finishing a bottle of Scotch that someone had brought—I forget who.

“So, I'm asking again, what's your secret?”

“My secret is I have no secret.” Bill grinned, his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses.

“C'mon, I'm not buying that. You are the Bill Jessup, baseball god, not some random player. What do you do that other players don't?” I paused for some scotch. “Steroids? Vitamins? Snake oil? It's gotta be something.”

“And you are Everett Leighton, our best middle infielder. Maybe not a god, but you've only been up three years to my seven. You'll be as good as I am someday.”

I laughed. “Not without your secret I won't. C'mon, I swear I won't tell.”

“Swear how?” His sunglasses hid his eyes but his mouth said he was serious. Now, we're getting somewhere.

“Cross my heart? On my father's grave? On the Bible? What do you mean 'swear how?' It's my word. It doesn't change if I pretty it up.” Where was he going with this anyway?

“What about a blood oath, Rett?”

What the hell is a blood oath? He must've read something on my face, or maybe it was the scotch talking. “We could become blood brothers.”

Blood brothers? Like cutting ourselves and mixing our blood? “If that's what I think it is, isn't it a bit...juvenile? And dangerous? Not to mention...” I stopped, regretting the words even while I was saying them. Here was my chance to learn Bill's secret and I was lawyering it away. “Sorry. You were saying?”

“I was saying that a blood oath would involve us becoming blood brothers. I feel that I can trust you to hold up your end of the oath. Do you trust me?”

What kind of question was that? “Of course I do. But I'm...”

“Then there shouldn't be any problems.” The secret! He's going to tell me!

“The traditional tool for this is a pocketknife, but I carry a Leatherman so we'll use that.”

Bill stood up, then took a decent-sized multi-tool from its pouch on his belt. He opened the knife blade and walked over to where I was sprawled on the couch.

“Stand up.” I stood. I saw the blade was in his left hand. “I'll go first.”

I heard his breath whistle slightly as he made a small cut in his index finger. He handed the blade to me and I bit the inside of my lip a little to steady myself then tried to copy him. It stung, but not much. I laid the blade down on the end-table as Bill took my hand in his and held his cut to my cut. It started throbbing from the pressure.

“Do you feel the pulse? Our blood is becoming one blood. You and I will now be bound forever as brothers. I will have your back and you will have mine. We will share each other's triumphs and ease each other's troubles....”

He continued on like that for awhile, but my brain could only think about the throbbing, it was pulse-pulsing a heartbeat rhythm in my brain. Okay, that was it, time for bed as soon as Bill let go. I could get his secret in the morning, now that I'd done this blood thing with him.

“That should do it,” he said, releasing my hand. The pulsing stopped. I didn't see as much blood as I thought I would. “Go wash your hands, then hit the sack. We'll talk more once we're both awake.”

I washed my hands in the bathroom. The cold water stung a bit, but my cut wasn't actively bleeding. On my way to the guest room, I nearly tripped over Bill's damned cat. I lay down on the bed in my clothes, shut my eyes, and felt the world go soft around me.

egpenny
January 2nd, 2012, 10:15 PM
Much better than a party scene. This, IMO, adds a kick to the ending of the main piece. I liked the "It's my word. It doesn't change if I pretty it up." phrase, nice, very nice, I wish one of my characters had said that. I'll have to go back and see how well the two pieces mesh. Good going.

Kevin
January 3rd, 2012, 04:57 AM
Damn...that's real good. I had to laugh a little about him only being able to concentrate on the throbbing, not the talking. Typical male. lol. After seein' this I realize I still got a ways to go...

aj47
January 3rd, 2012, 12:27 PM
Much better than a party scene. This, IMO, adds a kick to the ending of the main piece. I liked the "It's my word. It doesn't change if I pretty it up." phrase, nice, very nice, I wish one of my characters had said that. I'll have to go back and see how well the two pieces mesh. Good going.

I need to change some of the beginning of the second part because, for instance, the expository stuff about Bill will need to be changed or cut. Stuff like that. Essentially not change the gist of it.

aj47
January 3rd, 2012, 12:30 PM
Damn...that's real good. I had to laugh a little about him only being able to concentrate on the throbbing, not the talking. Typical male. lol. After seein' this I realize I still got a ways to go...

More like typical drunk. :)

Walkio
January 3rd, 2012, 01:24 PM
Ah, the blood sharing! And now Rett is like Bill! It's well-written, and already pretty tight, so nicely done. I don't like the first sentence, though, I don't think it reads well. I think you could almost cut it out.

Also:

He continued on like that for awhile, but my brain could only think about the throbbing, (should be a semi-colon or full stop) it was pulse-pulsing (pulse-pulsing? Really? Why not just 'pulsing'?) a heartbeat rhythm in my brain.

JMO of course!

aj47
January 3rd, 2012, 01:41 PM
I think you're right. I was trying to say something that doesn't need saying. But I need some kind of opening sentence there because the next one is pretty weak.

pulse-pulse was supposed to sound like a heartbeat but you're quite right, it doesn't *do* that when you read it. (I read it aloud to my daughter.) Thank you for your input. I'll do a sweep revision after I get some more input.