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doghouse reilly
January 3rd, 2012, 07:12 AM
One of my stories. Any comments on how to improve it are appreciated




Road Queen


“Come on, Crocker. You knocked me up. Least you can do is pay for the abortion”

“Hell, no Betty Sue.” Crocker gulped whisky. “Take your pussy-whipped boyfriend and get out of here. Now.”

Arnold James grabbed her by the arm.

“Let’s go, Betty Sue.”

“Not yet”. She grabbed the .38 from Arnold’s belt and cocked it. ”You got money here, Crocker. Give it up and we’ll leave you to your whore.”

Crocker gave her the finger. She pulled the trigger. He crumpled like an oily rag. A quick search of the trailer showed two hundred.

“Let’s split, Arnold. I hear you can get’m cheap in Mexico.”

“Uh, Doc Prichard will do them for 500 bucks.”

“That old quack would probably kill me in the process.”

Luckily for them, the trailer was about 10 miles from the nearest neighbor. Betty Sue Anderson lit up a Marlboro and sucked the warm smoke deep into her lungs. Then she rolled down the window of the Toyota Corolla and exhaled into the warm breeze.

“You shouldn’t be smoking, Betty Sue,” Arnold said, keeping his eyes on the road. “Not in your condition.”

“What’cha worried about, Arn? The baby ain’t yours, anyway. Remember, when we get to Mexico, I’m going get an abortion.”

Betty Sue glanced at Arnold. She was attracted to him, with his greasy duck-tail hair, dark brown eyes and slim figure. Too bad he was dumb as home-made sin. She watched him as he flicked a glance at her.

“Wish you’d change your mind. I don’t want you to do that. It’s against God.”

“You weren’t too much worried about God when you shot that trooper outside Little Rock.”

“That’s different. Was either him or me.”

After leaving the trailer, they had stolen the Toyota from a parking lot in Fort Smith. They were stopped by a trooper, and when the officer saw a gun on the seat, he pulled his weapon. Like an old west gunfight, Arnold was faster – and deadly. Now were heading south through Oklahoma.

“Maybe so,” Betty said, taking another drag from the Marlboro. “But we’d better get off the Interstate. That trooper we passed a while back looked mighty interested in us.”

“Yeah. We need gas, anyway.”
They pulled into a service station off the highway. Arnold stuffed the .38 Glock into his jeans.

“Get me a candy bar,” Betty Sue said as he got out of the car. She started combing her long black hair. A few minutes later a loud report, once, then a second time. Arnold ran from the store, gun in one hand, a bag in the other.

“What happened?”

“Damn chink pulled a gun,” he said, quickly starting the engine.
She grabbed the bag.

“How much we get? Hey, you forgot my candy.”
Arnold didn’t reply, just put the car in gear and scattered gravel out of the parking lot. Taking a tree-lined country road that led more or less southwest, he crossed under the east-west Interstate.

Two hours later, they passed a house, by itself off the side of the road.
“Arn, I’m hungry. Think there might be something to eat back there at that house?”

“Maybe,” he said, slowing down. “Let’s go see.”
Arnold made a wide turn and pulled into a gravel driveway, parking next to a brand new Cadillac Seville. Arnold got out, looked in the windows, but couldn’t see any signs of life. The sight was strange. The new Caddy was parked in front of a clapboard house with peeling paint and boarded up windows.

“You stay here,” he told her. He scrambled in the back seat and came up with an over and under shotgun. He handed it to her.
“Back me up if you have to, but be careful.”

“Sure.”
Arnold got out, checked the chamber of the .38, and stepped up on the front porch. The boards made a loud creaking noise as he walked. He paused a few seconds before the front door, listening. The only other noise was the cool September wind blowing through the oak forest. Satisfied, he opened the front door and entered. A few minutes later, he emerged.
“I’d say hold it right there, mister.”
Arnold glanced to his right. A tall man in a business suit was staring him down, a .44 Magnum cocked and ready in his right hand.

“Hey,” Arnold said. “I was just checking this place out. You can’t be too careful around these parts.”

“Drop the pistol, and be quick about it.”
Just then he saw Betty come around the corner of the house, shotgun in hand. He almost smiled. Then she fired, hitting the man in the back.

Arnold jumped.
“What the hell you do that for, Betty Sue? You had the drop in the guy.”

“Shut up Arnold. I seen him come around the side of the house, and he was armed. This girl don’t take no chances. Check his pockets.”

Arnold rolled the body over, pulling out the man’s wallet.
“Hell, Betty Sue. This here’s a federal agent. Now look what you’ve gotten us in to.”

“Anything to eat in there?”

“Hell, no. Let’s check out the Caddy.”

They opened the trunk.
“Nothing in here but a briefcase.”

“Open it,” Betty said. The briefcase was stuffed with money. “Wow!” She said. “Count it.”

“There must be fifty grand in here. Let’s take the Caddy and split.”

“Wait,” she said. You going to leave him here, layin’ out in the front yard?”

“Right. Somebody’d notice.”

“How about we put him in the Toyota and torch it? Get rid of the evidence.”

“Uh, good thinking. Guess we’re in pretty deep anyway.”

Arnold and Betty sped away, the Toyota only a cloud of smoke and flame behind them.
“Now what are we gonna do?”

“Well, Arn, we sure as hell can’t go back home. Somebody’s bound to have found Crocker by now. We’d better stash that cash somewhere.”

The couple pulled into Oklahoma City late that night, They bought a six-pack at a nearby store and found a motel. Soon they were asleep in each others arms. The next morning Betty woke first. She caressed his cock. Damn, she thought, sure felt good last night.

“Arn? Arn? Wake up. I see lights. It’s the cops!”

They got dressed quickly and peeked out the window. The cops were looking over the caddy.

“Arn. I’ve got an idea. Use me as a hostage, and we’ll get out of here.”
Arnold did as she asked. He walked her in front of him, pistol at her neck.

“Back off, guys, or I’ll shoot,”

Arnold forced her behind the wheel, and they took off, Arnold holding the pistol on her. The police followed, but they managed to lose them. Their luck held as they ditched the caddy. Hot-wiring an old truck, they were off again.

* * *

“Ray, this is Sheriff McDonald.” Static, that’s all he could hear. Static. Ray Jenson was dispatcher for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “Ray?”

“Here, Sheriff. Coming through clear now. What do you have for us?”

“One of my deputies found a burned out hulk at a farmhouse. There’s a body in it.”

“O.K. It may be a fugitive. Name is Arnold James. He killed a trooper in Arkansas, and also killed two in convenience store robberies – one here in Oklahoma.”

“No, according to the M.E’s report, it’s Dave Reynolds, an ATF agent.”

“Damn. I heard he was a good man. Will the Feds co-operate, or take over?”

“Our captain knows the regional director. According to him Reynolds was planning a sting operation on a weapons deal. Had over $50,000 in marked bills with him.”

“Shit. They find it?”

“No. We think the fugitive may have killed Reynolds and taken the money.”

“Can we trace the dough?”

“Working on it. We want the bastard bad. Reynolds was shot in the back.”

“Hope you come up with something soon. It’s getting dark.”

“We’re setting up a roadblock now on Highway 59, just east of the county seat. They’ve been spotted on the road by air patrol”

“Be careful. He’s got a hostage.”

“Yeah?”

“A Betty Sue Anderson. Her father claims the guy knew her, but forced her to go with him. She’s pregnant with another guy’s kid. They found the guy’s body yesterday. James probably shot him, grabbed her. He used a .38 Glock, same caliber used in the convience store robberies, same that killed the state trooper. We want that guy bad.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll take care of her.”

Arnold heard the plane buzzing overhead. “We have to get off this road, Betty Sue. That’s the cops, I know it.” They turned down a county road, soon discovering it went nowhere. They passed an abandoned farmhouse.

“Stop!” she said. “We gotta get rid of that money. If they catch us, they’ll know for sure we killed that federal agent.”

“Right,” Arnold said. They found an old well at the back of the property. They wrapped the money in a plastic garbage sack, let it down the well, and took off. “Maybe we can come back for it. They hadn’t caught us yet.”

Back on the main road, they heard sirens. Arnold began to drive faster. Up ahead was the roadblock. Arnold could see several police cars and men with rifles.

“Get down in the floorboard, Betty Sue. I’m gonna run the damn thing if it’s the last thing I do.” Betty obeyed, curling up in the front floorboard with her feet against the door.

“He’s going to run it, Sheriff. He’s speeding up.”

“You see the girl?”

“No. He might have dumped her, killed her for all we know. Aim for his head as he goes by. Now!”

Three officers fired at once. The truck slammed into a police car and went into a prolonged spin, finally turning on its side in a ditch. Officers rescued Betty, but Arnold was a bloody, dead mess. They wrapped her in a blanket. As she was sped away by ambulance, she smiled. I wonder, she thought to herself, how hard it will be to find that farmhouse again.

spixn
January 29th, 2012, 09:55 AM
I love how gritty this is. It's very difficult to "sound" like these kinds of characters, but yours are very believable. I mainly saw some syntax/grammar stuff that you might want to change to make things flow better.
A few minutes later a loud report, once, then a second time. This is a strange sentence. Considered following "a loud report" with a verb, like "cracked" or "echoed."
Two hours later, they passed a house, by itself off the side of the road. Omit that second comma.
He scrambled in the back seat sounds weird. "He scrambled over the center console" or "He scrambled into the back seat" might be better, but scrambling in a car is hard to imagine either way. Maybe it's just me!
As she was sped away by ambulance could sound better. Perhaps "As they whisked her away by ambulance."

jamie's
February 5th, 2012, 03:53 PM
One of my stories. Any comments on how to improve it are appreciated

Road Queen


“Come on, Crocker. You knocked me up. Least you can do is pay for the abortion”

“Hell, no Betty Sue.” Crocker gulped whisky. “Take your pussy-whipped boyfriend and get out of here. Now.”

Arnold James grabbed her by the arm.

“Let’s go, Betty Sue.”

“Not yet”. She grabbed the .38 from Arnold’s belt and cocked it. ”You got money here, Crocker. Give it up and we’ll leave you to your whore.”

Crocker gave her the finger. She pulled the trigger. He crumpled like an oily rag. A quick search of the trailer showed two hundred.

“Let’s split, Arnold. I hear you can get’m cheap in Mexico.”

“Uh, Doc Prichard will do them for 500 bucks.”

“That old quack would probably kill me in the process.”

Luckily for them, the trailer was about 10 miles from the nearest neighbor. Betty Sue Anderson lit up a Marlboro and sucked the warm smoke deep into her lungs. Then she rolled down the window of the Toyota Corolla and exhaled into the warm breeze.

“You shouldn’t be smoking, Betty Sue,” Arnold said, keeping his eyes on the road. “Not in your condition.”

“What’cha worried about, Arn? The baby ain’t yours, anyway. Remember, when we get to Mexico, I’m going get an abortion.”

Betty Sue glanced at Arnold. She was attracted to him, with his greasy duck-tail hair, dark brown eyes and slim figure. Too bad he was dumb as home-made sin. She watched him as he flicked a glance at her.

“Wish you’d change your mind. I don’t want you to do that. It’s against God.”

“You weren’t too much worried about God when you shot that trooper outside Little Rock.”

“That’s different. Was either him or me.”

After leaving the trailer, they had stolen the Toyota from a parking lot in Fort Smith. They were stopped by a trooper, and when the officer saw a gun on the seat, he pulled his weapon. Like an old west gunfight, Arnold was faster – and deadly. Now were heading south through Oklahoma.

“Maybe so,” Betty said, taking another drag from the Marlboro. “But we’d better get off the Interstate. That trooper we passed a while back looked mighty interested in us.”

“Yeah. We need gas, anyway.”
They pulled into a service station off the highway. Arnold stuffed the .38 Glock into his jeans.

“Get me a candy bar,” Betty Sue said as he got out of the car. She started combing her long black hair. A few minutes later a loud report, once, then a second time. Arnold ran from the store, gun in one hand, a bag in the other.

“What happened?”

“Damn chink pulled a gun,” he said, quickly starting the engine.
She grabbed the bag.

“How much we get? Hey, you forgot my candy.”
Arnold didn’t reply, just put the car in gear and scattered gravel out of the parking lot. Taking a tree-lined country road that led more or less southwest, he crossed under the east-west Interstate.

Two hours later, they passed a house, by itself off the side of the road.
“Arn, I’m hungry. Think there might be something to eat back there at that house?”

“Maybe,” he said, slowing down. “Let’s go see.”
Arnold made a wide turn and pulled into a gravel driveway, parking next to a brand new Cadillac Seville. Arnold got out, looked in the windows, but couldn’t see any signs of life. The sight was strange. The new Caddy was parked in front of a clapboard house with peeling paint and boarded up windows.

“You stay here,” he told her. He scrambled in the back seat and came up with an over and under shotgun. He handed it to her.
“Back me up if you have to, but be careful.”

“Sure.”
Arnold got out, checked the chamber of the .38, and stepped up on the front porch. The boards made a loud creaking noise as he walked. He paused a few seconds before the front door, listening. The only other noise was the cool September wind blowing through the oak forest. Satisfied, he opened the front door and entered. A few minutes later, he emerged.
“I’d say hold it right there, mister.”
Arnold glanced to his right. A tall man in a business suit was staring him down, a .44 Magnum cocked and ready in his right hand.

“Hey,” Arnold said. “I was just checking this place out. You can’t be too careful around these parts.”

“Drop the pistol, and be quick about it.”
Just then he saw Betty come around the corner of the house, shotgun in hand. He almost smiled. Then she fired, hitting the man in the back.

Arnold jumped.
“What the hell you do that for, Betty Sue? You had the drop in the guy.”

“Shut up Arnold. I seen him come around the side of the house, and he was armed. This girl don’t take no chances. Check his pockets.”

Arnold rolled the body over, pulling out the man’s wallet.
“Hell, Betty Sue. This here’s a federal agent. Now look what you’ve gotten us in to.”

“Anything to eat in there?”

“Hell, no. Let’s check out the Caddy.”

They opened the trunk.
“Nothing in here but a briefcase.”

“Open it,” Betty said. The briefcase was stuffed with money. “Wow!” She said. “Count it.”

“There must be fifty grand in here. Let’s take the Caddy and split.”

“Wait,” she said. You going to leave him here, layin’ out in the front yard?”

“Right. Somebody’d notice.”

“How about we put him in the Toyota and torch it? Get rid of the evidence.”

“Uh, good thinking. Guess we’re in pretty deep anyway.”

Arnold and Betty sped away, the Toyota only a cloud of smoke and flame behind them.
“Now what are we gonna do?”

“Well, Arn, we sure as hell can’t go back home. Somebody’s bound to have found Crocker by now. We’d better stash that cash somewhere.”

The couple pulled into Oklahoma City late that night, They bought a six-pack at a nearby store and found a motel. Soon they were asleep in each others arms. The next morning Betty woke first. She caressed his cock. Damn, she thought, sure felt good last night.

“Arn? Arn? Wake up. I see lights. It’s the cops!”

They got dressed quickly and peeked out the window. The cops were looking over the caddy.

“Arn. I’ve got an idea. Use me as a hostage, and we’ll get out of here.”
Arnold did as she asked. He walked her in front of him, pistol at her neck.

“Back off, guys, or I’ll shoot,”

Arnold forced her behind the wheel, and they took off, Arnold holding the pistol on her. The police followed, but they managed to lose them. Their luck held as they ditched the caddy. Hot-wiring an old truck, they were off again.

* * *

“Ray, this is Sheriff McDonald.” Static, that’s all he could hear. Static. Ray Jenson was dispatcher for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “Ray?”

“Here, Sheriff. Coming through clear now. What do you have for us?”

“One of my deputies found a burned out hulk at a farmhouse. There’s a body in it.”

“O.K. It may be a fugitive. Name is Arnold James. He killed a trooper in Arkansas, and also killed two in convenience store robberies – one here in Oklahoma.”

“No, according to the M.E’s report, it’s Dave Reynolds, an ATF agent.”

“Damn. I heard he was a good man. Will the Feds co-operate, or take over?”

“Our captain knows the regional director. According to him Reynolds was planning a sting operation on a weapons deal. Had over $50,000 in marked bills with him.”

“Shit. They find it?”

“No. We think the fugitive may have killed Reynolds and taken the money.”

“Can we trace the dough?”

“Working on it. We want the bastard bad. Reynolds was shot in the back.”

“Hope you come up with something soon. It’s getting dark.”

“We’re setting up a roadblock now on Highway 59, just east of the county seat. They’ve been spotted on the road by air patrol”

“Be careful. He’s got a hostage.”

“Yeah?”

“A Betty Sue Anderson. Her father claims the guy knew her, but forced her to go with him. She’s pregnant with another guy’s kid. They found the guy’s body yesterday. James probably shot him, grabbed her. He used a .38 Glock, same caliber used in the convience store robberies, same that killed the state trooper. We want that guy bad.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll take care of her.”

Arnold heard the plane buzzing overhead. “We have to get off this road, Betty Sue. That’s the cops, I know it.” They turned down a county road, soon discovering it went nowhere. They passed an abandoned farmhouse.

“Stop!” she said. “We gotta get rid of that money. If they catch us, they’ll know for sure we killed that federal agent.”

“Right,” Arnold said. They found an old well at the back of the property. They wrapped the money in a plastic garbage sack, let it down the well, and took off. “Maybe we can come back for it. They hadn’t caught us yet.”

Back on the main road, they heard sirens. Arnold began to drive faster. Up ahead was the roadblock. Arnold could see several police cars and men with rifles.

“Get down in the floorboard, Betty Sue. I’m gonna run the damn thing if it’s the last thing I do.” Betty obeyed, curling up in the front floorboard with her feet against the door.

“He’s going to run it, Sheriff. He’s speeding up.”

“You see the girl?”

“No. He might have dumped her, killed her for all we know. Aim for his head as he goes by. Now!”

Three officers fired at once. The truck slammed into a police car and went into a prolonged spin, finally turning on its side in a ditch. Officers rescued Betty, but Arnold was a bloody, dead mess. They wrapped her in a blanket. As she was sped away by ambulance, she smiled. I wonder, she thought to herself, how hard it will be to find that farmhouse again.

Nice! Almost a stuff for a ''western'' movie screenplay.

doghouse reilly
February 6th, 2012, 03:52 PM
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm looking at some on-line magazines (some even pay!)
to get some editor's attention.

doghouse reilly

oornelakes
February 11th, 2012, 07:43 AM
It started off well but I felt like you kind of lost control of it somewhere in the middle. It's pretty engaging as it is, but for it to really work it needs to go in a different direction at some point. Right now it's a killing spree without a lot of purpose and you wrap it up too easily and quickly at the end.

The voices are good, but you could look at the dialogue in places to sharpen it up. For example, in the first line, maybe take out "you knocked me up". Leaving it more open makes the reader think more. I'd also take out "hell no, betty sue," in the second line. Also, would these characters use each other's names so much? Not sure they would.

The conversation/scene between dispatcher and sherif could be improved. We hear these guys, but we don't see them. Dialogue here not always believable.
But more importantly, I got the feeling that you were running out of breath and just wanted it finished. Slow it down a bit, and give us something else. Take the story in a direction we weren't expecting.
Thanks for sharing. I liked it. Good luck.