View Full Version : Greed

September 29th, 2015, 03:09 AM
Just a spot of a story that I'm trying to write. Feedback would be wonderfully appreciated.
Physically, it was a beautiful day. Gary stood silently in the middle of Oak Avenue, rattling the change in his tin can ceaselessly for traffic at the stoplight. With traffic stopping every couple of minutes for the light, anyone with disheveled hair and dirty clothing could make an easy buck with a sad enough face - and Gary did not have to try hard to look like he just escaped Hell. Experienced in the art of getting whatever popped into his pretty little mind, the man in the stained white shirt wore the thousand-yard-stare of one permanently blinded, not that receiving petty donations required any real acting. Most of the drivers who stopped at the intersection, in seeing the unwashed man with dark sunglasses and a cane, were willing to toss a few quarters into his container just to get his sorry ass off of the street. Of course, spare change wasn’t going to leave him satisfied with his long con. Usually, his foot barely touched the sidewalk before the light turned green, the donor sped off, and he was back on the asphalt. With such beautiful weather, who could pass up a cool thirty? It payed more than most easily-attainable jobs in this economy - not that he didn’t work one. Mischief aside, Gary was a hard-working citizen of the best country in the world.
In the midst of his self-righteous indulgence, a dark green minivan pulled up and halted beside the modern-day highway man, the first in what would turn out to be no line at all stopped at the intersection. Gary and the passengers of the car were alone on the road. The woman in the driver’s seat tapped the wheel impatiently, and assumed a whiny expression on her face as the young man in back kicked her seat. Gary stumbled slowly towards the stopped vehicle and tapped on its driver’s window with his padded cane. The polished oak reflected a small amount of sunlight into the driver’s blue eyes, and the rubber padding at the foot of the cane left a slight smudge on the clean glass. Both the thirty-or-so year old woman and her six year old son darted their eyes towards him, but the woman ignored him and set her focus back to the road in a fraction of a second, pretending not to notice the figure outside her door. She grew more outwardly impatient, cursing the stoplight under her breath. Gary felt the tug of the light wanting to turn green, but he was feeling quite motivated to obtain a few dimes. He slapped the window with some force and the lady jumped. Her eyes widened for a second and her face contorted in surprise. After the initial startling effect of a seemingly crazed homeless man hitting her vehicle, she quickly regained control of herself and gave Gary a strained smile as she rolled down her window. The kid in back stared intently at his scarred face.
The driver raised an eyebrow at the silent man outside her door.
Gary tilted his head up, looking at her interior roof, and let out his trademark smile. He raised his tin can to shoulder level inside the mom-mobile. The woman opened her mouth to initiate conversation, but before she let out the first word, Gary began to talk at a strangely high volume.
“Please, toots,” he practically shouted, “if you could spare a dime or twenty to help get me off.” He nodded towards his extended hand. “Oh!” he exclaimed and laughed a little, scaring his potential benefactor. “Help get me off the street, I mean. I swear, I’m so empty-headed.”
“Yeah… ” the lady started. “Listen, guy, I really don’t have change, so please back away from my car so we can meet up with my husband.”
Gary stayed absolutely silent and still. “Huh, guy?” she spoke up a little louder, and Gary shuddered a little. A low growl escaped from between his pursed lips, taking the form of something like the English language.
“No… change?” he cocked his head a little to the right, as though it were a foreign concept. Gary shuddered again, lapsing back into his old self. “Are you sure, love? Couldn’t ya check for a poor man screwed over by the American government?” he said, sweat forming on his brow.
The bead of sweat trickled down his face, tracing the scar that went from his right eye down to the corner of his mouth. The woman’s eyes followed its journey, but she remained silent. Gary slid his tongue out the side of his mouth and mopped up the drop of sweat that the lady was so focused on. Her eyes followed his (forked?) tongue as it slithered in and out of his cracked lips. He extended his thoughts out, in order to get some extra information on the victim of his con. With very little probing, he figured out everything he needed to know.
The lady before him was thirty-three years old, born in Chicago, Illinois. Her name was Jessica. She was apparently destined to be a boring old soccer mom, barely having to work to keep her family above what little debt they had. Her husband was a big-wig at some corporation or other, and she was indeed on her way to visit him. Whether she would get there or not was another story altogether - one that Gary was writing. At the front of her thoughts was the small bit of change she had sitting, unused in her cupholder. She didn’t think a blind man would notice, but even if Gary truly was blind he would smell the metal from a mile away. Jessica considered herself outgoing and social, not awkward or easily scared by a stranger, and yet this man was an exception. Her eyes combed through every detail of his face - the scar, his cracked skin, the blemishes above his lip, the twitching corners of his mouth. Jessica wasn’t quite sure if he was actually blind, but she also supposed it didn’t matter, because not a damn cent was about to be exchanged between the two. Gary dropped his cane, overcome by the impulse to reach his empty hand in there to either rip out her throat or take the forty-three cents in her cupholder.
Shit, he thought, there are other sucker fish in this sucker ocean.
“No change. Got it. Thanks for your time, doll,” he let out in a barely intelligible mutter. He picked up his fallen cane and let the light turn green.
Jessica instantaneously turned her head towards the road. She barely attempted to mutter a parting statement, and Gary backed up, spreading his arms open and nodding with a smile on his face. She started to accelerate away. The kid in back, (Jonathon, Gary found out), kept his gaze on Gary as his window passed the mysterious beggar. In a flash, the stranger turned into a clean, young man with golden-yellow eyes that stared directly into the kid’s soul. The kid’s mouth opened a little bit, but Gary raised his free index finger over his lips to keep the lad quiet. The six year old’s eyes widened in surprise when he realized that his mouth had literally been sewn shut. With a passing, nonchalant wink, Gary turned away from the two pathetic humans and started strolling to another block.
He could barely hear the sound of the minivan crash head-first into a semi going eighty miles-an-hour.

September 29th, 2015, 05:53 AM
Your writing style has a nice feel to it; that is the first thing that I noticed while going through it. I hate using the word flow, but I didn't really get caught up anywhere. That's a really good place to start from.

As this is only a piece of a story that you are working on, standard advice doesn't really apply. If I had to pick one thing to work on, it'd be on cutting it down a bit. Some of the writing feels superfluous, and it only delays getting to the numerous good parts of the story. That's what I would do, personally.

January 3rd, 2016, 06:04 PM
I agree, some of the writing is too detailed and needs to be cut down a bit. Though, I might add, you have a good style that you can work from. And your cliffhanger at the end definitely leaves the reader wanting more.

If you're going to edit this piece, I suggest posting up the edited version so us, as readers, can look at it again.

Write on! : D