View Full Version : (WC 754) Nothing Ventured

March 17th, 2020, 03:56 PM

Maeve checked the picture on her iPhone once again. She’d followed Ryan at a distance for several days and knew this was the time he’d line up at Starbucks, buy his Peppermint White Hot Chocolate, then find a table and work on his laptop for half an hour. Regular like clockwork.

What kind of man wanted peppermint in his hot chocolate, she wondered? Where was his taste? Where were his manly virtues? Peppermint was medicine - a sharp metallic taste that pierced the tongue and the nostril. Chocolate was luxury, a creamy orgasm to be savoured and rolled in the mouth, sliding slowly down the throat, coating it in ecstasy.

Ryan might look like a man, but if he wanted to be a wimp, why not just drop a couple of marshmallow bits into his hot chocolate.

Tendrils of his curly black hair hung casually at the side of his face, like he couldn’t just pull it back into place with his fingers. Her fingers curled at the temptation of fixing his hair herself.

He wouldn’t fit into her family’s business. Her father had been right to check him out, although this was not her typical assignment. Plus she didn’t like mixing business with family, but he’d called and asked, and he asked her for precious little.

She reversed the camera on her phone to use it like a mirror. She ran her hand through her auburn hair. She’d not washed it for more than a week and it now looked dingy brown with greasy build-up. Perfect. She’d taken time with her makeup, so that the sallow cheeks and darkened eyeliner weren’t too obvious. The fake glasses were a new touch, every frame making her look different. Brilliant. Even her friends wouldn’t recognize her. She’d probably be able to con a free coffee from kind-hearted Dolores without being recognized, if she felt so inclined. Which she didn’t.

Where was the man now? Average height, average build, he could blend into the background and might even at this minute be lining up for his hot drink. Another reason not to trust him.

There! He had a strong face, with enough stubble to say he didn’t bother to shave every day, like some runway underwear model. Another mark against him. His build wasn’t so much average as wiry. He looked like he could go the distance whether that meant working hard, or working a woman. Perhaps that required a tick mark in the positive column. She smiled to herself, then dropped the thought.

He was ordering. She hurriedly picked up her drink and headed to the ironically named pick-up station. His back was to her as he reached for his cup, then turned. That was when she bumped into his shoulder hard. She dropped her drink, the cooling liquid splashing on her 4” heels, a concession necessary to hide how short she was, and to give her clumsiness believability.

“What the . . . “ She turned and confronted him. “You clumsy oaf. Look what you’ve done!”

“Sorry, sorry.”

“Look at my shoes.” She knew she had good legs, and the knee-length A-line skirt showed them to good effect. His gaze lingered higher than shoe level for a moment too long. Good. Another tick mark in the negative column.

“Let me buy you a replacement. What were you drinking?”

Not a pansy-assed peppermint hot chocolate. “Coffee. Black, no sugar.” A man’s drink. How could her father seriously be considering him?

“Sure.” He looked around with his hands full of laptop and hot chocolate.

“Let me take those. I’ll find a table.” She knew his favourite table and headed straight for it. He’d be able to find his way easily enough. So far, everything was going to plan. She’d be finished with her report by the end of the week.

Ryan glanced at the woman while placing his new order. She’d deliberately bumped into him. What was her game? Also, those glasses were fake. Either that or her prescription was so weak she didn’t really need big horn-rimmed glasses. And that make-up. It was as though she was trying hard to be ugly or non-descript. Which would be impossible with those legs. He’d lingered longer on them than would have been proper, but sometimes he tired of being proper and dropped back into the anything goes life of the commune.

She was conning him. Nobody scammed a scammer. He wanted to know more. He could afford a few minutes to find out what she was up to.


Thank you if you've taken the time to read this. What I'm looking for in the way of critique, should you feel so inclined, is to find out how much of a chore this was to read. If you wish, you could use a scale of 0-5 with zero being like scraping toothpaste off the roof of your mouth after you'd just burnt your tongue on scalding hot tea, and 5 being like "only 754 words - they just sped by; please sir, more".

May your day be stupendous.


March 17th, 2020, 06:16 PM
I don't like scammers who somewhat give the impression of being sociopaths. I wished the overall tone of the story could be a little cheerier. By having a character as the mc I like but maybe he is redeeming himself later on. On an earlier glimpse as to his good qualities could be better. But I do like the last sentences focusing on the danger. Which is why we read to find out what will be happening next.

I wanted to know what made this scammer a little more relatable (the mc). As the scene is too short I can't give better impressions. Is he doing everything for a noble reason? I don't like giving out numbers for reviews since they are never accurate. I could give it a 4 for what it is worth but it is not accurate.

That's not to say that all stories aren't sad and never have characters that are happy since that would be boring (only trouble is interesting). It's something about this character's personality narrated that doesn't say a lot. That is to say it does tie in with her conning people.

I felt the story comment and part with chocolate with peppermint didn't tell me a lot about his personality (it did jibe with the conman mentality). I thought it needed to be something we learned that was more moral about him. But I never would have thought of him in that way or manner. I hope this makes sense and helps. All critiques are an opinion.

March 17th, 2020, 11:55 PM
To my thinking it is easy to read but hard to hang onto. She's been observing this man for days for her father? Although she doesn't particularly like him there seems to be a romantic interest.

Neither the story nor characters seem defined enough for any opinion. Since I have no way define storyline or characters I can't give any opinions. I find no tension or conflict.

Olly Buckle
March 18th, 2020, 01:13 AM
"Average height, average build, he could blend into the background"
"He had a strong face ... His build wasn’t so much average as wiry."
A very mixed message. I think making your mind up what he's like and sticking to it makes for an easier read.

I suspect he couldn't afford not to spend a bit of time finding out what's going on. I am given the impression that this is a familiar game she is playing, so why is she so bad at it?