Friday, May 4, 2012

Write On Edge: More Than Words Challenge

The Red Writing Hood  challenge this week gives us 450 words to focus on dialogue and body language to set a scene or move a story forward, limiting your use of narration, beginning with "His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke."

This challenge rides outside my comfort zone. Way outside.

The last time we were given the opening line it started: "It was a rainy night in Dusseldorf." My characters were involved in a car accident. You can find Gina and Eddie here and here, in order.



I offer the following in response: Out of the Frying Pan



His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke. “You know I can’t take those off.”

Gina squirmed on her stretcher, testing the handcuffs that secured her to the railing with a firm tug. Sticky tears slid like January molasses down her cheeks, but she was too numb to care about her runny mascara. Her neck was stiff and the high-pitched buzzing in her ears drowned out the sounds of the emergency crews. “Whatever, Danno. Where’s Eddie?”

“How’s about we start over? I’m gonna ask you again, real nice-like, for old times’ sake…”

The buzzing helped her ignore his question, but the sight of a black bag rolling by on a stretcher sent icy shards of fear to her heart. A horrified whisper escaped her lips. “Oh, God,”

He followed her gaze. “That ain’t him, Gina.”

She released her breath slowly and tugged at the handcuffs again. “Why didn’t they take me to the hospital yet?” she muttered, bitterly.

Officer Daniels shrugged, “I haven’t cleared them to take you yet. We’re still trying to ascertain if we’re taking you to the prison ward. Now, tell me what happened.”

He fell silent, his impatient fingers tapping against his forearm. She found his grimace unsettling. “I’m only talkin’ to Eddie.”

Caterpillar eyebrows collided above his nose. Daniels leaned against the ambulance and snarled loudly at her. “We need to keep this in house, Gina. Eddie’s not a local anymore.”

Her vision was foggy but it didn’t keep her from searching every face that passed by. The accident was staged, but by who? She needed to know what Eddie saw, who pulled him from the driver’s seat before she blacked out. There were way too many badges and official windbreakers floating about for her to trust anyone else. “Yeah? That pick-up-line ever actually work for you, Danno?” she hissed defensively, still scanning the crowd. “Newsflash, Flatfoot, fed or no fed, Eddie’s been local since his ancestors landed on Plymouth Rock. You fall off a garbage truck in high school and you think that makes you one-a-the-boys?”

Darkness flushed the light from his eyes. “You put on an expensive dress and tease your hair and you think that makes you a lady?”

She locked onto his eyes from the edge of her lashes as flames of anger burned into her cheeks and drove the buzzing from her ears temporarily. “Got one word for you, Danno. Lawyer.”
 

30 comments:

  1. Your dialogue here is excellent - I love that final exchange about the garbage truck and the lady. A terrific read.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. Dang. I got sucked right in.

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    1. Thanks! I'll throw you a rope...Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  3. Yeah, the last verbal exchange is pretty priceless.

    This has a very cinematic feel. I like how you established everyone's purpose and location. Well done.

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    1. Thanks! Gina's a feisty girl and I have a feeling her mouth starts more trouble than not. Thanks for stopping by as always and sharing your thoughts!

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  4. I really enjoyed this too! I am new to #writeonedge. I posted on my wordpress www.writereadrepeat.com

    i also really like the dialogue. the whole thing sucked me in too!

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    1. Hey welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay. And thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. (I've got limited computer access this weekend, but I promise I'll come take a peek at yours as soon as I can!) Cheers!

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  5. You also gave me direction too - now I'm going to name my Write on Edge pieces. And I need to provide info about what the challenge was! I made a note to self ;)

    Are we friends on Twitter yet? I'm @Ericatweetheart and am always looking to connect with others passionate about writing.

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    1. Happy to help! I'll look you up on Twitter

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  6. Gina sounds like she isn't one to be messed with. Interesting story.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  7. I love how you were able to use the prompt with the ongoing story! Great job.

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    1. Thanks! I'm actually surprised I made it work. It was dubious there for a while...Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  8. How interesting! Is there some past history between these two? I am sensing some chemistry.

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    1. Gina never thought much of Daniels. I haven't found out why yet. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Nice job! I love the tension in this scene and how you've created such distinct voices for the characters. One minor technicality (as I used to work in law enforcement) - cops typically can't keep an ambulance. The paramedics are the ones to make that call. For this, though, I don't think it matters. Nice job.

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    1. Yeah, I knew someone would call me on that. Mostly, Daniels is a crooked cop. He makes stuff up as it suits him. That's why I had him shrug before he said it. Gina only suspects this.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  10. We should push you outside your comfort zone, this is very good.

    The banter is great, and to me it rings very gritty East Coast.

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    1. Whew! So glad I pulled this off then. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback!

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  11. Outside of your comfort zone? Let's push you here more often; I loved this. Like some other commenters, I found the last bit of exchange just perfect.

    One small critique is the "sticky tears". I understand what you're getting at with the running mascara, but I actually find the tears to be fine, it's what's left on the lashes that really becomes a sticky mess. (Can you tell I wear too much mascara and have possibly cried in it once or twenty-seven times?)

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    1. Thanks! I detest makeup and avoid using whenever possible. I just remember the last time I cried with it on, my tears felt tacky. If it's not needed, when this story is compiled together, I'll include it in my edits.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  12. Like others have mentioned the dialogue is quick, gritty, and spot-on.

    I can see and sense each character. You've made them distinct and memorable.

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    1. Thanks! It was a challenge to write, but I love Gina's character. She allows me to tap into my inner smart mouth. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  13. Excellently well written - the dialouge absolutely sparkles and it is quite excellent how you manged to convery body language, even while your character's hands were literally tied!

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    1. Thanks! Ooh, I like "sparkles". I'm thrilled you enjoyed the piece. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  14. The dialogue is terrific! Such great voices. Nice job, especially with your professed lack of comfort! :) Be careful of the descriptors; they got a little distracting at times: "muttered, bitterly," "hissed defensively," "snarled loudly." Otherwise you had me totally hooked.

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    1. Thanks! I'm one of those readers that likes descriptive adverbs in writing, but I'll agree that everything should be in moderation. Thanks for stopping by and providing such wonderful feedback!

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  15. I agree with what Angela & Cam said. If this is outside your comfort zone, it's good to push you. The voices were very real to me. I particularly like the last exchange between Gina & Daniels.

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    1. Sorry for getting back to this so late, but I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts. And I'm thrilled you liked the banter!

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