Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Two wrongs rarely make a right

This exercise is thanks to JVS, who posted a writing game on her blog where people postedtwo sentences for others to use as the first and last in a story. Here are the sentences I got:

It was the way he looked at me.


Two wrongs rarely make a right.

And here's my writing:

It was the way he looked at me that made me walk over and sit at his table. He was alone, I was alone, and there were no other seats open in the entire bar. The look--given with his smile, with his eyes--was friendly, but not lascivious. It was the look I'd give a friend. Though I should've known that at night, in a bar, no look is that innocent.
"Come here often?" he joked. "I'm Michael."
"Kate," I said. "You don't mind if I join you?" Michael flagged down the waitress in response. I ordered a Corona, the only beer I liked and one that would help me forget the hot, humid air I had come here to escape.
I got down Michael's basics before my beer arrived: he was a consultant, in town for a meeting, staying at the hotel next door. He was from Tampa, so the current heatwave in Boston was nothing to him.
Halfway through my beer, he was still talking and had yet to ask me a single question. And my story was quite interesting, if I do say so myself. I was in town trying to solve my newest client's case: a Duxbury woman's husband had disappeared. She suspected foul play--on his part. He had cheated before, but had come back begging forgiveness after she kicked him out. She gave him another chance and six months later, poof, gone. She thought he might be staying at a hotel in Boston, so I had been scouting them out for the last few days, asking questions of the clerks, roaming the halls, checking out the bars, the pool, the computer rooms. No sign of him yet, but I had a feeling.
I finished my beer, and reached into my purse for my wallet.
"You're leaving?" Michael asked.
"Yeah, I have a long night ahead of me. Thanks for sharing your table." I slapped down a ten dollar bill and slung my purse over my shoulder.
"We could go to my room for another drink," Michael said.
"That's sweet, but I'm married," I lied.
"I am, too," Michael said, holding up his left hand.
I turned away. I looked back and said, "Two wrongs rarely make a right."

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ian russell said...

hey! superb! strange to see those sentences fleshed out into a story. :o)

good pace and balance, concise too - i imagined this sort of exercise could be a ramble trying to grope for the relevance of the final sentence, but you've avoided this admirably.

Bug said...

Thanks Ian! It was really fun.

FatCharlatan said...

Great job, Bug!

Jemima said...

I like how you got there. I didn't expect the final line, even though I'd read it ten seconds earlier, you didn't force it!

So in America you pay after you've finished the drink, hmm? They'd never do that in the UK. I know about the intolerance of a heatwave, however. Don't have any beer though.

Bug said...

Thanks FC!

JVS-- Here normally if you sit at a table in a bar, you get waitress service, and they keep a tab and charge you for drinks at the end of the night. Interesting that it's different in the UK!