Print Story No, Don't Insist I'm Already Hurt
Follow-up to yesterday's tale, due to popular demand. Take the poll. If "no" is the common consensus I'll stop, promise.


Near dusk, the car came to a break in the barren desert landscape. As far as Luke could tell, he and Panther Jack had been heading north for the last few hours. Jack pulled the wheel on a hard right and the car skidded down a dusty road toward a dip into the flatlands. On the horizon was a small light that barely illuminated the outline of a small shack. It stood out once you knew where to look, as it was set in the basin of an old, dried out lake. Not so much as a tree visible for miles around. The distance was incalculable for Luke who squinted and tried to get his bearings, ready to bolt whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Soon they were pulling up to the ramshackle wooden abode. A single, dusty light hung over a railed porch that looked weatherbeaten and unstable. Luke was actually surprised when he felt how sturdy the thing was as he followed Jack inside. Once past the doorway, the floor immediately descended into a set of creaky wooden stairs. Only able to navigate by following Jack's swaggering gait, Luke was a bit relieved when the reached a rather spacious, but dimly lit tavern. Despite the lack of other cars parked out front, there were a few other customers mostly confined to the corners where they sat nearer the dark like silhouettes of themselves. Luke also noted the barman wiping down a counter with a sodden brown rag that looked as though it had once been another color.

The barman, as tall and thick as an oak tree, looked up at the sound of their footsteps as his scarred face switched from grimace to a fearful glare. His eyes squinted, which enhanced the appearance of a large scar that ran down over his left eye. As Luke's eyes adjusted, he noticed the eye was glass. He glanced around once more, suddenly a little less at ease, but this was not the place to show such a weakness.

"Panther!" cried out the barman in what was both a declaration and an accusation. "What the fuck? You said you wouldn't come back here!"

"Simmer down, Smithe," replied Jack coolly, "And for the record I said I'd only be back if it was important, and that's exactly what it is."

"I can't have you in here, Panther. There's trouble enough as it is without you waltzing in here." To Luke, Smithe seemed genuinely afraid, and he didn't blame the guy one bit.

Panther Jack chuckled at this reply and smiled, his silver teeth the only shine in the place. "Relax," he said, "I'll be out of your hair before you know it, an' I'll keep the trouble to a minimum."

"PJ, is that you?" said a laughing gentleman from one of the corners. Standing behind Jack, Luke looked over to watch a large, drunken man stand from the darkness and stride confidently closer. "Well if it isn't. How ya' doin', PJ?" He smiled as he spoke, like a schoolyard bully.

Panther scowled, just for a moment, and then, with movements that caught Luke by surprise, Jack was on top of the laughing man and blood was pooling at his feet. Jack stood over the gurgling figure that had dropped to the floor like a burlap sack. He lit another cigarette and grinned as he pulled it to his lips with one gloved and bloodied hand. "I told you what would happen if you ever called me out like that again didn't I, Pence? You dumb fuck."

Jack kicked the poor quivering figure in the head as he walked on to take a seat in a more secluded spot. Everyone in the room sat still for a moment, almost calculating, except Luke who pressed himself tightly against a wall with his fingers almost digging into the wood, panting like a trapped rabbit. It was Smithe who broke the silence, "Panther, just do your business and get out!"

"Aww Smithe, now that's no way to speak to an old friend," Jack replied, sitting and kicking his big black boots up on the table in front of him. "I'll leave when I'm done. Boy, get over here." He motioned to Luke, who stepped tentatively over to the table as Smithe looked down and swabbed at the bar in an attempt not to be involved.

Luke sat across from Jack with a sheen of sweat on his forehead. "Jesus, Jack, what have you done?"

"I know," Jack replied, "Bastard made me get my hands dirty. I've been trying to avoid that these days." Jack grinned and flicked some ash from the tip of his cigarette onto the floor. Leaning forward with a slight smile, he stared Luke up and down before speaking. "Now then, forget about him" he said, motioning to the now still body on the floor, "if I told you half the things he did you'd shed no tears. What's more important is you payin' me off."

Luke swallowed hard, wanting to run toward the door and never look back, but inside of him something froze, keeping him locked in his seat. "Jack, I-" he stammered, "I can't get involved in this. I... I have a different life now."

"I know, you got yerself a cat and a house, both of which are gone. So what?"

"Jack, all I ever did for you was run packages.. I don't want anything like this!"

"I promise ya," said Jack with almost a regal air of sincerity, "I won't ask you to kill anybody, -not even pieces of shit like that one lyin' on the ground - but I need your expertise."

"I- I don't move things anymore Jack."

Panther threw his head back and laughed loud, and honest, and long. Hit lit another smoke as he stared Luke up and down; the cold, grey eyes piercing Luke to his very core. "Skunk'll always smell," said Jack, settling back on his chair. "Anyhow, you know how to get stuff around, and I've got big stuff to move. The real question is," said Jack, leaning in a little closer, "do ya' want to be free of me once and for all, or are you going to make me convince ya'?"

Luke swallowed hard, glancing once more at the dead figure he kept trying to block out of his vision. "Just this and I'm done? Really?"

"I promise, boy," Jack said with a smile as he wrapped his hands behind his head, "One last little run and you're in the clear. Ya' never did me wrong before so I'm willing to go a little easy on you in this case."

Luke sighed and slumped over the edge of the table. "Okay," he said in what was barely a whisper, "wh- what do you need?"

"Good choice, son." Jack motioned at the bar, "Hey Smithe, two bourbons and don't give me the watered down shit you serve to the suckers." He turned, staring Luke right in the eye as he spoke. "Now ya' gotta listen. This is very important."

Luke,resigned to his lot and waiting for the bourbon to steel his courage, did as he was told.

< True Stories of the Witch House | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
No, Don't Insist I'm Already Hurt | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
WIPO by Phage (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 12:56:40 AM EST
I voted yes. But you need to slow down. You're writing too fast. (If that makes sense)
You chucking one image down over another without pause, sometimes leading to not enough description to get their sensorium, sometimes too wordy.
i.e. we don't care if it's a burlap sack or yesterdays tuna sandwich. It seems overdone.

On the bright side. When you get the pact right, it's spot on. I think your dialogue is often handled better than your descriptive stuff.

Of course YMMV etc

Beg pardon? by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 3) #2 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 04:36:16 AM EST
I, for one, am quite concerned with yesterdays tuna.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Tuna ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 04:43:25 AM EST
so that explains it.. Now, bob, you know about tuna and mercury exposure, right ? It does all sorts of funny things to your brain chemistry. Might want to find a different source of poissons for yourself.

[ Parent ]
Where did you learn how to read? by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 2) #4 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 04:58:42 AM EST
I said I'm concerned with yesterdays tuna, I did not say that I eat tuna.

Damn, what Uni did you attend, I wish to call them and see about rescinding your diploma.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Well my good sir by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 06:30:11 AM EST
if you pick up day-old tuna sammitches for eating, or just keep them lying around ye olde rehabe centre to stink the joint up, I'd be concerned too. But more about your hygienic practices than the tuna itself.

[ Parent ]
Dear Sir, by MisterQueue (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:15:48 AM EST
We thank you for your interest in yesterday's Valu-Tuna. We would like to assure you, however, that we will do our best to secure and maintain it at all costs. Thanks for your continued patronage.

Sincerely Someone's,
Noah Fucking Webster
Valu-Tuna CEO (Mrs.)


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
Thank you sir! by MisterQueue (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:10:15 AM EST
Criticicicism is always appreciated. Aaaand, you're right. I absolutely rushed this because I knew everything that was going to happen in this little scene, and I tend to get bored if I'm not surprised myself. So.. I ploughed through it with utter disdain.

It would probably also help if I didn't type it up in the little input boxes on HuSi but instead wrote it down and gave it another read a day later.

Dialogue a strength? Funny.. I always thought my dialogue lackluster.. but YMMV.. maybe I should write screenplays instead :P.

In conclusion, I give myself a D- for pacing but an A+ for grammar and spelling. Mrs. Patterson my 2nd grade teacher would be proud.


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
But by moonvine (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:15:16 AM EST
why did you write this in utter disdain?

[ Parent ]
Because the flight to lower disdain was full by MisterQueue (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:21:41 AM EST
No.. really because I already knew what was going on here. At that point it was just a matter of transcribing what I already knew and that bores me to tears. Even the wordsmithing part of it isn't fun in that case.

I'll just have to rework this section if I ever finish up the story and put it all together somewhere.

However, the next part I only have a rough idea about so whenever I get around to that (maybe not this weekend since I'll be in SF) it should prove much more pleasing. That's also when I do the best.. when I have no idea I tend to ramble on and on until there's like a magic talking carp and no one needs that shit. When I have too much of an idea I get bored and barrel through it like.. I dunno.. Donkey Kong. (B-but.. that's a gorilla, not a donkey!)

In conclusion, this is a really long answer to a simple question and it's pretty self-involved. Good thing it's on the Internets.. home of the morbidly self-involved postings.


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
you're title sounds strangely familiar by moonvine (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:26:02 AM EST

All righty, I read this through and I liked it. In spite of the fact that the violence made me uncomfortable and you the author are dear to me, I remain objective :)


Thus far, we have Luke, the transporter kind of guy sans the husky hunkiness and kung-fu prowess, PJ, the villainous mug of a beast without conscience or remorse, and lastly, the beer/blood/vomit/ dungeon of The Pit.  All have been very nicely portrayed. Dialogue was excellent and the pacing was just right.


Common consensus or not, I would like to see more, and I am sure the characters' "roundness" will come out within the pacing of the story.


I'm really more of a moose by MisterQueue (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 05:33:33 AM EST
less of a dear.

This might help with the title.

They're not so much titles to chapters or anything as they are little tie-ins for the vignette of the moment. Working titles or something. And no I will not give up where yesterday's title came from; it's shameful.

Anyhoo, thanks muchly. I suspect, given time and continued interest, your assessment of the characters may well change. But mysteries last longer so I'll hush hush.


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
gangly by moonvine (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 06:42:33 AM EST
Elk.

[ Parent ]
how could I vote otherwise ... by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 07:15:00 AM EST
as long as you keep ending on cliffhangers and writing phrases like "they sat nearer the dark like silhouettes of themselves," when you're not even trying.

--
Do not misuse.
Heh... by MisterQueue (4.00 / 2) #14 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 07:18:21 AM EST
yeah.. just imagine if I HADN'T been drinking.. woo..

I can picture the funeral conversation now:

Friend 1: "Man he could've totally been like Joyce eventually... if it wasn't for the drinking.. and the laziness..."
Friend 2: "I- I don't think he was Irish either."
Friend 1: "...I don't even know why I'm talking to you."

(I guess I'm saying thanks? It is not clear.)


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
The one thing I envy about Queue's writing... by superdiva (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 07:37:05 AM EST
...is his ability to personify or animate the abstract and elusive in his writing.  It would take me a good while to come with snippets like, "she stares at me like syrup" or "pink eraser lips".

I wish I could make a slave drive out of Queue's cerebellum.

_________________________________________________
Psych-E.org

[ Parent ]
You people need to stop. by MisterQueue (4.00 / 1) #16 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 07:42:03 AM EST
Purple Monkey Dishwasher.


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
slave drive? by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #17 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 08:59:08 AM EST
Sounds kinda SCSI ...

Actually, the title to this Q-installment reminded me of one of your old diaries ...

--
Do not misuse.

[ Parent ]
Hey now, by superdiva (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 10:35:53 AM EST
Nothing SCSI about Queue's ID(E)...

Yeah...ruminating about yogurt was the closest I think I got to the Queue-style.  And I was almost there....

Kellnerin, if we don't stop all this praise on MisterQueue's writing, he'll ban us from his diary...or make us do queuestions...something drastic I'm sure.

_________________________________________________
Psych-E.org

[ Parent ]
Doubtful by MisterQueue (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 11:28:04 AM EST
Though there is a secret little part that goes all "EEE!", it mostly just makes me embarassed.

So... instead I'd probably just stop 4'ing you all. THE HORROR!


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I did invent the wheel in a previous generation.

[ Parent ]
No, Don't Insist I'm Already Hurt | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback