1.07.2007

HH Com Rd 2 - #23 (408)

Hook here

Patrice felt her carpal tunnel flare from her grip on the scaffolding. Looking down into the ring, she could see Callista and Death Girl pandering hate from the audience.

"Too bad they won't let us wear bat wings," Betty "High Flyer" Barone said. She was straddling the bar of the cat walk, one leg swinging happily in oblivion, the other firmly planted. "I'd bet they'd let the heels wear them." Betty nodded down towards the ring. "They get all the cool costumes."

"I'd settle for a leotard that didn't crawl up the crack of my ass," Patrice said and worked on removing one finger off the bar. One down, nine to go.

"Ker-ist," Betty said. "How long is this going to take? Oh great, they gave Callista the mike. That's always death." She fiddled with her harness buckle. "So is Jerry still being a prick?"

"That's like asking if gravity still works," Patrice looked down again. "Why did I agree to this? Why can't you just strut into the ring like everyone else?"

"You don't have any vision. Think of the cameras flashing pictures of you sailing down the zip line like a real Valkyrie."

"Real Valkyries rode horses," Patrice started and then sighed. "Listen to me, real Valkyries? I sound like my daughter."

"Gracie still messing up in school?"

"Not since I took her cell phone away."

"Good for her. You don't want her to end up like her father." Betty shook her head.

"I don't think we have to worry about that. Jerry is walking, breathing proof of 'This is your brain on drugs'."

The platform shook as another body climbed up into it. All of Patrice's fingers went back on the protective bar.

"Yo! El Toro," Betty said, as a man wearing pleather matador's outfit and a zippered wrestling mask came up to them.

"It's ugly out there," he said. "Mucho Grande and I got a cup full of piss thrown at us." (some shitbird threw piss at me!)

"That's why I don't stride into the ring," Betty said with a knowing nod.

"Can this platform hold all of us?" Patrice said. (is this going to hold us all?)

"Hell yeah," he said and did his opening move of stamping his feet, while his fingers twitched into horns on his head. (did his opening move foot stomp, fingers-as-horns)

Patrice shuddered. "I don't get it. Why are you in a matador's outfit if you're a bull?"

"It's irony," he said. "Besides, the bull's costume is hot as hell."

"So are you ever going to take off that mask?" Betty asked.

"As soon as Valkyrie decides to sleep with me." He nodded to Patrice.

"You should." Betty said. "He's a better choice than your ex-husband."

"Listen to the lady," El Toro said. "She makes a good case."

"Not really," Patrice said. "You never met my ex."

"Finally," Betty said, seeing the lights dim and their theme music start.

"Are my braids on straight?" Patrice asked El Toro, adjusting her horned helmet so it settled tightly on her head.

"Uh huh," he said, "I got ten bucks that you're gonna lose them on the way down." He handed her the handgrips to the zip line.

"That would be the least of my worries." Patrice adjusted her harness so it fit more comfortably to the pulley. She took the hand grip reluctantly and moved away from the edge, leaning back and using just her feet to climb up. El Toro gave her a boost and she stood wobbling on the top bar, peering down into the winking flash bulbs and the dark roaring crowd.

"It's bungee time," Betty said and flashed a childish grin. She swung her other leg over, gave a thumbs up and fell into a dramatic back dive. Patrice waited for her to release her fabric streamers, which was her cue to come down on the cable. Taking a deep breath, she piked her knees to her chest and jumped.

Her forward motion was stopped abruptly, by El Toro's fierce grab as he lunged and threw his arms around her. She hung suspended as the scaffolding rocked, El Toro's body stretched over the side.

"What the hell . . . ?" Patrice snarled. The screams filtered up to her before she could finish her sentence.

El Toro muscled them both back to the catwalk and disconnected her from the pulley. "Don't look down."

Of course she did. Betty's body had missed the ring and was broken into a jagged angle on the concrete floor. The lights went full dark.


well the hook was a mess, and this isn't much better but I really like this idea. Craft can be learned. You've got the most important thing: a fun idea. Now go make it shiny as spandex.

What doesn't work: the writing is too rotund for the shiny spandex outfits. I purpled a couple places where it's obvious.

This isn't some introspective memoir of love and death; this is a fun crime novel. Speed it up!

10 comments:

dana p said...

I liked the simple give-and-take between Patrice and Betty; it's just another ordinary workday for them. I liked the foreshadowing (Betty fingering the harness buckle; saying "that's always death"). I liked all the improvements Miss Snark made. And I especially like that she wouldn't give up on this -- it's full of promise and I hope the author polishes it up for all it's worth.

Tattieheid said...

I think its got a lot going for it just needs a bit of revision. Good luck.

McKoala said...

I had to go back to the hook. I thought this was a high trapeze at a circus... You might want to make the situation a bit more obvious for the wrestling-challenged among us. Loved the mundane chat in a death-defying pose. Loved the abruptness of Betty's demise. Keep on polishing, it's a cool scenario.

Emmy Voter said...

I was riveted -- it sounds like the author really knows the venue and I would keep reading just for the atmosphere, regardless of the storyline.

I do agree with all of Miss Snark's revisions, so a diction pass on the whole ms is likely warranted.

angie said...

I still love this concept, and you had some great details & funny bits here. My biggest hang-up was a lot of talking & an awful lot of names - Patrice, Callista, Death Girl, Betty, Jerry, Gracie, El Toro. There is no way in hell I'm going to be able to keep all that straight in the first 750 words.

Like I said, I love this idea & would pick the book off the shelf in a bookstore, but would put it right back down if I read this first page.

Luc2 said...

This is good stuff, but does need some work. Maybe join a critique group.
Good luck.

writtenwyrdd said...

I liked the snappy dialog, but didn't have a clue in hell what was going on. You gave some great details and set the scene; but that wasn't enough. Some more editing ought to fix it, and then it'll be something bright and fun.

Anonymous said...

hey, I'm a gymnast and you either tuck your knees to your chest or pike your legs out straight in front of you while touching your feet. You can't pike your knees to your chest. An error this basic has me putting the book down AND telling everyone not to buy it as your research sucks.

Anonymous said...

hey, I'm a gymnast and you either tuck your knees to your chest or pike your legs out straight in front of you while touching your feet. You can't pike your knees to your chest. An error this basic has me putting the book down AND telling everyone not to buy it as your research sucks.

Crystal Charee said...

A lot of the dialogue sounds like it comes from MUCH younger characters, except for the cussing. The writing is too vague and shorthand for an intro, it gets confusing because we don't already know the characters or the background.

I remember the hook, it was great.