Monday November 16th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the break.

I'm not going to bother complaining about this cough anymore. I'll just let you know when it's gone, okay? Okay.

Oh, hey - quick favor. Are there any of my takes that you'd like me to revisit? Either to expand or rewrite or properly finish (since I left you hanging). I know I do this quite a bit, but I'm just wondering if any in particular spring to mind for you guys.

Thanks in advance.


"This audition could be your big break, man."

"Yeah, it really could."

"So... why aren't you more excited about it?"

"Don't I seem excited?"

"No. Not at all."


"Dude. Talk to me. What's going on?"

"It's just that... sure, this could be my big break. Or it could be the big break for one of the other two hundred guys auditioning for the part."

"You're exaggerating. Surely it's more like ten."

"No, I'm not. It's gonna be me versus two hundred guys, all of us desperate for the job. It's not needle in a haystack territory, but it's in the same zip code."

"Hey, you just gotta go up on that stage and blow them away. You? At your best? Ain't no chump gonna stand a chance."

"Thanks, man."

"That should have cheered you up. Why didn't that cheer you up?"

"It's just that... this could be a big break for me in a totally different way."

"I'm not following."

"The auditions are being held at Triangle Theater..."

"What? Wasn't that building condemned like two years ago?"


Greg said...

Hmm, I shall have to go back through the archives and take a look, as the answer is a definite yes, but picking a reasonable number for you might be a little trickier. I know I've mentioned about six in the past month where it would be nice to know more about what's going on there!
I have to say, your final line is the first thing that came into my head when I realised they were talking about auditions, so I'm glad you included it! I also rather like the reluctance to optimism that you've got going on in there as well: I think you have a realist on your hands! The dialogue runs very smoothly along and doesn't feel at all forced, so good job!

The break
"Rack'em." Dave was heading towards the bar, a roll-up hanging from the corner of his mouth and his battered, scuffed wallet in his hand. At the pool table Vince was holding the triangle and pulling the balls together in a loose pack at the end of the table, and their opponents: a man and a woman who'd come up silently and put the money for the right to challenge down a minute ago, watched.
"Actually –" the woman held up a pale hand with at least two rings on each finger. "Actually, I think David should rack. In the interests of seeing a fair game."
Vince smiled pleasantly, his broad face glowing like the early morning sun, and handed the triangle over. At the bar, Dave glowered at what he felt was an insult, and the barman mistook it for an issue with the beer. There was shouting.
"Who will break?" asked the woman.
"We toss for it," said Vince. "I guess you'll want to use your own coin though. In the interests of fairness."
The woman, Yvonne, nodded. David, her friend paused though, seemingly thinking through what Vince had just said. "Actually –" he said, and Vince couldn't help but notice that he also lifted a hand when he said that, though his fingers were covered with scars. "Perhaps we should... perhaps we should ask the barman to toss a coin for us. In the interests of fairness." Vince just caught the snarl on Yvonne's face and wished he could have photographed it. Then she was smiling again, though her teeth were showing and her eyes were like chips of flint, and agreeing.
Vince went and broke up the fight between the barman and Dave, which had just reached the point of four-letter expletives being screamed at each other, and asked for the barman's impartial refereeing. He seemed relieved to be able to get away from Dave, and came over to the table while Dave picked the drinks up and followed.
"Who's calling?" he asked.
Vince looked at Yvonne. "Tails," she said, staring at him as though daring him to complain. The coin sparkled in the air as it turned, peaked, and fell, and landed on the baize.
"Heads," said the barman.
Yvonne stamped her foot, and then tried to pretend she had cramp. Dave set the drinks down on the table, and Vince tried to ignore that it looked like Dave and the barman had had a spitting contest in the four glasses, and picked up a cue. "My break," he said, and Dave looked sad.
"I hate it when you break," he said. Vince ignored him, set the white in place and waited while Yvonne checked it and the cue, and then broke with a smooth rifling action. Six balls sank into pockets with a satisfying clatter.
"No-one else ever gets a turn at the table," said Dave.

Marc said...

Greg - how about I say minimum 5 pieces, maximum 10? That's a good range for what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the kind words on mine. I thought that might be your kind of ending :)

The combination of Dave and David had me briefly confused on this one, but once I had it sorted out it was clear sailing from there. Loved the background story between Dave and the barman, and that ending was rather terribly satisfying I must admit.