Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Line Blogfest

For Lilah's Last Line Blogfest,
I submit the last several *coughdozencough* lines of chapter 4 of my WIP.

To set the scene a bit so you know WTF is going on, My MC Sam and Scarlett are both returned from the grave. They've already discovered their bodies reform themselves if damage is done to them. They've just met this day and are still strangers, and are also seventeen. They are being 'called' west, but they don't know where to. They are in her crappy white Pinto station wagon in Denver at the moment, after having travelled across Kansas. They are leaving Denny's at the moment, trying to decide where to head from there.

Oh, and he thinks she's a lunatic.


I left the waitress a buck-fifty, which was over twenty-percent of our seven dollar meal. Quite generous, I thought. As we walked back to the car, I glanced at the nearby interstate and the cars speeding down it. In them were people who knew where they were going. I envied them.

A thunderous sound startled me, and I snapped around in search of its source. Scarlett, too, searched the darkness from her side of the car.

"What the hell was that?" she said.

"Fuck if I know."

We looked around a moment longer, then it resounded again so loudly I covered my ears. Other patrons of the restaurant passed us by with curious eyes, unfazed by the resonating echo in the night. It seemed they were either deaf or had not heard it because only Scarlett and I could. When it struck a third time, a flash of light accompanied it from the sky, turning night into day. My lifted eyes saw dancing circles of color against the clouds.

"A sign?" Scarlett asked across the hood of the car.

"I guess. Words spelled out would be a lot more helpful, though."

"Text message of the gods?" Her tone was amused.

"Hey, divinity shouldn't have limitations."

The lights stopped dancing. I almost apologized to the sky for my disrespect. Maybe the divine disliked being mocked as much as any human.

"Way to go. You pissed them off," Scarlett said. "Say you're sorry."

"You're not serious," I said. True, I'd the impulse to retract my statement, but I wasn't actually going to speak to floating colors above my head.

"Yes, I am. Do it, or don't get back in the car."


"Like you mean it, too. Not one of those fake forced apologies your mom makes you give your brother."

I didn't have a brother, or a sister for that matter. I knew that wasn't the point, though, so I looked up at the lights and said, "Sorry if I pissed you off."


Scolded by the crazy chick. My afterdeath had reached an all new low point.

"I'm sorry if my remark was offensive to you in any way," I said to the luminescent colors, feeling like a world class jackass.

The lights circled again, then drifted away slowly, heading south.

"Get in!" Scarlett said, throwing open her door. "They're going to show us the way!"

That was a pretty wild assumption, I thought, but I did as I was told. For all we knew, the lights were going to lead us off a cliff. Or to a used car dealership.

Scarlett peeled out of the parking lot and sped down the street. I wasn't sure her Pinto could take that kind of abuse, but negative remarks about her car while she was excitedly speeding down the street seemed a bad idea. It was harder to keep my mouth shut when we nearly caught air going over train tracks.

"Dead or not, you need to obey the rules of the road before you send other people to the grave," I said, gripping the door handle in anxiety.

"You know what?"

A rhetorical question I loathed. I almost answered sardonically, but kept it to myself.

"Shut up," she said. "I'm not going to kill anyone. You don't count. You're already dead."

"Well, I'd prefer not to be dismembered again, thanks."

She shot me a confused glance, then her eyes returned to the road.

"Watch out for the...!"

"I see it."

The Pinto narrowly missed someone edging their Mustang out from a gas station parking lot. They honked loudly and the driver gave us the finger.

"Being with you is almost more excitement than I can handle," I said.

"Yeah, I get that a lot."


stu said...

I like this a lot. Very readable, and a wonderfully deadpan last line.

Unknown said...

haha! Great voice in this. I loved the part about off a cliff or to a used car lot. Hee! The last line was great in the context of what was going on.

Charity Bradford said...

Lol, this is going to be a fun story, I can tell right away. I love the banter between them.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I love the tone and your MCs here. I like the dialogue and the banter. And this line?

My afterdeath had reached an all new low point.

I love that line. :)

Jaydee Morgan said...

Very good job. The voice of this piece really shows through.

Jemi Fraser said...

You've definitely got my attention - fun characters who both have an edge. Nice! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Wonderful, fun, funny, great job!!! I like.

Shelley Sly said...

Aww I like this! The characters are really likeable. Good job!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Nothing like a "fun" undead story. My two favorite lines :

"Hey, divinity shouldn't have limitations."

Scolded by the crazy chick. My afterdeath had reached an all new low point.

Don't you hate it when you can't even handle dying right? Love your entry, Roland

Katie said...

I agree with Stu: definitely readable. And the sarcasm goes down easily. Good stuff!

Susan Fields said...

The last line is perfect. This is a great scene, I love the humor and the interaction between these two.

Anonymous said...

not only is the humor perfect (i expect no less from you:) the story sounds so interesting. i love that the divine is interacting with the undead characters. sounds like a really unique fun story!

VR Barkowski said...

Excellent voice and compelling characters with an edge - my kind of fiction. What really works for me here is the juxtaposition of the paranormal (undead characters) and the everyday (Denny's and Fords), perfectly blended with a splash of sardonic humor - the last line is outstanding!

Anonymous said...

I love characters like this. Great entry, and a great last line! I would definitely read more. Thanks for participating!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I loved his thoughts as he apologized to the lights...classic. She sounds like quite a handful. Great post.

Artemis Grey said...

I love the undead in most any form, but these days there are so many badly done stories involving them... yours is NOT one of them! I LOVE this! It's cheeky without being flippant, and engaging and fast paced without loosing you in the action. Well done! Let me know how to buy a copy... :)

Mia Hayson said...

I just love the tone of this piece! Again, since I am late with my commenting of all the blogfest posts most of what I wanted to say has been voiced ;~) It's funny and sarcastic and I LOVE that. The last line was indeed perfect too :~)

I totally want to read more! :~)

Christi Goddard said...

I appreciate you guys SOOOOO much. I'm sorry I'm late returning comments. I was out at the 'rents house yesterday til this afternoon.

I'm so glad you guys I liked it. I've been fretting over it a lot, wondering if the voice is off or too false sounding or over the top with his sarcasm. I'm really, really glad you guys liked it.

Roland D. Yeomans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roland D. Yeomans said...

I atrociously misspelled a word in my last comment, and you deserve only my best, Christi. I've just read your comment about my 'bear in the tent' icon and laughed long and deep. I really needed that laugh. Thanks for being my friend, Christi

Christi Goddard said...

I'm quite tickled I amused you so much. I love to make people laugh. The world needs more laughter.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Ha! Awesome. loved that last line

Tahereh said...

haha!! this is AWESOME christi!!!

seriously -- the more i read your stuff, the more i'm convinced you are crazy for worrying you will ever NOT get published.

the world is just waiting to give you the perfect agent at the perfect time, love! hang in there!!!


Nishant said...

Great voice in this.
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