Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fiction Friday: "Hello Jones"

So there I was in this bar. I can't remember the name of it, but it was on the corner of somewhere near Hyde St, San Francisco. The place was so packed that I had to press my shoulders up against people to get a drink. There were a few couples, and some ladies doing their night out thing. There was a straw-haired woman who gave me a glance from the corner of her eye. I walked up and said what I always say; my opening line,
"How's it going?"
"What's your name?"
With all the noise around me, I had no idea what she had just said.
"That's pretty. Where are you from?"
"I'm from the midwest."
"That's cool. Are you a student?"
It was like pulling teeth to get a conversation going.
"What-cha studying?"
"Okay, now were getting somewhere!"
"Excuse me?"
"Oops...Did I just say that out loud?"
"Yeah. You did."
"So what is micro-biology?"
"I got to use the ladies room."
I began to think over the conversation in my head. She came here to relax, not to regurgitate meaningless jargon that she's been learning from her classes at SF State. When she comes back, I've got to get her talking about something she would actually want to talk about, or even better, just ask her if she wants to come back to your little studio apartment for a drink.
I waited by the the bar. Amusing that I'm by the bar in a bar...How many of these Jack Daniels have I had? I tried to count, but lost track after four. Suddenly, I realized that I had to pee. I walked back past the tables in search of a restroom. There were guys playing pool. A brunette hung her breasts low over the pool table to take her shot. Her boyfriend glared at me as if he was ready to snap his stick over my neck and use the two broken halves as stabbing weapons into both of my eyes. I decided to avert my eyes, that I would continue to enjoy seeing because I like being able to see. The Men's room was clearly not anywhere around here. Then I saw these stairs that went up to this balcony inside the bar. "This is a cool place." I remarked. I used the urinal. Washed my hands. "Damn! No paper towels." I waved my hands back and forth in the air to dry them. It helped a little but not enough. The sensation of having wet hands was really bothering me. "What do I do now?" I thought to myself. "If I dry them on my pants, then people will think I wet myself, and if I don't dry them, I might have to shake someones hand, and then they'll be grossed out by my wet hand. I continued to wave them back and forth, when the toilet flushed from behind a urinal. A moment later, the stall door opened, and this little thin guy dressed in black jeans, and a t-shirt walks out, and sees me waving my hands.
"Dude...Chill out man." He remarks.
He's right though. Why sweat the small stuff. So what if my hands are still wet. No. I remember one time when I had to shake someone's hand when they came out of the bathroom. It really bothered me, but am I the only one?
Feeling very awkward at this point, I decide to just bolt out of the bathroom, and when I opened the door, there were people everywhere. I can't squeeze through. I looked over the railing, and tried to measure the distance to the floor. It's dark, so I can't be sure. Maybe 9 to 10 feet. I can do it. I climbed over the railing and jumped down. The wind rushes past my face. The world is a blur as the darkness of the unknown distance to the floor rushed towards me. I felt the tile floor make contact with my running shoes. I flexed up my legs for the impact. The crushing force is so great, I fell over to my hands. Everyone stoped talking. The bar was silent. Everyone looked at me.
I didn'tt know what to say at that point. All I could think is that I've got to find a way out of here and fast. A bouncer blocked the exit. There was an open window next to the exit. I ran to it, and hurled my body through it. My body moved with the strength and agility of a cheetah into the darkness of the night. I turned left to continue my escape, but the back handed fist knocked me down to the ground. Three men dressed up in armani tuxedos stood over me. One took off his Rayband sunglasses and said
"Hello Jones!"


  1. I really like this piece. Very nice work here.

  2. Hi Stan, again this week a good demonstration of getting your ideas down thick and fast and allowing your creativity to run with the story presented to you.

    The great thing about short stories and flash fiction is that it generally is short enough to hold the entire scene within your head before you commit it to the screen.

    My feedback this week is for you to start to approach your Friday Fiction in this way. Hold your message or single action clearly in your head and then begin writing; describing and conveying it to your readers. Although not every short story needs to have a major philosophical idea to push, they do need a main point or thrust; rather than just to ramble and roll along. This is what keeps your readers interested.... so think about the essence of your story.. what the 'point' or event is.. and then build from there.

    You have now entered this a few times and hopefully have read other authors first drafts as well. We all know in our own stories that there is plenty of space for tightening up, addition of extra info and cutting the meaningless dribble with do not support the story... but that is for the second draft.

    Your story could have had several points but sadly missed each - it might have been the futility of picking up at a bar, it might have been a secret agent trying to chill out in suburbia, but then discovered, it might have been the helplessness of a bumbling lad just discovering dating. By the end of the story I couldn't help but just feel lost.

    however, in your next re-write, I am sure you will focus more intently on your main point and the message will become a great deal clearer.

    On my quest to try different genres each week, mine this week is influenced by Cyberpunk.

  3. Nice action sequences. I enjoy your frantic, stream of conscience style. I bet he had more than four JD's to jump over the railing and out the window. I thought that was a neat touch but I would have liked to see his second attempt with the straw-haired woman. I thought that was where you were going with the wet hands.