Wednesday, May 16, 2007

August Challenge

A couple of weeks back, John August hosted a contest on his blog in which readers were invited to introduce a character. Any character. Write the first time we see them. So, here's what I did...


And it’s a big tunnel, too. Wide enough for a sidewalk-y platform on the edge of the river of sludge heading to the ocean. The strange thing is that there’s a small storefront on the sidewalk, like one of those tiny, barely-noticeable places in the West Village.

A MAN in a track suit that costs more than your mortgage payment walks up, looks behind him to make sure that no one’s on his tail, and ducks in the door.


Here’s a place that looks out of place: it’s a dry cleaners, complete with the conveyor belt of clothes that vanishes into the dim recesses, the 75-year-old Singer waiting for pants to hem, and the counter-top bell.

The MAN enters, gingerly closing the door behind him. It’s been a while since OLIVER made his vast fortune, but you wouldn’t know it to look at him. His blond hair just long enough so that he doesn’t look like a Suit, his goatee neatly tousled, Oliver is in excellent shape…even though his exercise gear looks like it’s never been exercised in. He rummages in his pockets for something.

No need, sir. Your clothes
are ready.

ARIADNE, an old woman with a black silk sash covering her eyes, comes walking over. She doesn’t bump into anything.

How do you do that, Ari?
You never let me get a word out…

Ariadne presses a button attached to the clothes conveyor belt, and the parade of plastic covered togs begins.

It’s the hundred dollar soap
and Old Spice, Mr. Queen.
Dead slumming-billionaire
giveaway. Ah, here we go.

Ariadne pulls a hanger from the belt. All we can see is a hint of green beneath the plastic clothes condom.

Sorry, Ari. It was a rough week.

That what we do here, Mr. Queen.
Repair tough weeks. Now, the
slices were easy enough to
mend, as were the punctures. Spear?

Spiked gate.

Of course. The burns were harder.
I just hope the dye matches.
Hard for me to tell, you know.

Ariadne hangs the clothes on a rod on the counter, and we finally see what they’re talking about. It’s an emerald green vest-y jerkin thing, with laces criss-crossing the chest. A pair of green boots are slung over the hanger.

It’s GREEN ARROW’s costume.

Looks perfect. Put it on the
League account?

Of course.

Got someplace I could change?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool. Very atmospheric. I can totally see that's a pity those cleaners in Washington (?) didn't have a friend like Oliver.