Sunday, March 20, 2011

Extract from Chapter 17. Christmas Tree.

My dearest apologies for the delay between drinks. I don't really have anything major to post that I'm currently happy with. But, I thought, so as not, to leave you, hanging, I would stick up a little something to sate your thirst. If you didn't already guess (if you even were) this is from what I've been recently working on. Remember: first draft, work in progress, I can't spell good, blah blah blah, poop poop poop.


She sat in front of one of the sales clerk computers at the Vodafone shop. The chairs were bolted to the floor and he stood at her side. 
“I need phone credit.”
“Oh, really.”
“I can’t make calls on my phone.”
“I’m not surprised.”
“Can I get some credit?”
She spun on the stool and fiddled with the computer mouse. A clerk served some real customers in the corner. Sean scanned the walls covered in mobile phones and mobile phone accessories.
“Let’s get some credit!”
“I don’t need credit. I’m on a plan.”
“But I need credit!”
“Buy some then.”
“I don’t have any money?”
“You use my phone all the time. I’m not buying you credit. It’s the principle of the matter.”
The sales computer required a password. She tapped on the keyboard and pressed enter. The machine unlocked. She opened an Internet Explorer browser. The connection was taking an age to load. She clicked refresh several times and stared out onto the street at the passing traffic.
“So, are we here for any other reason?”
“Do you know what the password was?”
He waited.

Rachel needed to use the toilet and they went to the MacDonald’s near the Old Soup Kitchen. The George Street store had a set-up akin to a military barracks. The room was divided into two columns of six long rows of tables and benches. The arrangement of the seating enforced a sort of communal engagement amongst the patrons. He sat on the end of a table and waited for his lover.
He wasn’t too sure how long the Soup Kitchen had been shut. He knew it hadn’t been open when he was in Sydney earlier in the year. He could still remember when he was there nearly five years before and the electric mix of jazz groups he had seen over a succession of nights.
Sean looked around the room at the people eating their takeaway. There was the expected contingent of gangs of youths, and young Mums and Dads treating their kids. He also noticed several people using computers. He didn’t know how patrons could justify using the free Wi-Fi connection as a compromise for placing their laptops on the disgusting tabletops rarely cleaned. The thought of eating a Big Mac over his MacBook filled him with mild horror.
“Hey, all done?”
“Are you having anything? Let’s go.”
“Nah, I don’t eat that shit.” He wasn’t hungry regardless.
He had half-expected to see her chatting up one of the younger male patrons.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chapter 16 In the hallway.

Hi y’all. After four beers, I’m on my second whisky for the night, and to celebrate such matters, I thought I would share with you this funny little chapter I wrote over the last week and have been toying with for a while. It’s maybe more like that slip that resides between chapters, a secret chapter more so. Who knows if this will make the final cut; this is one of the points in what I’ve written where the voice changes from one character to another. Because I have employed such a technique infrequently in the writing to date, it’s possible that I’ll change it all back to the narrator’s voice in the editing stage. Being very fond of Graham Greene’s work, ever since I read Brighton Rock, I’ve wanted to implement that very subtle shift he employed in my own work. Because this tiny section is the “odd man out” it could quite possibly disappear all together. Regardless, enjoy this one off.

(Please note: Entirely uncertain about the use of italics. It feels like lazy writing to use them. To experiment I’ve included one usage.)

(Please, please note: Yes, the spelling of a name is different. That is intentional. Not sure if the trick works.)


He first felt her skinny arm pressing against his chest. Next he heard the voices and music outside. She opened her eyes and squinted, her face set in a tired heavy frown. The sound slowly registered to her.
“What’s that?”
She leapt out of bed and opened the apartment door. He found some underwear and peered over her shoulder. The party apartment was receiving a visitor.
“Look, we’ve had some complaints!”
For such a tall man, the manager – with his male pattern baldness shaved head, sour mouthed pout, pock marked face, coke-bottle lens, and thickset Neanderthal brow – was an unassuming cipher.
“Other residents have complained. Turn the music down! This is your last chance. There are people in this hotel who live here. Turn your music off and go to bed.”
A very drunk Maori swayed before him.
“Aw, mate! It’s not that bad!”
The manager sighed and leant against the doorframe, observing the destruction of the apartment inside.
“Go to bed! This is the last time. I will call the police.”
Sean pulled Rachel into the apartment.
“You’re naked! They were looking at you!”

It was that hour in-between days. Not that it was difficult to tell if it was Saturday or Sunday. It was more so a question of the only thing that mattered was the person lying next to you. Time didn’t move because it didn’t exist. She wasn’t sure how long they had been awake.
“Sometimes you really annoy me,” he said in a measured tone.
Upon hearing his voice she stirred violently.
Through the walls there was still the sound of music and faint voices. He scratched his stomach and looked at the ceiling, non-committal in reply. She looked at him as a wave of indeterminate guilt washed over her. She tried to focus on the background noise.
“I’m good to you,” he said when he finally replied. She rolled over and looked at him.
“I’m good to you,” he said and paused. “And you just treat me like shit.”
“Don’t say that!”
“But it’s true.”
“Oh my god, you sound like Philippe!”
“I’m not Phillip.”
“Don’t say that then!” she exclaimed. He lay silent, no explanation forthcoming. She stared at him, not exactly sure who he was.