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  1. #1
    Junior Member Loretta Green's Avatar
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    Blue Moon Rising

    This is my first post. It is a short story I'm working on. Let me know how the story feels. Is it to melodramatic? I'll take any critiques. I'm here to become a better writer.


    Blue Moon Rising
    By
    Loretta Green



    It was a Tuesday night when the stagnant heat settled over the island in a blackout caused by an overloaded grid. It was hot, and hot again. Blindly hot. Sucking the breath out of the remaining tourists, itching the locals. Wriggling crooked cops and waifs alike up out of the underbelly and gravitating them over to Dahlia's place.

    Far away from the swank nightclubs and boardwalks, Dahlia's was the seediest bar on the island. It's owner, Dahlia Huntley had a cynical heart. She wore a patch over her missing eye, and donned combat boots and army fatigues belted with a bandana where she carried a machete. It was said that she chopped off the pinkie of a grifter trying to make a score off one of her regulars.

    It was this particular Tuesday, with Dahlia's place lit by candle light and Santana playing “Black Magic Woman” on the old transistor radio, that a ruggedly handsome stranger in his forties walked in looking like a younger Harrison Ford. He caught Dahlia's eye when he sat at the table strategically placed closest to the exit, yet still able to survey the entire room. Her father's table.

    Dahlia brought a bottle of Bourbon and shot glass over to the table as a brawl broke out and a chair was smashed on the rafter above her head, “It's the heat,” She told the stranger as she turned a chair backwards and straddled it like a man, “It boils the blood.”
    “How did you know I drink Bourbon?” He asked, popping the cork and pouring a shot.
    “Because you sat at this table, you're a cautious man. Cautious men drink Bourbon.”
    “I was told to sit at this table.”
    “Told by whom?”
    There was a twinkle in Harrison Ford's eyes, “Like you said, I'm cautious.”
    “Touche.” She said, “But if you're here to see Donovan Huntley, he's not seeing anyone tonight.”
    “I'm not here to see your father, I'm here to see you.” He said.
    “And you are?”
    He raised an eyebrow.
    “Right,” She said, “Cautious.” She leaned in and gulped the shot he had poured, “Then, I shall call you Max.”
    “Why Max?” He asked.
    “I had a dog named Max once. He was cautious too.”
    He leaned in and matched her dangerously flirtatious stare, “So Dahlia, what did happen to your eye?”
    She stiffened. He was trying to make her wobble off guard, she knew. She placed her hand on the machete and raised her eyebrow in warning, “Max turned on me. I had to slit his throat.” She poured and gulped another shot, “This is getting old, Max. What is it that I can do you for?”
    Max slid his chair closer, turning his back on the rest of the bar for the first time. He whispered onto Dahlia's cheek, “The Blue Moon.” He said, “The fat man has it, I want it, and your going to steal it.”

    Dahlia did wobble this time. The Blue Moon was a 5.16 karat trillion cut, blue diamond that went missing from Weatherly's auction house in the states. Worth over 5.5 million. She knew it well. Her laugh was a little too exaggerated, “What makes you think I would or could steal anything for you?”
    “Because you're the one who stole it from Weatherly's.”
    Her good eye turned steely hard, she tried not to flinch. “Who are you?”
    “I'm an insurance investigator. I've spent the last year and a half tracking the Blue Moon, and you down.”
    Dahlia smiled wide. “If you could prove it was me, I would already be in custody.”
    “I don't think you understand,” He said, “I don't want to turn you in. I want you to steal the diamond back from the man you sold it to, the Fat man. You return the diamond to me, I return it to the rightful owner and collect the finders fee from him and double my commission from the insurance company. I'm not a greedy man, I will even through you a bone for your trouble.”

    Dahlia's laugh was more nervous this time, set on edge by the look in Max's eyes. The look of a man with an ace up his sleeve. “And if I refuse?”



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Hi Loretta, I'll give this a quick critique.

    It was a Tuesday night when the stagnant heat settled over the island in a blackout caused by an overloaded grid. It was hot, and hot again. Blindly hot. Sucking the breath out of the remaining tourists, itching the locals. Wriggling crooked cops and waifs alike up out of the underbelly and gravitating them over to Dahlia's place.

    We get it - it's hot. Keep it short. The last sentence "wriggling?" makes no sense.

    It was this particular Tuesday, with Dahlia's place lit by candle light and Santana playing “Black Magic Woman” on the old transistor radio, that a ruggedly handsome stranger in his forties walked in looking like a younger Harrison Ford.

    Stop trying to write like you think a writer would write. You've already said it was Tuesday in the first paragraph, and you ended the first paragraph with everyone heading to Dahlia's. Don't repeat the facts, ma'am. Trying setting the scene like this: With the electricity out, Dahlia's was lit by a flood of candlelight, managing to look warm and romantic instead of seedy and dirty. Someone had turned on an old transistor radio and "Black Magic Woman" blared out, sounding tinny in the background, like an old 40s movie. Definitely not the same sound quality as the HD radios. Start a new paragraph, but first, what makes the guy look like he's in his forties? You have to describe him. A ruggedly handsome stranger walked in, the lines in his face and the touch of silver at his temples reflecting the suave maturity of Harrison Ford in his forties.

    Just a few things to get you started. Good luck.

    Lea
    Last edited by Lea Zalas; 10-21-2012 at 01:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Loretta Green's Avatar
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    Thanks for the critique

    Thanks Lea, for your critique. I thought the same thing about "Wriggling".
    The repeating phrases is my style, it's how I write. I will try it out your way to see how it sounds and feels. I'm always looking to try new voice, style, and tone.
    thanks,again.

    Loretta

  4. #4
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    Loretta-- the writing quality is good. I see some technical errors, "Its owner" has no apostrophe. "It's the owner who turned on the radio" does. Also I would try to avoid cliches like "ruggedly handsome." as Lea said, describe him. Not necessarily a long desc. though-- a few words will do.

    I didn't mind the repetition, actually. You're trying to find your own voice, not someone else's.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Sorry, I missed this post. I have just a little time, but I might be back later.

    First off, I have no clue as to the setting. Is it Hawaii, Bahamas, Fiji, Jamaica...who knows? That makes just a tad bit of difference, you know. And is this happening in the present or past? You mention a "younger" Harrison Ford, so I imagine it's fairly recent, but the man's 70 years old - that's a lot of years for him to be "younger". Who knows where or when this story is happening?

    Second, you paint Dahlia as cynical and hard-boiled enough to chop someone's finger off and allegedly steal a valuable diamond, yet she gets nervous and "wobbles" almost immediately with Max just by talking with him. That rang pretty false to me. I expect her to show zero nervousness. In fact, I expect her to make Max nervous. Max is a quiet insurance investigator and even this little shady deal he is proposing to Dahlia involves no illegalities on his part, but supposedly, Dahlia the cynic lives life on the edge fairly consistently...who do YOU think will be more nervous?

    Third, Daylia's dialogue seems very unnatural to me. Would this machete wielding cynic in army fatigues really say “If you could prove it was me, I would already be in custody.”, or would she say something more like "If you had dick on me, I'd already be in the can."? Would she say, "Told by whom?", or would she say, "By who?"? She doesn't strike me as the type to care much about correct grammar.

    Maybe more later.

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