Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Excerpt: Watch-Your-Car

Excerpt of a piece for my Creative Writing class. I'm experimenting with a spare and adjective-less style, letting instead dialogue and action fill in the description. Yes, yes, I know I'm no Hemingway, but if you have to crib, you must crib from the best.

By the time Jheric got to the car, it was too late. It had already backed out of its space. The window rolled down a notch and Vhong's hand reached out for the coins. Then the car was on its way.

"Hey! That was my customer! You know it was!" Jheric shouted.

"Ha! Finders keepers, runt!" Vhong said. He jangled the coins in his hand.

"It's mine! It's mine!"

Vhong held Jheric back at arm's length. Jheric flailed but his hands barely even reached Vhong's shoulder. A few boys had gathered around them. "Go, Jheric! Give him what for!" They laughed. Vhong pushed Jheric. Jheric fell on his butt.

"Eat more, runt!" Vhong said. "Then maybe, just maybe...." More laughter.

"What's going on here?" Jhoris burst through the circle. A hush descended. More boys came running towards them.

Vhong backed a step from Jheric. He didn't take his eyes of Jhoris. He balled and unballed his fists. He broke into a grin and laughed.

"Ah, screw it," he said. He threw down three one-peso coins and shouldered past the spectators. Already he was chasing after another car that had just pulled into the lot. A few boys followed him.

Jhoris pulled Jheric up by the arm. Tears rolled down Jheric's face, but a few muzzled sobs were all that came from his lips.

"What did I tell you, huh? What did I tell you?" Jhoris twisted Jheric's ear.

"Ow! Ow! It wasn't my fault!" Jheric cried.

"Go home to Grandma now!" Jhoris said. He gave one final twist to Jheric's ear. Stifled laughs from the boys that remained, but now most of them had gone.

The coins lay on the pavement. No one made a move for them. Jheric picked them up. He slipped them into his pocket.

The story is complete, by the way, a little over 1,000 words. As I'm more seriously pursuing publication now, I won't post it here. If you are interested in the full version, drop me a note and I'll send it via email.


  1. hi dom,

    interesting excerpt; can't wait for the whole story. one thing though, jheric and jhoris are too close sounding names and may confuse readers as who is who... :)

  2. Hi, Gilbert: sent you the entire story already ;-)

    Yeah, I know. But I thought it would be more authentic if they had names like that to indicate their relationship. Besides, I was hoping that their respective characters would shine through despite the name similarities.