Friday, June 29, 2018

The Janus Effect

dontravis.com blog post #291
  
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes it feels good to just indulge in writing exercises, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do this week. Let me know what you think.

*****
THE JANUS EFFECT

          In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates and doorways who gazed simultaneously in two directions, signifying a look at the beginning and the end… or a view of opposites. This writing exercise attempts to do just that.
        
  From Robert’s viewpoint:

          I slurped the last of my strawberry milkshake as Samantha exploded through the door and steamed across the black and white checkered tile floor directly to my table, bringing with her storm clouds and the scent of gale-lashed roses.
          “Hi, Sammy. Have a seat.” My voice sounded loud in the quiet atmosphere of the malt shop.
          “Don’t start with me, Robert. You know I hate being called that. And just what do you think you’re doing?”
          I could almost see flames from her flaring nostrils, although she looked nothing like a dragon. Not even a cute one. “That’s a dynamite hat. Looks great on you. You should wear it more often.”
          That threw her for a loop. Her blue eyes widened momentarily before returning to mere slits. “Answer my question. Just what did you say to Hank?”
          “Let me get you something. What would you like? No, wait. I know just the thing.” I got up and walked to the counter, feeling her eyes flay my back like a laser.
          A couple of minutes later, I returned to the table with her favorite… an old-fashioned cherry phosphate. She couldn’t hide a momentary look of pleasure. Some of the color faded from her cheeks. Guess I knew how to cool her down.
          After one dainty draw on her straw, Sammy stared directly into my eyes. “Answer my question? What did you say to Hank?”
          “Did you know he was two-timing you?”
          Aha, caught her off guard. Her eyes were ping pong balls for about a tenth of a second. And now, they weren't so squinty.
          “Don’t go spreading that nasty rumor,” she said, struggling to maintain her attitude, “And if you don’t answer my question right this minute, I’ll never speak to you again.”
          Time to bring this to a close. I rose, gazed down on her, and dropped my voice. “I told him that if he hurt you, he’d have to deal with me.”
          With that, I turned and walked away before I confessed something I ought not. Not right now, at any rate.

 From Samantha’s viewpoint:

I stormed through the ice cream shop door and spotted him at a table across the checkered tile floor, slurping the dregs of a strawberry milkshake through a straw striped like a barber’s pole. His greeting did nothing to improve my mood.
“Hi, Sammy. Have a seat.”
I saw red as I dropped into the white painted, iron curlicue chair opposite him. He knew that nickname infuriated me. “Don’t start with me, Robert. You know I hate being called that. And just what do you think you’re doing?”
He regarded me through dark chocolate irises. “That’s a dynamite hat. Looks great on you. You should wear it more often.”
Oh, no. That wasn’t going to work, although I was momentarily pleased he’d noticed my black Dutch boy with a brown brim. “Answer my question. Just what did you say to Hank?”
The idiot ignored me. “Let me get you something. What would you like? No, wait. I know just the thing.”
He bailed out of his chair and fled to the counter, most likely to escape my anger. I couldn’t help but notice how his broad shoulders tapered to a trim waist.
He was back a minute later with my favorite. A cherry phosphate. Damn, he would pick the one place in town that served the things. Well, he’s not going to coddle me out of my snit. Still, no sense wasting the drink. I took a deep tug on the straw, swallowed, and faced him again.
“Answer my question? What did you say to Hank?”
His face turned bland. Crap, he was good looking even while bland. “Did you know he was two-timing you?”
The dirty creep. That was a low blow. Play it cool, girl. “Don’t go spreading that nasty rumor. And if you don’t answer my question right this minute, I’ll never speak to you again.”
Something happened to his face. It closed up. He surprised me by standing and staring straight into my eyes. He smelled of the milkshake he’d just imbibed. “I told him that if he hurt you, he’d have me to deal with.” Then he walked away.
Audacious bastard! Who does he think he is? He’s not my knight in shining armor. I don’t need—
Still, it was sorta sweet of him.

*****
There it is… this week’s offering. Don’t know about you, but I thought the exercise was interesting.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. And keep on submitting your work to publishers and agents. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to City of Rocks, my most recent book.


The next book in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines is scheduled for release on August 28 of this year. It appears on DSP Publication’s upcoming releases page:  http://www.dsppublications.com/books/upcoming-releases-c

Abaddon’s Locusts follows on January 22, 2019. AND I have recently signed a contract for the sixth book in the series called THE VOXLIGHTNER SCANDAL. Publication date as yet undetermined.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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