Friday Fictioneers: DEVIL OF A LUCK (Revised)

sandra-crook

DEVIL OF A LUCK… A Drabble

I have changed my short version.  After good advice from my friends, I decided to learn more about the writing process, and try to make my drabble better.  

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

Amy’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I-drive-better-when-I’m-drunk” Hollister drove from Herb’s Tavern into a tree and now jail.

Destitute, no job, and no money for gas, Ken walked in a blinding snowstorm fifteen miles to the new super plant to claim Earl’s job.

Out on bail, Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, declared both fit to go to work. Hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road.

 Original short FF version:

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed.

Amy’s sister’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, hears that Earl “I drive better when I’m drunk” Hollister has driven from Herb’s Tavern into jail.

Destitute, no money for gas, Ken is braving the blinding snowstorm fifteen miles to the new super plant to claim Earl’s job.

Earl surveys the damage to himself and his car, and declares both fit. Hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road.

Devil of a luck for Ken.

♆ ♆ ♆ ♆ ♆ ♆

The second I saw the photo Sandra Crook gave Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (or maybe she swiped it, she does that) to use for the Friday Fictioneers prompt, I knew the first line of my story.  The only problem, as I got going… it got too long,  and ended up 333 words… I didn’t want to change it… perfect for the Trifecta Writing Challenge I thought.  So taking a page from my pal Jennifer at elmowrites I decided to edit my Trifecta story to fit the 100 word limit for Friday Fictioneers (that us purists use), and show both versions.  Find the Fictioneers’ stories here…

Here is my original Trifecta story… 

The Devil rode into town one day and the sawmill closed. All bought up; all the little operations in all the little towns… now left destitute in his wake. And that’s why Ken is braving the Frazer Valley wind, howling down from Alaska and piercing his threadbare coat like the teeth of a wolf doing the howling. An alchemy of chance changed his luck when Amy’s sister’s husband, always monitoring his police scanner, heard that Earl “I drive better when I’m drunk” Hollister had driven his Dodge Charger straight from Herb’s Tavern into rearranging the best seller display inside the Serendipity.

Ken was trudging his way ten miles to the new super plant through rain that was falling sideways and hitting him like a hail of rubber bullets. No money for gas left him on foot, and he was determined to be there when the shift changed, as they would be needing a man to operate the roof truss cutter. Getting any job there required that someone get dead, hurt, or go to jail. Earl had accomplished two out of three, by not buckling up and paying a late night visit to Carol’s bookstore with no intention of reading. Ken intended to have Earl’s job.

Being a former high school football star helped when it came to getting a ‘out of jail free card’. Earl surveyed the damage to himself and his car, and declared both fit to go to work. The Teriyaki Stick and a bottle of ’5-Hour Energy’ from Lucky Market got his juices flowing and he hit the road. It was hard to see, with the rain and spiderweb of a windshield, but he definitely felt the thud as he sped along the road. ‘What’s one more dent,’ he thought, ‘it’s going in the shop anyway’.

Flung into the bushes by the impact, Ken wondered at his supposed good luck. ‘Only one orange car like that around, guess I won’t be getting Earl’s job after all’.  The Devil brought hypothermia.

*********************

Constructive Criticism always welcome…

37 responses

  1. Dear Ted,
    First of all, i only “swipe” pictures whe given permission to “help myself”. It just so happens that Sandra offered the photos.
    Quite a story, both long and short versions. The tense changes are a little confusing to me, though.
    Bad day for Ken.
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

    1. I knew that, I just like to see a nice little Jewish Lady bristle. We should get Sandra to send a pic of her on her canal boat.

      Do you mean the tense of the short version? I changed it to present and now it’s kind of a mix. I may change it back, when I get home. Thanks, Rochelle.

      1. Better, Ted. Easier to understand without the tense change. 😉

  2. Two birds, one stone, nothing wrong with that, Ted! The longer version read better for me – I had to come back around to the short one to really get it – although in both cases I think I’d end with Earl’s reaction to the thud and leave the reader to work it out.

    1. Ooh… I like that idea for the ending. Yes the short one doesn’t have the heart and soul. I haven’t tried anything like this before, usually having a Drabble in mind when I write one, so condensing was an interesting process. Your edits were an inspiration, Jen, and I will try again.

  3. Devil of a story, Ted. I agree that I needed the longer story to really get the first story. Good bones, not enough muscle and skin. It’s difficult to take out over 2/3 of the words and still get the essence of what you want to say.

    janet

  4. The photo looks just like something the devil would ride! Adds to the story!

  5. The first line is, indeed, truly inspired. Nice writing!

  6. Now I’m picturing the Devil riding the bike in that picture and it’s fitting. Great story, my friend. Sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve missed reading your stuff.

  7. I’m liking the longer version more. You need that extra bit to really make the story come across. The 100 words is too jarring, too difficult to understand what is happening.

    I like the idea of the Devil riding that bike. Very fitting. And an interesting concept that bad things happen when he’s around, not just death

  8. I love the first and last lines, Ted. The first especially; very gripping.

  9. The short version worked fine for me Ted, I got it. And the terseness of it added to the overall worth. For what it’s worth, I thought this was a brilliant idea and well executed. It appeals to my sense of humour. 😉

  10. I enjoyed both versions and understood them perfectly. I think I might like to try the odd Trifecta myself. 🙂

  11. I, too, liked both versions, though the quirkiness of the first one appealed to me, and that was a great first line.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/siblings/

  12. Sorry Ted I was befuddled with the first one, but the 2nd one I came to grips with easier. Pfft either way you have them both out there – and whom am I to say what’s right or wrong – enjoyed …so there.

  13. Both stories are intriguing you drew the reader (me) right in.

  14. Gosh; what some people will do..! I’m sure glad I work from home..! 😉

  15. That was a nice and refreshing take on it..considering I was in a hurry lol and I ended up reading the long version too. Good job

  16. I got it easily. You might want to try again and go for stronger, shorter sentences. Other than that, nice story. It fits the prompt perfectly.

    BTW, I had a brush with Jewish lady bristles. 😉

  17. i liked both the long and short version, the short version worked fine for me ^^ and love Earl’s nickname.lol

  18. Hi Ted
    I loved the first line of the short version. In fact it could be a story in its own right – one to rival Hemmingway.
    Both versions were great – the 100 word one full of hints and atmosphere, and the longer one full of amazing descriptions (the rain especially) and turns of phrase.
    I love Earl ‘I drive better when I’m drunk’ Hollister – but you missed a trick there, if you’d hyphenated his middle name you’d have given yourself 5 more words to play with!

    1. Just realised both versions had the same first line, but it had more impact as a standalone paragraph in the first version.

      1. Thank you… didn’t think of hyphenating… I’m going to rewrite it, to see what I can do.

  19. I liked the short version – it left more to interpretation. I thought at first that Earl had actually driven into the jail, which could have been interesting. But I liked your use of alchemy in the long one too.

  20. Liked both versions. The opening line is an absolute stunner
    Well done
    Dee

  21. While the longer version explains a bit more…I think in the short version I’m left believing that Ken hit something and not the other way around.

    Nice writes, wicked twists.

  22. Great story, with all its twists and turns and personal problems. Thanks for including the original too; I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened at the end of the shorter one.

  23. Reblogged this on TedBook and commented:

    I have changed my short version. After good advice from my friends, I decided to learn more about the writing process, and try to make my drabble better. Please let me know what you think.

  24. Great Ted….picture and words….nice match. Interesting to see the development and changes. Nice!

  25. Hi Ted, I liked the original version, but I think you have improved it now. I admire your dedication to your art! 🙂

  26. Just one small suggestion, I think you could further clarify the short version by adding a reference to the fact that Ken was walking (i.e: “Destitute, no job and no money for gas, Ken [walked into] the blinding snowstorm fifteen miles….}

    1. Excellent suggestion, vb… that really nails it. Thanks.

  27. Some vivid imagery Ted. Havoc follows whereever the devil goes!

  28. lynnkelleyauthor | Reply

    I got the first version and, wow, it’s great! Didn’t expect that ending. Just nails the reader, bam! Nice writing, Ted.

  29. So, Ted. I liked your story, but… um… I think this bike is calling Pan’s name. I haven’t forgotten your little pixie. Please bring her out to play with us soon. 😉

    1. Oh, that’s right. I’m almost afraid to. She was the first thing I did, I don’t know if I could repeat the luck, but you have inspired me, Lisa.

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