Why? – Part One

“Hey kid! Hey!” shouted Dan. The young man walking across the street stopped and turned around. He looked around. There was no one else on the street. He pointed at himself.

“Yeah, you. Come over here a minute.”

“Why?” he asked, standing still, straightening up.

“Just come here for a minute.”

He walked carefully across the street, looking both ways. Dan was standing on his porch.  The door swung closed behind him. He looked back to his house. The young man stood at the gate.

“That shirt,” asked Dan, “how much you want for it?”

“My shirt?” he said, pulling at it.

“Yeah, how much?” asked Dan again. He sized the young man up. They were about the same. Dan was a little slimmer in the shoulders, a little fatter in the stomach. The young man straightened up again. He looked back down the empty street.

“No man, I don’t want to sell it.”

Dan looked at the shirt. It was an old jean shirt. By Wrangler he thought. It looked ten years old at least. He looked down at his jeans. They were about the same.

“Name your price kid.”

The young man laughed to himself. He looked at Dan like he was crazy.

“Nah man, see you later” he started to walk away, shaking his head.

Dan ran down to the gate.

“Hundred bucks. I’ll give you a hundred bucks for that shirt.”

He stopped walking. He turned around.

“A hundred bucks? For this shirt?” He pulled at the shirt again.

“Yeah.”

They both looked at the shirt. The young man straightened up and looked at Dan.

“Hundred and twenty.”

“Okay, okay. Hundred and twenty bucks.”

Dan went into the pocket of his shorts and pulled out a roll of bills. He pulled out a hundred. He quickly flicked through the rest looking for a twenty. He looked up at the young man.

“Do you have change of a hundred?” he asked. The young man laughed. He raised an eyebrow at Dan.

“Dude no. I have like six bucks on me.”

Dan looked at the money in his hand. He looked at the shirt.

“It’ll have to be two hundred then.”

The young man looked back down the street again. He slowly walked back to the gate. He looked at Dan. He looked at the house. He tried to see through the crack in the curtains. Dan moved to the side slightly, blocking his view.

“The shirt, two hundred bucks” said Dan quickly, waving the bills in front of the young man.

“Two hundred bucks?” he asked.

Dan nodded quickly.

“I’m not wearing anything underneath this though.”

“I can give you something. A new shirt. Well, not new, but one of mine.” He thumbed back towards his house. He smiled.

“Dude, this is weird.”

“No.” said Dan. “It’s good.”

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3 thoughts on “Why? – Part One

  1. katja says:

    This is definitely weird! 🙂 I’d like to read more!
    (I could order your book today, thanks for changing the form! Yippie!)

  2. Shawn says:

    Intriguing. Very. Like. You’ve hooked me.

    A couple of things I noticed:
    It couldn’t hurt to add more attributions to clarify who is who is who 🙂 or to understand the point of view. Example(“He looked down at his jeans. ” and the paragraph beginning “He walked carefully across the street …”.

    That paragraph “He walked carefully across the street …” is in fact troublesome for me because it seems to change from a distant narrator with focus on Dan to the young man suddenly seeming to offer an opion (“He wasn’t a threatening looking man.”) and then back to Dan. Split it up. That sentence in particular seems out of place with the rest of the story and your style because it is more telling than showing. How about you describe Dan. Your desciption should convey to the reader just how non threatening he appears. You are really good at that.

    Continuity error? : “The door swung closed behind him.” then later, “(the kid) looked through at door of his house.” Is he looking through the gate or the door of the house? If the gate, why is Dan bothering to block his view? The intrigue feeds on what Dan is hiding.

    Dan the character. Love it when Dan steps in front of the door. What else can Dan do? Is Dan looking nervous, is he sweating, is he smiling, staring longingly at the shirt, avoiding eye contact? What physical reaction did he have when he didn’t have the right amount of money? You did a great job showing what the kid did, and it helped bring the kid to life:

    “The young man laughed. He raised an eyebrow at Dan. ‘Dude no. I have like six bucks on me.’ ” Beautiful.

    Keep it coming.

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