Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Last week, I introduced the other main character in this story, Joseph Johnson. I know he may not have seemed like much of a main character but those that know my writing style, know I like to build a character by offering little pieces of their personality to the reader throughout the story until the reader falls in love with that character (I hope) and empathizes with them.

This week I go back to Alexis as she goes back to the Pink Pony Bar and Grill for her first night on the job. I'm hoping that you've noticed by now, a stark lack of paranormal stuff going on. I'll throw a few hints in there once in awhile just so you remember that Alexis is a shape shifting werewolf, but I want to first establish her as a person as normal as you or I. This scene will reveal a little more of her personality while also introducing another character: Louis "Lefty" Thompson, local grease ball thug wannabee. While his story may be comical, he may still prove dangerous.

Alexis closed her eyes as the door shut behind her, until her eyes adjusted to the relative darkness inside the Pink Pony. The bar hosted only a few customers, early-birds, desperate and lonely, or simply unemployed, with nowhere else to spend their time She felt their eyes on her, watching as she walked, as quickly as she could, to Sam, who was standing behind the bar, watching her like the customers. Only she did not feel his stare on her in the same way she did the others. Their stares carried an almost measurable weight. Their stares assaulted her as if each one of them were in a line, poking her shoulders, and other parts of her body, as she walked by. Her skinned crawled, and she had to fight the urge to shift, and prepare for a fight. She stopped twice by the time she reached the bar; giving serious consideration to turning a walking out, fearful that she couldn't go all night feeling apprehensive, and on the verge of shifting.
"Don't worry," Sam said as he dipped a glass into the bar sink and then placed it onto a folded towel. "They'll stop staring by the end of the night."
"Yeah, this could take some getting used to."
"Well, you'll have to get used to it quick." Sam turned the cup over and dropped three ice cubes into it. "Gotta be observant in a place like this. Gotta be aware of your surroundings at all times."
"I'm observant enough," Lexi said, surprised at the cynicism she heard in her own voice.
"How 'bout a little test then, just to see how observant you really are." Sam stared at her as he tipped a bottle of bourbon over the tumbler. "Don't look around. Look at me and tell me how many customers are in the bar right now."
Lexi pictured the bar in her mind. The only thing she had to go on was the glance she made after the door closed and she opened her eyes, but that was enough. She only needed one look, and once her eyes adjusted to the dark, she could see every dark corner of the bar as if she were outside in broad daylight.
"First, there's the guy in the white button up shirt and tie sitting at the small round table by the bathrooms. He's nursing a drink, probably vodka, because he finished work an hour ago but doesn't want to go home yet. He probably comes here every night for an hour or so as he works up the nerve to go home. His wife's probably got his balls hanging out with the laundry. That's why he drinks vodka. He doesn't want her to know he stops here before going home. Good so far?"
"Go on," Sam said. "You must've seen more than just one person here."
"Sure," Lexi said, her confidence resounding in her voice to the point of arrogance. She was sure Sam would be impressed at her observations. "Then there's the old man hunched over a coffee mug. He's a regular too. Probably comes here every night because he's got nothing else to do. He probably sneaks a flask of whiskey in with him and spikes his coffee with it. You probably know about it, but feel sorry for him. He wears an old green Army jacket—probably a Vietnam Vet, retired, and living on a fixed income. You probably give him his coffee for free."
"That's George, and you're right. He doesn't really have anywhere else to go." Sam placed a large round tray onto the bar top, and put the tumbler of bourbon on it. "Anybody else?"
"Yes, there's another," she said. "The first two don't bring in much business but they're harmless. The third customer is different. He's sitting so close to the stage, he could probably lean forward and lick the brass pole—and he's probably thinking about doing it too. He's probably packing since he's wearing a jacket in the middle of summer. He keeps his hair combed although it doesn't look like he gives equal time to washing it. Looks like he's the kind of customer that'll stay here all night until you have to throw him out, or he happens to follow some kind of trouble out the door. How'd I do?"
Sam pushed the tray across the bar top to Lexi. "You did pretty good, Paulina. Probably better then I would've done. Now, go give grease ball over there next to the stage his drink."
Lexi sat the drink down on the table in front of the man with the greasy hair.
"Thanks, baby," the man said as he pulled a five-dollar bill from his wallet. "You new here? What's your name? You don't want me calling you baby all night, do you?"
"Name's Paulina," she said as she reached for the bill.
The man pulled the bill away before she could take it from his hand. "How bad do want it, baby." He shook the bill just out of her reach.
Lexi smiled at him, and threw her hand out to grab the bill, but he jerked it away. She could’ve easily taken it from him, if she wanted, but figure she’d play the part. She noticed half his right index finger was missing, and wondered what kind of stupid thing he did to lose it.
"Come on, baby," he said, a disgusting grin growing from the corners of his mouth, revealing stained teeth. "Talk to me. You gonna dance for me later? How bad do you want my money?"
"I don't want it bad enough to dance for you," Lexi said, trying desperately to keep her emotions under control. "But I bet if Sam over there breaks his shotgun out from behind the bar, he'd let you talk to that." She didn't know if he actually had a shotgun behind the counter. She just figured most owner/bartenders would have something stashed away to protect themselves.
The man stopped fooling around and gave her the bill. She took it, turned on her heal, and tried to keep from running at full speed back to the bar.
"What an ass," she said to Sam. "What's with that guy?"
"I guess you've been formerly introduced to Lefty," Sam chuckled under his breath.
"Lefty?" Lexi was surprised people still used nicknames like that. "What is he, in the mob, or something? Is it because of his finger?"
"No, he's a wannabe mobster. He’s kind of a low level patsy for the local crime boss, and yes, he got the nickname because he lost half his trigger finger in a failed robbery."
"How, exactly, do you lose half your trigger finger in a robbery attempt?"
"Rumor has it that he was trying to rob a local convenience store with a fake gun. The store clerk pulled a shotgun from behind the counter, and in his haste to get out of the store, he got his hand caught in an automatic door."
"How could he lose half his finger in a door? Don't those things have some kind of override?" Lexi was beginning to feel like walking back to his table and laughing in his face, but she kind of felt sorry for him at the same time.
"Well, that's the funny part. According to the rumor, his fake gun was caught on the other side of the door, and instead of just letting go of it, he tried to force it through the crack, losing part of his finger in the process." Sam made a slicing motion across his finger with his other hand as a low chuckle escaped him. "The police arrested him at the hospital. They had to go retrieve the end of his finger from the crime scene to process him, but by the time they were finished with it, the doctors said they couldn't sew it back on."
Lexi had to bite her finger to keep herself from laughing out loud. She suddenly didn't see him as quite the threat as before.
Hope you enjoyed this scene. Next week, I'll return to Joe's point of view as he starts out after a skip. You will finally get to see Joe in action as a bounty hunter. I know he's not oozing sexiness yet, but as the story progresses, I'm hoping you'll become infatuated by him.

As always, comments and feedback are welcome.


  1. I like it! I love the way you mixed little snips of detail in with thier conversation while at the same time letting us see her character by how she handled the situation. I love a stong gal with who can laugh at life too. Nice job!I cant wait to read it!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jennie. I appreciate any kind of feedback - epecially the warm fuzzy kind. I'm really starting to get a feel for Alexis and Joseph, so there may be many re-writes in the future to make it better. Now, I just need to come up with a title for this story.


Thank you. Your comments are valued.