Gritty City


All of this house stress has been ripping me away from my creative side…so this morning I resumed some novel work. I know I just post little clips here and there, but it’s mainly to ask for advice on snippets, rather than the whole thing. Since I am hoping to query this baby to a certain lady very soon, I’m avoiding posting it in its entirety on my blog. Regardless, here is a little ditty I wrote today; and a quick explanation.

My protagonist, Angel, and her sort-of-boyfriend-thing Jay, have gone into a part of the city unfamiliar to Angel, in search of Sarah’s (that’s Angel’s sister) jerk of a boyfriend-thing. Jay was a little nervous about taking Angel here (even though she has shown she can hold her own, as a stripper and just an all around bad-ass), and Angel even finds herself feeling a bit uneasy.


It sucks? Forget it? Delete it forever? It has potential?

Happy Friday, friends. Getting tatted (again) tonight. Woo-hoo!


Jay squeezed my hand inside the cab. I looked over at him in the panels of light that streamed in from the street lamps, half smiling, not trying to cover the look of confusion I felt forming above my eyebrows. In the half dark I noticed the adrenaline coursing through me, and I tried to focus on finding Danny. After several minutes I peered outside, not realizing how different the scenery had become. The Christmas lights had faded into tiny speckles that appeared once every few houses. Evening shoppers were replaced with strangers bundled up in dirty jackets, spotted along street corners. There was an uneasy quiet about the place, and I realized I’d never been through this pocket of the neighborhood. I felt Jay’s hold on me tighten. Suddenly, I was worried too.

The cab stopped at a corner where the street sign was too covered in graffiti to make out the words. An old deli faced us, the closed sign still swinging in the window. The driver craned his neck toward us. “This is as far as I go.” Jay nodded and pulled some cash from his pocket. I looked over, really concerned now. He got out first, making his way to my side and offering a hand as he opened my door. I took it and he lifted me into the street.

The sour scent of trash hit me first; I hadn’t been able to smell it through the closed windows. I grew even more uneasy, suddenly thrust into the middle of this place I’d watched through a locked door minutes before. “This way.” I felt his hand pulling me again. My eyes ran over every part of my environment, taking in papered windows and empty syringes strewn on the sidewalk. “Watch your step, Angel.” It all made the jaded Southside look like Beverly Hills.

I tried to concentrate, to soak in our path if I found myself having to retrace my steps. “What is this place? Can’t believe I’ve never been here. It’s not so far from Southside….but it’s definitely different.”

“You’d never have any reason to come here.”

It warmed me, Jay’s high opinion of me. It stung, too, knowing what he didn’t know about me. I thought for a minute. “But clearly you would.” He turned, a look of indifference across his face.


Filed under Writing

13 responses to “Gritty City

  1. Potential. Because there’s tension, but it’s hard for me to tell what’s really happening here, especially at the end.

    For me, her sister would have to be the one in danger for Angel to go there. Out of the cab, they’re at the mercy of any thug who sees them coming, and they’re powerless unless she or Jay is pointing a gun in their pocket. Even then it would be fifty-fifty. And how could they save anyone, if they get hurt?

    Another thing that struck me was Angel thinking about retracing her steps. It seemed to me that if they came in a cab and now they’re on foot, they could be in danger at any time with no real way to outrun someone and get back to relative safety.

    I was in a certain neighborhood once by accident, in broad daylight, and a little old lady approached me as I was trying to walk to a place I knew. She said, “Are you all right? You shouldn’t be here. You need to get where you need to be before somebody sees you. You’re not safe here.” I wasn’t even well dressed. For a little old lady to see that I didn’t belong there scared the crap out of me. I don’t know much about Angel, but somehow I think she’d only get out of that cab at night if she felt sure (whether she really was or not) that she could handle anyone she met. Or if her boyfriend was Iron Man.

    Just a few impressions. Sorry if this doesn’t help.

    • This was a huge help, Re. Your comments always are. I wasn’t thinking of the retracing her steps line; if she is retracing them, where exactly is she going? Good point. While it isn’t known in this excerpt, they are going after Danny because he was physical with Angel’s sister, Sarah. I’ll have to rework this scene to give a more solid reason as to why he’d bring her there with no weapon to protect either one of them. Unless I decide he’s hiding something in his jacket that we haven’t seen yet. 🙂 Thanks so much for your feedback. Always appreciated.

  2. runningonsober

    Potential yes! I love the way you write though, so I may be biased. 😉

    I forgot to say congrats on all the house stuff! So exciting! Don’t stress too much, just try to enjoy and soak it all in…

    Congrats on the new ink! Pic or description/symbolism? Have a great weekend Nicole!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you! For all of those comments. 🙂 I will post my new ink tonight! And with a few tweaks, I hope someone else will also love my writing! And, as soon as I’m settled into our home, the stress will float away!!

  3. eyeLaugh

    that picture really sets the scene – good job!

  4. if you don’t mind, i like to give feedback on things like this.

    they’re looking for a guy who roughed up angel’s sister, right? but they’re going into a nasty neighborhood, putting themselves in a position of great disadvantage. that guy likely knows the place well. plus it’s night, another disadvantage. they would only do this if either there was a grave reason they MUST do this now or if they were not very smart, not thinking ahead. if either of those is part of it, then okay. but if not, it’s a very foolish decision for them to make. the guy was nervous, which isn’t good when heading into a confrontation. so again that makes him seem not smart. but there’s also the idea that i don’t know a lot from this small piece, so all of my comments might be dumb and worthless.

    jus’ sayin’ 🙂

    • This is the only bad part about posting excerpts; they did have a reason for heading there immediately. BUT – regardless, thank you so much for taking the time to read and ponder and give me your feedback. This is still very helpful to me. Thank you! 🙂

      • no problem. i like reading and putting in my two cents. problem is that most people only want to hear “hey, great job.” but that doesn’t help. and i’m sure you know that. finding a good writing group isn’t easy either.

      • It definitely doesn’t help to get a pat on the head for anything and everything you write! Yes, finding a good, honest writing group is hard. I am envious of those who are involved in a tight-knit group of writers.

      • i joined a group back in september, but it was mainly run by a woman who hadn’t really done much, but was pretending he had, and it was a group in which about half of the people were in their 60’s and didn’t have computers. were writing in notebooks. i spent two sessions listening to her talk about herself, and then i was done. back in the summer i found a group but they were full and closed, but then i got an e-mail saying they were taking new members and joined. haven’t been to any meetings yet, they won’t meet again until january. not sure if that link will work.

      • Well hopefully this one will be better for you! I can’t stand people who just want to ramble about themselves for an hour or two to anyone who will listen!

  5. Pingback: Blogroll Inductee – Words&OtherThings | A Clown On Fire

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