Monday, June 8, 2009
Build a Story Around This! (A True Story)
When my bathroom was under renovation, I paid a lot of attention to fixture commercials. One in particular caught my attention, not because of what it advertised, but for what it said. In the scene, a wealthy couple sat in front of a man who was obviously a high-priced architect. They plopped a Kohler product on his desk and demanded that he “build a house around this.” A whole house around a faucet and two knobs? A whole of anything built around an object, a picture or a sound?
How about a sentence? The last sentence in this excerpt popped into my mind on a day when in one split second I understood the frustration of people caught between the law and the deep blue sea. I could have said the devil and the deep blue sea. In this case, they were the same.
Here’s my unedited Work in Progress: Let me know what you think.
Mikey met the woman’s gaze with a cooler one of her own. Barbie-que, she laughed to herself. The blonde’s skin was the color and texture of cheap cracked leather. A hooked nose jutted a mile from her face. She had been eyeing Mikey since she walked through the doors of the obscenely opulent suite. You should be circling the skies hunting road kill instead of staring down your beak at me. She probably had local law enforcement on speed dial. If Mikey raised her voice (as she was tempted to do), one press of the button with a red-tipped claw would bring the entire five-man force crashing through the double mahagony doors.
Next to her, three smug men in casual-Friday attire sat around the conference table. Mikey had heard enough of their “pursuant to” and “therefore” mumbo-jumbo. She stood. “Gentlemen, I’ve heard enough.”
One of them let out a dismissive chuckle. “That may be true, Miss Lofton, but it doesn’t change the outcome.”
Mikey was already at the door with her hand on the knob. She tossed a short laugh over her shoulder. “So be it.” But I’ll burn it to the ground before I let you have it.