FF - Paper Cut

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

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FF - Paper Cut

Postby JillStar » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:58 pm

jillstar wrote: Fast Fiction is just that... fiction written fast. Please visit What is FAST FICTION for more information.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post... once you have the slightest beginning to your story… begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to "fix" it so it's perfect... just write.

If you want to include your Fast Fiction finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site. If you want a critique after you are complete, please consider using your writing group for help in that area or send a PM to one of us.

... try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit... ready, set... WRITE!

SUBJECT: Paper Cut

The best thing to do, is write BEFORE reading anyone elses finished work.



(Today's Fast Fiction is brought to you by an envelope that just sliced my finger)
Last edited by JillStar on Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paper Cut- FF Friday

Postby funkywriter3 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:28 pm

I cut my finger today on a piece of paper
The stinging burned for a second
I thought back to my life
How I had a cut in my soul
A cut small but full of pain
Stinging for a long second
It was over very quick
Fixed with a hug
For it was just a paper cut


Funky
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Postby timberline » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:49 pm

This challenge kept going through my mind until it jelled. Free association wins every time.

Paper Cut

“You look like you are down on your luck.”

I looked up at the voice. It came from a dark, heavy-set man. Kind of guy you call brooding. Swarthy. “Yeah, looks that way,” I answered. I knew he had been kibitzing at the roulette table for the last hour and had watched my last dollar being raked away.

The Casino de Charlevoix an hour east of Quebec was a piece of crap place to be, but I wasn’t in Montreal. More important, I wasn’t in Trois Rivieres where my wife Jeanette was waiting with my three-year-old boy.

“My name is Grigori. Would you like to play one more game?” He smiled and a mouth full of brown teeth showed up.

“I haven’t got a buck to my name. I even spent my lucky two-dollar bill. What’re you, Russian?”

“The Ukraine. But not for some time.”

“What brings you to Charlevoix?”

He shrugged. “I am avoiding some friends. And this is a good place to avoid unpleasant people. But about the game? Take a walk with me.”

He guided me out of the casino and to a small park on a street overlooking the St. Laurent.

“I told you I’m broke. Don’t rub it in.”

“Do you see that Mercedes?” He pointed to a white convertible that gleamed under the street light. “I will bet you my car against … let me see, what do you have? I know! Your little finger!”

“What the hell are you talking about?” I laughed. Nervously.

“I have a deck of cards, and we will cut. High card takes the Mercedes. Low card and you lose the tip of your little finger. Such a small price. You have nine more fingers, and I won’t take all of one. Just the tip.”

Jeanette was expecting me and I had no way to go back and tell her I had been wrong. No way else to make it up to her.

“No cards,” I said. “Not with your deck.”

“Then how can we gamble? I thought you were a gambler.”

“Simpler than cards. We play rock, paper, scissors.”

He frowned. “I do not know that game. Is it like poker?”

I showed him, making a fist. “This is rock.” I opened my hand. “This is paper.” And with two fingers, “This is scissors. Rock breaks scissors. Paper covers rock. Scissors cuts paper. Nine possible combinations.”

He bent his shaggy head back and laughed. A deep belly laugh that sounded like the devil. “Okay,” he said. “Ten times!”

“No, nine,” I said. “Ten could end in a tie.”

“One more thing,” he said. “You do not mind that I tie your hand to this picnic table. Just so you do not change your mind at some point.”

I did mind, but I also thought of Jeanette and the look in her eyes when I rolled up to our apartment in the new Mercedes. He took off his necktie and firmly pinioned my arm to the table. I felt the blood circulation stop and my hand began to go numb. He also put a set of car keys on the table and the brown teeth gleamed in a strange smile.

I took the first three plays, using rock three times in a row—a good bluff. Grigori took the fourth and fifth play. The sweat was starting to pour down my face sitting there under the street lamp. The breeze off the St. Laurent didn’t help.

Six was my win. It was four to two, and then Grigori took the lead. Each time he won he banged the table with his big hairy ham of a fist. The play continued.

“To nine you said?” I was beginning to hate this guy. “We are now four to four. The next game takes it.” He reached into the breast pocket of his jacket and pulled out a six-inch clasp knife. He laid it carefully on the picnic table next to the keys.

I was wondering if I had made a mistake. Would Jeanette ever understand? Perhaps she was right. I was a loser.

“One. Two. Three,” Grigori snapped. His hand shot out. “Scissors!”

But he had hesitated and my hand went up a microsecond before his. I realized my paper was a loser.”

“Ah-ha! Scissors cuts paper! I win!”

Grigori, you bastard!” Two men walked out of the dark and came to our table. I could only look as one pulled a gun. “I have followed you from New York City to Quebec and now find you playing a game. Only you are the loser, you traitor.”

“C’mon, guys,” I said. “I’m not involved. I just met this guy. He bet me his car.” The necktie was too tight for me to move, to run. I was tied to Grigori’s destiny, whatever that was going to be.

“Vlad, I was going to pay you back.” Grigori’s voice sounded like a whore begging. “I tried to find you.”

One of the goons picked up the car keys and looked at me. “This car is not his. It is mine. Everything he owns—including his life—is mine.”

“Hey, man, I never met the guy before tonight.”

“What is this stupid game you are playing?”

“It’s rock, paper, scissors. He cheated.”

“Shut up.” He untied the necktie. “Get out of here.”

“He cheated. I won,” I insisted.

The two Russian-sounding goons looked at each other. One reached in his pocket and pulled out a roll of money the size of an apple. He peeled off ten hundred-dollar bills and threw them on the table. “Scissors cuts paper maybe, but my gun beats all of them.”

I got back to Trois Rivieres a day later, but in all the midnight confessions Jeanette and I made to each other I never told her paper can cut scissors.

# # #
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Postby JillStar » Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:44 pm

Good poem Funky...

Interesting story there Timber... so it just jelled, huh?
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Postby timberline » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:37 am

Yeah, Jill. The prompt was so nebulous that it demands looking at what possibilities there are other than the obvious. DeBono's Lateral Thinking: "Don't dig the hole deeper if you can't find water. Dig another hole somewhere else."
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Postby luminosity » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:50 am

Good lateral thinking, Timber :)
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Postby Nephtalius » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:13 pm

timberline wrote: But he had hesitated and my hand went up a microsecond before his. I realized my paper was a loser.”


Enjoyed the story, TL. You might want to consider if the quotation mark at the end of the above sentence is appropriate.

Good poem, Funky.
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Postby timberline » Fri May 09, 2008 12:18 pm

I always liked this story. Troubled good guy wins out over bad guy. Polished and rewrote it a bit. Sent it to Big Pulp (www.bigpulp.com) and they've accepted it for publication. But in 2009. Nothing moves too fast nowadays, I guess--but I'm happy. Thanks again, Jill, for the nudge.
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Postby JillStar » Fri May 09, 2008 9:46 pm

:clap:

That's great Timber... even if you have to wait until next year... fantastic!

As for my contribution...

"I would like to thank all of the little people that made this award possible..."

Oh wait... never mind!

:yimhmm:
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Postby timberline » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:35 am

Good things take a while...sometimes a year, when "Paper Cut" was accepted a year ago by Big Pulp. It's now online at http://bigpulp.com/chill_giersbach_papercut.html. Merci bon dieu...and editor Bill Olver!
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Postby Saphyre » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:15 pm

The Weapon of the Tongue.

"Magics below!" Michael said as he quickly sucked on his finger and more carefully manipulated his letter into the envelope.

"Michael!" his sister chastised from across their shared study. "Language."

“You’re not my mother.” He muttered, more carefully sealing the envelope.

“It doesn’t matter. What happened to cause that? A paper cut? Come on.” Her tone was miffed- his nerves were frayed from several weeks of nagging.

“Why can’t you get over yourself? What makes you so high and mighty? I can curse by the magics below if I should d*** well choose to. Live with it.”

She spun in her chair to face him, though he wasn’t looking across the room at her. “That’s so immature. Just because I have the sense to realize that what comes out of one’s mouth is a representation and manifestation of the heart and so monitor my words and wish to see you represent yourself and by extent me as well now that we’re siblings you see fit too-“

“-Magics below is that still the same sentence?” he also turned and laid an arm over the back of his chair in order to better fight with this girl who had recently become his step-sister by the marriage of his mother and her godfather. “I can say whatever I want. And you’re in no position to tell me what to do. Don’t give me some heap of black magic about how I choose to express myself and don’t you dare presume that being my sister by marriage makes you in any way in a position of my authority.”

He turned back around, but Sabrina wasn’t finished with him yet. “Even if the situation warranted it- and I would argue that a paper cut does not- your cursing is a waste of good words and a tactical advantage. But sure- go ahead. Spend the rest of your days in your vernacular’s slum and see if I care when we take the floor of the Game of Titles. I will see the mutated carcass of your vocabulary hanging from the gates of a dragon’s drya, twice crossed with flame and muck of the marshes so long as your intellectual competence is only extended so far as to illustrate the crudity of what you learned in battle rather than the potential of exaltation brought by schooling and study. Your lack of command of your dictation and inability to speak in such a way as to be eloquently and adequately understood with give me an advantage which I will use, including the capacity to stun and silence you with a mere vocalization of your ineptitude.” And so saying, she turned back to her desk strewn with books and papers.

There was silence for a long moment, before Michael turned around again and asked, “Huh? What was that supposed to mean?”

She slammed her books shut and gathered her things, storing them in the appropriate desk drawer. “My point precisely, Michael. There is no insult to your enemy as great as the one he does not understand, particularly if it is understood by his superiors or subordinates. I have found when delivering threats it is far more the amount, length, and creativity of the words taken to deliver it than the actual context of the sentence that received the desired result. And when the time is appropriate, there is little satisfaction so great as knowing you have both insulted and affronted, possibly even challenged or threatened, the man whom you despise before you, but because he cannot understand you the slight has passed unpunished and he remains, essentially, unsettled but powerless against you. I bid you a good and good study. Oh- and luck with that most tricksome letter.” She exited the study with all the grace of the lady she was, and Michael was left to wonder just how much of that applied to him directly, how much was advice, what of it was a general observation, and just how greatly he had been insulted.
~Saphyre
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus…
For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Please always feel free to critique anything I write as I am by no means perfect!
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Postby Writingmom » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:12 am

I love it! what a paragraph of words! Fun read...Saph. 8)
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Postby Saphyre » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:57 pm

I said something similar to a rather dirty mouthed individual in my English class. I didn't do quite as well as Sabrina did because I was talking on the fly, but it seemed like the sort of scene that fit their characters so I typed it up and added some embelishments to make it more like her. It was a ton of fun to write.
~Saphyre

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus…

For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Please always feel free to critique anything I write as I am by no means perfect!
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Postby JT » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:21 pm

This one is very nice, indeed, Saphyre. I could read it all the way through on the first try, without getting lost, and enjoyed it. You may want to consider the use of adverbs, though. Maybe not.
JT

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Postby Saphyre » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:59 am

Any specific ones that really sat wrong with you, or just adverbs in general?
~Saphyre

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus…

For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Please always feel free to critique anything I write as I am by no means perfect!
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Postby JT » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:40 pm

I thought about your question for a while, and then returned to my own opinion, which in the end may mean little and may be wrong. Adverbs should never be used in fiction unless nothing else will do. Strong verbs [frequently] eliminate any need for adverbs. They are ugly to me in general when it comes to fiction. I think many others have said this too, though I can't remember who. So the whole question of adverbs is for each of us to consider and [ultimately] decide why.

Again, good work,
JT



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Postby Saphyre » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:48 pm

I don't mind your comment. Every reader is entitled to his own opinion and I appreciate that you've voiced yours for my consideration. I just didn't know if it was the issue in general (as it seems to be) or if there was any particular sentence that stood out to you. I will go over it some, but any that appear within Sabrina's rants will probably be left simply for length and intimidation.
~Saphyre

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus…

For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Please always feel free to critique anything I write as I am by no means perfect!
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Postby JT » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:08 pm

Hmmm - for the sake of "length" - nokay. But I have no problem with adverbs in dialogue when a reader believes this is the way the character speaks. You must bring your characters to life, and if they are believable based upon dialogue with adverbs, the adverbs serve well. So maybe we agree.

Best,
JT



Can't you hear the writing in the air? Ronnie James Dio (RIP)

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