Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bar scene blogfest

OK, I don't do a lot of writing about bars, but this is from a WIP I happened to have sitting around, where I happened to actually write about a bar. There's a bit in the middle (where the ellipsis is) where I cut part of a scene, but the whole bit in the bar is there. If that makes sense.

I got my two scenes for the 10th up really late, so take a look at them, too, if you're interested--Murder 'Fest and First Kiss Blogfest, yesterday. This one, I wanted to make sure to get up ASAP! Then check out Tara's page for links to more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The bar was like a trip back in time; it had a Hawaiian theme, and apparently it was “Fifties night,” part of the bar’s special. Lindsey rolled her eyes at him and grinned, as if to say, “Isn’t this all chintzy and cheap? But for a free beer, may as well take part,” and he felt again like she was someone a little different, this time, someone he could maybe talk to and think about safely.

Together, they separated from the rest of the group and sat down at the bar. There was a sad-looking paper palm tree wilting on the countertop next to a display of three empty, fake coconut cups. Austen drummed his knuckles on the counter while Lindsey made small talk, played with her hair, and brushed against his arm four or five times.

When the barkeeper came over, “Sex on the Rocks, please,” Lindsey said, and she giggled.

The man nodded. His arms were thicker than his neck, and he had “Mom” tattooed on his arm. He looked at Austen expectantly.

“I’ll have the special,” he said.

He turned around and started filling cups as others took up the stools and tables around them. Austen thought it seemed awfully full for 5:30 on a Tuesday at a crappy little bar full of fake pineapples, but then, he didn’t know what the norm was.

“I hope this doesn’t sound stupid,” Lindsey said. “I was just wondering if you’d mind telling me a bit about yourself. I mean, I know we work together—”

“But we don’t know each other?” he said, and he smiled.

“Yes, exactly,” she said.

“Not much to say, really,” he said. “Grew up near here. Went to school near here. Now I work here.”

“Are your parents still living nearby?” she asked. “My parents are miles away. It can be nice, but sometimes it’s nicer to have them close.”

The barkeeper turned back, then, with her drink and a beer for him, and slipped the glasses toward them, before moving down the bar to customers more interested in heavier drinks.

“Actually,” he said, “My parents both passed on when I was young.”

She paused, her cup halfway to her lips, and she looked over at him uncertainly. “They both died?”

He shrugged.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. Then, apparently at a loss for words, she took a big gulp of her drink.

...

They sat at the bar in an awkward silence, each sipping from their cup. His beer tasted sweet, too sweet, and he felt it trickle down into his stomach. He didn’t much like beer. He didn’t much like this bar.

He drained his glass, and looked over at Lindsey, who was taking small sips and looking very uncomfortable.

“Want to get out of here?” he asked.

17 comments:

Harley D. Palmer said...

Very nice! I wonder what happens when they "get out of there."

Dawn Embers said...

Nice post. I like the last line, one of the common/known phrases to say. "Let's get out of here."(Not the exact one you posted, but variances of it make the same point.) The bar part works for this scene, and think you did well with the setting element.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog due to the bar scene blogfest.

I really like this. I think you show you characters' personalities really well. I got a little confused when the guy said that he worked there. I thought he was referring to the bar not the city and had to re-read. I guess if I were reading the whole ms though it would have been clearer. :)

I would have really liked to have 'seen' the small talk between Austen and Lindsey. I think it would have brought their characters alive even more so. We would see how she flirts and see how he reacts to it - 'see' how he really feels about her rather than just being told that he could 'maybe talk to and think about safely'.

All in all, though, I think this is a very successful bar scene. I could picture the atmosphere really well. Great!

stu said...

I like the bar, and the way the scene builds. Possibly, I'd lose the opening comment on it being like going back in time, since if it is having a fifties theme night, that is a given. Other than that, nice.

Amalia T. said...

I love the wilted palm tree. You do such a good job with your settings. Is this something I'll get to see soon? :P

Just Another Sarah said...

Haha! Thanks, everyone!

Amalia--you *have* seen this one before. I need to do some more work on it, and then you'll get to see it again. :)

Just Another Sarah said...

Stu: Thanks for that--that's a very good point. I think I'll make that change.

The Alliterative Allomorph: Hi! Welcome! Thanks! Yes, I think it would make a lot more sense if you were actually reading it, but I need to do some more work on it, anyway...so maybe I can clear that up. And add a bit more dialogue.

Dawn: Thanks! I'm glad you like the last line. Sometimes those regular phrases just need to be said!

Harley: Thanks! That's a big question, and plays a lot into the rest of the story...but suffice it to say, for now, that the mental dragons get dredged up.

Tara said...

I like Austen's pov here, I could really tell how much he didn't want to be there. Good job!

Amalia T. said...

D'oh! I have? Recently?

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great description of the bar. Made me feel like I was there with the sad little palm trees. :) And the last line is perfect. Makes you want to know where they go and what they do.

Just Another Sarah said...

Tara: Thanks--I'm glad that showed through well!

Amalia: Yes, but not too recently. It doesn't surprise me that you don't remember--the ellipsis cuts out the part that would probably jog your memory.

Iapetus999 said...

Not sure what the attraction was between them. And the scene sometimes seems a bit like an info-dump.
Also confused--wasn't the special a free beer? Why didn't she get one too?
Sounds like a place I might hang out at...I like fake Polynesian crap. Let them have a few more drinks! With umbrellas!
Nice job!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I like the quirky bar decor. Makes all the frantic tiki torch frivolity seem like an umcomfortable place to really get to know someone. I was glad to read that they got out of there.

F said...

awwwwwkwaaarrrrd... (as my friend would say)... :)

I agree with the alliterative allomorph; would have liked to see more of the conversation to get more of a feel of the dynamic. This was nice, though... I wonder where they are off to...

Tara said...

Awesome! I love the two characters, and your description of the bar, I could see it clearly. Great way to end it as well. thank you for joining my 'fest!

Eric W. Trant said...

Late to the party on reading this, but I'll say that's one of the better bar scenes I've read. You did great on your edits.

Fast-paced, clean delivery, virtually uncritiqueable.

- Eric

Just Another Sarah said...

Iapetus: Indeed--more drinks with umbrellas on order for them! :) Thanks for the comment!

sarahjayne: How did I miss you? We share a name! Thanks so much for the comment!

Raquel: Thanks! I am very pleased you thought it was quirky. :)

F: Thanks for the review! Perhaps I'll have to toss more convo into the selection, in the actual story.

Tara: Thanks for hosting! This was fun--and thanks for the review!

Eric: Thank you so much. You are too kind! So pleased for the follow! :)