The next 100 words

You might remember from last week that I’m participating in a month-long writing exercise building a short story [1], one-hundred words at a time.

Last week, we tackled the introduction: a hundred words to acquaint the reader with the characters, setting, and develop a story question or inciting incident. This week, we move on to what is often considered Act One in the Three Act Writing Structure [2] where we address the Rising Action [3]. Prompt words to weave in, to add to the challenge [4], are: common, infinite, captive, flaming, constant, movement

So, without further delay… the next 100 words! (Ahh… maybe I should include the first 100 words? They’ll be in italics.)

Working Title: What price, Charlie?

Amber hooch was the hardest to fake.

That’s what Edna the waitress had told Charlie the night the raid evacuated them to the alley.

He called her Daisy. She was beautiful and a little helpless, like the flower.

And, tonight, he needed one-hundred proof courage to ask her out. One perk of working in a gin joint was the gin, amber colored or otherwise. He didn’t care that it was made in someone’s bathtub.

He downed his drink. But before he could utter a word, the muscled brute they called The Doctor walked in, marched right up to Daisy and grabbed the back of her hair, holding her captive.

“Are you a common tramp, now Edna? Are you? I’ve seen you with that piano boy.”

The man wrenched her across the counter toward him. “We made a deal, doll. Remember? As long as you’re my gal, your family don’t go down in flames. That’s what we call in the business an In—” slap “—fie—” slap “—night—” slap “—Agreement. You got that, Edna? Constant. Forever.”

He shoved her backward, the movement causing her to stumble.

“Now, bring me some brown [4]. I’ll be in my office.”

Notes & Sourcesa

  1. Actually, stories less than 1000 words are generally considered flash fiction. Short Stories normally clock in somewhere between 1000 and 20,000 words. [Let’s Write a Short Story]
  2. There are about as many structures for storytelling as there are genres of books. The 3-act structure is no better or worse than others, but it gives a needed base, especially when playing writing games in which many people are involved.
  3. Rising Action is a literary device whereby the character is faced with additional challenges, increasing tension, or intensified action.
  4. Brown is 1920’s slang for whiskey. (Sorry, I can’t find where I read that; you’ll just have to believe me.)

3 thoughts on “The next 100 words

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