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:icongoldfish-in-space: More from Goldfish-In-Space


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September 19, 2013
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She singled him out of the rest of the people in the waiting room, because he was wearing an ascot as a scarf like he didn’t know the difference. Maybe he didn’t. His shoes didn’t match; one was red and the other was black, though they were both chucks. Behind his glasses, his eyes peered out a pallid, self reflective grey.

An image of him smiling came to her, and made her smile in turn. Then she decided to notice the empty seat beside him and got up. She sat beside him with a whump sound and he didn’t look up. This one looked promising.

“So...” she said, “have you noticed that the lady over there, the one wringing her hands like that, is twisting a ring, but it’s on the wrong finger to be a wedding ring?”

“Uh...” he looked up at her, “no?”

“There, she’s the one in the only cushioned chair in here. The one with the hat.”

He looked over, and then down again.

“Yeah, I guess she is.”

“Who do you think she’s waiting for?”

“I dunno.”

She smiled at the nihilism.

“I think she’s waiting for her son-- or daughter, whichever-- by her not-husband, they never married but that’s not important to her. She just loves him a lot. I wonder why he’s not here, too?”

He looked at her, and adjusted his glasses.

“Why would you say that?”

“I dunno, gut feelings, you know? What are you waiting for?”

He turned in the direction of the lady again.

“My sister.”

“Is it good waiting or bad waiting?”

He shot her a look. She shot him a look back. Coy.

“Well?”

“Bad waiting.”

“Okay, so bad waiting or bad-bad waiting?”

She twirled a lock of her hair in her fingers, and wondered if he was deciding how to name which shade of green it was. There was a pause in his speech, where he looked her up and down. It was slow; he passed over her striped stockings, and the polka dot skirt. She might have seen his eyes linger over the cut of her top, almost obscured by the tips of her hair, fading to aquamarine. She pulled the right kind of smile.

“Bad waiting like it’s none of your business.”

She blinked.

“I’m just waiting,” she said, “waiting rooms are some of the most interesting places to be; people are at their barest here.”

“So you’re just sitting here. In a hospital waiting room.”

“Well, I am waiting.”

His shoulders rolled and he turned away from her, again. Crossing his arms, he shuffled, and turned back to her.

“That’s incredibly vague. So you’re waiting here, when you could be basically anywhere else, and you’re sitting here, bothering other people?”

She blinked again, and looked him up and down. The slant of light on his face and the downward twist of his lips gave him a serious expression. Its aim was at her. The taste of nails invaded her mouth and she held back the urge to get up and flee without an exit. Making a round of the room with her eyes, she looked at herself in the reflection of his glasses. She took a breath.

“Oh. Am I bothering you?”

Yes.

“Oh, sorry. Have a nice day, then!”

Getting up, she found another empty seat. Fiddling with her hair left a trace of green dye, which she rubbed onto the plastic of the chair. The new man beside her looked her up and down, with his eyebrows knit together. One brown and one blue eye rested on her own for just a minute before looking away. His vest was rumpled, like he had been there all night, and into the morning. She could feel the weight that turned the corners of his mouth down into a scowl. This one looked promising.

“Have you noticed that the longer you’re here, the more that stain on the ceiling looks like broccoli?”

He looked up. His frown softened.

“No”, he said, “I hadn’t. I...”

He trailed off and looked back to his lap.

“Who are you waiting for?” she asked.

He shuffled a bit in his chair, and she noticed one sock, peeking out between his loafers and his pants, was brown, while the other was blue. The little mirror of his eyes made her grin. He took in her broccoli stain, and then her entire self. She saw his awareness of her shift inside him and held her breath before he spoke.

“I’m... really?” he said, “ I’m just waiting for things to end or get better.”

She watched the rise and fall of the one chip in her nail polish as she patted him on the shoulder. He hesitated, but the callouses of his fingertips brushed hers. Her smile-- the genuine one-- fluttered to life. The iron disappeared from her palate. This one was promising.


Months later, as they lay in bed she saw the first faint glimmers of real happiness on his sleeping lips. Something bloomed inside and she named it love. He woke that day and sketched a girl with green hair that he said was her. She smiled and believed him.

Hatemail Love letter to Romantic Comedy.

Hah. So with this one I'm trying to take apart some of the tropes in romantic comedy, twist them up, and put them back. The idea started with our Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and how she's always spun as cute and spontaneous and invigorating to the broody male lead. They start with a surprise encounter, and then BAM THEY ARE probably IN LOVE.

So what would happen if she was less spontaneous? What about if the broody male lead recognized that this girl had a few less than desirable traits? I think it gets creepy pretty fast. That being said, I also think it needs to be more drawn out for tension reasons in a few places.

What do you think?

Wow! Thanks for the DD!

Edit: Tried to follow some of the advice given to me here... hm. I feel like any more is hurting the piece, but I dunno.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-10-26
Great dialogue and riffing on a popular theme: The Real-Life Stats on Spontaneous Romance is by *Goldfish-In-Space. ( Featured by neurotype )
:icondailybreadcafe:
Hey, i saw your piece on the critique thread and thought i'd leave one. It's been a while since i read a piece of yours, but i really enjoyed it. Your dialogue is really interesting, realistic, and drives the story.

That said, a few things didn't sit quite 100% with me.
"she decided to notice" - Can you really decide to notice something? I don't think you can, this sort of distracted me a little because it seems a bit awkward to say.
"whump sound and he" - i think "but" should be used instead of "and" to emphasise that although she's made a "whump", he hasn't noticed her. Otherwise, i'm sort of wondering what the significance of this "whump" detail is.
"I wonder why he’s not here, too?” - should this actually be a question? I don't think it should be
"trace of green dye, which" - i think you should add "on her fingers" here. I'm not sure if it's because i'm tired, but i was a little like "huh?" when i read this the first time because I didn't realise what it was talking about.

I was a little confused about the second man. The first time i read it, i thought it was the first man again and he'd just been lying about why he was there. The second time, i thought it was a new character.

I'm not quite comfortable with the jump from that part to the last paragraph. I mean, if it is a new character, then we spend so much time with the other guy that it feels so weird for him to be the one left at the end. I think maybe you should make it a bit longer and point us in the direction of where it's going before leaping into the last paragraph.

That said, i thought this was a really interesting a well written piece. It was a pleasure to read something from you again.
If you don't mind, could you please leave me some feedback on: sta.sh/024zin0apfbv (preferably by the 21st as it's for a competition)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
22 out of 22 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconrhetoricism:
I just remembered that I said I'd feedback the thingy out of this! You never reminded me, you cad! :)

Dissecting the idea of a "Manic Pixie Girl" is probably long overdue, and you've managed to do it in a manner that's not "hurr durr tropes r stupid this charakter archetype is balls" (no I'm not sure why imaginary you can spell 'archetype' but not 'character'). You've done a mature job of pointing out her... eccentricities and what she generally looks for in a guy; it's realistic.

Description of the characters is done well, for the most part. The language is excellent, and the way the Pixie herself is described (her thinking about him observing her) fits in well with her character. However, I'm not a big fan of description in chunks. I like my description sprinkled throughout the story, reinforced by subsequent mentions. Her hair, for example, is mentioned several times as being green (and in a state of action- being observed or twirled in fingers). Imagery like this helps readers form a mental picture far stronger than a group of facts.

Despite that, the description -does- mirror the way I imagine the Pixie would think; flitting quickly from one to the other, draining in the visual as a whole rather than focusing on one thing, or a few features. So as incidental characterization, it works, but as a general technique, I'm not as sure about it.

The dialogue is fluid and believable, but I feel it could use the occasional *bolding* or -italics- for emphasis. It's a stylistic choice, however, and the writing is solid with or without.

The transition between the two men is a little abrupt; it took me a second read to notice the switch. A mention of comparison between the two guys might serve well to distinguish them; differing features explicitly compared, perhaps.

The ending snuck up on me as well; spontaneous and certainly accented with the right sort of 'feels'. Too often endings with a Pixie are overly optimistic, rather than realistic in any sense of the word.

Overall, a quite fantastic take on the idea of the MPG archetype, and a solidly composed bit of writing. With a bit of tweaking to differentiate the two main men a little more, and perhaps a little more people-watching (I'm a fan of people-watching), it could be even better. :)

An absolute pleasure to read.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
1 out of 1 deviants thought this was fair.

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:iconpatternvsuser:
PatternVSUser Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I like the idea until the ending, where the cliches came back. I think a more negative ending, maybe this affair ending as a one night stand would be better and be more consistent with what you were trying. The two males were also a bit too similar, and were described in the same manner.

Until the ending though I like it. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a cliche I'm trying to deconstruct and play with, too. Your character did come off obnoxious and sounded like she had some more sinister motives to all her questioning. I also like the minial description that describes just the right thing to tell us what these characters are like. 
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   Writer
Thanks!

I did think about making the men she went after more different, but then I decided it would be weirder if her 'type' was very, very narrow. And the hollowness of her own fulfillment doesn't quite come through? Damn. I'll keep trying, I guess.
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:iconthecheshercat:
TheChesherCat Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I picked this at random out of your gallery, but I see it has a DD! Therefore, you probably don't need me to tell you that it's good. I love the idea that her observation isn't just perspicacious but quite creepy.

Time to look at the rest of your gallery, I suppose...
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014   Writer
Haha, thanks! I hope you like what's there.
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:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013   Writer
I'm a little late to the party on this one, but :la:

Love the randomness of the first encounter.  :giggle:

Your last line is superb.  :love:
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013   Writer
I didn't know about the party until a full 30 hours after it started. Oops!

Thanks!
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:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
:giggle:

I've got dA open all day when I'm at work, and I refresh quite regularly so I can't relate.
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
That is entirely different than my work situation, haha.
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:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013   Writer
:giggle:

I can't help that.  :(
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconthestarvingartist1:
thestarvingartist1 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I rather enjoyed reading this; it was well written. And maybe I'm just tired or slow, but I'm still not quite sure about the ending.
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
Haha, I don't think it's just you. The ending needs a bit more work to be clear.

Thanks!
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:iconrosey-mae:
Rosey-Mae Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think this was really clever and well written. It's rather hard to find good flash fiction that isn't too intense or too full of sex. :clap: Congrats!
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I laughed, but then there was real emotion and it was confusing! (kidding, the transition works)
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
Real emotions? KILL THEM WITH FIRE until there's nothing but laughter left.

Danke! And thanks for featuring me!
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like this plan!

Sure :D
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
Fire is the answer to so many problems. People don't even know.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:no: Let's teach em.
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
I will get my brule torch. Devilish
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've got a lighter and some hairspray :eager:
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
We're set. The world will burn with the salon-smell of caramelizing sugar.
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(1 Reply)
:iconaquagalaxy:
AquaGalaxy Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
congratulations on the DD! c:
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconmizzmint:
mizzmint Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on having your piece featured as one of today's Daily Deviations! Glomp!

Well deserved Heart
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconmizzmint:
mizzmint Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Welcome~!
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Congrats on the DD! :dalove: Have a nice day! :heart:
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
thanks a bunch!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    My pleasure :happybounce:
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Ouh I enjoyed reading this! I feel like the second gentleman is too old for her, and kinda sleezy XD

Congratulations on your DD! :squee:
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013   Writer
It's the vest that gives you that image, isn't it? Haha.

Thanks!
Reply
:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
I take offense to this, as it insinuated that anyone wearing a waistcoat is old.  I'll have you know, I wear them quite often (though not for work, because, no) and I look quite fetching.  And not old.  :grump:
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
And yet, that's the offending detail. Considering I am invested in it, I will just have to be creative to fix it. :lol:
Reply
:icongrimface242:
GrimFace242 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013   Writer
:stinkeye:

That was a horrible pun.  :|
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013   Writer
Yes it was. I'm waiting for the pun related shame to come crashing down, but so far nothing.

Thanks for the watch, by the way. :)
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Haha yes it is! I immediately imagined a white, sweat stained vest on a fat hairy man XD
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013   Writer
I should probably work on that. There are no fat, not good looking protagonists in 'serious' romantic comedy. :| (Blank Stare)
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
XD No! Leave it =p (can't tell if you're serious about changing it :x )
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
I kind of am-- need to spend a bit more time with the second guy, and his appearance.
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I honestly think you should leave it. I like the ambiguity of it... it allows the reader to create the man however they want.
Reply
:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013   Writer
That's a good point! It will depend on how exactly I want to spin the tropes, I guess. I'll have to think about it.
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(1 Reply)
:iconrhetoricism:
Rhetoricism Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013   Writer
This is quite excellent; it's on my to-critique list for sure :) Do bother me about it if I don't get to it in a week or so. I'm all over the place at the moment.
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:icongoldfish-in-space:
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013   Writer
Thanks! And sure. Haha, you will be pestered in seven to twelve days. I look forward to it. :D
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