Haze

A Red Dress Club writing prompt

Go back in the archives and pick a fiction or nonfiction piece. Find something that you’re proud of, but something you haven’t read for awhile.

Do a complete overhaul. Change the point of view. Write it from a different perspective. Play with tense or organizational structure. You know, kill those babies.

Oh, and by the way? Trim it down to 400 words or less.

This was originally written in first person from Kammie’s perspective in The Dare (if you want to read it first) – one of my first fiction pieces which had favorable “reviews”. I’m curious how “the remake” works from her friend Cyn’s view point.

* * * Haze * * *

His hands were hot, sliding over her bare skin. If she closed her eyes, she could pretend Mark’s hands, not Seth’s, graced her body.

Or was it Sam’s? Sean’s?

It definitely started with an “s”.

“Let’s race to the buoy and back. Last person back to the boat has to buy everyone’s drinks all night,” Chet said, breaking the fantasy she’d worked so hard to weave.

Two other couples glared at him for the interruption. Only Kammie and Chet remained apart.

“I don’t swim,” Cyn said, eyes glazed over from too much tequila, using the interruption to take another swig from a bottle that littered the deck. It was her spring break and damn if she’d spend it sober and crying. “Kammie will win anyway.” She raised the bottle in a half-hearted toast to her friend, hiding the smile on her face.

“Is that right?” Chet said, sneering as he stared at her best friend. “Me and you then. The buoy and back.” He stripped off his ratty T-shirt, the late afternoon sun displaying a body already past its prime, the beginnings of a beer belly rounding an otherwise toned stomach.

Cyn cringed. Hot friend, my ass. Seth/Sam/Sean had lied to get them to join his fraternity brothers and Cyn knew her bestie would ream her about it later. If Kammie didn’t finally lighten up once she dived into the water and trounced the jackass.

The liar’s hands were back, tracing her sides, down to her bikini bottoms. She downed another shot from the bottle and straddled his hips, closing her eyes again as she imagined her former fiancé’s hands touching her instead.

Kammie and Chet’s conversation faded, as she focused on the hands, slipping into her bikini, grabbing her bottom.

Cyn didn’t hear the splashes as the dare between the two unfolded, too busy grinding her hips against the body.

She floated in the bubbled haze of intoxication and desire, as he lifted and carried her to the small cabin beneath the deck.

When the engine rumbled to life she was lost to the pounding of the stranger on top of her, imagining the one she’d loved since high school.

“Mark,” Cyn said, moaning as she dug her nails into the muscled back.

“Se. Bas. Tian.” The syllables escaped with each thrust.

She sighed in response, not hearing a word while the boat sped away without her friend.

* * *

Concrit is welcomed as always.

Obviously the twist ending wasn’t a surprise if you’ve read it before, but I’m curious what either A) you think of this piece in general or B) how this compares to the original.

After writing this, I have a sudden urge to rewrite it again from Kammie’s perspective and clean up the mistakes glaring at me – I just didn’t think I could shorten it to 400 words for the prompt.

Maybe I’ll go do that now.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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20 Responses to Haze

  1. Carrie says:

    Hot hot hot! OMG, so hot.

    I like it from this point of view. It explains a bit better how Kammie got ditched. If her friend was otherwise engaged well…

    • I do believe 18 years of romance novel reading has rubbed off on me. Ahem. Glad you felt the heat.

      So many people who commented on The Dare wondered why Kammie’s friend didn’t notice the boat left without Kammie. This is exactly why I revisited it with a new perspective.

      Thank you for your comments, as always. They are very appreciated.

  2. Okay, I’m really angry at Cyn right now. Will come back and concrit this one!
    ALSO: I really need to get laid!

  3. Ilana says:

    I love the Seb. As. Tian. at the end. SO COLD. And so powerfully vivid while saying almost nothing. I do like hearing it from the perspective. My only concrit is that I felt the word fiance was out of place. I think just saying a name would have felt more genuine.

  4. Nancy C says:

    OMG. I hadn’t read The Dare. I love them both. Kinda how Jodi Piccolet writes stories from different perspectives? Together, you figure out what actually happened. Yeah, that.

    All of those men are asses. Such asses. And there’s some serious diabolical stuff going on. Where are they taking Cyn and the other girl?

    Clearly, I’m invested.

    Cyn missing her fiance gives a lot of depth and sympathy. But I agree that she would think his name. I get what you were trying to do.

    Love this.

    • The little things, like what you and Illana mentioned, are why I love concrit. I will change it in a few days, after people are done reading.

      Comparing me to Jodi Piccolet even in such a small way was lovely ego booster, by the way. Thank you.

      I’d always hoped to revisit this story, but Kammie stopped talking to me. Luckily Cyn didn’t mind filling in.

      Yes, my characters talk to me. I’m weird like that.

      Thank you so much for this prompt. I hated it at first, the idea of having to cut 200 additional words from a post I’d already cut for word count. But it made me get creative, and this just popped onto the screen.

      I love it when that happens.

  5. Jackie says:

    I thought that it was great and while I still hate Chet I really liked this perspective of the story and it doesn’t leave me feeling as angry as the original.

    • Yours was one of the comments from The Dare that inspired me to tell it from Cyn’s point of view. In my head, it made perfect sense why she didn’t notice Kammie was missing, but in 600 words and first person POV, I had no way to show my readers.

      I do believe Chet is supposed to be hated. Sadly, I don’t think there is much redeeming about him, at least at this point in his life.

      Thanks for the comments!

  6. Jennifer says:

    This revision completely helped with understanding why Kammie got left behind and I thought it was interesting that in this piece the boys were objects, which they would have been to Cyn given her state of mind. And I loved that the one line ‘the liar’ spoke she did/couldn’t/wouldn’t hear.

  7. Kir says:

    I was going to say Jodi Picoult too, this was just as good as the original, better even, because it’s give us “More”. THis was the first piece of fiction by you that I ever read and I remember thinking I am way out of my league with this writing and here you prove it again.

    my favorite line:
    “I don’t swim,” Cyn said, eyes glazed over from too much tequila, using the interruption to take another swig from a bottle that littered the deck. It was her spring break and damn if she’d spend it sober and crying. “Kammie will win anyway.” She raised the bottle in a half-hearted toast to her friend, hiding the smile on her face.

    so telling of them as friends and young women.

    WOW.

    • Interesting. Your favorite line was also in the dare, just from Kammie’s view point. I find it fascinating how a slight alteration in point of view changes the meaning of it.

      Two Jody Piccoult comments? Really? I never imagined I had anything in common with her, and honestly, I don’t typically switch perspectives – especially of the same scene, so this was a new thing because of the prompt.

      I might have to explore the style in the future.

      Now stop dissing yourself and your writing, my dear. Everyone has a different style, and I love taking in all the different kinds. My strength (I’m told) is dialogue. You are far better at description.

      We use the same canvas, but different tools, so the finished works are very different, but that does not put us into different leagues.

      My true love is writing fiction, and the day I wrote The Dare, that part of me came alive after a long period of dormancy. I think it shows in the piece (although looking back, I now want to rewrite Kammie’s view point, just not down to 400 words, because I see things I want to fix).

      And I cannot give up fiction writing again, only strive to improve and grow. Your comments and everyone else’s help me do this.

      So thank you. Very much.

  8. Elaine says:

    I clearly remember the original, because it was so good and so is this. I personally LOVE the different perspective (my post is similar) and your descriptions in this short format are great. Nice job girl!

    • I can’t wait to check yours out as well, although with my darling Lil Diva’s mood today, it might be later this weekend.

      I always find it interesting when people like my descriptions, because to me, they seem lacking. With such a short word count, I find the basic senses are often cut out or short and can never tell if I’ve included enough to transport the reader into the story.

      I guess less is more, eh?

      Thanks for the comment!

  9. CDG says:

    oh Cyn and… Sebastian? Hot name, by the way.

    I still want to sock Chet in the nuts. What a douche. And? I’m still worried about Kammie.

    You do well with the distraction-sex, too, that any-body-will-do mindset.

  10. Yup, read this a few more times and “former fiance” held me up too, EVERY TIME.
    I would have used ex-boyfriend and HEE, saved yourself a word!
    Other than that, thank you. I do remember wondering what happened to Kammie’s friend.

  11. Jennie says:

    Hot and juicy and fantastic. I’m definitely invested. My favorite part is the “Se. Bas. Tian.” Well written.

  12. angela says:

    I think this is better written, tighter, but I really enjoyed both pieces. I remember reading that and wondering what in the world her friend was thinking!

    I liked this:
    too busy grinding her hips against the body.

    The Se.Bas.Tian at the end was cold, but reducing HIM to just “the body”? That shows what sort of place Cyn is in.

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