Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Limp Puppets by David White

Limp Puppets” by David White, Shots Magazine, March 2005

This is a short-short about curiosity and how it killed . . . well, there aren’t any cats in this story, thank goodness.

Greg and his lady friend, Rebecca, are in Greg’s car on their way out for a night on the town. Rebecca, as women will, has picked this time to grill Greg on a past incident that has apparently affected his life in a negative way. It happened when Greg was a freshman in high school. Up until that point, he had good grades and was a model student. After that, his grades suffered, he didn’t go to college, and he now works in his father’s pharmacy stocking shelves.

This subject had come up before, but Greg wouldn’t talk about it. Now Rebecca, as women will, has decided that she will no longer take NO for an answer. Events escalate.

I have one quibble with this story. In the seventh paragraph of the story, a very short story with, otherwise, few wasted words, Rebecca spends FOUR SENTENCES adjusting her wardrobe! It was like a compulsion, whether Rebecca’s or Mr. White’s I don’t know.

Now the good. For such a short story, the characters are well-drawn. I liked the way Mr. White showed Rebecca’s determination to get the story out of Greg. Rebecca just keeps pushing and pushing, as women will. At one point Greg finds a radio station with music he hopes Rebecca will sing along with. One single-sentence paragraph: “Rebecca doesn’t sing.” Nicely done.

I also liked the way Mr. White showed Greg’s increasing agitation with very short paragraphs interspersed between longer paragraphs of dialogue.

And the ending. A very nasty twist.

In short, with the exception of the OCD paragraph, I liked it.

11 Comments:

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Dave White said...

Thanks a ton, Bob. Yes... Rebecca is... OCD, that's it... that's the ticket.

Ahem.

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

You know, Bob, until you pointed that out it never occurred to me to think of that moment as OCD-like. I interpreted it as yet another way Dave foreshadowed the ending, actually.

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger Candace said...

So, Bob, AS WOMEN WILL, I have to ask: pushy women around your neck of the woods these days or is it just a case of OCD? Seriously, Dave wrote a great little story here and his site is a treasure in and of itself. Looking forward to more by him.

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Dave White said...

Candace, not fair, you can't say that stuff and then not let me email you thanks... drop me a line
please.


dpwhite237@yahoo.com

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review Bob...but I gotta disagree with you about the OCD paragraph. I thought it was one of the best parts of the whole story, rather than simply have the character talk about how uncomfortable the whole conversation is making Rebecca, the author displays her actions and lets the reader come to his own conclusions about her feelings at that moment. I thought it was a great piece of writing, especially when you read the twist at the end and realize Rebecca must have always suspected something about her boyfriend to have asked about the incident. kickass story.
Kevin

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Sarah, I was so caught up in the OCD aspects of The OCD Paragraph, that I never thought of it as foreshadowing the ending.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Gee, Candace, I thought the phrase "pushy women" was redundant. 8-) And yes, it is a good story.

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Dave, you realize that from this point on that particular paragraph will be known as The OCD Paragraph. You're famous!

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Kevin, that's why they make horse races. I thought the paragraph was overdone. I would have preferred to see something like, "She squirmed under the seat belt, adjusting this and that part of her wardrobe, shooting glances out of the corner of her eye." But then Dave didn't ask my opinion, and he's a big boy now with a job and everything. 8-)

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Jacksons Done said...

As someone that rides in a car frequently with David Paul White...I am scared. Very scared.

 
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