Monday, February 15, 2010

Entry 15


       The smell of rubbing alcohol wafted through the school nurse’s office. Too bad it wasn’t the other kind after the day I’d had. Not that I’d ever drink after my father tried to drown me in rum and Cokes last year—on pain meds no less. I moved my fingers across the crisp white sheets of the cot that the strange nurse had put me on. Not that she was weird or anything, just that I’d never seen her at Roosevelt High.
       The nurse leaned over my swollen head. Her nasty cigarette breath made me turn my face away. “How you feeling, Dylan?”
       I shrugged. Dylan. I was having the hardest time getting used to my new name. I wished I could go back to being Ben Smith. At least Dylan Jones was better than Bompsy Carleffa. What a freaking nightmare—even if it was my real name. Whatever it took to stay alive.
       The nurse opened a refrigerator, pulled out a pointy needle, and gave it a finger thump.
       I pushed myself up on my elbows. “What’s the needle for?”
       She gave a crooked smile. “This won’t hurt a bit—Mr. Carleffa.”


  1. Intriguing - as much for the name as the "reveal" that she knew it.

  2. I like this. This is my kind of twist to start off. Excellent writing as well. One minor quibble - You start a sentence with "Not that" twice in the first paragraph. Consider changing one of them.

  3. Huh...

    I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this one, and I'm wondering if it's because I'm not sure of the narrator's age range. Or perhaps it 's a timing issue for me. It just seems like the character is having a hard time adjusting to a lot of things that I'd expect him to have gotten used to by the start of the story.

    It also seems like there should be a whole lot more emotion in the character. Moved around, name changed, father tried to drown him in pain-killer cocktails ... and now a school nurse with a syringe?

    There's a disconnect there for me. Did Dyllan wake up on the table? Go in for some aspirin or a time-out? He's been at the school long enough to know the usual nurses, but is still musing about how odd the name sounds to him? So on and so forth.

    If I knew why he was in the office, more about his his physical symptoms, or could believe that he was still very new to his new name, then it would be a stronger hook for me. And yes, it is hooking for me, cause WHAT THE HELL IS SHE GONNA INJECT INTO THE KID?!!!! NO freakin Way! Dylan! Get the Eff-word OUT of there!

    *I* say, give her a face tattoo, and make him think, "Wait a minute, the school board would NEVER hire a nurse with a Face Tattoo!" But that's just me.

  4. It hooked me by the end. Why does she know his other name? I'm going to guess he's perhaps in the witness protection program with all the name changes, and that really interests me since he's still in high school.

  5. It would be better without repeating the word "needle." Instead, "What's the shot for?" I remember Michael suggesting something like this in the practice session. Sometimes we miss these sorts of things in the race to get work posted before the first 50. Is that what happened?

  6. I'm trying to get a grasp on how old the MC is. The end hooks me for sure, because she knows his name and he assumes she doesn't.

    I'm just a bit confused.

  7. I liked it! You hooked me with a father giving his son pain killers with alcohol, who sounds as though he is in high school? Not your usual perfect family upbringing. And why is he going by a different name? And the creepy nurse...yes, I want to know more. Good job.

  8. I am also unsure of how old the MC is. He sounds like a kid, but the situation makes him sound older. The hook is strong and I definitely want to read more, but the situation is a bit too confusing for me. I'd prefer to know more about why he's in the nurse's office and how his head was hurt first. Also, we need to know the significance of the name changes in order to stay safe. That will create a stronger connection to the character, which will make the needle scene that much stronger.

  9. I loved all of it and it hooked me. I'm thinking he's a teenager if he's in the nurse's office. You got me with the dysfunctional father, the name change and the creepy nurse with the crooked grin at the end. Good job.

    I’m thinking that his father could be an informer for the law and they had to change their name, but why has the nurse figured out who he is? I want to know.

    I loved the voice and would definitely read on.

  10. I wondered about the cigarette breath on the nurse! Aha! Yes, very good hook on that last line. But I was confused a bit until then, just set it up a little more and I think it'll work. Intriguing title.


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