[doomey sucks the life out of a pall mall, stuffs the butt into the mess in the triangular, marble ashtray set down stage right on the Cherrywood desktop. he takes a sip from the tumbler of amber, sets the near-empty glass on the desktop. he purses his lips, staring at DePlancher's desk. he taps his fingertips on the desktop, twists his lips. he breathes deep, exhales]
as far as I know we have not been able to find the cat.
[Carol pulls out the chair, noticing the wheels might need some maintenance, and she plops her ass into it, swivels left and right. She grabs the edge of the desk and pulls herself up close. She grabs the topmost capital off the pile that's gathered at the corner of the desk. She spreads it out before her like a deck of cards]
Okay. Got us some capital named The Halloween Party crafted by Edward Turner. Sounds pretty solid.
[Carol gathers up the capital, shuffles it to a somewhat orderly mishmash, and she stomps over to the Porthole, slams it open]
Ed Turner can craft, Boligard. Let it be said, the dude knows how to type. But he's one of those 'one liners'. Few things I can't stand: pedophiles, empowered waitresses, and one liners. You know them, they spread a paragraph over an entire page, one sentence at a time. Who taught that? You see it all the time. We see it. Can't be allowed here at TQR.
[She stuffs Edward Turner's The Halloween Party out the Porthole and into the wildly whirling deluge. She watches it flutter and whip, separate and twirl]
Yeah. He wasn't happy. He wasn't in a good space.
[She shuts the Porthole, turns and walks over to the Cherrywood]
[Carol picks up a Nemo pez dispenser from the desktop, fiddles with it]
[She breaks the dispenser (totally by accident, she's not a Pez destroyer), closes her eyes, and then throws Nemo against the wardrobe, nearly hitting Boligard's childlike face. Nemo shatters and shrapnels in all sorts of directions. She breathes in, breathes out]
[doomey pulls his focus from the capital. he'd gotten a good way in, examined a majority of the capital. he looks to Carol]
None of us-
[he sucks on the Pall Mall, exhales]
-save the day. least of all, me.
[doomey gathers up the current capital and cradles it to his chest like a newborn. he hustles over to the Porthole]
Andy Hamilton's Shells in the Oceans is very much anti-TQR. sweet, calm and breezy is real good for the Harvard review and such, but god damn it-
[doomey stuffs the capital out the Porthole]
-we need twisted shit, ladies and gentlemen. we want dogs and cats living together, we want a young girl tattoo artist who tells the future through her art, we want a casual guy that leads a pack of murderous butterflies.
[doomey walks back to the Cherrywood, sits in the pilot's chair, leans back, and he sucks the life out of his Pall Mall]
we want a man who defies his nature, a man who is more than just a man, a man who makes the world better.
[he lowers his head, and then he looks over at Carol]
He crafts like one of those little girls at the pageant with her mother standing in the wings signaling to her what to do and what to say while the mother's vagina is all dried up and she's got no one else to beat on but her daughter because her husband up and left last Rodeo night at the Cactus Prick with the fucking waitress who has two kids of her own and dentures because of that fight in high school last year. Right?
[Carol walks to DePlacher's desk. She sits in the chair, brings out her bag. She begins to roll a joint, shuffling the weed, agitating the paper, shifting the center, licking the edge. She rolls a joint, leans back]
Folks. Let's focus on the opening. Let's take, for example, Charles Portis's True Grit. Crafted back in the day, 1968. That's a fucking while ago, savvy? The opening paragraph says ...
People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood...
Right? Sorry, but that is wonderful, righteous, and it fills the soul of the literati with warm butter. All's we need is something close to that, folks. I mean, you guys, the children I'm hoping click on this, need to craft better. Right? That one line, that first paragraph must make us lick our lips. I could give you multiple examples of bad intros from the last few capitals sent our way, but that'd be rude. I'm simply asking you to pay attention to your opening line. The entire opening paragraph, right? Sorry thing is, no one pays attention to us here in the trenches. They'll just continue to send us their shit piles of prose.