Christmas #5: Black Friday

"It's time for bed, Wolfgang. We have to get up real early to get in on all the deals tomorrow," Beverly yelled from downstairs with an urgent tone. [Need some identification of who Wolfgang is—her son? brother? dad? the dog? If it's not the dog, change his name.]

She tapped her foot anxiously as she felt that people were already lining up outside for the shopping rush to begin the next morning.

Looking out the kitchen window at the darkening sky, she noted the dark (change one) clouds forming together. Tomorrow was Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. She was still [delete] determined to get out and snatch those bargains, whether it rained or not. There was one sale in particular she just had to get in on.

"Good night, Wolfgang. Sleep tight!" The family was ready for bed and all hoped for a Silent Night. [trite]

[I'd cut all of the above and start here. Weave in the important info below.]
4 a.m. came too soon as the buzzing alarm clock startled Beverly awake. She forced herself up and started a pot of coffee and jumped in the shower. Dad finally forced himself out of bed. He had to work that day. He rarely got any time off other than the major holidays. He was hoping to get home in time for the last quarter of the football game. He sat down in his old beat up recliner and had a cup of black coffee just as he likes it. He thought to himself as he looked at his dusty, broken guitar in the corner that one day he should throw it out. [You've switched POV. Don't do that. Stay with Beverly. And who is Dad? Beverly's dad? or her husband?]

"Get up, Wolfgang!" Beverly said. "There is no time to eat. We'll have to pick something up while shopping."

Beverly looked outside and noticed that it had in fact rained. In the distance she noticed what appeared to be a Grey Rainbow. [What? Why is it capitalized? Is this important? If so, need some description. If not, leave it out.]

Traffic was pretty heavy that morning. Everybody was out. If they weren't driving to work, they were speeding to and from the retail stores trying to get a bargain. They [they who? Where have they already been? How long?] had just one more stop to make that morning at a strip mall just south of town.

"You stay in the car Wolfie, I won't be too long." [Who is Wolfie??? If it's a kid, she better not be leaving him in the car. If it's a dog, wouldn't she have left him in the car the whole time?]

Wolfie was used to staying in the car for short periods of time every now and again. This time, however, he felt All Alone. [Changed POV again. Don't. Why is All Alone capitalized?]

Sometime later [when? 10 minutes, an hour, two? Be specific.], Beverly came out carrying a large box.

"I got the last one, Wolfie! I almost plowed over a couple people but I got it!" Beverly said as she loaded it into the trunk.

She soon realized that Wolfie had fallen asleep. She turned on the radio, keeping the volume down.

As they drove past the church Beverly noticed a small group of people outside holding up signs saying "Honk if you love Jesus." Heading up the rally was local do-gooder who was known in the community as Brother Walt. She tried with all her might to honk in support of them but the horn was not working.

"Daddy, they don't love Jesus," a little boy complained. [Switching POV. Get back to Beverly. We only hear and see what she hears and sees.]

"We Can't Get Them All," [Don't capitalize.] Brother Walt replied. "Come on son, let's go have some lunch. It looks like it's going to rain again. We'll come back later this afternoon."

Beverly was almost back home when she starting thinking again of the group of people outside the church. She decided it would be nice to bring them all some fresh coffee. She quickly turned around and started to head towards the local coffee shop about a mile before town. She bought plenty of coffee and sweets for the group and headed back towards the church. About a mile before she got back into town her car stalled.

The car just wouldn't start back up. She tried everything she could think of but had no luck. It all started to make sense. Her horn was not working earlier because her car battery was going out. Wolfgang was still fast asleep so Beverly got out of the car and opened the hood in the hopes that someone would come to their rescue. Finally, after what seemed like forever she saw a car coming!

"Dad, it's the lady who doesn't love Jesus. Should we stop?" said the boy from the church. [Jumping POV. If you want to have this info in here, you need to change to an omniscient POV from the beginning.]

"Nah, maybe next time she'll honk."

Brother Walt sounded his horn three times as they passed by.

Not long after another car drove by. This time, however, the car stopped. It was Robert and Carol Bell, a young couple from town. Robert quickly set up his jumper cables and got her car running again.

Carol of the Bells was recently married. [No, no, no. Too trite. And we really don't need to know anything from this paragraph.] It was a nice ceremony, though Carol's father did not attend. It's not that he refused to come to the wedding, he just so happened to have other plans that day. It was obvious he did not approve of the marriage.

Carol learned what Wolfie and Beverly were up to and offered to take the goods to the church goers, letting Beverly and Wolfie drive home. Beverly hoped that Dad would be able to replace the battery.

The coffee was still steaming hot when the Bells arrived. They parked in back and went inside.

It had been a couple years since Carol had been inside that Church. It looked, smelt [smelled] and felt exactly the same. This was where she spent every Sunday for most of her childhood. There was old Mrs. Bucky at the reception desk. She hadn't changed at all.

"Hello Mary, do you remember me? This is my husband Robert. We brought some coffee for everyone". Carol said.

"Oh of course I do, Carol! Brother Walt, your daughter is here and she brought us all some coffee." Mary shouted.

"Praise the lord, it's my daughter. Thank you! That is a very nice thing for you guys to do," Walt replied from a distance.

"We're dropping it off for someone else, Dad. A nice lady and her son stalled just outside town. We stopped to jump her car and she let us know she was on her way here to bring this for everyone," Carol said.

"Dad, was that the lady we passed by on our way back?" Walt's son asked.

"Yes son, I think it was." Walt said. He then paused briefly and asked, "Carol, how about I take you and Robert out for dinner tonight? It's been too long since we all got together."

Robert was quick to answer for them. "We'd really enjoy that! I can drive us."

Brother Walt grabbed his purple raincoat that was thrown over a chair and the four of them left. [All this stuff about Carol and Brother Walt is tangential to the story. It's actually a second story of its own.]

Meanwhile Beverly and Wolfie made it home and were surprised to see Dad. He had already made it home for the second half of the game.

Wolfie went upstairs to play while Beverly sat down next to Dad. [Still don't know who or what Wolfie is.] He was now enjoying a drink and was pretty happy about how the game was concluding. Beverly just smiled as she looked over in the corner at the old guitar, thinking of the big yellow box hiding in the trunk. [assuming there's a guitar in it?]

What I liked best: I liked the theme of not judging others.

Magazine ready? No. This one needs a lot of work, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have potential. First, take a refresher course on Point of View (POV). You need to decide which one works best and stick with it. Second, decide which story you're telling—the one about Beverly who goes out of her way to get her dad a new guitar; or the one about Bro. Walt who learns a lesson about judging others and reunites with his daughter, Carol.

For Beverly's story, use her POV and pump up the part about her father and how he loves his music, but his old guitar is really beat up. Describe her struggle to get a new one for him. Put in some challenges--like it's Christmas Eve and she barely makes it to the store on time to get it, or something. Drop the whole part about Bro. Walt and Carol.

For Bro. Walt's story, use his POV. Pump up his judgmental attitude, let us know how he aches over missing Carol and her husband, why he didn't approve, etc. Then have him learn his lesson and realize how wrong he was. He needs to show by his actions and thoughts that he really gets it and is changing.

Black Friday really has nothing to do with either story. And please, please, identify who Wolfie is.


Margaret Turley said...

Interesting way to show that you reap what you sow sometimes and other times you reap what others sow.

Taffy said...

Interesting story! I liked that Beverly still took coffee.