Author Topic: Lit Fiction First chapt 1933 words sports novel Dot Dot  (Read 26 times)

Offline mhoag

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Lit Fiction First chapt 1933 words sports novel Dot Dot
« on: July 08, 2018, 04:30:17 PM »
Hi all,

Here's the first few pages of my baseball novel Dot Dot. Any comment, long or short, is very welcome. If you're interested in beta reviewing the full 75800 word version, please post a request.

Thanks so much.

Dot Dot

“George. Go,” said a voice upstairs.
George was sitting busily adjusting a left sock but now stood standing. Standing so hastily interrupted everything. That left sock still needed a lot of work.
“Go.”
George had a few options. George could stay standing, sit back down, stand then sit, sit then later stand or crouch but in the end just lunged at that rogue sock.
“It’s after twelve. Go.”
George finished with the sock and stood back up.
“I need an alarm.”
George thought about alarms but in the end decided no:
“No. I’d just snub it.”
George thought some more:
“A pie clock would work. I’d notice a pie.”
Continued thinking:
“If I had a pie clock, I’d leave every afternoon to a nice ding and a fresh piece of pie.”
Just a little bit more thinking:
“Fresh pie before work would be comfy.”
“George. Go.”
George picked up the pre-pasted toothbrush from the nightstand, took off its wax paper wrapper and scrubbed the back jaw, the tongue, palate, cheeks and roof and gave a quick final sweep over the front teeth.
George loved that pre pasted toothbrush with its wax wrapper, bamboo handle and hog’s hair bristles. The bristles gently massaged the teeth. The wax paper wrapper kept the paste fresh and the bristles moist. And the bamboo handle never proffered any nasty casting seams. It was a great brush. George held dear to the complete Overnight brand product line: the 6AM, the 10AM, the Midday, the Midafternoon, the 10:30PM and their masthead, the Midnight Brush. George loved the Midnight with its timed alarm, night light, easy grip steering wheel handle and famous ad:

Cleaning teeth
Cleaning teeth
Nothing’s better
—Than cleaning teeth.

George sang the first three lines softly and the fourth out loud.
“Stop singing,” said the voice. “Go.”
George quieted down, put on the two zori and shuffled across the bedroom floor to set the hanao straps between the two split toe tabi socks. The left hanao pulled uncomfortably to the right and refused to align properly between the big and first toe. George shuffled back and forth a few more times around the bed adjusting those vexing hanaos.
“Stop shuffling. Go. Go. Go.”
George ran out of the bedroom, glanced at the little clay pig on the living room shelf, turned left, glanced at the tiny framed hall photograph of a mountain, crossed the kitchen, walked out the front door and down the three front porch steps.
George had the age, height, dark eyes, full dark hair and thin ears, but jutted out a little at the belly. George also had two scars. Scar number one was an old cursive capital H scar on the outside right first finger second knuckle crafted from an old router chamfer bit, and scar number two was a very old banana scar on the left knee from rolling down a cool hill. People with age, height, two scars and who jut out a little at the belly often walk down treacherous city porch steps with surging nail heads and old rain worn handrails bouncing elbows for balance. George bounced elbows down the old troublesome porch steps regally, altogether in harmony with full elbow amity and grim cadence. George paused at the bottom, nodded in stair descending affirmation and full bouncing elbow luster, turned left, glanced at a neighbor’s wrought iron railing, turned right, glanced at the dotted yellow line in the city street, said hey to dog walking people and hey to parents walking children and counted trees:

Tree
Tree
Tree
—Tree.

 George hummed the first three trees, sang the fourth out loud and dribbled toothpaste. George was feeling especially canny that morning and almost immediately noticed the dribble and rubbed the toothpaste into the red, green, blue, purple and orange kanoko shibori shirt until the stain disappeared.
The left zori flapped and the hanao strap shifted uncomfortably against the left tabi sock. George shuffled to align the hanao, but that zori refused to set. George stopped and adjusted the hanao using the right big toe. Work demanded strong toe agility, and George easily straightened the hanao strap and after a few steps found that good zori rhythm:

Lift
Glide
Trail
—Set.

The foot lifted. The foot glided. The zori heel trailed. And the foot nicely set.
George’s city neighborhood was once a famous publishing center. State universities and eastern cities carried off the publishing houses many decades ago and left nothing. Years later, used bookstores, coffee houses and hardware chains, home brokers and theaters took over the old company offices, and slowly the jobs returned. The grocery stores never went away, since no one could convert a corner, street level, thousand foot square floor plan with big storefront windows and double glass doors into anything but retail grocery. Every generation added new products without discarding the old. Obsolete laundry aids sat next to the most vanguard fruit and vegetables. George waved at the grocery store owner and picked out two bottles of vegetable juice, a bag of bite size carrots and six packages of shelled nuts and dried fruit. George prized the big nuts and preferred filberts but had to settle for almonds and peanuts mixed with chocolate and sugary bits of dry cake.
“You’re buying nuts today,” said the store owner.
“Yes,” said George.
The owner tapped a finger.
“But you’re not in today’s rotation,” added the owner.
“No.”
“And yet you are still buying nuts.”
“Yes, I guess I am.”
This store owner was tall, thin and prone to toppling like a vase of flowers and so, like a lot of tall store owners, did not like to stand. When alone, the owner sat. When around most customers, the owner stood wavering. With George in the store, the owner leaned forward on the counter in peace.
“You haven’t played since April twenty ninth.”
“It’s been since May eighth.”
The store owner tapped a finger on the counter.
“You only touched the mound on May eighth.”
“Touching counts.”
“No, in fact it does not. You left at the one and one count. A one and one count is not a full third of an inning,” said the owner.
“A strike still counts.”
The owner did not like to stand but did like to shelve. George agreed. Shelving had the redundancy, things counted and things stacked, rank, order, the vertical and the horizontal. Shelving was just great fun. George sometimes shelved with the owner but could never keep up. The owner had the fingers and eyes, steady hands and the good vertical legs needed for great shelving. Except for the long curly black hair tied in a bun that sometimes got in the way, this one was just shelving perfect.
“Do you want to hear your numbers?” asked the owner.
“No thank you.”
The owner read:
“Four point four nine. One and three. Six point nine.”
“Well, okay then. Good. I’m doing better,” said George.
“No, in fact you are not. You are zero point three percent worse,” said the owner.
“You’re including the beginning of last month.”
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m only counting the last thirty days.”
“Thirty days is not an official interval of time.”
George shrugged.
“Time is time.”
“No. In fact time is not time,” said the owner. “Only official time is time.”
The owner like a lot of store owners played cricket, which surprised everyone except cricketers, store owners and other store shelvers. Cricket and store shelving both required good fingers and good eyes, steady hands and good vertical legs—and some right and left handed fluency.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Griffith.”
“Yes. I will also see you tomorrow.”
George left with the carrots, juice and nuts, took out a plastic box and pulled out a full double arm span of dental floss. George liked fresh clean floss and demanded each tooth receive its own half foot. George crossed the stadium side street and heard the familiar click click click of a bat hitting a pitched ball for batting practice.
Click.
“Hey you. Throw doughnuts.”
George waved at the three kids standing outside the stadium wall.
“I always throw doughnuts,” said George.
Click.
“Throw doughnuts,” said the three kids.
“I always do.”
Click.
“Hey, George. Are you pitching today?”
“I pitch every day.”
Click.
“Pitch doughnuts. We want baseballs,” said the three kids.
A ball soared over the stadium wall. One kid stepped back, caught the ball on the first bounce and flipped it backhanded with both eyes tightly closed into a plastic bucket full of more balls. George stared at the kid’s clever trick throw.
“That was a pretty good pitch,” thought George.
Click.
“Who’s hitting now?” asked George.
“Behii. Can’t you hear?” said the three kids.
Click.
George crossed the parking lot to the player’s entrance. Security gestured to the right, and George walked to the public entrance a few yards away.
“Do you have a ticket?” asked an usher.
“I play,” said George.
“Do you have identification?” asked the usher.
“No,” said George.
“Does anyone here know you?” asked the usher.
“Those three kids back there know me.”
“Is this your first season?”
“I’ve played for years.”
“For which team?”
“For this team.”
The usher waved down another usher.
“Is this one good?”
The second usher looked up.
“That one’s good,” said the second usher.
“You’re good,” said the first usher.
“Thank you,” said George.
“Not a concern,” said the first usher.
Of the two main stadium entrances, public and player, the public entrance had more public, but the player entrance had more stairs. In the player entrance, George counted steps: one two three four five six seven. In the public entrance, George glanced and stepped. Glancing and stepping are a lot more fun than counting, though at times George had to admit counting felt more practical.
George promptly and in correct order glanced at the Gabby Hartnett 1922 1940 banner, the Arizona wall stain, the dusty string hanging from the stadium superstructure and stepped on the high end of a permanently puddled floor drain. George glanced without hesitation and stepped without wetting either tabi sock. Not hesitating and not wetting tabi were rare and singular events. And so, George exalted and rejoiced in silent far-reaching glancing and stepping triumph.
George stood in line behind the others at the back entrance door next to the big green Wigley Field dumpster. A kid walked up.
“Hey. What’s your number, huh?” asked the kid.
“Forty three,” answered George.
The kid looked at the day’s program.
“There’s no forty three,” said the kid.
“I’m relief.”
The kid looked at George suspiciously. The thing about this kid was this kid like a lot of kids had comportment—and a cool toothbrush hat.
“Hey. How come you’re not wearing a number, huh?”
“I’m not dressed yet,” said George.
“Then how come you’re not dressed like that one?”
The kid pointed at an athlete in a suit and tie.
“That one makes more money than I do.”
“Hey. Then how come I’m dressed better than you, huh?”
“I’m sure you also make more money than me.”
“I get an allowance,” said the kid.
“I run five miles every day,” said George.
“I make my bed every day,” said the kid.
George proudly straightened.
“I never make my bed.”
“Who makes your bed?”
“No one.”
“You sleep in an unmade bed?” asked the astonished kid.
“Yup.”
“Do you want my signature?” asked George.
“What’s your name?”
“George.”
The kid turned to a parent who frowned and shook no. Another kid saw George talking to the first kid and asked for George’s name.