Monday, July 11, 2011

Snippet: The Bowl-Off

Exercise: Setting/Characters. Write a short scene where you introduce characters interacting with each other in a particular setting.


The charity bowl was off to a good start. Teams from all the area leagues competed against each other. It was all for fun--everyone cheered each other and winced over splits and near-misses.

Dan Graham looked up at the scoreboard and groaned. His team was down by a good fifty pins. In the tenth (and last) frame, he had gotten an ugly 7-10 split and couldn't pick it up. He shot an apologetic look over at the next team. They shrugged their sympathy. This new team would bowl against the winner, and it wasn't going to be Dan's team.

Dan rolled his eyes as the final bowler got up to the lane. Steve Ayakamura was his best friend; he was the first to admit Steve was a better bowler than he was. The man just stepped up and delivered the job without much fanfare. Steve was always like that, whether it was on the bowling lane or busting perps as part of the vice squad. Still, it annoyed the hell out of Dan sometimes.

Crash! The first ball was a strike. Dan saw movement out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see an attractive dark-haired woman approaching him. She grinned and held out a hand. The other hand jangled a set of keys on a keyring.

"Hi, Mori." Dan pulled her into a hug that swept her off her feet. She laughed and hugged him back.

"Hi yourself, stranger." Mori Ayakamura grinned up at him, then glanced at the scoreboard."I see you're in trouble."

"No thanks to your brother," Dan complained. He saw the keys in her hand and chuckled. "You know, your brother's the only man I know who can get a 200 average and still forget his keys."

She rolled her eyes and muttered, "You should hear his wife complain."

Crash! Three strikes in a row, and Steve's score flashed upon the screen: 230. Dan groaned and said, "Well, that's the nail in our coffin."

Steve smiled as he made his way to his sister's side. It turned sheepish as he saw the keys. "Did it again, didn't I, little sister?"

Mori gave the keys a quick underhanded toss; Steve snatched them out of the air with his left hand, as quick as a magician with his illusions. "I swear, Steve, I'm gonna pin those damn keys to your trousers."

His grin widened at the familiar refrain. "Theresa would look at you funny if you did," he teased back. "You bowled yet?"

She shook her head, the long dark hair swinging at the movement. "We're still waiting. It looks like the team from Haverson's going to be our opponents this time around."

"They're tough," Dan commented. "We lost the Copperfield tournament to them last year."

"Well, we'll give it our best shot.," Mori said in an offhand tone. "It's all for fun anyway. If we're beat, then Steve'll pick 'em to pieces."

Steve shrugged goodnaturedly. "Whose the one being competitive here?"

"You're too nice, big brother." She winked at them and added, "Good luck." Then Mori turned and made her way back to the other end of the alley.

Dan watched her go. "She's a fiery one, your sister."

"She's soft under that prickly skin, but you already knew that."

Dan sighed. Yes, he knew. Mori and he were good friends, even lovers at one point in time, but it would never work out. They were too much alike; much too stubborn, much too fiery. You can't change her, and you know you aren't going to change. Dan put that thought aside with a hint of regret.

"Well looks like the second round's about to start," he said aloud.

"You going back to the station?"

"Nah, I think I'm going to stick around. Give you some moral support."

Steve made a face; it creased his broad features. "Gee, thanks."

"What are friends for?" Dan settled back to watch round two of the bowl-off.

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