Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Patterns: The Opening Paragraphs

Patterns is my new work in progress, a tale about Ryan Williams who wins what he thinks is a Go board at a prize drawing, but it turns out to be something far more insidious and as he uncovers its secrets, it begins to change him. Here are the opening paragraphs (still to be considered a rough draft)

“Our next drawing is for a traditional Go board.”

The crowd went silent waiting as the owner of Walt’s Cards and Games rummaged through the bowl that held slips with names of those who came to celebrate the store’s tenth anniversary. He plucked out a yellow piece of paper and Walt squinted as he made out the spidery handwriting. “Ryan Williams!”

There was sporadic applause as Ryan raised his hand. “Here!”

Walt held up his hands for silence. “I want to thank all of you for coming and celebrating our anniversary. I want to congratulate the ten people who won our drawing and when you come up to claim your prize, please bring some picture ID.”

Ryan made his way through the crowd that now focused on the table offering free snacks and treats Walt had made available for the celebration. Waiting patiently in line, he tried to suppress his jealousy as winners before him walked away with rare and expensive board games. A young kid walked by holding a copy of The Campaign For North Africa and Ryan doubted the boy actually had the ability to even understand the most basic rules. Maybe he’ll trade with me.

When he got to the front, Walt waved his ID away. “Know you well enough, Ryan. Enjoy.” With that, he handed a large, plain cardboard box to Ryan who whistled at the feel of weight and substance.

“Looks like I’m going to be learning something new,” Ryan said.

Walt smiled. “They’ve been playing Go for almost six millennia and I think I’ve had this game for that long. Never could find anybody interested in it, but if you can get some enjoyment out of it, I’m just glad to let it go.”

Ryan smiled. “So what you’re saying is that I’m getting your unsold junk?”

Walt pointed his finger at Ryan’s face in mock anger. “Walt’s Cards and Games never sells junk. But I’m willing to let you trade this for a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.”

Ryan laughed at the offer. “No thanks. I like myself. I’ll learn to play Go.”

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