The Rehabilitation (rather than killing) of Liza’s Darlings.
When writing the first draft of Worst Week Ever, inspired to show vs. tell, I scripted the entire Broadway show Trent and Carrie see on Monday. While my critters thought it sounded like an excellent show, watching a two hour show IN my book seemed excessive. So slowly I came to reason and began whittling it away. This scene has now been condensed to a paragraph. This is an earlier version where we watch some of the antics that occurred. (Don’t worry, it’s not the two hour version.)
A soothing low announcer voice that made him think of liquid chocolate filled the auditorium.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together for the dynamic duo, Tall and Tiny.”
The entire auditorium stood, clapped and yelled as a seven-foot man and his four-foot partner entered the empty stage with a fishing pole, a pink plastic bucket, and a giant umbrella with a bull’s-eye painted on its canvas.
They stopped center stage and waved at the crowd. Tall scratched his head and spoke, “Boy, whoever said New Yorkers weren’t friendly is nuts.”
Tiny reached into the bucket and pulled out a four foot cut-out of New Jersey. He pointed to the watch on his wrist and then to Jersey.
“You think so?” Tall asked.
Tiny nodded his head in sweeping ups and downs.
Tall stared at the audience. “How many of you are from New Jersey?” The crowd roared and two thirds of the audience raised their hands, including, of course, Carrie.
“Well, Tiny, you’re mostly right, but the other third is from New York.”
Tiny shook his head then buried it in the bucket pulling out a five foot shape of Iowa.
A group of people yelled from the right cheap seats. He continued to pull out giant foam states from the small bucket.
Trent guessed there was a hole in the bottom, because the growing foam pieces the fellow had thus far pulled out of it would barely fit in a moving van.
Someone yelled out California. Tiny stared into the bucket then stuck his arm and shoulder into the bucket, trying to reach the state. He tried again, with his head and arms disappearing in the bucket.
Tall walked over and picked up the bucket and stared beneath it, revealing a solid floor. He sat Tiny, stuck in the bucket, back on the floor and grabbed the fellow’s wiggling feet and with a foot on the rim of the bucket, he pulled the little guy out and to the crowd’s delight, out came Tiny with a fifteen-foot-long and six-foot-wide foam cut out of California. The entire crowd stood and applauded as the little fellow performed gymnastics on the multitude of states covering the bare floor. Coming down from New York, he leapt onto New Jersey, rolled himself inside it and would have flown off the stage had Tall not stopped it. Yet, when the giant, gangly man unraveled the state, Tiny was no longer inside.
“These guys are amazing!” Trent yelled to Carrie over the cheering of the audience.
Her eyes sparkled with joy as she nodded in agreement.
Now alone on the stage, sorrowful Tall looked around and shrugged.
“We love you,” someone yelled from the audience.
Instantly, he pulled a giant ring from his suit and sent it flying across the audience. The spot light followed it and a middle aged woman caught and hugged it to her chest before sitting down.
When Trent returned his focus on Tall, the man opened his bull’s-eye umbrella so the top of the canvas faced the audience. As he twirled the umbrella, the pattern seemed to spread out until it disappeared, leaving a pure white umbrella. Then from behind it, Tall retrieved a wooden chair that he kept unfolding until it became a long deck recliner.
Impossible. Trent had no idea how they were doing any of this.
He gripped Carrie’s hand in his. This was the best thing he’d ever seen in his life!
The lugubrious mournful fellow tried to sit in his recliner, but it was too small, so he tugged at both ends and the side, then sat back down and astoundingly it now fit him perfectly. He reached for his fishing pole and cast it over the heads of the audience.
Trent turned to see where it went but he couldn’t tell, so he resumed watching Tall.
He was glad he’d turned back around, because Tiny was trying his hardest to crawl out of the bucket. He kept waving at Tall, but Mr. Morose was staring out upon the imaginary water and didn’t see him.
“Save Tiny!” someone yelled and soon the audience was chanting ‘Save Tiny,’ Trent and Carrie included.
Finally, Tall turned to see his friend stuck in the bucket. He ran to the fellow and tried to pull him out, and almost did. Only his feet remained stuck inside, thus the bucket rose off the solid floor and its plastic bottom was visible to the audience. With a swat of Tall’s hand, the bucket fell away.
The moment he set his tiny friend down, Tiny ran to the chair, pushed it into a much smaller chair, then takes up the fishing pole. Tall walks to the umbrella, spins it the other way, making the circle move to
the center and pulled out another chair from seemingly nowhere for himself. However before he has time to sit in it, Tiny gets a strike and despite some hysterically funny mule-like resistance, the unseen fish slowly pulled Tiny closer to the edge. With a sudden hard tug, Tiny flew off the stage.
Trent held his hands out ready to catch the fellow, while the man beside him covered his head.
Amazingly, Tall ran across the stage and snatched Tiny’s foot at the last second. The little guy now became an extension of the fishing pole for Tall. When Tall pulled back and up on Tiny’s foot, the small man lifted along with his pole.
Their imaginary fish put up an enormous fight, and the slapstick had Trent laughing harder than he ever had in his life. Tears were streaming down his face by the time someone squealed and he turned around to see a forty foot giant grey whale struggling above him.
The animated whale looked shockingly real. The air even smelled of salt water.
The battle was ferocious and just when it looked they’d beach the monster, Tiny slipped out of the shoe that Tall held onto. A second later, the little fellow flew into the mouth of the whale, who burped and swam off into the blackness.
When Trent refocused on the stage, Tall was weeping. He then looked at the audience as he cradled Tiny’s shoe. “Never take life for granted. Treasure every moment. Love when you can, not when it’s convenient.”
The man’s sunken remorseful eyes stared straight into Trent’s.
Hope you enjoyed Act One of Tall and Tiny’s Broadway show!
Worst Week Ever
by Liza O’Connor
New Adult, Humor, Contemporary
What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?
Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love.
Worst Week Ever.
Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant, or as his drivers refers to Carrie: ‘Trent’s brain, left hand, and right hand’. He’s had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry his brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he’s threatened to fire her, he’s not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie’s Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.
(Hilarious to the reader–Carrie is not having much fun this week.)
Carrie squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the thump of a body against the limo’s hood.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted Sam take a shortcut,” Trent muttered beneath his breath.
She groaned softly. If her boss questioned his actions, then matters must look grim outside. She tensed even further, expecting to hear multiple bodies slam into the car.
Sam braked hard, turned right, and resumed driving a billion miles an hour. If not for the seat belts, she and Trent would’ve sailed into the front seat, and then plastered against the door. To secure her further, Trent protectively placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his warm chest.
She focused on the thumping of his heart. It beat once to three of hers. God, how can he be so calm?
Determined to match his bravery, she tried to raise her head, but he wouldn’t let her.
“Just a little longer, I hope. Sam, when do we depart this third world country?”
“Two more blocks, sir.”
“Thank God. You’ve terrified poor Carrie to death.”
Instantly, the limo’s speed dropped.
She turned her head sideways so Sam might be able to hear her words. “Your driving doesn’t frighten me, Sam, the neighborhood does.”
As if on cue, a round of three loud pops sounded, followed by three thunks into her side door. She squeaked like a mouse at the first thunk. By the third, her body shivered in fear.
Trent’s arms tightened around her as the limo picked up speed again. “We’re okay,” he assured her, then his lips pressed against her temple. His calm certainty silenced her tremors.
Having successfully soothed her, he released his outrage upon Sam. “Why the hell did you drive us through here?”
Sam calmly replied as he drove the car at a billion miles an hour, taking corners at deadly speeds. “I warned you the locals might not welcome us.”
“Someone just shot at us?” Trent yelled.
Sam’s nonchalant reply sounded almost surreal. “I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to take it personally, sir.”
Maybe none of this is happening. Maybe I fell asleep in the traffic and my dream has gone rogue.
Her heart calmed and she nuzzled closer to Trent, breathing in his masculine scent. Secure in her dream, she confessed something she never would in real life. “You smell good.”
Trent’s arms relaxed a bit and he chuckled. “It’s called Trent. I had the cologne custom developed. They assessed my natural odors and then determined the optimal combination of scents to create my unique smell.”
She snorted. Even in her dreams, he remained the strangest man she’d ever met. If she had all the money in the world, she’d try to end poverty and violence in…whatever hell they’d just driven through, not have some custom designed perfume created so she’d smell really, really good.
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
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