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Diamonds in the Sky [Fan Fiction]

posted by Red Panda on - last edited - Viewed by 2.9K users
On his way west James picked up a hitch hiker, a young woman carrying a paper bag and a leather purse, wearing jeans and a shawl--which she didn't take off, though it was more than ninety degrees out and James had no air conditioning. He was driving an old Toyota Camry with a bad valve system and one long crack in the windshield. He pulled over for her, and she got right in, put the leather purse on the seat between them, and settled herself with the paper bag on her lap between her hands. He had just crossed into Texas from Oklahoma. This was the third day of the trip.

"Where you headed?" he asked.

She said, "What about you?"

"LA, maybe."

"Why maybe?"

And that fast he was answering her questions. "I just graduated college," he told her, though that wasn't exactly the truth. He decided to take a year off from his graduate program after he spent two months in the county jail for assaulting a man at a local bar. He was a bad character. He had a bad temper that got him into plenty of trouble already, and he just wanted to go to LA, to wide open spaces. Just to experience it, really. He had a feeling that people didn't require as much from a person where there was that kind of room.

He didn't have any family now. He had a one-hundred thousand dollars from his father's life insurance policy, and he was going to make the money last a while. He said, "I'm trying to figure out a lot right now."

"Not me," she said.

"You figure out where you're going?"

"You could say that."

"What are you thinking?"

She made a fist and then extended her thumb, and turned it over. "Under," she said. "Down."

"I don't understand what that means."

"Does the radio work?" she asked, reaching for it.

"It's broken," he said.

She pressed the button anyway. Then she sat back and folded her arms over the paper bag.

He took a glance at her. She was skinny and long-necked, and her hair was the color of dark chocolate. She looked just old enough for high school.

"What's in the bag?" he said.

She sat up a little. "Nothing. Another blouse."

"So what did you mean back there?"

"Back where?"

"Look," he said, "we don't have to do any talking if you don't want to."

"Then what will we do?"

"Whatever you want" he said.

"What if I just want to sit here and let you drive me all the way to LA?"

"That's fine," he said. "I don't mind."

"Well, I wouldn't want to do that. We can talk."

"Are you going to LA?" he asked.

She gave a little shrug of her shoulders. "Why not?"

"Sounds like we have a plan," he said, and for some reason he offered her his hand. She looked at it and then smiled at him, and he put his hand back on the wheel.
Red Panda;685129 said:
To Be Continued...
64 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • What is this crap?:eek:


    Had to get you back for my thread

    good work :D
  • It got a little awkward almost right away. The heat was awful, and she sat there sweating, not saying much. He never thought he was very smooth with the ladies or anything, and he had been locked away in the library for the past year; it had been a while since he found himself alone with a woman. Finally, she fell asleep, and for a few miles he could look at her without worrying about anything but staying on the road. He decided that she was kind of cute, especially her eyes and mouth. If she ever filled out, she might be something. He caught himself wondering what might happen, thinking of sex. A girl who traveled alone like this was probably pretty down for sex. Without quite realizing it, he began to daydream about her, and when he got aroused by the daydream he tried to concentrate on figuring his chances, playing his cards right, not messing up any opportunities--but being a gentleman, too. He was not the kind of guy to be forceful with a woman. She slept very quietly, not breathing loudly or sighing or moving much, and then she simply sat up and folded her arms over the bag again and stared out at the road.

    God," she said, " I was out cold."

    "You hungry?" he asked.


    "What's your name?"

    "Harleen Quinzel," she said, and, winking at him, made a clicking noise out the side of her mouth.

    "Harleen. I've never met anyone named Harleen before," he said.

    "Don't you know who Harleen Quinzel is?"

    All he knew was that it was a familiar sounding name. "Harleen Quinzel..." he thought out loud.

    She put her index fingerto the side of his head and said, "Want me to take care of him, Mr. J?" with her best Brooklyn accent.


    "Come on," she said. "Harley Quinn? Batman?"

    "Oh," he said. " I remember her now. I used to watch the Batman cartoon when I was kid."

    "That's me," she said, sliding down into her chair. "Harleen Quinzel."

    "That's not your real name."

    "It's the only one I got these days."

    They rode in silence for a time.

    "What's your name?" she asked.

    He told her.


    "I guess. It's pretty common."

    "Where you from, James?"


    "Where's that?"

    "It's next to San Francisco. Ever heard of UC Berkeley? It's kind of a big deal."

    "Nope" she said almost flippantly. "Long way from home."

    "I haven't been there in years."

    "Where have you been?"

    "Harvard and a little time in jail," he said. He hadn't known he would say it and now that he had he kept his eyes on the road. He might as well been posing for her; he had an image of himself as he must look from the side, and he shifted his weight a little, sat up straight. When he stole a glance at her, he saw that she was simply gazing out the window, one hand up like a visor to shade her eyes.

    "What about you? he asked, and felt like somebody in a movie--two people with a past come together on the open road. He wondered how he could get the talk around the subject of love.

    "What about me?"

    "Where you from?"

    "I don't want to bore you with all the facts," she said.

    "I don't mind," James said. "FYI, nerds love facts."

    "I'm from way up north"

    "Okay," he said, "you want me to guess?"

    "Maine," she said. "Land of moose and lobster."

    He said, "Maine. I don't know much about it, except it's famous for lobster."

    "See?" she said. "The facts are just a lot of things that don't change. Nothing exciting."

    "Unless you change them," James said.

    She reached down and, with elaborate care, as if it were fragile, put the paper bag on the floor. Then she leaned back and put her feet up on the dash. She was wearing low-cut Converse.

    "You going to sleep?" he asked.

    "Just relaxing," she said. But a moment later, when he asked if she wanted to stop and eat, she didn't answer. He looked over and saw that she was sound asleep.
    Red Panda;685142 said:
    To Be Continued...
  • AceStarr;685123 said:
    What is this crap?:eek:


    Had to get you back for my thread

    good work :D
    All is fair in love and war. lol It doesn't bother me. But thanks.
  • He drove on until dusk, only stopping for gas, and the girl slept right through. Just past the line in New Mexico he pulled off the interstate and went north for a mile or so, looking for some place other than a chain restaurant to eat. She sat up straight and pushed the hair back from her face.

    “Where are we?”

    “New Mexico,” he said. “I’m looking for a place to eat.”

    “I’m not hungry.”

    “Well,” he said, “you might be able to go all day without eating, but I got a three-meal-a-day habit to support.”

    She brought the paper bag up from the floor and held it in her lap.

    “You got food in there?”


    “You’re cute--childlike, sort of, when you sleep.”

    “I didn’t snore?”

    “You were quiet as a mouse.”

    “And you think I’m cute.”

    “Yeah. I hope I didn’t offend you.”

    “I don’t like dirty remarks,” she said. “But I guess you didn’t mean to be dirty.”

    “Dirty?” he asked

    “Sometimes people can say a thing like that and mean it very dirty, but I could tell you didn’t.”

    He pulled in at a roadside diner and turned the ignition off. “Well?” he said.

    She sat there with the bag on her lap. “I don’t think I’ll go in with you.”

    “You can have a cold drink or something.” he said.

    “You go in. I’ll wait out here.”

    “Come in there with me and have a cold drink,” James said. “I’lll buy it for you. I’ll buy you dinner, if you want.”

    “I don’t want to,” she said.

    He got out and started for the entrance, and before he could reach it, he heard her door open and close, and turned to watch her come toward him, thin and waiflike in the shawl, which her arms and hands.

    The diner was empty. A long, low counter ran along one side, with soda fountains and glass cases in which pies and cakes were set. There were booths along one wall. Everything seemed in order, except on one was around.

    James and the girl stood in the doorway for a moment and waited, and finally she stepped in and took a seat in the first booth. “I guess we’re supposed to seat ourselves,” she said.

    “This is weird,” James said.

    “Hey,” she said, rising. “A jukebox.” She strode over to it and leaned on it, crossing one leg behind the other at the ankle, her hair falling down to hide her face.

    “Hello?” james said. “Anybody here?”

    “Got any change?” the girl asked.

    He gave her a quarter and then sat at the counter. A door at the fat end of the diner swung out and a big, pasty looking man entered, wearing a white cook’s apron over a sweat stained baby-blue shirt, the sleeves of which had rolled up past the meaty curve of his elbows. He walked towards James with a strange gait, like his leg was injured.

    “You open?” James asked.
    Red Panda;685175 said:
    To be Continued...
  • maybe if we ignore red panda he'll go away...

    right so looking at this you need to work on your flow of words and instead of jumping around the situations and area's people blend them together more because imo saying one thing about a person then using a comma to then move on to place is jarring..
  • Milosuperspesh;685161 said:
    maybe if we ignore red panda he'll go away...
    Milosuperspesh;685161 said:

    right so looking at this you need to work on your flow of words and instead of jumping around the situations and area's people blend them together more because imo saying one thing about a person then using a comma to then move on to place is jarring..
    I don't know what you're talking about. This isn't helpful. You couldn't be anymore vague. Why not point out passages and edit passages since you seem to be in such a generous spirit to help.
  • “That jukebox doesn't work, honey,” the man said.

    “You open?” James said, as the girl came and sat down beside him.

    “I guess maybe I am.”

    “Place is kind of empty.”

    “What do you want to eat?”

    “You got a menu?”

    “You want a menu?”

    “Sure,” James said. “Why not.”

    “Truth is,” the big man said, “I’m selling this place. I don’t have menus anymore. I make hamburgers and breakfast stuff. Some french fries and cold drinks. I’m not keeping track.”

    “Let’s go somewhere else,” the girl said.

    “Yeah,” the big man said, “why don’t you do that.”

    “Hold on,” James said, “what’s the story here? You open or not?”

    The other man shrugged. “You came in at the end of a run, you know what I mean?” I’m going out of business. Sit down and I’ll make you a hamburger, on the house.”

    James looked at the girl.

    “Okay,” she said, in a tone that made it clear that she would've been happier to leave.

    The big man put his hands on the bar and leaned toward her. “Miss, if I were you, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.”

    “I don’t like hamburger,” she said.

    “You want a hot dog?” the man said. “I got a hot dog for you. Guaranteed to please.”

    “I’ll have some french fries,” she said.

    The big man turned to the grill and opened the metal drawer under it. He was very wide at the hip, and his legs were like tree trunks. “I got out of the Army after twenty years,” he said, “and I got a little money put aside. The wife and I decided we want to get into the restaurant business. The government’s going to be paying me a nice pension, and we got the savings, so we sink it all in this Goddamn diner. Six and a half miles from the interstate. You get the picture? The guy’s selling us this diner at a great price, you know? A terrific price. For a song, I’m in the restaurant business. The wife will cook the food and I’ll wait tables, you know, until we start to make a little extra, and then we’ll hire somebody--a high school kid, or somebody like that. We might even open another restaurant., if the going gets good enough for that. But, of course, this is New Mexico. This is six and a half miles from the interstate. You know what’s up the road? Nothing.” He had put the hamburger on, and a blanket of frozen french fries. “Now the wife decides she’s had enough of like on the border, and off she goes to Seattle to sit in the rain with her mother, and here I am trying to sell a place nobody else is dumb enough to buy. You know what I mean?”

    “That’s rough,” James said.

    “You’re the second customer I’ve had all week, bub.”

    The girl said, “I guess that cash register’s empty, then, huh.”

    “It ain’t full, honey.”

    She got up and wandered across the room. For a while she stood gazing out the windows over the booths, her hands invisible under the wooden shawl. When she came back to sit next to James again, the hamburger and french fries were ready.

    “On the house,” the big man said.

    And the girl brought a gun out from under the shawl--a pistol that looked like a toy. “Suppose you open up that register, Mr. Pooh Mouth,” she said.

    The big man looked at her, then at James, who had taken a large bite of his hamburger and had it bulging from his cheeks.

    “This thing is loaded, and I’ll use it.”

    “Well, for Christ’s sake,” the big man said.

    James started to get off the stool. “Hold on a minute,” he said to them both, his words garbled by the mouthful of food, and then everything started happening at once. The girl aimed the pistol. There was a popping sound--a single small pop, not much louder than the sound of a firecracker--and the big man took a step back, into the dishes and pans. He stared at the girl, wide eyed, for what seemed like a long time, and then went down, pulling dishes with him in a tremendous shattering.
    Red Panda;685399 said:
    To Be Continued...
  • i don't have the time to fix it cos it would imo invole a complete re write

    but as an example explain the situation more instead of adding some information at the end like for example

    the girls shawl why mention it at the end and she's not wearing it ?

    you could of said, on an abandoned road a young girl walks in a westerly direction, carrying a leather purse with a shawl under her arm.. or even leave out the material of the purse and have another character in this case james ask what it's made of, you don't have to be so detailed when narrating when you can use a character to do it, this then gives characters more depth and something to say. over use of comma's also break up the flow they are for a pause or to allow the reader to take a breath.

    the story has potential though do you just type it or do you proof read it before submitting it ? i re read mine and usually edit it to make it flow better and roll of the tongue easily.
  • "Oh shit,"James said, swallowing, standing back far from her, raising his hands.

    She put the pistol back in her jeans, under the shawl, and then went around the counter and opened the cash register. "Damn," she said.

    James said, low, "what the fuck."

    And now she looked at him; it was as if she had forgotten he was there. "Why are you standing there with your hands up like that?"

    "Shit," he said, "oh shit."

    "Stop it," she said. "Put your hands down."

    He did so.

    "Cash register's empty." She sat down on one of the stools and gazed over at the body at the body of the man where it had fallen. "Damn."

    "Look," James said, "take my car. You can have my car."

    She seemed puzzled. "I don't want your car. What do I want a car for?"

    "You--" he said. He couldn't talk, couldn't focus clearly, or think. He looked at the man, who lay very still, and he began to cry.

    "Will you stop it?" she said, coming off the stool, reaching under the shawl and bringing out the pistol again.

    "No," he said, "please no."

    She pointed the pistol at his forehead. "Bang," she said. "What's my name?"

    "Your--- name?"

    "My name."

    "Harleen-- " he managed.

    "Come on," she said. "The whole thing. You remember."

    "Harleen-- Harleen Quinzel."

    "Right." She let the gun hand drop to her side, into one of the fold of the shawl. "I like that so much better than Harley Quinn."

    "Please," James said.

    She took a few steps away from him and then whirled and aimed the gun. "I think we better get out of here. What do you think?"

    "Take the car," he said, almost with exasperation; he was frightened to hear it in his voice.

    "I can't drive, " she said simply. "Never learned."

    "Fuck," he said. It went out of like a sigh.

    "Lordy," she said, gesturing with the for him to move to the door, "it's hard to believe you were ever in jail."
    Red Panda;685558 said:
    To Be Continued...
  • Look, I agree with Milosuperspesh. It's got potential, but you need to work on character development, story development, the pacing of the story, all of that. Also, your characters aren't very likable and are a little confusing. You made it sound like James is a big pedophile by saying that she looks really young and would be hot once she filled out. Also, why would a girl that self sufficient not know how to drive? Even if she's 15 and too young to drive legally, if she was going across the country robbing places, she probably would know how to hot wire a car. Why would she be hitchhiking in the first place?
    And I do NOT mean it disrespectfully. I would love to hear the whys that you've left out of the story. Maybe give more specifics, too.
    I don't know how old you are, or even if you're a man or woman, but if you saw some kid hitch hiking, would you be fantasizing about screwing them, or would you be wondering the fundamental who/what/when/where/whys? Who is she? What is she doing out here? How long as she been alone? Where did she come from? Why is she here? And, if you did start to think that she might have a sketchy past, would you really keep her in the car with you? If I thought she might be or bring trouble, I would have dropped her ass off just as soon as the thought hit me. And that would have been a great reveal for her true character.
    James asks her to get out and she pulls the gun on him and tells him to keep driving. Brilliant!
    The only way you'll get better is practice, so don't give up. Just don't be so close minded about critique, either. Smart comments aside, Milo gave you great advice. I wish I could get him/her to critique my stories.
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