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Chuck Woolery

I Come, Asking Favors.

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Hey guys. And, apparently, some chick named Taiga Star.


It's been forever since I've looked at these boards and I'm shocked (and, honestly, impressed) that this place is still alive, which is a credit to whoever's in charge right now. I'm enrolled in advanced fiction writing right now and I would greatly appreciate it if you guys would take a look at my first draft--it's not very long at all and I trust the writers here to give me an honet critique.


Questions, comments, all that would be appreciated.




"Community Service"


Her laugh reminded Rex of a howling hyena, and as her body shook so hard that she nearly spilled her drink, Rex came to the conclusion that he was in love with her, and wished he could remember her name.


He'd spotted her when he first walked into the jam-packed house, a dazzling blonde-haired lighthouse amidst an ocean of alcoholics in hooded sweatshirts. Her shoulder had brushed his as he walked past her, and he casually let her know that her leopard print dress wasn't really working, and she might have better luck if she tried tiger stripes.


He didn't think about her again until thirty minutes later, when she tugged on his right sleeve as he sat at the table in the kitchen. He told her to wait a minute, he was playing cards, and when he looked over at her she'd changed into a tiger print dress and he'd fallen in love.


They'd come back to his place, where she currently lay on his bed with a glass of merlot in her hand. Rex was in the bathroom, putting his things away on the counter. Cell phone? Check. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Smokes? Check, and the lighter to go with them. Rex tossed his jeans into the laundry basket and opened the medicine cabinet and--


"What's taking so long?"


He was out of condoms.


"I'll be out in a second!"


This was not good. Had he hidden them somewhere? He tore through drawers and cabinets, hoping against hope that he'd simply misplaced his latex friends, but no luck. This made no sense. He was certain he hadn't gotten laid recently. Even if he had, he wouldn't have used the entire economy pack that he always kept in his medicine cabinet. He checked once more. Nothing. Defeated, he put his jeans back on and went into his bedroom. She looked at him with doe eyes.


"What's wrong?"


"I'm out of condoms."


"So?" She was hyena-laughing again, this time at him. "I'm on the pill. I just tested clean next week. Do you have something?"




"Then what's the problem?"


Rex was already pulling his shoes on. "My last girlfriend got pregnant. She told me she was on the pill. Have you ever had an abortion?"




"Let's keep it that way. There's a gas station not even two minutes down the street. Are you coming?"




She kept complaining of the cold, but Rex didn't think it was very cold at all. Maybe he was more drunk than he thought. The gas station wasn't two minutes away, and she opted to wait outside while he made his purchase. It wouldn't take more than a minute anyway.


The cashier was flipping through an old copy of GQ, and he barely looked up as the bell on the door jingled and Rex approached the counter.


"Can I get some condoms, chief?"


The cashier looked up slowly and eyeballed Rex. His maroon polo shirt fit him a little too tight, his hair was a little too well groomed--overall, he looked a little too smart to be working at a gas station. "What kind of condoms do you want, chief?"


This question caught Rex slightly off-guard. "Which ones are the least expensive?"


The cashier nodded. "Stingy. I like that. We are in a recession." He picked a box marked "Tropical" off the rack and set it on the coutner. "That's three dollars and twenty-one cents after tax."


"Those are the least expensive?"


"This isn't the free clinic, man."


"You're right." Rex lifted the box off the counter and studied it.


The cashier leaned over the counter. "Honestly, those aren't going to be much fun for either of you."


Rex looked up. "Really?" The cashier nodded grimly. Rex looked over the box again. The Tropical condoms came in assorted scents and colors, and were tested electronically for reliability, but nowhere on the box did it say anything about 'pleasure'. This was no good. "What else you got, chief?"


The cashier glared at Rex; clearly, he was not a chief of any sort. "Let's see. I've got non-lubricated, lubricated, spermicidal lubricated, thin dick, super thin dick--"


"How thin are we talking?"


"Trust me, you would know if you needed those. Where was I? Her pleasure, your pleasure, warming pleasure, tingling pleasure, mutual pleasure, total pleasure, super total pleasure--"


Rex's head was spinning.


"--natural feeling, intense feeling, climax control, environmentally friendly, magnum, double magnum, thin magnum, powerful magnum, and original." The cashier looked back at Rex. "What do you think?"


"What do you recommend?"


"That's an excellent question," and now there was a smile on the cashier's face. "Usually I recommend her pleasure."




"Most people need all the help they can get."


Rex had to concede that the cashier had a point. "Yeah, I'll take the her pleasure."


The cashier reached for a pack from the rack.


"No, actually, I think I'll go with the climax controls. No, actually, powerful magnum."


"Powerful magnums."


"Yeah. Powerful magnums."


"Okay." The cashier took a black-and-gold package off the rack and placed it on the counter. "You know what you're doing with those, right?"


"This ain't my first rodeo, chief."


"Good. Five ninety-three, and I'm going to have to see ID with that."


Rex looked up, more confused than he was by the condom list. "You need ID to buy condoms?"


The cashier shrugged. "It's this new religio-bullshit they've got us doing. They don't want the kiddies getting their hands on condoms."


"That's weird."


"No kidding. Look how well it worked for Sarah Palin's daughter."


The cashier peered outside and noticed the girl sitting on the curb, her nose buried in her cell phone. From the way her fingers were moving quickly over the keypad, he assumed that not only was she texting, but she was adept at T9Word. "Is that your girl out there?"


Rex glanced outside quickly as he handed the cashier his driver's license. "Yeah."


"What's her name?"


Rex paused, and though the pause was only momentary it caused the cashier to break out in a wide smile. "You don't know her name, do you?" Rex shook his head, embarassed, and the cashier laughed. "You dog! You've been drinking, haven't you?" Rex nodded. "And she's pretty drunk too, isn't she?"


"She's not that drunk," Rex said, but his voice was noticeably lower and his face was turning red.


The cashier looked outside again, and at that exact moment the girl tried to get to her feet, tripped on her high heel, and landed face-first with a splat on the concrete. She was laughing as she got up, and the cashier looked back at Rex, smirking. "She's not going to remember any of this in the morning. You know that, right?"


"How old do I have to be to buy these, exactly?"


"Oh, right." The cashier held the license up to the light, checking the hologram. "You're straight. Go ahead and swipe your card."


Rex ran his debit card through the machine as the cashier continued, "She might wake up next to you and think, 'Gosh, that boy is sexy. I hope he wants more when he wakes up.'" Rex smiled at the thought. "Or she might wake up and think, 'Gosh, that boy is such a scumbag, taking advantage of a drunk girl like that.' She might become physically ill. I've seen it happen."


"I don't think that'll happen," Rex said coldly.


"But what if it does? That kind of reputation spreads like wildfire, man. Pretty soon all her girl friends are going to be talking to their other girl friends about how you're the kind of guy to take advantage of a girl when she's had too much to drink. They're not going to want to touch you when they're sober."


"I really don't think that'll happen."


"All you'll have left to turn to is your hand, and the memories of that one night where you and your powerful magnums kicked your entire sexual future to the curb."


"The machine says it's waiting on you."


The cashier shook his head wistfully. "I can't let tonight go down like that, chief. I'm sorry." He took the box off the counter and gently slid it back onto the rack.


Rex, however, was furious. "You're not going to sell to me."


"I can't have that resting on my conscience."


"You've got to be fucking kidding me."


"I'm afraid I'm not fucking kidding you, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't curse at me."


Rex had no response for this, so he yelled nothing in particular at the top of his lungs and stormed out, flinging the glass door open as he exited and sending the bells hanging on the door into a frenzy.




To say that she wasn't happy was an understatement. "What do you mean he wouldn't sell to you?"


Rex could do nothing but shrug, mostly because he wasn't sure himself why the cashier wouldn't sell to him. She sighed dramatically as she whisked the door to the convenience store open, and Rex could do nothing but sit on the curb. He definitely didn't want to deal with her right now; she was on a mission. She slammed her purse down on the counter. "I need condoms."


The cashier looked up. "Will thin dick work for you?"


"Whatever. How much are they?"


"Four thirty-three after tax."


She took her wallet out of her purse and began to thumb through it. The cashier nodded to Rex, whose arms were hugging his knees close to his body on the curb outside. "That your boyfriend?"


She stopped dead in her tracks and looked up at the cashier. "Absolutely not."


"Touche," the cashier said. "He looks like a premature ejaculator."


She laughed, the first smile to break through her rage, and her eyes started to tear up. "We were hooking up, and then he told me he didn't have any condoms, and--"


The cashier held up his hand. "I got you, don't worry. How long have you known each other?"


"Tonight." She was laughing harder now, and the cashier noted that her teeth were dazzlingly white. "We were at a party, and he seemed funny, and he's cute." She stopped abruptly, as though she'd forgotten the rest of her sentence.


"And--that's it?"


"I don't know him too well."


"I can tell. He must be a real sweet-talker."


"Nope!" Her laughing had slowed to a giggle. "Actually, the first thing he said to me was that my dress wasn't really working."




"I know! And I was so upset about it that I made one of my girl friends loan me a dress that he'd like, and then we started talking, but I don't really remember what we talked about, and then I was on his bed drinking wine and now I'm here." The tear from before was rolling down the right side of her cheek.


The cashier watched quietly, and as she finished he let the silence hang in the air. Then he asked, "Do you know his name?"


"Of course. He's Rex."


"What's your name?"




"Rex doesn't know that." There was no laughing anymore, just the dim hum of flourescent lights and the tense silence of one person drunkenly baring their soul to another. "Rex doesn't know anything about you, Kayla. He just knows you want to fuck him. And I think that you really thought you wanted to fuck him."


"I did."


"And now, I think that you want me to call you a cab, so that you can go home."


She said nothing, only nodded, and the cashier reached for a cell phone. "You might want to go tell Rex that he's going home alone."




There was yelling, and there were threats, but ultimately Rex decided that he was too tired and too drunk to do anything about the events which transpired, and he walked home under his own power. Kayla sat on the curb after he left, her hands covering her face.


As for the cashier, after he'd gotten done cooling Rex off he went back to his position behind the counter and pulled out a white board. The board was divided in half, and the cashier casually placed a check under the side labeled "Too Smart". Though this side had a respectable number of check marks, it was still miles behind the side labeled "Too Horny".


Wilbur, the morning person, arrived at eight in the morning, and he laughed when he saw the board. "You're not a nice person, Ryan."


Ryan shrugged. "It's a community service."

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Interesting. It went down differently than I expected it to - I was sort of expecting, at the beginning, an existential angst moment at the end where the cheap-ass condom broke.


The cashier's character could use a little bit of tweaking - I think he could work up to dropping the bomb by being moderately annoying first, if that makes any sense, sort of testing his limits to see if he can get rid of Rex earlier.

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I liked it. Can't offer much more than that. If the cashier character could ramp up the annoyance like Tom said, Rex could up the desperation.


And Kayla the hopelessness.



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To be honest I was quite impressed. I think you break your paragraphs up too much, pretty much everything up to the first spoken sentence could be rolled into one. Apart from that I don't have much to suggest, Ryan is a great character, and the 'Trust me, you would know if you needed those' is a very good line... although it begs the question how HE knows.


And for the record, it's me and Landon in charge now. Respect our authoritah.

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