Today’s aspiring writer is my longest-serving online writing colleague, first commenting on a ‘Big Project’ progress report almost a year ago. Since then, Shadowoperator (aka Victoria L. Bennett, aka Doc) has been an invaluable source of support for those down times when motivation to write is as lively as your bare hands in -4°F weather.
In celebration of her one year milestone on Independence Day, we were graciously provided with a collection of short stories!
I had to look up centripetal force, thinking it a deliberate typo somehow linked to its story. However, it is actually the opposite of centrifugal force. To think that petal and fuge could be opposing affixes. That crazy darn English language, still throwing new things at you.
The first story in the collection of nine stories is entitled ‘The Speed at the Moment of Impact’.
The story begins with third-year University student Eldridge Forthworth taking his aunty to the swanky and exclusive Versailles Tea Garden. He appears to struggle under the weight of her expectation, as his siblings had all found a calling in their lives.
As the pair vainly search for a meeting of the minds, we meet the manager of the VTG, Brenda. She was mentioned briefly in the first scene by her ‘wizened’ aunt, who just so happens to own the shop. Brenda comes across as an impulsive free spirit, wishing to be out of her job and exploring the world. But, of course, you need money to do that, and the lack of it has demotivated her.
Eldridge searches frantically for a way to impress his aunt, and finds his opportunity in taking a ‘stale’ biscuit to the manager in order to make his complaint. Accidentally let in to Brenda’s office, the scene that follows between the two seems in a similar vein to ‘The Graduate’.
After some nakedness and philosophical arguments, Eldridge impulsively asks for a job at the tea garden. A fellow named Rudi, who works at the VTG, comes in to the surprising scene. After enjoying the view of his naked colleague, he and Brenda argue over why on earth she would be employing Eldridge. She impulsively decides that she is leaving town, advises Rudi of his promotion and introduces him to his new subordinate.
The end of the story shows that impulsive action does not always pay off.
The story is definitely centripetal, in its focus on the workings of the character’s minds. Eldridge and Brenda seem selfish in their opposing ways, he with his desire to show his life is on track to bigger things, while she seems to crave a more carefree existence without responsibility if possible.
Head on over to Victoria’s website, as there is plenty of reading available. The stories I have read have been intriguing thus far, though it seems that there are many layers to the stories that I am not picking up on. A read that gives your mind a good workout can only be a good thing =)