This post is a blatant rip-off of a post by my friend and coworker, Rick Mallery, who writes an interesting blog about writing. I liked his idea so much that I'm emulating it here.
These are the opening lines for (yet-to-be-written) stories. What do you think, dear reader? Which (if any) of them pique your interest?
- When it came to grooming and immaculate sartorial tastes, there was no one like Taylor Mann. From the instant he stepped from the limo to the curb, no matter the occassion --an opera at the Schnitz or the opening of a Chihuly exhibit at the Art Museum or a banquet for some out-of-town dignitary --Taylor Mann was a portrait of refinement and fastidiousness. French-cuffed silk shirts, Harris tweed trousers, Rolex wristwatch set with diamonds from Amsterdam. The circle of Rose City Somebodies --the prune-skinned one-time debutantes, the high-wired coffee barons, the noveau riche software developers --gauged their own state of dress on how he appeared. The "Mann Standard" is how they came to refer to it. No one knew who were his barber and seamstress but it was generally agreed that they weren't from town. They couldn't be. Small wonder then that when Taylor Mann arrived at the swearing-in ceremony for Portland's new mayor Justin Laugh, no one recognized him. The mayor-elect was already at the podium when the door burst open to reveal a staggering, half-drunk figure with a five-day beard wearing shorts, tee-shirt and flip-flops. "My God!" whispered Dorris Frank, her surgically-modified wattles jiggling ever so slightly, "Who is that boorish fellow? He could be Taylor Mann's brother."
- The morning after the night when Willie forced himself on her, Bella found a single white rose on her door mat. Its long, thorny stem arced under the "WELCOME." The bloom seemed to punctuate the word like an imperative. She did not smile when she saw it. Dressed for work, her handbag over her shoulder, she stood in the apartment doorway and stared down at it. A hint of brown wilt discolored the lips of the petals. She thought for a minute that she should take it inside, place it in a jar with some water. But then she thought it better to leave it where it was. Willie might come by while she was at work and she didn't want him to think it mattered. She stepped out and locked the door behind her and started down the stairs. But the thought of the rose laying limp and forlorn on her doormat was too much. She turned around quickly, retraced her steps, and stooped and picked it up. She took it with her to work.
- --You said you would do it. You promised.
--I promised that it would happen. I didn't say I'd do it.
--So how will it get done then?
He shrugged. --How does anything get done?
She pressed her fingertips against her eyelids. --The car won't drive itself to Phoenix. Someone has to drive it there.
He nodded. --That's how I understand things to work.
--So if not you...
He shrugged again. --Bait the hook well enough, you'll catch a fish.
They peered out the window. A slate gray Camry four-door on the curb. Older model. Spots of rust on the front fender. The taxed suspension pushed the chassis down so the wheel wells rode just above the tires. There was a lot of weight in the trunk.
--All you gotta do is drive slow. Obey traffic laws. You won't have any trouble.
--All somebody's gotta do, you mean.
Like swimming in molasses. She shook her head. --Yeah, somebody. What do you want then?
His smile was like the grill on the car.