Author Topic: An untitled story in progress  (Read 1291 times)

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Offline Sporty Fox

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An untitled story in progress
« on: August 06, 2004, 12:55:22 pm »
Ok, I've never written anything in my life but the thread on our fursona's biographies stirred something up. I've been working on this for a week now and I'd like to know if others would find it interesting. Suggestions, hints, why in the h@ll did you do that are all wanted. It will definetly get a LOT longer, the plot just pops into my head as I type.

Anyway, here it is...


    “Reel Estate, Reel Estate, Reel Estate- Waterdog over”
    “Reel Estate, Reel Estate, Reel Estate- Waterdog over”
     The tall, lanky fox slowly raised his head from the table, shaking the fog out of his head as he wondered just what he was hearing. As the sound coming from the VHF slowly seeped into his brain the remainder of last nights beer seeped out and he realized he was being hailed. Was it really morning already? He staggered up the companionway hatch to the radio over the lower helm.
    “Reel Estate, Reel Estate, Reel Estate- Waterdog over”
    “Waterdog, this is Reel Estate, go to 68 over” he replied into the noisy little box, his mind starting to focus on the mornings glow. He switched the radio to the upper channel and waited to see what the crabber wanted.
    “Waterdog on 68, did you make the jump Reel Estate?”
    “Reel Estate on 68”
    “‘Bout time you wake up fuzzy face, have a few to many last night?”
    “Naw, I had just the right number last night, I had too many this morning tho”
    “Heh heh, get out here at five am pulling pots with us working stiffs and you won’t have that problem”
    “Did you wake me up for laughs or is there a reason for this abuse?” He wasn’t angry, in fact he was glad to be awakened but he’d never let the crabber know that. If she knew that it was appreciated she might stop trying so hard to be the center of his attention.
   “I got a problem with the motor, it chucked the belt to the alternator. The bracket’s busted, can you fix it for me later?”
   “Sure, bring it on in and I’ll weld it up. Where are you now?”
   “I’m out by number 12. I’ve got  the other battery switched off, so I’ll keep pulling till she quits on this one and I’ll bring her by on the spare” She really wanted to go on in and see him now but if she didn’t get as many pots in as she could then she’d miss the buyer for today’s haul. Oh well, she’d have plenty of time later to give him a hard time about last nights drinking, and maybe even help him on tonight’s.
   “Ok, just make sure you watch that volt gauge, I don’t want to have to tow you in” he replied with a chuckle in his voice “I’ll clear the dock for you so just pull in opposite of mine”
    “Do me one other favor, I’ll need your boat to run these things out to Rogers”
    “I’ll get little boat ready for you, but it’s going to cost you a pot full of those crabs”
    “You got it, I’ll have ‘em hot and ready for you tonight, see you in a about an hour. Waterdog clear on 68” She really did want to see him, and if it took the boat breaking down oh well.



     Sporty went out on the dock and moved the runabout over behind the big Chris-Craft, tying it up aft of his home on the water. He clearing the fishing tackle and coolers out of the cockpit, thinking he really should put that stuff away when he comes in each trip, gassed it up and made sure it was ready for her. He got the lines ready on the dock, put out a couple of fenders out for her, then went back onboard the Chris and fixed some coffee. After a quick bite, he grabbed his coffee and headed down the dock to the workshop.
     Living on a boat is great, you only need a small lot of land when your house floats. With the Chris-Craft for a house, his land held the business. His small operation kept him busy, as there was always someone needing their boat, bike, or vehicle fixed. He had a workshop that covered the back of the lot, a couple of storage sheds beside the shop, and room for the cars and boats that kept food on table up front. An old Jeep and a homemade trailer let him haul midsized boats out for work when he needed to and the dock let him keep larger ones tied up for repairs. It wasn’t a luxurious life, but it was more than enough for a middle aged fox to keep himself going, it even let him run away once in a while.
     He heard the blast of the horn and headed back out to the dock, watching the slender vixen swing the vessel around and bring it stern first down the dock. “Damn she’s good” he thought as she backed down, bringing the port side slowly to rest against the fenders.


     Jolene was in her early thirties, fit and tawny from working the water all her life. She stood at 5’7”, weighed in at around 125 lbs, her long fur more orange than red- being in the sun everyday had bleached it out. It was hard to keep it from matting since she was constantly getting splashed and soaked as she hauled in the crabpots but she would fuss over it and keep it straight and silky. She took pride in her appearance, something that wasn’t exactly easy to do when you started work out on a boat before sun-up everyday.
   She had worked the water all her life, never knowing any other way of life, never wanted too. Her dad had taught her how to run a vessel when she was 5, she worked the water with him till he died and took over the helm after his heart attack. She kept the family business alive, not wanting to lose the permits he had accumulated over the years. Crabbing was a hard life, not many furbearers did it, and certainly not many women furs. The human watermen had accepted her dad and after he died they never thought she would continue on. A few even tried to get her to quit, though all they really wanted were those hard to get crab permits she held. Thru it all, she kept herself going by striving to be the best she could and had earned the respect of the rest of the crabbers. She loved to show up the men with her boat handling skills, her dad had been an expert seaman and had taught her well.
    She studied the water around the dock, watching the eddies around  the pilings to see which way the current was flowing and hauled back on the stick throwing the rudder hard to port. A quick burst on the throttle kick the stern over, she shoved the stick forward to swing the rudder to starboard to counter the prop walk, then threw the gearbox into reverse. She almost caught the sternpost on a piling as she watched Sporty walk down the dock, which flustered her till she realized he hadn’t seen her goof. She let the prop walk her stern over till it rested on the fenders, laughing to herself over the fact that he never set them out for the any of the other watermen.
    “Let me guess, you stopped at Mary’s coming in last night” Jo asked as she started handing him the baskets of crabs. Mary’s was the bar right up the river that the locals hung out at in the evenings. There were slips for two dozen boats but you would often find them tied up two and three deep along the dock. She knew Sporty wasn’t a barhopper, that was one thing she liked about him, but he still liked to stop off for a cold one after an afternoon of fishing. If the place was full of watermen then he’d be there all evening as they bought him round after round as payment for keeping them up and running. Funny thing about him she thought, for someone who lives day to day he never really charges the working stiff for repairing their boats and the locals repay him at Mary’s in beer and dinner.
    “Yeh, the blues weren’t hitting so I swung in for a bite” he replied, knowing damn well she knew it wasn’t food he went in for. She gave him hell for drinking unless she was helping him turn them up and that gal could hold her own when she did. He threw the baskets in the cockpit, stacking them as he went. He hadn’t planned on being in there long last night but ended up staying till closing. One good thing about the water is that the DNR doesn’t patrol for those that have been drinking like the cops do on land. The last time there had been a serious accident from a drunken boater it was a couple of comeheres at night in a gofast. They didn’t know the water and had run ashore at 70mph and into the trees. Sporty had the “pleasure” of removing the wreck after they pulled the bodies out. That was on the Fourth of July four years ago and it had been pretty quite since then.
    “The netters aren’t finding much right now, waters turned warm and the oxygen levels have dropped. George said he might take up his nets and start on his oysterbeds if it don’t get better by next week” she huffed as she tossed the last of the baskets up on the dock. “At least the crabs are happy, there’s so many dead hardheads out there that they’re real heavy. A couple more days like this and I’ll be even for the month, who knows I might make up for last year”
    “You got a good haul today, that’s for sure. Roger’s going to strain his wallet having to pay you for this load” He stacked the last of the baskets in the boat and climbed back on to the dock. He was going to help her out of Waterdog but she already was busy pulling the cover off the engine box. Her dad had built Waterdog in the ‘70s, a 30 foot traditional pine and cedar deadrise with a big block Ford under the cover, and Jolene kept it spotless. She knew her vessel inside out, as most watermen do, and could fix just about anything that broke down. Like a lot of the other locals she brought her boat to Sporty’s to use his tools and shop, having him do what she couldn’t such as the welding.  As he checked the alternator bracket she was already climbing into his runabout to take the crabs over to the buyer.
    “I’ll be back in a bit” she yelled over the roar of the engine. “Thanks again for letting me use little boat!” waving as she pulled away and into the channel.



    The big Harleys rumbled into the yard just as he was finishing the bracket on Jo’s boat. As Sporty headed up the dock to see who had pulled up, he heard one of them yell into the shop looking for him. “Where you at man?” the taller of the two yelled out though the door.
    “Frankie, don’t you every look out back when you pull in?”
    “You know he can’t do two things at once” the cat standing next to him replied “if he looked around he’d drop that hog for sure.”
    “Yeh, that gravel makes for a fun ride.” The big husky smacked the cat on the shoulder for ragging on him, but it was true. His size and weight made riding on loose surfaces tricky, especially with the raked forks on the bike, and his buddy was always quick to tease him for it. “Laugh now, I’ll remind you who’s faster when we get back on pavement”
    “When did you two get back in town? I thought you guys were down at the Rock for the drags”
    “I decided to skip this run, the mills getting a little soft now.” The husky loved to race his chopper, but a big inch stroker wears out pretty fast. “I think the top end need redoing again and I want to go to the gear drive cams.”
    “I told you to get rid of the chains last time. I’m surprised you haven’t snapped one yet, not to mention how much more lift I can put in there. When do you want it done? I’m not into anything major so the shops open.” Sporty had built the last engine for him but no matter how much he had tried he couldn’t get the husky to go all out with it. He hated doing a half-assed build but hey, you give the customer what they want right? At least this time the husky was interested in doing it right.
     “I’ll get SC to follow me over in his truck later” Frankie said, referring to the cat’s nickname, “I’ll bring it by this afternoon, unless you and Miss Jo are planning on something”
     “What?” the fox asked, caught off guard by the comment.
     “Waterdog, it’s tied up at your dock fuzzbrain”
     “Oh that, she busted an alternator bracket and I loaned her little boat to run her catch over to Roger while I fixed it”
     “When are you going to realize the only thing she wants to catch is you?” SC asked.
      The fox blushed inside, his ears dropping back in embarassment, knowing that was how he felt about her also “I’m not what she needs, hell, I barely take care of myself how could I take care her?”
      “Dude, she doesn’t need someone to take care of her, she can more than take care of herself. She needs someone to hold her at night and chase her ragged during the day. And besides you could more than take care of yourself if you started charging everyone for just half the work you do.”
     “You’re probably right SC, but for someone who’s such an expert on females you’ve certainly been thru enough yourself. I mean, you’ve been thru what, three wives and how many girlfriends? Heck if I charged you for the work I do you’d never have any money left for that next ex.”
     “That’s my point, after chasing that many away I’m an expert on what they don’t want!”
     “Yup, you’re what a female doesn't want alright SC, everything a lady doesn’t want in her male and less!” laughed the big husky, again punching his friend in the shoulder.
     “Look, I grew up with Jo and she’s always loved the outdoors and living off the water. She even likes to ride and even used to have her own scoot, hell man, what more could you ask for? She can push a boat to the breaking point as fast as you can fix it, you’re the perfect pair.” SC and Jolene had grown up together, next door to each other in fact, and had been buddies all thru school. Jo had introduced him to two of his ex-wives and helped him thru the breakups. They had spent many a night working on a 6-pack and talking about what each wanted out of life and he did know what she desired. SC’s only regret was that it wasn’t him, but they were too good of friends to get involved with each other.
     “We’ll see. She’s gotta steam up a pot tonight for fixing Waterdog, so hopefully we’ll get to talk some.” Dinner and a few drinks, they’d done that before and had a good time but he’d never been able to show how he felt, to share his past. Was she ready for that, was HE ready for that?
     “Dude, it’s time you quit running every time someone comes along who cares for you. You’ve pulled this same crap with every other gal and this time you owe it to Jo to let her into your life.” SC had known Sporty for almost twenty years, they first met at bikeweek and formed a long-term friendship right away. It was SC who had first called him Sporty, after the bike he was riding, and after all these years that’s all he’d ever known him by. He had even talked him into buying the old boatyard 6 years ago and going into business, if for no other reason to have someone around who could keep his scoot running. “Just promise me you’ll give her a chance and not scare her off like you did the others, ok dude.”



      “So that bastard tried to give me only $15 a bushel, said that they’re to plentiful right now. Last month he claimed it was ‘cause they were to scarce and no-one was buying them. The son-of-a-she-dog is trying to get us to yank our pots so he can drive the market price back up! Hell, he’s selling them on the street for $75 but if he can get us to quit pulling he’ll get ‘em over $100” she spouted, slamming her bottle down on the table Sport had set up in the boats cockpit. Jolene was mad, and when she got that way her watermen’s tongue and temper came out. Roger had tried to give her less per bushel on the crabs than he had promised and she wasn’t one to try something like that on. “I told him if he didn’t give me the $25 per we had agreed on I was gonna stick the largest jimmy I had down his crotch!”
     Sporty about spit out his beer, laughing at the mental picture of her chasing Roger around the wharf with a big male crab in her hand snapping at his privates. “Poor Roger, he should know by now that castration by crab isn’t covered on his health plan. He tries that crap on everyone, he knows if he don’t pay that you’ll just take your haul to Loews Cove. Maybe you ought to take tomorrows catch over there just for spite, you know he’ll be spitting nails if he sees you heading to Skeeters” He grabbed the pile of shells and tossed them over the side and grabbed another handful of steamers and put them into the middle of the table. They’d already eaten a dozen, but there were plenty more in the big steam pot out on the dock.
    “I should, but I don’t like taking my crabs over to Maryland. They’re so damn strict on making sure we don’t throw a pot in their waters I hate selling my catch to them. Let ‘em catch their own, you know.” Jolene had that watermen’s stubbornness, and any waterman will defend his or her home waters to the end. “I’d run ‘em to Reedsville, but I’d lose half a day on the water.” Like a lot of crabbers she tied her boat up behind her house, so she dropped her catch off at the wharf on the way in from her pots. Rogers place was on the river leading to her creek so he was convenient to use. Reedsville was out the river, to the bay, and back in the next river, so it took an extra four hours round trip in good weather. In bad weather it was a nasty trip, she didn’t mind the rough seas but it was hard on the crabs. She grabbed another one from the pile and popped it open, ripping the shell from the body, then took another swig of her beer. “I guess if worse come to worse I’ll have to break down and buy a truck to haul ‘em on. But it’s harder to keep ‘em alive to the buyhouse that way”
     “Frankie’s got an old reefer box sitting behind his place, and I’ve got that old J10 sitting here. Hell, the beds rotted off it anyway so it would be perfect for that reefer.” Sporty got up and went down below to the galley, grabbed two more cold ones from the fridge and handed them up thru the companion way to Jo. After grabbing a bowl of water and some wash towels he came back up into the cockpit and sat back down. “You could always swing in here and run them over in the reefer, wouldn’t take twenty minute to drive over there from here.” He washed his paws and muzzle, all that seasoning makes a mess on fur, then slid the bowl over to Jo.
     “Yeh, I know about that box over Frankie’s. I also know what happened to the truck it was on.” She shot him a sly glance with that comment, knowing he wasn’t expecting to hear that from her. Jo finished her crab and grabbed another out of the stack “You just be glad that the statute of limitations is out on that one”
      She knew the story alright, someone had cheated Frankie on a deal for some homemade liquor and he had gotten even. Seems that he put up a couple of grand on what was supposed to be a shipment of top notch moonshine and the guy took Frankie for a fool. When seller tried to claim that the shipment had been intercepted by the sheriff, Frankie knew he was being ripped off. If the guy had only known that Frankie was buying it for a couple of friends, one of whom was a deputy, he might have come up with a better lie. So Frankie had gone over to the guy’s house one night and “liberated” one of his seafood trucks. Sporty had chopped the truck for parts, hiding the money parts to sell later and they towed the rest out on a small barge and dumped it in the river. The refrigerated box had gone behind Frankie’s house just to piss the guy off and make sure he knew who had taken it. The Sheriffs Dept never really tried to solve the reported truck theft going so far as to lose the report before it was entered into the federal database for stolen vehicles.
    “crap, how’d you find out about that? SC, that bigmouth!” Sporty had been worried over that one for a few years, he didn’t like getting that far involved with stolen goods, but wasn’t going to let a friend go it alone. The whole situation was touchy for a while but the nice thing about being in a small water town was that things settle down pretty quickly and since the guy had ripped Frankie off first no-one really cared about him losing the truck.
    “SC only told me all the details about it when I threatened to shave him while he slept again. Everyone around had figured you chopped the truck, hell how many other people around here could have done it?” She wiped her paws and slid her chair back from the table “I gotta go get rid of a few a few beers, be back in a sec.” She went down below and into the head, on her way back she stopped in the galley for another round. They hadn’t finished the last ones yet but since she was up she didn’t want to waste the trip.




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Offline Lascivus_Lutra

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An untitled story in progress
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2004, 01:18:51 pm »
Well, you did say you wrote a little.  I haven't read that much this year!  Looks like a good start, keep up the good work.
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Offline Simo

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An untitled story in progress
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2004, 11:32:54 pm »
For someone who claims to have never written anything before, this shows considerable promise, and looks to be a good start.   '<img'>  However, there are a couple of problems that need clearing up:

The fox blushed, knowing that was how he felt about her also "I'm not what she needs, hell, I barely take care of myself how could I take care her?"

How, exactly, does a fox blush?   ':shock:'

"Yup, you're what women don't want alright SC, everything a woman doesn't want in a man and less!" laughed the big husky, again punching his friend in the shoulder.

They're Furries, therefore they can't be talking about "women" (unless they're "zoophiles" ':shock:'  ) and SC is not a "man". This kind of terminology needs to be ditched. It doesn't sound right at all. Then there's that scene in the bar. How are they drinking their beer? Do canids "swig"? Get rid of all that "human" imagery. These are Furries, so add more about the unique ways that they would have for discussing things, how they eat and drink. How do these Furry bikers cope with their tails while riding? It would make the story more interesting, and more believeable.
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Offline Sporty Fox

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An untitled story in progress
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2004, 08:43:29 am »
Noted and changes in the works, thanks guys. I know how I picture thier world in my head, but wasn't sure how I was painting the picture in the readers head! BTW, the bike issues are in the next part that I started last night.

 Edit: I changed the points Simo brought out, tho I'm not sure about the way the gender discusion works with the new wording. Any other ideas or suggestions to make it flow more natural?
   The overal effect I'm trying for is that they live in todays world. Instead of just different races there is a mix of species, with the racial differences with in each species, ie humans-white, black, indian,etc : canines-shephards, huskies, poodles, etc: vulpines- red, grey, artic. The effect I was trying for was that they don't think of themselves as being any different from the humans except for fur, ie a woman is a woman no matter what her race or species. And yes, inter-species/racial dating is an issue I'm playing with for a later section, since it is a real issue today (in humans!, I'm not suggesting zoophilia).
  As the story progresses it will deal with the issues and predudices that each have face as an intermixed society. The stories setting is in the Northern Neck area of Virginia (this is introduced in the next section), where the community is still divided along racial lines. You don't have racial problems per say, but the populations still live in groups the way it was settled in the turn of the century.




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An untitled story in progress
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 06:29:25 pm »
Ok, I'll add my 2 1/2 cents worth.

First, let me say that for a first attempt, this is quite well done.  You have a nice, direct style.

Secondly, be aware that it is far easier to criticize than it is to create; my few attempts at fiction are probably still being used for surgical anesthesia.

A few general comments:

1.  Where's your copyright notice?  You have an automatic, common law copyright in your work as soon as it is fixed in tangible form (posting on the computer will do); registering that copyright only gives you the right to sue in federal court.  Stick the ole copyright notice every piece of your writing you post, even drafts.  The form is:  c in a circle or the word "copyright", the year it was 1st fixed in tangible form, and your name or whoever has the rights to your work if they've been assigned.  I always like to add the words "All rights reserved." but that's not necessary.

2.  Quotations always end in a punctuation mark, such as a period, exclamation point, question mark or ... if the quote trails off.  If the quotation is followed by who said it and would ordinarily end with a period a comma is used, as in, "I like to nitpick about grammer," she said.

3.  I was taught that where a quotation is followed by narration a new paragraph starts.  Therefor with "Did you wake me up.....for this abuse?"  He wasn't angry...     a new paragraph would start with He wasn't angry...

4.  In telling a story I think it is more interesting to let the reader "see" the picture than to explain it.  The Ring Trilogy is worth reading for Tolkein's writing technique alone.  He's a master at picture creation with a minimum of words; he suggests....and the reader "knows".  You're pretty good at the picture part, but occasionally you lapse into dragging the reader through an explanation, for example, the part about Jolene and her dad.  I would rework the paragraph something like,  oops! out of space! Will try in the next post.

An untitled story in progress
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 06:50:29 pm »
Verbose ole me back again.  As I was saying,

"She had never known any other way of life, never wanted to.  Her dad taught her how to run a vessel and she worked the water with him 'til he died.  Crabbing was a hard life, especially for females and furs.  After her fathers death she fought a daily battle against the elements and human watermen to continue, jealously guarding the coveted permits her father accumulated.  Only through her determination and skill had she won the men's respect."

Which leads to point #
5.  Less is more.

6.  Watch your perspective.  You start the opening scene in the boats from Sporty's perspective.  You are introducing Sporty, and in the middle of the scene the perspective jumps to Jolene's, who you don't introduce until a couple of scenes later.  This is confusing.  Oh shoot, out of room again.  Hope this helps.  Keep writing!

Offline Sporty Fox

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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2004, 09:02:21 pm »
It helps alot, after re-reading from scratch I see your points.  The paragraph you condensed bothered me the way it came out when I wrote it, I am going to reduce it and leave some of the info out to be brought back in a later chapter. This was to be a rough short story but it has grown faster than I can type out what I am thinking!
   Thanks
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Offline Simo

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An untitled story in progress
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2004, 04:16:30 am »
This story is coming along nicely. Like Oxy said, it can stand some smoothing out, but, then what doesn't?   ':?:'  Nothing I ever wrote, whether it be stories, help file docs, tech writing, is ever really done. Here's one suggestion:
"Yup, you're what a female doesn't want alright SC, everything a lady doesn't want in her male and less!" laughed the big husky, again punching his friend in the shoulder..

Change to:
"Yup, you're what a female doesn't want alright SC, everything a lady doesn't want in her mate and less!" laughed the big husky, again punching his friend in the shoulder.

I think that reads better.

Another suggestion: You never said how you're doing this writing. One thing I find most helpful is writing the story off-line. (I personally favor EMACS for this.) in plain text. I use the usual symbols for formatting: *italics*, _under lined_, and some of my own: @bq;Block quote this@bq; That way, I can simply run the file through sed and produce the UBB code, ready to copy and paste right into the window. Also helps to speed up HTML-izing it if that's the format you need. It's easier to do the bulk of the writing and editing off-line with a text editor, rather than do it from the forum directly. Also, you can keep earlier versions around.
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Offline Sporty Fox

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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2004, 08:17:23 am »
That one word made the difference (mate), thanks Simo. Oh, I'm using Micro-shafts Word to write it with. The big problem I've found is when transfering it to someplace such as the forums, it took awhile to go back and add the tags in a short story I posted elsewhere.
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