2016 NYCM FFC | Round 1-Challenge 2 | ‘One Day Painting’ | Now, speckled with feedback!

”One Day Painting” by Paige Vest    WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY –   {1563}  Enjoyable banter. I like how clueless our heroes are. They see likable and harmless, and unlikely to succeed where they’d like. Good even story, beginning to end.…  {1740}  The characters, dialogue and action were clear cut. The plot moved along at the perfect pace for such a short story. You did that well.…  {1657}  Fun dialog and tension and between Samantha and the men.…WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK –   {1563}  Funny scenes, but besides the main storyline of the two men working there, not much else happens. I do like the conclusion — it rounds out a fun scene. But think about how this could move from scene to story. That’s what I’d recommend next.…  {1740}  Although the characters were clear cut, they weren’t memorable. Even in a short story, try to give your characters attributes, attitudes or vocal or physical mannerisms that make them unique. Your description should be such that the reader knows who is speaking without being told. The ending needed a bit of work as well; it didn’t seem realistic that grown men with a professional business would ever get clientele with these shenanigans. Remember, comedy is often funnier when it’s based on the kinds of crazy things that really do happen.…  {1657}  I wanted a little more complexity to the characters. That, in turn, would’ve amped up the story arc.…

 

This is my entry for Round #1/Challenge #2 of NYC Midnight’s 2016 Flash Fiction Challenge.

Genre:  Comedy

Location: A rock-climbing gym

Object: A can of paint

Word Count Limit: 1000

Actual Word Count: 997

Synposis: Painters wind up doing a job in a place completely out of their element.

They end up making a mess of everything.


.

One Day Painting

“Why are we here, Juan? We paint houses. This ain’t no house.”

Juan followed Dave into the gym. “It’s good money. And in case you haven’t noticed, nobody wants their house painted in January.”

A woman in colorful workout pants and a sports bra approached, her brown ponytail swinging.

“Hi, are you the gentlemen here to do the painting?”

Gentlemen? Dave didn’t look very gentle in his paint-stained coverall but, whatever.

“Yes, ma’am,”Juan said, shaking the woman’s hand. “Juan and Dave, One Day Painting. You must be Ms. Gonzalez.”

“Call me Samantha, please,” she said, eyeing them both from head to toe.

Dave checked her out, since she’d done it to him first, and then returned his gaze to her boobs which were bouncing around in her sports bra whenever she moved.

“Juan and Dave, huh?” Samantha said, laughing. “I get it. Juan, Dave… One. Day.”

Dave and Juan exchanged a long-suffering glance. “Yeah, people get a kick out of that for some reason,” Juan said in a flat voice.

Samantha blinked and then colored slightly. “Right, sorry. So, if you could tear your eyes away from my breasts, Dave, I’ll show you to the wall you’ll be painting today.”

Juan jabbed Dave as they followed Samantha. “Quit ogling her!”

“Why’d you give us that stupid name? ‘One Day’?” Dave hissed.

“I didn’t know people would think it was a play on our names and it’s too late to change it now.”

Dave scoffed.

“So Mizz Gonzalez, where’s all the work-out stuff?” Dave asked, watching Samantha’s butt moving beneath her tight pants as she led the way.

“Hmm?” Samantha asked, glancing over her shoulder to catch Dave looking at her again. She frowned.

Juan punched Dave in the shoulder and Dave jerked his eyes away from the woman. “Stop hitting me,” he whispered. “The, uh, work-out stuff that people… well, work out with,” Dave said in a louder voice. “Where’s it at?”

“People don’t use machines here, they climb.”

Dave and Juan exchanged a confused glance and looked as Samantha pointed to where two people were crawling along a wall that hung out over the floor.

“Ho. Lee. Shit,” Dave said. “They’re like Spider-man! How do they keep from falling?”

“The handholds allow them to get grips that let them climb like that,” Samantha said with a smile. “It takes a great deal of strength.” Her eyes dropped to Dave’s beer belly and then moved to Juan’s. “And agility.”

“I don’t know what a ‘Jill-it-TEE’ is,” Dave said, “but this is the weirdest gym I’ve ever been to.”

Samantha blinked at him. Dave wondered if she was just bad at winking.

“You’ve never been to no gym,” Juan scoffed.

“It’s… not a regular gym,” Samantha said, a frown making her forehead wrinkle. “It’s a rock-climbing gym.”

“Rock-climbing?” Dave looked around. “Where’s the rocks, then?”

Samantha pinched the bridge of her nose and turned toward the wall. “Juan,” she said, “here’s the wall, and I like the camouflage theme we discussed. You have the proper equipment and materials?”

Dave was irritated that she’d ignored his question… she was pretty but kinda rude. But he did get another nice view of her butt when she’d turned around. He stopped listening and watched another pretty girl, this one blonde, walk by in a black bodysuit. She winked at him and he grinned. Then Juan shoved him.

“What, Juan? Shit!” He looked around and saw Juan glaring at him.

“Stop drooling and fetch the ladders,” Juan growled.


The work went quickly even though Dave kept getting distracted by the women walking by. They were just so pretty, and them clothes they wore were so tight! There were boobs and butts everywhere in this weird gym!

“Dave!” Juan flicked a paint brush at him. He was standing on the floor, ready to paint the bottom of the wall. “Get to work.”

“Sorry Juan, but do you see all these girls? I wish we’d been painting gyms for years,” Dave gripped the ladder and ran his roller over the wall, turning it from gray to army green.

“If you joined a gym, you’d see them all the time,” Juan laughed.

“Maybe I will,” Dave said as he climbed down.

“Keep dreaming, Dave. None of these girls would have you.”

“That one blondie winked at me,” Dave said, annoyed. Then he remembered how Juan had been hitting and shoving him. He smacked Juan with his paint roller.

“What was that for?” Juan asked angrily.

“Payback,” Dave said, running a new roller in the brown paint and turning to apply it to the wall.

Juan shoved him again.

“Quiddit, Juan. Don’t piss me off.”

“Don’t piss you off?”

Juan laughed and then sputtered as Dave flicked the paint roller toward him. He looked down at the brown splatters that ran up his coveralls from knees to chest. He touched his face and his hand came away wet with brown paint.

“Why, you asshole,” Juan said. He lifted his roller and calmly ran it across Dave’s chest.

Seething with anger, Dave looked down at his chest and glowered. He met Juan’s gaze and almost as if they’d timed it, they both dropped their rollers and grabbed open cans of paint.

They paused for a moment, staring at each other.

“Don’t. You. Dare,” Juan said.

It was on. Dave growled and they each flung the remaining contents of the cans toward the other.


“What in hell are you idiots doing?”

The men looked around to find Samantha running toward them. Dave admired her bouncing boobs as she approached. He was again armed with a roller, and Juan had a paintbrush in each hand. Paint was splattered over the wall, completing the camouflage design. It puddled on the tarp and coated both men in shades of brown and green.

“Well ma’am,” Juan said, “we’re painting.”

“We should probably stop having paint fights, Juan,” Dave said, looking at the paint puddles, “we sure use a lot of paint.”

end2

I received no points on this story… which frankly, didn’t surprise me. It wasn’t great. I can’t seem to write ‘funny’ unless it’s inside a genre other than ‘comedy’.

If nothing else, this tells me that I need to work on my comedy. Somehow.

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY:

{1563}  Enjoyable banter. I like how clueless our heroes are. They see likable and harmless, and unlikely to succeed where they’d like. Good even story, beginning to end.

{1740}  The characters, dialogue and action were clear cut. The plot moved along at the perfect pace for such a short story. You did that well.

{1657}  Fun dialog and tension and between Samantha and the men.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK:

{1563}  Funny scenes, but besides the main storyline of the two men working there, not much else happens. I do like the conclusion — it rounds out a fun scene. But think about how this could move from scene to story. That’s what I’d recommend next.

{1740}  Although the characters were clear cut, they weren’t memorable. Even in a short story, try to give your characters attributes, attitudes or vocal or physical mannerisms that make them unique. Your description should be such that the reader knows who is speaking without being told. The ending needed a bit of work as well; it didn’t seem realistic that grown men with a professional business would ever get clientele with these shenanigans. Remember, comedy is often funnier when it’s based on the kinds of crazy things that really do happen.…

{1657}  I wanted a little more complexity to the characters. That, in turn, would’ve amped up the story arc.

 

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