PDA

View Full Version : Critique: Just a Mechanic


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2

skwirlinator
March 26th, 2005, 03:03 PM
"SKWIRL! Get over here!" He was a fat little guy with no life, except mine right now. I put down my greasy wrench on the cowling and looked at my stopping point to make a mental note of what was left of this coolant pump job on the section monitor's baby. I hated that fat little prick! Always interrupting my glide mode.
"GIMMIE A SECOND WILL YA" I yelled towards the ramp leading to the dusty little cramped cube he called 'His Office'. "I GOTTA CLIMB OUT AGAIN". "Prick!", I mumbled.
I jumped down off the engine dragging my belly on the greasy hoses and supports as my malformed steel-toe boot hit the deck sending a shock up thru my leg. I looked down at the greasy end of my leather and steel clad boot and the little impact spot where it sent the oil-dry on the floor puffing away. Kinda looked like a little impact crater with my boot as the center of attention. I grabbed a semi-greasy rag off the bench, wiped off my hands and on a clean spot dabbed at the sweat beading up on my brow. "What does he want NOW?" I was thinking as I threw the now totally soiled rag back on the bench.
"SKWIRL !!!!" He yelled it out again in that deeper than his body would allow voice. "YEAH, I'M COMMIN!" and I took off in a slow jog across the dirty shop. He yelled again right as my foot came down on the ramp outside his office. I didn't say anything, I just put my palm out and hit the door with my body momentum. It burst open smashing against the steel bock welded to the floor with a loud BANG. I was in his office before the door finished vibrating from the shock I forced it through.
In a civilized but hurried tone I said "Whadda ya need Ray?" Not letting him respond before saying "With all these interruptions I'm not gunna have George's baby running tonight." "I hope yer gunna deal with that cause I aint!" I shut up and sat down in the hotseat. The hard plastic trashed out greasy little chair he had next to his desk for chewing us out as he felt. He even painted it bright red many years ago, for effect. It didn't 'effect' me anymore. I was just tired...all the time now. "Shuddup Skwirl I gotta talk at ya fer a minute an it's important" "More important than George's fighter?" I querried. "Your LIFE". He punctated the LIFE for effect, yeah THAT effected me. Now I was curious. This isn't like Ray. He's a bitter self-absorbed little fatman with delusions. He wouldn't care about me. This is gunna be good!
"George made a special request just a few minutes ago on the skwaker" reffering to the com speaker. "He has a special government job for YOU and you only" Ray continued quickly so I'd stay shut up. "He told me not to worry about his fighter tonight, You gotta go on a salvage call, NOW" I was floored. Yeah, we did salvage, it was something ya did when nothing else was goin on, sweepin floor was more important than salvaging. "Ray, ...What the hell are you talkin about?" "Are you messin with me so I get in trouble?" Ray has had it in for me ever since I installed that targeting system in Baby. I designed it, fabricated it and installed it in Baby one night when Ray was gettin reamed at a meeting. He came back just in time to witness my 'ataboy' from George. This was different. There was actually real concern in his ****-brown eyes. He sat there all washed into his chair. He looked like he was scared...for me...?????
"Skwirl, you gotta get yer tools together to go pull all this" He pushed a yellow notepad at me across the desk. "And Skwirl,...Yer supposed to take weapons!" "WEAPONS!" Holy-Makeral why do I have to take weapons I thought. Before I could voice the exclamation he continued. "Not the sidearm, A WHOLE weapons pack!" He pressed out WHOLE like it needed cause now I'm getting worried. We haddn't needed a WHOLE weapons pack in 3 cycles. "WHOLE weapons pack?" I said. He pushed a green notepad at me this time. "A NUKE?!!!!?" I nearly wet myself in the old red chair that was begginning to feel like it did a loooong time ago. " No Ray not a frickkin NUKE!" "Yes, A nuke and more." He swallowed hard as he achingly edged the white notepad my way. His manner was strange. Did I just see a shake in that hand? I picked up the pad and there was just a blank sheet of paper there. I looked up at Ray with a HUGE question mark on my face. "?" He just raised his index finger and made a high arc up and toward the pad comming stright down. He never broke eye contact, I did. I looked straight down on the smuddgy white sheet of paper and there it was cut so deep into the grain it was hard to miss. RED DOG 90
"RED DOG 90!" RED DOG 90 over and over I kept saying it to myself. It's bad, Whaddaellis RED DOG 90? "Ray?" "What da ellis RED DOG 90?" Then I shook my hand at him. "NeverMind" "I Remember" It was building, deep inside, felt like my guts were gunna choke me. I was hot, trembling as I shoved the three notepads into my shirt pocket. "You gotta be ready for this, HE wants You!" "I've already got Bill and Rob loading the weapon pack on your sled. It's gunna take another hour or so. You better get cleaned up and loaded out." He barked that out 'almost' like normal, 'almost'. Was that concern drippin from that pricks lips? Who cares, I gotta go do RED DOG 90 in a couple hours and I don't give a spit about that jackass anyway.
I went back down to my toolbox and started wiping off and putting away my tools. My tools like me, we have a connection. I polish them with a little blood, a lot of sweat and a few tears and they fix things. I take care of them, they take care of me. I closed the last drawer on my box and wiped it off and threw all the dirty rags in the bin marked 'flammable'. My tote trays were dusty. It's been a year and a cycle since I had to go on a salvage run. Most of the time that was what Rob did. Rob liked getting out of the shop. He was scared of Ray and didn't really like the grease under his nails like the rest of us. His dad was a foreman in the routes back when we started mining this pit. He died like so many other miners when the dome cracked a couple years ago. Rob ended up havin to give up on laziness and come to work to survive. He and his dad used to come by the shop and play around with the equipment or fabricate some useless contraption who knows what it did. He was a good kid tho, and kinda quiet too.
I blew off the dust with a quick burst from my air blow gun and wiped them out. For good measure I blew the dust cloud lingering around me off to the edges of the shop. "What do I bring?" I studied the now smudgy yellow notepad with the list of what I was 'supposed' to be salvaging. I looked at my box and took a quick mental inventory. Each drawer contained certain tools for certain jobs. I made the selections carefully packing the tote trays so the tools wouldn't fall out as I cornered. I recited to myself as I grabbed the rest of the contents, the essentials- "Screwdriver2, Cresent Wrench 9", Slammer, Nipex and a flashlight" "Whatelse?"
OK. I looked around the shop at who was looking, Noone, everyone is busy and Ray was gone...Good.
I looked up at the Center Top Box, Top Center Drawer, and released the secret catch that opens the fake drawer at the bottom of the toolbox. It sprung open with a little hiss as the pressure equalized. "Been that long..." I flipped the Disarm cover up and pressed my finger sequence. First, middle, first, thumb, first and the little chrome box came out on its rails. "Hi Baby" I flipped the box open and extracted the key. For all intents and purposes it looked just like a HomeQuad key. I looked at the little nooks and crannies running down the tumbler puncher. It even used to open my quad back when we had locks. I kissed it. "Missed ya Baby" I put her in my fron uniform pants pocket. I could feel the cold outline of her as she settled in next to my skin. Fixed it's presence into my head like it was my hand. "Can't lose you this time" Don't even wanna think about the last key I lost, Too much screaming, Too many dead...Can't happen, Never again. I patted it closer and grabbed my totes from the bench and headed for the sled. I'll wash up when I'm done, unless of coarse, naw, I'll wash up.
I stuck my tools into the pilot house of the skid and headed for the washroom. The weapons pack was almost operational and with noone around I figured Bill and Rob were out getting the PropPak ready to fit. I went into the musty smelling washroom and relieved myself at the troth. I twisted the knob on the dispenser and a fresh towel pack popped out in my hand. I took a wary sniff at my pits and figured my stink wasn't shower worthy yet so I squarred off in front of the sink and gave myself a good once-over. I ran my tongue over both sets of teeth and brushed the spots that didn't glide smooth. "Man" I looked into the mirror. "You're too old for this crap!" The blue fire was still in my eyes but the face was washed down and tired looking. The chubbyness in my cheeks were gone since the last time I had the key in my pocket. The scarrs on my eyebrow and under my lower lip reminded me of the fights I used to have after getting shitfaced in the partyquad. "You get thru this one you gutta go get drunk and see if these young punks kin fight anymore" Yeah, If I get thru...

skwirlinator
March 26th, 2005, 03:14 PM
I'm wondering if anyone thinks I should continue this storyline

SubZero61992
March 27th, 2005, 08:51 PM
The way you wrote it seems like an eight year-old forgot to do his language homework and came up with this compressed story ten minutes before bed-time.

You need to go back, indent the paragraphs, seperates peoples words from others with new lines, and I suppose the slang of words is okay for a childs book.
I had interest once I had the idea of this taking place in space, it is taking place in space right?
But the compression of everything threw my mind for a loop!

But yes, I would finish this story because I recieved tons of ideas from just this page. ( Not stealing, of course.)

skwirlinator
March 28th, 2005, 01:20 AM
Yes, In space
I threw it together while waiting for dinner and didn't even think of punctuation.
I need alot of work there.

A friend at CoolSciFi {Mr Destructo} Helped me with this interpetation:

"SKWIRL! Get over here!"

He was a fat little guy with no life, except mine right now. I put down my greasy wrench on the cowling and looked at my stopping point to make a mental note of what was left of this coolant pump job on the section monitor's baby. I hated that fat little prick! Always interrupting my glide mode.

"GIMMIE A SECOND WILL YA’" I yelled towards the ramp leading to the dusty little cramped cube he called 'His Office'. "I GOTTA CLIMB OUT AGAIN. Prick!" I mumbled.

I jumped down off the engine, dragging my belly on the greasy hoses and supports as my malformed steel-toe boot hit the deck sending a shock up thru my leg. I looked down at the greasy end of my leather and steel clad boot and the little impact spot where it sent the Oil-Dry on the floor puffing away. Kinda looked like a little impact crater with my boot as the centre of attention. I grabbed a semi-greasy rag off the bench, wiped off my hands and on a clean spot dabbed at the sweat beading up on my brow.

"What does he want NOW?" I was thinking as I threw the now totally soiled rag back on the bench.

"SKWIRL !!!!" He yelled it out again in that deeper than his body would allow voice.

"YEAH, I'M COMMIN’!" I took off in a slow jog across the dirty shop.

He yelled again right as my foot came down on the ramp outside his office. I didn't say anything, just put my palm out and hit the door with my body momentum. It burst open smashing against the steel bock welded to the floor with a loud BANG. I was in his office before the door finished vibrating from the shock I had forced it through.

In a civilized but hurried tone I said, "Whadda ya need Ray?" Not letting him respond before continuing, "With all these interruptions I'm not gunna have George's baby running tonight."

"I hope yer gunna deal with that cause I ain’t!"

I shut up and sat down in the hotseat. The hard plastic trashed out greasy little chair he had next to his desk for chewing us out as he felt. He even painted it bright red many years ago, for effect. It didn't 'effect' me anymore. I was just tired...all the time now. "Shuddup Skwirl, I gotta talk at ya fer a minute, an’ it's important."

"More important than George's fighter?" I queried.

"Your life". He punctuated the life for effect. Yeah, that affected me. Now I was curious. This isn't like Ray. He's a bitter self-absorbed little fat man with delusions of grandeur. He wouldn't care about me. This is gunna be good!
"George made a special request just a few minutes ago on the skwaker" Referring to the com speaker.

"He has a special government job for you and you only," Ray continued quickly so I'd stay shut up. "He told me not to worry about his fighter tonight, you gotta go on a salvage call, NOW!"

I was floored. Yeah, we did salvage. It was something ya did when nothing else was goin’ on. Sweepin’ floor was more important than salvaging.

"Ray, ...What the hell are you talkin’ about? Are you messin’ with me so I get in trouble?" Ray has had it in for me ever since I installed that targeting system in Baby. I designed it, fabricated it and installed it in Baby one night when Ray was gettin reamed at a meeting. He came back just in time to witness my 'ataboy' from George. This was different. There was actually real concern in his ****-brown eyes. He sat there all washed into his chair. He looked like he was scared...for me...?????

"Skwirl, you gotta get yer tools together to go pull all this" He pushed a yellow notepad at me across the desk. "And Skwirl,...Yer supposed to take weapons!"

"WEAPONS!" Holy Mackerel! Why do I have to take weapons I thought.

Before I could voice the exclamation he continued. "Not the sidearm, A WHOLE weapons pack!" He pressed out WHOLE like it needed ‘cause now I'm getting worried. We haddn't needed a WHOLE weapons pack in 3 cycles.

"WHOLE weapons pack?" I said.

He pushed a green notepad at me this time.

"A NUKE?!!!!?" I nearly wet myself in the old red chair that was beginning to feel like it did a loooong time ago. " No Ray not a frickkin NUKE!"

"Yes, A nuke and more."

He swallowed hard as he achingly edged the white notepad my way. His manner was strange. Did I just see a shake in that hand? I picked up the pad and there was just a blank sheet of paper there. I looked up at Ray with a HUGE question mark on my face. "?" He just raised his index finger and made a high arc up and toward the pad coming straight down. He never broke eye contact, I did. I looked straight down on the smudged white sheet of paper and there it was cut so deep into the grain it was hard to miss. RED DOG 90! RED DOG 90! RED DOG 90! Over and over I kept saying it to myself. It's bad.

“Whaddaellis RED DOG 90? Ray?"

"What da ellis RED DOG 90?"

Then I shook my hand at him. "NeverMind. I Remember" It was building, deep inside, felt like my guts were gunna choke me. I was hot, trembling as I shoved the three notepads into my shirt pocket.

"You gotta be ready for this, HE wants You! I've already got Bill and Rob loading the weapon pack on your sled. It's gunna take another hour or so. You better get cleaned up and loaded out." He barked that out 'almost' like normal, 'almost'.

Was that concern drippin from that pricks lips? Who cares, I gotta go do RED DOG 90 in a couple hours and I don't give a spit about that jackass anyway.

I went back down to my toolbox and started wiping off and putting away my tools. My tools like me, we have a connection. I polish them with a little blood, a lot of sweat and a few tears and they fix things. I take care of them, they take care of me. I closed the last drawer on my box and wiped it off and threw all the dirty rags in the bin marked 'flammable'.

My tote trays were dusty. It's been a year and a cycle since I had to go on a salvage run. Most of the time that was what Rob did. Rob liked getting out of the shop. He was scared of Ray and didn't really like the grease under his nails like the rest of us. His dad was a foreman in the routes back when we started mining this pit. He died like so many other miners when the dome cracked a couple years ago.

Rob ended up having to give up on laziness and come to work to survive. He and his dad used to come by the shop and play around with the equipment or fabricate some useless contraption who knows what it did. He was a good kid tho, and kinda quiet too.

I blew off the dust with a quick burst from my air blow gun and wiped them out. For good measure I blew the dust cloud lingering around me off to the edges of the shop.

What do I bring? I studied the now smudgy yellow notepad with the list of what I was 'supposed' to be salvaging. I looked at my box and took a quick mental inventory. Each drawer contained certain tools for certain jobs. I made the selections carefully packing the tote trays so the tools wouldn't fall out as I cornered. I recited to myself as I grabbed the rest of the contents, the essentials- Screwdriver2, Crescent Wrench 9", Slammer, Nipex and a flashlight. Whatelse?

OK. I looked around the shop at who was looking, Noone, everyone is busy and Ray was gone...Good.

I looked up at the centre top Box, top centre drawer, and released the secret catch that opens the fake drawer at the bottom of the toolbox. It sprung open with a little hiss as the pressure equalized.

"Been that long..." I flipped the Disarm cover up and pressed my finger sequence. First, middle, first, thumb, first and the little chrome box came out on its rails.

"Hi Baby" I flipped the box open and extracted the key. For all intents and purposes it looked just like a HomeQuad key. I looked at the little nooks and crannies running down the tumbler puncher. It even used to open my quad back when we had locks. I kissed it.

"Missed ya Baby." I put her in my front uniform pants pocket. I could feel the cold outline of her as she settled in next to my skin. Fixed it's presence into my head like it was my hand.

"Can't lose you this time." Don't even wanna think about the last key I lost, Too much screaming, Too many dead... Can't happen, never again. I patted it closer and grabbed my totes from the bench and headed for the sled. I'll wash up when I'm done, unless of coarse……. Naw, I'll wash up.

I stuck my tools into the pilot house of the skid and headed for the washroom. The weapons pack was almost operational and with no one around I figured Bill and Rob were out getting the PropPak ready to fit. I went into the musty smelling washroom and relieved myself at the troth.

I twisted the knob on the dispenser and a fresh towel pack popped out in my hand. I took a wary sniff at my pits and figured my stink wasn't shower worthy yet so I squared off in front of the sink and gave myself a good once over. I ran my tongue over both sets of teeth and brushed the spots that didn't glide smooth.

"Man," I looked into the mirror, "you're too old for this crap!" The blue fire was still in my eyes but the face was washed down and tired looking. The chubbiness in my cheeks was gone since the last time I had the key in my pocket. The scars on my eyebrow and under my lower lip reminded me of the fights I used to have after getting hammered in the partyquad.

"You get thru this one you gutta go get drunk and see if these young punks kin fight anymore." Yeah, If I get thru...

I even like it better now!

skwirlinator
March 28th, 2005, 01:22 AM
I posted the original to get feedbak, So far it coincides with everyone else.

SubZero61992
March 28th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Screwdriver2

What does this mean?
2 screwdrivers?
Unless its a different version of a screwdriver in the future, then I'd fix that line to ' two screwdrivers '.

skwirlinator
March 28th, 2005, 12:09 PM
In my actual toolbox I refer to my tools like that because I have so many, Screwdriver2 is 2 of 14. Each screwdriver has its own spot cut out of Craftsman drawer organizer material. When I do a mini inventory at night I can tell whats missing by the empty slot- Screwdriver2, Wrench5, Hammer5, etc...

I know the differece between Screwdriver 2 and Screwdriver3- Most mechanics do. Hey, I'm just a mechanic. My writing style has been honed over the last 25 years by having to explain how I fixed a $100,000.00 truck in a space the size of a pack of cigarettes. There's more room on the repair order for parts description than there is for work accomplished description. Most employers get angry if you write,

"Truck was broke, Fix Truck." :D

I cram words, create colorful descriptors and use alot of abbreviations. I still go outside the lines alot. But they know what I did so they don't complain.

I am not a writer. I would like to be so I am trying to learn. It's going ...Rough.

Expendable
March 28th, 2005, 03:26 PM
In my actual toolbox I refer to my tools like that because I have so many, Screwdriver2 is 2 of 14. Each screwdriver has its own spot cut out of Craftsman drawer organizer material. When I do a mini inventory at night I can tell whats missing by the empty slot- Screwdriver2, Wrench5, Hammer5, etc...

So what you need is a new "toolbox" and some new "tools" - writer tools ^_^

Taking a few moments to describe the layout of your toolbox in your story slightly different from how you explained it above might help other readers not get confused. Plus any other mechanic reading your story will know he's reading a pro.

--Ex.

skwirlinator
March 29th, 2005, 03:39 AM
Would that kind of description be considered 'backstory'?
I have 42 drawers full of tools. My box stands 7 feet tall and 16 feet wide
here's a pic
http://tommcmahan.tripod.com//sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/tomtools.jpg

Sorry its so big!
Its my lifes work and yup...thats Skwirlinator.

Expendable
March 29th, 2005, 08:55 AM
It's concidered detail. Picture opening the drawers and removing the various tools from their slots and putting them in your bag. Think about calling Screwdriver2 your favorite screwdriver, stuff like that.

--Ex.