Fiction Friday – 26 October 2007

This Week’s Theme: Write about an Auction.

Quite a crowd in today, a good mix of people. If you scan their faces you can figure out quickly what type of punter they are.

Him at the back? He’s a pro. Taking his time, looking at everything, but not betraying any interest. I’m sure a number of trinkets have caught his eye, but he won’t let on. He’ll bide his time and make his move when ready.

Lady at the side – she’s not serious. Notice the way everything is of interest to her? She’s here for the thrill of it, that’s all. She’s like a butterfly, flitting between all the pretty flowers, but she won’t settle on anything. She’ll perhaps make a few bids very early on, but she knows she’s not in the competition, and will withdraw early. Guess it must just be the atmosphere that she enjoys.

Ah, front and centre. Me, I wouldn’t even let him bid. Look at him closely, did you spot it? Yeah, you can tell that he’s a fraud. Sure, he talks the talk, he’ll make some serious bids. Hell, he may even win – but he’s not playing with his own money, so to speak. And if he gets called on it, well, there’ll be hell to pay.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this. Normally I’d be out on the floor, making bids, hoping to get something unique, special. This time I’m on the other side of the block, seeing who is prepared to make an offer. A nod, a wink, a smile, a shake of the head. All the little signals that tell you who’s in and who’s out.

I’m not going to expect much. It would be nice to find someone genuine, a serious bidder, but I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high. It’s an old item, and even I’ll admit it’s seen better days. One careful owner, but a little broken now. It would be a pretty special person who would be prepared to put in the restoration work.

I ask the barman for another beer, and look back out across the crowd, searching for a friendly face, an opening offer. What am I bid for this old heart?

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8 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – 26 October 2007”

  1. What a clever, touching piece. The voice is perfect and I love the psychological sizing this character does. Lovely metaphor.

  2. I love the investigation of the human element – the critique and ‘browsing’of the punters, as they critique and browse the items.

    Not quite sure what was up for grabs though .. its late at night here and its been a big day. I didn’t expect the pub twist.

    Another piece of compelling work Paul – can’t wait for you NaNoWriMo extracts!

  3. Hi Jodi, it may be partly due to the lateness over there, but I think in keeping things obscure in order to keep a twist to it, I may have gone overboard and become cryptic!

    The idea behind was that rather than an auction for items, it was just a regular bar, and we’re all offering up or bidding on love. The main character has come out of something (“one careful owner”, “a little broken now”) and is on the market again.

    Tammi – thanks for the Stumble!!!

  4. ahhh, I get it now … I’m a bit thick. Usually I manage to link it all back in but not tonight … and I’ve given up drinking … perhaps I should take it up again.

    I’m learning how to be cryptic and leave endings open – goes against my nature which likes nice clean neat endings (and yeah – they happen so often in life huh?) I can however see my terrible habit to slip no sequitors inconventiently in every day converasation somehow pans out OK on the page.

    Now I think I need to go to bed!

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