Lost Stories: Talk About Terrible Titles

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It’s been a while since I played the Story Start game here.  That’s where I pull out an old manuscript that I began but never finished for one reason or another. Sometimes they make me laugh about how horrible they are, and sometimes I am surprised at how good the writing seems despite how inexperienced I was at the time.

Today’s excerpt has a little bit of both.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I titled it, but I find myself wanting to finish Tim’s story someday.  I remember this idea came to me as a dream one night and several of the scenes I’ve written so far came directly from it.

What do you think?  Do you want to know more about Tim, too?


Everything about the party was top grade: the booze, the dope, even the pretty boys who mingled with the top-grade executives they’d been hired to entertain.  Tim stopped as he entered the room, nostrils widening at the acrid smoke from tobacco and grass.  A constriction in his throat made breathing difficult.  His muscles tensed, his pulse raced.

“Don’t freak out, man,” said one of the boys right behind him.  “Sugar won’t like it.”

“What won’t I like?”

A nerve began to jump in Tim’s cheek.  He hitched his thumbs in his belt and turned to the black man behind him.

“Topper doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Everything’s cool.”

“It better be.  I guarantee cool cats.”

Blue eyes met brown.  Sugar’s face remained immobile, as dark as his close-cropped hair.  In front of his left ear, he wore a single black braid with a gold clasp that winked in the flickering lights of the room.

Finally, Sugar looked away and Tim was able to let his eyes fall.  His head swam and he suddenly needed a smoke, a drink, something.

A girl walked by with a tray of drinks. Tim avoided her curious look from behind thick lenses and grabbed a glass in either hand then headed for an empty seat in the corner.

Night had almost fallen, darkening the view of the California skyline, and a breeze had spring up, blowing the leaves of an ornamental tree against the glass of the French doors.  Tim watched for a minute, wishing he could feel the force of the wind in his face.

“All alone?”

A stranger stood nearby, his head titled inquisitively, a twisted smile on his face.

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