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A Star In The Night (end of chapter 1)

by Bobbysgirl 

Posted: 20 July 2003
Word Count: 1190

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It was a few minutes later that she went back into the store and back into her office. She tried to tell herself that Bruce Masters was a cold and hateful man that she would never speak to again but the truth was that he was right. She hadn’t spent much time with her father and he had. She remembered the first time that her father had told her that Bruce had come in his store and that he was a very kind and intelligent man. There were times that she had almost been jealous of the time they spent together.
Brooke Lynn looked up at her father’s picture and said out loud.
“I’m afraid dad that you were misguided by one Bruce Masters. He is nothing like you said. He’s rude, self righteous and most of all arrogant!”
It was almost as if her father’s picture was laughing at her.
“That’s right! Go ahead and laugh but I will never see or talk to that man again.”
The picture seemed to smile even more and she stomped her foot in frustration.
“Oh you men always stick together!”
She turned and left the room and could almost hear her father laughing. She slammed the door as she had done when her father was alive but the laughter didn’t fade.
It was awhile before Brooke Lynn would go back into the office and when she did she refused to look at the picture. It wasn’t until she left that evening that she looked at it and said, “Good Night Dad. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
At her own words tears sprung to her eyes and she knew that she never would see her father again or hear his voice. She flew out of the office and headed for home.
Bruce had driven straight home and went into the house to find Ally fixing lunch. She had finished work early so she thought that she would surprise him. Bruce helped her carry things out to the table on the deck while Ally put music on the stereo. They sat down to eat but Bruce found he wasn’t very hungry. He couldn’t get his mind off a certain dark-haired lady. Why had he gotten so angry with her and why did he say those things? That wasn’t him. He had intended to tell her how sorry he was but found himself angry instead. He pushed away from the table and walked to the railing letting the breeze from the ocean rush over him. There was such a soothing quality about it. He needed that now, he felt restless, that something was missing but he didn’t know what. He had everything that he wanted. His life was the way he wanted it. He leaned against the rail and watched the waves as they hit the shore and couldn’t help wondering, “ Isn’t it?”
He felt Ally’s hand on his back making a gentle circling motion. Slowly the tension eased from his shoulders and he reached pulling her to him. As he brought his lips to hers, he answered his own silent question. “Yes, it was just the way he wanted it.” Their lips met and a dark-haired woman with deep blue eyes entered his mind. He froze from the impact that it had on him causing Ally to ask if he was alright. It took him a moment but he finally replied and said that he was fine. He pulled her closer and whispered in her ear, “ I need you.”
Ally touched his face tenderly. “I’m here Bruce. Whatever is wrong? I’m here.”
“Thank God for that!”
He pulled her into his arms wishing that he knew what was wrong. He felt as if his life was suddenly about to change and it scared him. He moved so that he could kiss her. He wasn’t sure if he was trying to convince Ally that he was alright or himself but he led her back into the house and their bedroom, closing the door behind them.
It was hours later when Bruce emerged from the house again. He went back out to the balcony and watched as the sun began to set. They had fallen asleep after they had made love and Bruce thought about how much time he had wasted that day but it didn’t bother him. He was relaxed for the first time since his encounter with Miss Rhodes.
He closed his eyes taking a deep breath and slowly releasing it. A sudden picture of Brooke Lynn standing in the parking lot watching him leave came back to him and he shook his head dismissing it. He pushed the hurt look on her face out of his mind and opened his eyes.
Then there she was! As if the very thought materialized her. He was about to leave because watching her was the last thing that he wanted to do when she dropped to her knees and cried. The words tore at his heart.
“I’m sorry Daddy. I’m so sorry!” Then she doubled over so that her face was in the sand.
Bruce never even realized he moved until he was kneeling beside her and pulling her into his arms. He sat there rocking her gently until her sobs turned into hick-ups then to silence.
Brooke Lynn didn’t know who held her, she only knew that she wasn’t alone. She spoke into the shoulder that her head rested on. “He was right. I didn’t spend time with him. I thought there would be time. I would always tell him, I’ll see you tomorrow daddy, but I never did.”
The tears started again and Bruce tightened his hold on her, wondering once again what was he doing.
Brooke Lynn raised her head to look into the eyes of the person she swore that she would never talk to again. She sat frozen, torn between wanting to return to the feeling that had filled her when his arms were around her and the horror that she had just admitted to him that he was right. She shoved him away causing him to land flat on his back. She felt a sense of satisfaction and smiled. She jumped to her feet. “I thank you to keep your false concern to yourself! I don’t need or want your sympathy!”
She turned and ran up the steps of a near by house.
Bruce smiled thinking, “Damn she has a temper. You were right Martin. Your daughter is hell on wheels when she thinks she has been wrong.”
He couldn’t help smiling as he picked himself up off the ground. Still he was right and she had admitted it even though she hadn’t meant to say it to him. Again he smiled. Then he thought of all the conversations that he had with Martin and he felt angry again. No, he would not feel sorry for her. He headed toward his house then froze. He could have sworn he heard Martin say, “Be patient with her Bruce.”
Bruce shook his head knowing that he was starting to lose his sanity because of that woman. Now he was hearing things.

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Comments by other Members

Nell at 09:54 on 21 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Bobbysgirl,

This is a good start - you've drawn the reader in, allowed a glimpse into the lives of the main characters and set up a tension and drama that makes one want to go on reading to find out what will happen next. There are some lovely lines here too - '...it was caught in the wind and he felt as if his heart had been caught also...'

'...at the desk she thought of all the times she had seen her father sitting in here and felt that tightness in her chest once again...' I like the way you've shown us how Brooke feels with this sentence, rather than telling us, and my own feeling is that you could try applying this technique a little more throughout the piece.

The setting up of the structure of the novel is working well with what has happened so far, and I'm looking forward to reading on.

Best, Nell.

bluesky3d at 10:33 on 21 July 2003  Report this post
Hi Bobbysgirl,

Thank you for up loading you piece.. there was one point which you might want to look at with regard to writing style, which Nell has not mentioned but which did jump out a bit? You used 'She' followed by a verb a number of times within the space of a couple of paragraphs, for example...

'She stretched... She reached... She loved ...She brought... She was ..She started walking .., she turned to look behind her... She had felt like ..she had felt.. She shook.. She knew.. she was back in LA... She was as crazy .... She felt safe... She started walking ..she heard it... she couldn’t make out .. she climbed to her feet ... She stopped at the top of the stairs ..she let .. she heard the music .. she closed her eyes .. She could get lost in music ..She opened her eyes .. She almost felt lost... She smiled thinking ... She had things..she was staring ...she had never seen it before .. she had to get to the store.' etc

It is possible that you need to break up this format a little bit more, although of course this may have been a deliberate technique on your part?

Andrew :o)

stephanieE at 11:11 on 21 July 2003  Report this post
Welcome to the site Bobbysgirl. I enjoyed this introduction, as it was a swift start to a potentially interesting story.

In the spirirt of constructive criticism, can I tell you about a couple of things that jarred for me?

The use of 'gotten'. Now, I'm surmising that you're writing in true American, but that word really grates to my English ears - can you find an alternative?

At one point you say he remembered that Martian Rhodes had passed away about two months ago - um... I think you mean Martin, rather than an alien from Mars?

I think it would be easier to read if the sections from Bruce's and Brooke Lynn's point of view were split more clearly. There's two strands here that come together at the bookshop door, but it's easier for the reader if they know they're starting a new section each time.

You seem to repeat Brooke Lynn's name a lot in the opening passages. This seemed rather clumsy. Perhaps she sees herself as Brooke, perhaps you could use she instead (although that adds to ANdrew's point about too much 'she'!) Mmm - might be hard to solve that one.

Hope this is useful...

Bobbysgirl at 15:57 on 21 July 2003  Report this post
Thank you all for comments and suggestions. I do apperciate them and will try and use your suggestions.
Keep them coming. I need all the help I can get. LOL
I am glad that you find it interesting and have liked what you read so far.


Becca at 11:36 on 22 July 2003  Report this post
Hi April,
I look forward to reading this a little later, am at work and should be doing it. So tempted just to stay on the site though. I'll get back to you.

Becca at 13:20 on 22 July 2003  Report this post
Hi again April, I agree with Steph and Nell's observations on your story. I understand it's part of a novel and there is tension in it, a sense of something building up. It seems to be set in a beautiful environment, and as a reader, I've a feeling you could use that to good effect here; the sand, the sea, the wind, all sensual things that could create a great atmosphere for you. It could serve the function as well of breaking up the thought processes of your main characters a bit, and in a sense ground the piece, if you follow me?
I'd like to see more of your poetic feeling, as in 'it was caught in the wind and he felt as if his heart had been caught too.'
If you were to make a new paragraph at certain points in the writing, like at 'Bruce let his fingers come to rest' and 'Brooke Lynne had gone in (into?) the house..' it would help to clarify the change of scene.
I don't know if this is any help to you but, most of the chapter is about the girl's father, (although it's also about the meeting up of the two main characters), but I wondered if the girl's thoughts about her father could be in a separate chapter, perhaps more about her feelings for him when she was younger, and now that she is older and taking over the business. The reason I thought this was that so far the reader has little understanding of the two main characters, (not that they couldn't be shown slowly), but in a novel you have acres to play with. You might not like this idea at all, and of course there'll be more to come which could throw this section into a different light. I've a sense that you might have a good grasp on dialogue, and with this tool you can do so much, one of the main things good dialogue helps with is to allow the writer to get points across without having to explain too much of the thoughts or actions of the characters. It helps to sharpen things up and set a good pace for the work. In a way, I suppose, a good question to ask, (for all of us to ask), is what information, mood/feeling and conflict am I trying to convey in this section, then to ask yourself if you've achieved it. It's a device/discipline that keeps a writer on track. There are a couple of typos and grammar things here and there, but I'm sure you'll find them if you read the piece out loud to yourself.
I look forward to seeing more, April, and welcome, as Steph said, to the site.

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