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Hit and Run

by Cat 

Posted: 18 April 2004
Word Count: 1221

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Hit and Run

It was just a bet. That’s all it was. Me and my mate Sal, pleasing ourselves with our cleverness. Friday nights were like that for us, see. An escape from the clockwork order of our lives. Since the age of 16 I’ve dreamed of working in Hollywood. Beth Lulworth - makeup artist to the stars. My mum didn’t like the idea of having such a large expanse of water between us. Phobic see. So ever since I left school I’ve worked as a manicurist in the small salon in town. But I’ve not been getting too stretched in nail care.

My mate Sal managed the wine and spirits section of the local supermarket, managed to slip a crate or three in the boot of her car most weeks too. She had a skill for that did Sal. On that particular Friday we arranged to meet at Jasper’s, the new bar by the river. Didn’t like the look of it much myself, all fishbowl windows and cold fluorescent lights in purples and greens, but Sal had insisted we should move on from our usual territory, that we were getting a reputation, that we needed to widen the sphere for our weekend mischief. She bigged us up like that, Sal did. And I got off on the lie.

I was onto my third cocktail and getting on quite nicely, thank you, with a sharply dressed sales rep. from Cardiff, when Sal told me she’d been surveying the crowd, checking out the right target for me.

‘Reckon he’s ya man’, she said and I followed her gaze to this dark haired fella sat at the bar on his own. He was turning the cocktail menu in his hand and kept glancing at his mobile. I told Sal I wasn’t keen, but by the time I’d turned back to resume my flirting, it seemed my Welsh boy was now in pursuit of a leggy blonde, fake tan, for sure.

‘Alright’, I said, ‘you’re on’. And I strode purposefully towards the bar. Fact is I didn’t usually do these bets. I usually looked on as Sal slid her seductive hands into the pockets of unsuspecting men, as she squeezed through a tightly packed crowd, claiming her trophies for the night. That was the game, see, choose a fella, pick an item, aim and fire. Simple. But Sal was good and it flattered her to have me watch. Gave her a purpose and I felt like a rebel, something more than I was.

So there’s me, tequila driven, leaning into the bar. I brushed against this guy’s thigh and when I felt his eye on my curves I flashed him a smile.

‘Can I get you something?’ I asked, but he just laughed to himself and said he was fine, thanks. Shit he was hard work. It wasn’t supposed to go like this. I could feel Sal’s eyes on me, urging me on but I didn’t have her speed, you see, her lightness of touch. And besides, this guy was dry as a bone. There was no alcohol blurring his sense that night. I knew I had to make my move then, if I was going to at all and I didn’t want to let Sal down, but something about this guy’s quiet confidence stopped me in my tracks.

I steadied myself on the bar stool, hiccupped loudly and felt ashamed. When I looked back through the crowd I couldn’t see Sal at first, then she leant out from behind a large steel pillar, stared at me intently, hands sweeping the air towards me. Well that was that. A bet’s a bet after all. I faked a drunken fall, grabbed the guy’s mobile from the bar and pushed my way back through the growing crowd. My heart thumped in time to the heavy beat of the music as I brushed passed hot arms and cigarettes, raised glasses and irritated looks.

‘Subtlety’s not your strong point tonight, is it? Sal grabbed my hand and pulled me through the exit. We ran down a side alley to the back of the club. A young guy held himself up against a large metal door and wretched.

‘I did it, Sal. I did it! Do I rock or do I rock?’ I was shimmying around Sal with my arms in the air when she snatched the mobile from my hand and pressed at the rubber keypad.

‘Well, let’s get out of here, yeah?’ I said, adrenaline still pumping, but Sal wasn’t moving. She snapped back at me.

‘The little shit!’ She was scrolling down the messages on the phone. ‘He has been seeing someone else. I knew it!’

And that was it. That was the moment I realised that I never wanted to take part in these games of hers anymore. That was the moment I decided never again to live other people’s wishes.

‘You know him? You know him?’ I kept repeating the words, like that was all my mouth would allow me to say.

Sal looked at me ‘Yeah, too right I do, two timing sod.’

She was stabbing at the keys and I watched a small flake of Scarlet Fever varnish descend to the floor.

‘Bet ya that’s her’, she said and before I could get the phone back from her she was talking down the line.

‘Oh hello, just letting you know that Jasper and I have decided we don’t want any intrusion from third parties, OK? You can forget any plans of seeing him again, OK?’

Her voice was fake and breezy. She looked ugly with it. And as I watched her, something strange happened to me. It was like all the frustration from my petty little life had collided together right there and then and for the first time I could see Sal for what she really was. My stomach turned. Stupid. So stupid. With one swift movement I took the phone from her and marched back through the crowd to the fella at the bar. He was sipping at his drink when he glanced up from the menu. I held the phone out to him and I had to shout to be heard above the music.

‘It was just a dare. That’s all. I’m sorry.’

A group of over-gelled lads were swaying to the beat of some Kylie number and pushed me into the bar. Jasper looked me up and down and blew air from his nose.

‘Well’, he said, taking the phone, ‘that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Then he asked me to sit with him. He slid a glass of iced green liquid towards me.

‘It’s our latest recipe. Try it, you’ll be needing some refreshment.’

I hovered there, unsure of what to do when the screen on his phone lit up and he put it to his ear.

‘Sal! Good to hear from you.’ He flashed a smile to himself and I began to feel sick. ‘I have some business, then I’ll be right with you, hon’.

And that was when the cops turned up, one on each side of me like I’d have had the strength to fight them. Then they took me to the cells so I could tell them how it was. So I told them.

‘Just a bet’ I said, ‘that’s all it was.’

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Comments by other Members

Dee at 19:40 on 18 April 2004  Report this post
Cat, this is really good.

I’ve had three attempts to read it because you seem to have been attacked by the glitches. Don’t know why but it sometimes happens to new members. Hopefully some other victim will be able to tell you how to get rid of the confusing hieroglyphics.

Once I’d got to the point where I could ignore them, I really enjoyed your story. The writing is tight and pacey, the characters believable. I think you could maybe have made more of the twist at the end – drawn it out a bit more.

Can I give you a tip? Try breaking this up into paragraphs with a space between each one. As it stands, it’s a big chunk to digest. Have a look at the way other members present their work. Little bites are easier and attract more readers… believe me – I’m speaking from experience.

This is good. Well done and welcome to WW.


roger at 20:11 on 18 April 2004  Report this post
Hi, Cat. Like Dee, I was impressed by this...good modern language, sharp and tight. You write well. But I'd also agree with Dee in respect of splitting it into short paras, making it easier to digest. Also, the editing could be a bit tighter. For example -

My mate Sal managed the wine and spirits section of the local supermarket, managed to slip a crate or three in the boot of her car most weeks too

My mate, Sal, manages the wine and spirits section at the local Tesco, and she slips a crate or three into her car boot most weekends.

Not having a go here, but a little tighter on the editing will make a really good piece of work even better.

Re the gremlins....you might find you can ditch them if you go to edit in your profile.

Overall, an impressive debut.

Cat at 20:16 on 18 April 2004  Report this post
Thanks for that Dee. I will resubmit this I think and hopefully the gremlins will let me off the hook. Yes, you're right about lack of paragraph spaces, so will redo that too. Re. the twist at the end, I originally wanted it to be written so the reader only realises at the end that she is telling her story to the police after she's been arrested, but I didn't think it sounded plausible.

Cheers for the speedy feedback!

scottwil at 10:50 on 19 April 2004  Report this post
Yes, this is good Cat. Nice modern fable backed up with tight, sharp contemporary dialogue. An excellent debut.
No gremlins for me but one little typo: A young guy held himself up against a large metal door and wretched.
To read: retched.

I daresay he felt wretched the next morning though.


Cat at 20:09 on 19 April 2004  Report this post
Thanks for that Sion, I would never have noticed that typo! Must use dictionary...


roovacrag at 22:00 on 19 April 2004  Report this post
I can only say what Dee and Roger have said.
read it over and over. Good work.

xx A lice

Account Closed at 19:47 on 22 April 2004  Report this post
Really enjoyed this now it's readable. Great, modern story with clever twist at the end and esp. liked the self realisation.

Look forward to more


darkstar at 17:12 on 23 April 2004  Report this post
I really like this. I think you manage to capture perfectly the nothingness of this girl's empty life.

"But I’ve not been getting too stretched in nail care."

As if anybody would be.

I like too, the admiring tones the narrator has as she tells us about Sal, and how with that awful moment of realisation, she sees her so called friend has been using her. In this short space you manage to show some real character development.

The only issues I had have already been mentioned by others, so I won't repeat them.

Nice start.


Becca at 19:32 on 23 April 2004  Report this post
Hi Cat, yes, I agree with what's said above, it's pacy, and a neat story that sticks to its focus. I must be reading it after the glitches, paras seem fine. Welcome to WW.

TheGodfather at 18:06 on 09 August 2004  Report this post

I loved the subject material. The story flows nicely with believable characters. The only sketchy part was the final ending, cops just seemed over the top a bit. The flirting scenes are strong, with her friend watching. This is a great little story you've got though.


Some things to consider:

she said and I followed her gaze >> she said, and I followed her gaze
was good and it flattered >> was good, and it flattered
purpose and I felt like a rebel >> purpose, and I felt like a rebel
tequila driven >> tequila-driven
urging me on but I didn’t >> urging me on, but I didn’t
at all and I didn’t want >> at all, and I didn’t want
brushed passed hot arms >> brushed past hot arms
two timing sod >> two-timing sod
at the keys and I watched >> at the keys, and I watched
then and for the first time >> then, and for the first time
to himself and I began >> to himself, and I began
the cells so I could >> the cells, so I could

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