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Todd Morr's picture

The Asshat Fund

By Todd Morr in Arrest Us

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Description

Seeking revenge against Obnoxious clients goes wrong for a Finacial advisor.

Comments

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland June 3, 2014 - 1:40pm

I loved this one. Great storytelling. The dialouge is supurb and that's really difficult when the story relies so heavily on it. The characters were very identifiable as individuals. None of them sounded the same.

I love the bits in the dialogue about "That's what I like about you..." from Alvin

Good stuff. The grammar and language and structure were all good too. I really don't have anything negative to say about this one.

Job well done.

--JR--

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 3, 2014 - 10:56pm

Thanks.

Sharen's picture
Sharen June 3, 2014 - 3:05pm

I enjoyed this short story. Details come together cleverly and keep you interested. The main character is self-serving and morally ambivalent, but he IS NOT STUPID!
Nice work Todd Morr.

 

Nerval's Lobster's picture
Nerval's Lobster from New York City is reading Seiobo Down Below June 3, 2014 - 4:52pm

Nice time-jumping back and forth, and the narrator has a great voice. Fantastic ending, especially with the little wave to the lady across the street. One very minor suggestion: generally people with ten bullets in them have trouble talking very long or clearly -- maybe a bullet or two in Alvin before a coup de grace?

madsmaddox's picture
madsmaddox from Berkshire is reading Fated June 5, 2014 - 5:57am

Todd,

thanks for writing and I certainly enjoyed. Pace was good (I prefer short stories that are written like this as it leaves the reader wanting more), but I was hoping for a richer ending, when I say richer ending, you mentioned John Woo - GIVE US JOHN WOO (or Johnnie To), this piece demands a proper heroic bloodshed style ballistic finale. As it is, the pace keeps the same until the very end. The moment he mentions the sound proofing after he's given the gun, you could have sooooooooooo much more fun here.

Also, if you change your font to something a bit more legible it'll read even better.

Take my comments with a pinch of salt and if you must, some mescal and lemon.

All the best and happy writing.

Mads

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 5, 2014 - 9:43am

Thanks for reading and commenting.  This may have been the first time ever someone suggested something I wrote could have used more violence, but yeah, I could have racheted it up a little.

Todd

 

Grant Williams's picture
Grant Williams from Wichita, KS is reading Friday June 5, 2014 - 9:50am

That was a fun little ride.  Nothing to nitpick.  I enjoyed the clever back and forth, a touch of violence, a touch of humor, and some redemption.

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 6, 2014 - 12:00am

thanks.

malmstn's picture
malmstn June 5, 2014 - 10:53pm

Awesome plot and great one liners.

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 6, 2014 - 12:01am

Thank you.

TheKyleBTM's picture
TheKyleBTM June 6, 2014 - 5:50am

I loved the story, the witty banter between characters was fun and interesting. I have always been a fan of revenge stories and lenjoyed how this one played out. It did make me want more at the end, that is by no means a bad thing, but something more could happen in the basement. keep up the good work.

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 6, 2014 - 10:06pm

Thanks, and yeah, I could have done a bit more with the basement.  I did have another 1,500 words or so to work with.

stevezip's picture
stevezip from New Jersey is reading Thuglit June 6, 2014 - 7:53pm

Good job, Todd. I can only echo the prior sentiments.

One thing I would look at is the 'convenient' appearance of the Kevlar. It's appearance just when it's needed feels contrived. I think it might be better to back up and make that the reason Alvin put one between Mick's eyes.

Also, it might be better if he boosts a car from Stiva's house. It doesn't seem like a bloody guy in Kevlar walking away from from the scene is going to get far.

That my 2 cents. Overall an entertaining, easy read.

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 6, 2014 - 10:12pm

Thanks, the 'bullet proof vest' is often convenient and overused, and I'm probably guilty here.  I had my reasons, but perhaps was a bit lazy. 

Hooper Triplett's picture
Hooper Triplett from Tucson, AZ is reading Fever Pitch June 6, 2014 - 9:03pm

Really solid.  Consistent and strong voice throughout.  Good hook at the beginning.  Top notch pacing.

Only critique is that some of your sentences were overstuffed with clauses and modifieds.  Here's an example- "I had a bigger, newer, television in my apartment, colder beer, and probably the same grocery bought frozen wings I was eating here in my freezer, but since the divorce too much time sitting alone in the apartment had me thinking bad thoughts, so I spent my Sundays and Saturdays, here."  Reads more like a carefully constructed sentence than a natural thought in the character's head.  Could have been "I had a bigger, newer, television in my apartment, colder beer, and probably the same grocery bought frozen wings I was eating here in my freezer.  Ever since my divorce I spent far too much time sitting alone in the apartment.  Being alone in the apartment lead to thinking and thinking lead to bad thoughts.  So I spent my Sundays and Saturdays here at the bar."  You break up your dialog very nicely, but bogged down in the descriptions.

Todd Morr's picture
Todd Morr from Colorado Springs CO is reading Notes From the Internet Apocalypse June 6, 2014 - 10:22pm

Thanks (my repiles are getting redundant).  I appreciate the critique, I find it tricky making characters sound real, but still having them be clear, and unlike actual people, concise and to the point, so I don't bore the reader. It's a tricky balance, and I like the way you did it.  So, thanks for the suggestions.

Nick Porisch's picture
Nick Porisch from Brainerd, Minnesota is reading The Stand June 8, 2014 - 8:00pm

Nice story. Like some of the other comments said, the dialogue is really amazing. Very realistic. In my opinion, the story seemed a little rushed, but I guess that's just me. One small suggestion, you could make the whole last words thing a bit more cinematic, since, to the reader, it seems like they actually are going to be his last words. Overall, the story was really good.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 9, 2014 - 5:32am

This is solid, and certainly one of the most complete stories I’ve read in the contest so far. The characters are fine, the dialogue is good, and you have a defined story.

I don’t have any real issues, which is unusual. I’m not a fan of the font, and I could have done with a few more dialogue tags on page 5. I also think it could do with a better name. These are all very not-picky issues though, mainly because there just isn’t much else to hook onto that I’d consider weak.

The ending is tricky. I can see why others felt there was a need to up the action, and have a little more fun with the consequences. There is a nice build to the story, which suggests a resolution with a little more to it. I agree with Nerval that 10 bullets is extreme if you expect Alvin to talk, but it gives the whole thing a kind of Loony Tunes / Shoot ‘Em Up feel of cartoonish excess, that you could play off to up the action straight after. 

I do love that sign off line though. Perfectly pitched.

So… good flow, good characters, good dialogue. Unleash a bit on that ending, and this would certainly challenge for my favourite story so far. As it is, it’s in the top 2.

Devon Taylor's picture
Devon Taylor from Allentown, PA is reading Doctor Sleep June 9, 2014 - 9:53pm

This was a fun read. The opening was a really nice hook into the story. And then the dialogue in the second part was what kept me there. The dialogue was really fluid and believable. It felt like a genuine conversation, which is great. I do think the opening was a bit clunky. It's almost like you weren't quite sure where the story was taking you at first, but then there's a point somewhere in the second part where I could almost tell that you'd gotten into a stride with it and you knew what was happening. Your characters were rich in dialogue but it's really hard to base the visualization of a character on solely that. I think all of your characters could have done with a few descriptive details or mannerisms. I loved the idea of the narrator being convinced to sell his clients' private information, and being more inclined to do so when they're jerks to him. That whole concept really speaks to the world we live in today, where identity theft is a huge concern for a lot of people. Well done there. However, I think you had some wiggle room to really draw that part of it out. I would have liked to have seen him struggle a little more with the moral aspect of what he was doing. That's mostly personal preference, though. The ending was definitely rushed. There was absolutely some wiggle room to make that a badass action sequence. I actually found myself saying, "It's over? Just like that?" That can be a good thing and a bad thing because it left me wanting more, but it also left me a little dissatisfied. I agree with all the previous comments, though, about the very last part. That was a great send off. On a formatting note, I'm not sure why there were lines between every paragraph after the first part. That was a little off-putting, but mostly it was just a little distracting. Overall it was a solid story. Thanks for sharing!

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff June 14, 2014 - 3:18pm

Nice story. I was completely engaged from front to back. It was also impressive that the majority of the story was told in dialogue and was still clear and easy to follow. The ending was good too. I like how it circled back around to his regular job and he got some satisfaction from that. Great job!

Natso's picture
Natso from Mongolia is reading Moby Dick June 18, 2014 - 1:40am

Awesome story, great dialogue. I especially liked the dialogue of Alvin and James first talking, shooting smack talk at each other, establishing status.

Nonlinearity of the narrative was great as well. I love how it started with an interrogation scene like a film, then with flashback and continuity, the story paced on nicely.

I also liked when James unloaded a clip into Alvin. You have this accountant character, who's getting beat up by the criminals, then you have that guy shoot back, that was unexpected, in a good way.

 

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK June 17, 2014 - 8:26am

Nicely done. Everything I'd mention has been said already, so I'll just tell you that I enjoyed this a lot.

Erik Carl Son's picture
Erik Carl Son from New England is reading Sunset and Sawdust by Joe Lansdale June 17, 2014 - 7:56pm

Well played.
The one liners work well, especially the end of Chapter 4.

Geert Mostrey's picture
Geert Mostrey from Belgium is reading Gone Girl June 19, 2014 - 11:46pm

Hi Todd,

Nothing to comment really other than saying that I really enjoyed reading this story. It has good flow and pace, has a very well crafted plot and keeps the balance between tension and reveal just at the right balance for your reader to want to keep on reading.

Great stuff !

Scott MacDonald's picture
Scott MacDonald from UK is reading Perfidia June 27, 2014 - 11:26am

Hi Todd

Great story.  The dialogue was fast and sharp, which is always a benchmark of good crime fiction for me.  Loved the characters, and you probably have one of the best titles I've come across so far in the competition.  The set-up was great and element of who was double-crossing who in such a limited number of words was carried off very well.

The only criticism, and this maybe only because I was enjoying reading it so much, was that the ending kind of came up on me quickly.  It's not that the ending was unsatisfying (because from a story perspective it was absolutely right), it was just that the pacing felt a little speeded up to me after the point where Alvin shot Mick.  I think a slightly more paced approach once James is heading up the stairs would build the audience towards the conclusion.

However, very minor criticism as this was hugely enjoyable.  Look forward to seeing more of your work around.

Scott

Motor-Psycho's picture
Motor-Psycho from Montreal is reading Everything By Willeford July 5, 2014 - 8:27am

I agree ending seemed rushed. Was also some confusion for me when Alvin states Silva is upstairs. Think it may have been a formatting issue or needs a break in Alvin's dialogue at that point. 

Again, love the set up and payoff of dealing with assholes (Asshat too old and lame of a term?).

The Asshole Fund would be more inclusive to a mature readership IMO.

Motor-Psycho's picture
Motor-Psycho from Montreal is reading Everything By Willeford July 5, 2014 - 8:21am

Thumbs up. Couple run-on sentences and some that should be clipped and turned into two. Reading on my phone and there's page lines everywhere - dont know what that is. But good flow and structure to the story. Consistent enjoyable voice throughout. I liked that ur guy returned to the same "not the same as smart" statement. Maybe needs a bit more comedy to make the title less immature. 2 or 3 more jokes should do it.

 

good job.

 

Matt

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch July 7, 2014 - 1:50pm

Todd, 

Really enjoyed this. Good dialogue, a fun, complete story, and some nice lines spread through out. There's honestly not much I can tell you that hasn't been said already. 

Generally I'm not a fan of flashbacks and set ups like you start your story with. Mainly because I find that it makes the reader just want to get back to the original moment. I can see a version of this story in which you remove the beginning and instead build up to it, but it's not a deal breaker, and you keep things moving fast enough that soon enough we rejoin Alvin and Mick. 

I also agree about the ending, but in a slightly different way than other seem to. I actually would prefer if you avoidedthe shoot-em up ending altogether and tried to have Mick either succeed or fail based on his brains alone. Alvin can still get shot up, that part felt right (though maybe ten is a bit excessive), but the rest feels like part of a different story altogether. This probably comes down to personal taste, so you'll probably have to decide what ending fits your story best. 

Kudos on the story. Fun read. 

YouAreNotASlave's picture
YouAreNotASlave from Birmingham United Kingdom July 8, 2014 - 4:58am

Nothing new to add that hasnt been said above. Great story, great characters, great dialogue. I think the humour and wit really made the story come alive, you made the scam plot superoriginal with those characters. Nice one!

kevymetal's picture
kevymetal from Halifax, NS July 9, 2014 - 9:18am

I can't believe how quickly this one flew by; very, very good.

If I had one complaint, it's that I'm sad James and Alvin didn't end up as pals. It seemed like they would for a second there. You know, before the shooting and double-cross murder and what-have-you.

Cmangano's picture
Cmangano from Maine July 10, 2014 - 11:19am

The dialogue in this story is natural and moves at a good pace. The plot is well thought out and makes for a fun revenge story ( both on the clients and Alvin). There was one thing that  really caught my attention. James is portrayed as a fairly mild character, he doesn't even want to give out the names/info of clients because it's illegal. It's believable that given an opportunity, a man who is constantly abused might not pass up a chance to make a few bucks off of the assholes doing the bullying, especially if he thinks he won't get caught. I have an issue however believing that this character would be willing to empty ten rounds into a man with seemingly no remorse (although I did like the way that part was written), and then run upstairs to finish off  two more guys. I think that the action is great, but up until he shoots Alvin, James seems to be a regular guy who is bothered, at least at first, by the moral issues of ripping off faceless jerks, deciding not to do it, then maybe just one, eventually justifying it for several clients. Killing Alvin, while pleasantly surprising, seems to be out of character. Deciding to kill Stiva and his crony further the differences. Smashing in a mans face and flashing a smile to a witness seems a little too bad ass for the original timid account that we meet, but perhaps that was the point, to surprise the reader. Overall the story was a fun read with plenty of great action scenes. Nice work. Good luck in the contest.