Saturday, January 09, 2010

Entry #83

The Good-stuff
by Aniket Thakkar

“Can you believe some fool is paying $1000 for a bird?”

She looked around to confirm he was talking to her.

She briefly met his eyes, before turning toward the painting. “It’s not any bird. Its a Huia. Claimed to be extinct.”

“You don't believe it is?”

“I believe nothing is ever extinct. People just stop looking for it.”

“Still. The price seems overkill for this painting.”

“Not an admirer of art, I believe?”

“Oh, but I am. I’m an admirer of everything beautiful.” He flashed a smile at her. “Such as you.”

She stirred her cocktail. “And this painting? Is it not beautiful?”

“Silhouettes hardly qualify as art.

They show only a suggestion of beauty and hide all the good-stuff.”

Her grip tightened on her glass. “It allows the observer to be a part of the piece itself. To fill the gap as he sees fit.

What could be more beautiful?”

“Its not knowing what's inside. Makes me lose all interest.”

Her eyes glinted through the glass as she took the last sip. “I seem to hold your interest just fine.”

“You have me there. I'd be delighted to know you more. To know what's inside.

I have a feeling that it is much more beautiful than that bird.”

She whispered in his ears as she brushed by, “You'll never know, 'cause like in my paintings, I don't give away the good-stuff.”


Aimee Laine said...

Oh my goodness Aniket! This is my FAVORITE piece so far! I could just feel the cliche'd come-ons and the twist at the end was just fabulous!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, brava, brava, my friend.

Loren Eaton said...

Love that last line. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Nice, memorable piece, Aniket. The characters shine through with crisp dialogue. --JR

Janel said...

Oh, that was a great last lot. Shot down at the gallery!

pjd said...

And if he had been more clever, he probably could have got the girl AND got her to pay for the drink with the proceeds from the painting.

Great work, my friend. Although I could see his comeuppance before it happened, the poetic justice satisfied in the end. Nice work!

Leah said...

Good one :) Satisfying, as pjd said.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Ouch. Slammed. LOL

Love this one.

Aniket said...

Aimee - Thanks a lot. I know it was hardly a twist. But I went for the smack down factor. :)

Aerin - Sorry to disappoint and leaving out the powerpuff girls from the story. :(

Loren - Thank You.

JR - Thank you so much! Feels great when the reigning champion says that! :D

Janel - Thank you!

PJD - I didn't want to insert any unreal twist (this time. I often succumb to the urges :P) I wanted to go in the meaning of a silhouette and took it from there. I am content with, satisfying. :D

Leah and Sarah - Thank you so much!

Chocolate Lover said...

Awesome :)

Craig said...

Owned ;-)

Pavitra .... said...

Wow...this is really good! One of the best stories I've read off-late! Keep it up!

Mayur said...

Hehe, Aniket. I was looking forward to read your entry. I don't give away the good-stuff (for free?!). I like, very muches :).

Blodeuedd said...

I like it :) Some good things are happening

Paul D. Brazill said...

That is smart brilliant stuff. Lovey fell to it. Worthy of a Howard hawks film(Excuse the pun.or nor). The pace was perfect, tight up to the end.Goal!

Shuchi Kalra said...


JaneyV said...

And he thought he was being so smooth!!!

Aniket - this is superb. I love the dialogue and the little clues that show us how seriously off the mark the guy is. I think you got it just right!

Well done xxx

kiran said...

Awesome, Loved it :)


David Barber said...

Very well done Aniket. I felt as if I was stood behind them, listening in on their conversation.

Regards, David.

Anonymous said...

Good dialogue Aniket. Nice work!


Aniket said...

Chocolate Lover - So glad you could make it here! Thank you!

Craig - Thanks!

Pavitra - That's a huge compliment! I am humbled.

Mayur - :D Thanks mate.

Blodeuedd - I'm glad they are.

Paul - Thanks! Those are high words of praise.

Shuchi - So glad you could make time to be here pardner! :)

Janey - Thank you so much! Both for the comment and for your advices when I was writing the piece.

Kiran - Much Thanks!

David - Am glad I could keep it real. Thanks.

Paul - Thank you.

Kartik said...

Serious pwnage! You can't blame him for trying though. Sassy women just make you swoon!
Killer dialogues .. keep it up!

Bernita said...

(Seems my comment didn't make it the first time around. It was early morning)
A nice sophisticated tilt!
Very satisfying.

Lena said...

Lovely. Someone has a thing for great dialogues :D
I like it, but you sure knew I would!

Rajan said...

very pleasant, sir!
njoyed reading this!

Preeti said...

that paagal was so cocky that he deserved it. Haah!!! I loved this one.

You know...the trend that's happening while i'm going through the entries is that there are these beautifully intense and poignant pieces that really make you feel choked. And then there are entries like yours...which make you breathe again. the breath comes out with a laugh, you see... :-))))

i thoroughly loved this one, man. like...too much!!! hahaha...very well written.

Hate Breeeder said...

That was real good. It Was like watching it on screen!

Karen said...

Aniket - This is a unique take on the prompt, so bravo for that! I also can sense the growth in your writing over time. You seem to have more restraint now, which translates into more maturity of style.

I really, really liked this!

Aniket said...

Karthik - I see your point bro.! My sassy girl (the Korean version) is one of my fav. movies ever. Fell in love with Ji-Jyun Hoo's character.

Bernita - I can understand. Its 3:30 in the night here and am still here too. :P Glad you could find something good in it.

Lena - I sure had a feeling that you would. :D

Rajan - Thank you! So glad to see you here bro.! (No Sir's around here dude. I'm no longer in college, so Aniket is fine. They'll think I paid you for it.)

Preeti - Oh, then am so glad you found this. After all, Breathing is important. ;) Thank you so much for your kind words. Keep inspiring!

Hate Breeder - I'd be more than willing to sell the movie rights. Any takers? :D

Karen - I was so waiting for you to get here. You've always been one of the first ones to comment, all year round. Thank you for your constant encouragement and inspiration. I am so glad that you see a growth. I promise, I'll keep trying to get better. Now, where's Margaret? :)

J. Randick said...

Excellent dialogue, revealing character with finesse.

J. Randick

Kate said...

Har! I could here the music and air kisses and glasses tinkling and the click of high heels on marble while reading this. And I have SO known this guy! Get thee to a sports bar, you caveman, gallery openings are not for you!

yamini said...


I started with ur entry, and i realised that competition is really going to be tough!!
awesome climax!

loved it!! :)

anks said...

nice twist... really nice... :)

deepazartz said...

WOW!!! One of you Best, Aniket!!!
Loved the characters and the cutting dialogues:)

Best of Luck!

Nishpriha said...

too good...
I expected the end to be diffrent and it broke my concept..i liked it,a piece of art by your imagination..:)

austere said...

Very nice.

Quite admire the woman.

Krunal Palande said...

When everyone was looking inside the picture, you were looking at the picture....your story is matchless

Aniket said...

J. Randick - Thank you.

Kate - lol. I have a feeling, you would have done better with this piece. Am glad you liked it. ;)

Yamini - Thanks a lot pardner. I've been keeping an eye out for your entry. Oh, and if you started off with this, you're ride is only going to get better. :P

Anks - So glad you made it here! :)

Deepa - Thank you for the high praise and constant encouragement.

Nishpriha - Yes, it is. Thanks a lot!

Austere - I like her too. ;)

Krunal - I am thrilled by your comment. Thank you.

Meghan said...

Great piece. "I believe nothing is ever extinct. People just stop looking for it” is my favorite line.

onipar... said...

Nice last line, very funny! :-)

Jelena said...

"I believe nothing is ever extinct. People just stop looking for it" - so beautiful, I read it and wished I believed that, too.

Cool piece.

laughingwolf said...

well done, aniket :)

Amity said...

beautiful Aniket...:)

now I admire you more for penning this beautiful story with moral worthy my read!

but then, yeah, some good stuffs you'll never give up! true it is Aniket!

Laurel said...

No doubt this will be in my top five. Maybe my first place vote. This is spectacular, Aniket. Let me count the ways:

1) The important things unfold in dialogue.

2) You have created two memorable, recognizable characters here.

3) In the middle of all that dialogue genius there is a very strong impression of their physical environment.

4) Hint of philosophy, artfully inserted with the line "nothing is ever extinct we just stop looking for it"

5) She gives him much opportunity to redeem himself or hang himself with all that rope.

6) And that "Oh, SNAP!" Comeuppance moment is priceless.

I did not think you could outdo the last entry you submitted but this, wow. LOVELOVELOVE it.

And all in 250 or less.


Aniket said...

Meghan - Thank you! Mine too. ;)

Onipar - Thanks a lot!

Jelena - I hope you turn a believer. Thanks.

Laughingwolf - Thanks!

Amity - Hey there friend. So glad to see you here! And I'm glad it was worthy your read. ;) Thanks a lot for showing up.

Laurel - This has to be the best comment ever on the contest! A wonderful anatomy of my piece. I love it. And I love the fact that you soaked in everything this had to offer and still liked it. I can't thank you enough for your generous appreciation!

Vesper said...

Excellent, Aniket! I can see you had good teachers for dialogue... :-)I love this piece!

Four Dinners said...

Oh yes! A cracker Ani. An absolute cracker. Loved the ending but loved the build up just as much.

Very nice one old bean!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the ending to this particularly

sylvia said...

Hah! That'll teach him!

Tara said...

I see why you enjoy dialogue--cause you do it so well! This was all around great.

Player got played. Love it.

Aniket said...

Vesper - And you are one of them. I remember your patient comments to teach me on my series 'Seven'. Which I have to admit has to go down as the crappiest work in the history of writing. Those comments taught me a lot.

Your entry to Ascension still is my all time favourites. There was something about that character that gripped me.

Four Dinners - Glad you made it here. I see you've shifted to fourdinnersagain. I was still searching you over cargoblues. Playing hard to get for someone, eh? :D

Crafty Green Poet - Thanks a ton!

Sylvia - I sure hope so.

Tara - Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.

Four Dinners said...

....always hard to get old bean...;-)

Terrific writing mate. Big time!

catvibe said...

You know what really sucks Aniket, what really sucks is I was one of the very first commenters here, and it apparently got eaten because I have searched and searched through your umpteen gazillion comments and have found not a hint of me here. Damn! Well anyway, I did write a long and indepth comment to talk about this piece days ago. I loved it then and I still do. Good work Aniket.

Liz said...

Coming from an art background it would have been hard for me to dance around the fact I did a painting, since sometimes I'm too proud. It was hard doing critiques my first few years in college. I'm glad your artist kept her cool with the rude guy.

I liked how you kept the tone very real and true to life.

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

One thing that i had always liked about your story is conversations..

FYI, Stephenie Meyer is one very good example for instance...

So another Meyer is in the making.. :-) Most of the times, i forget the set up n get involved in the conversation...

As always..very good work :-)

Aniket said...

Four Dinner - Thanks again. :D

Cat - Oh, but I know that you always read my stories. So no harm done. I might have missed out a post or two for sure somewhere in between.
And there are not "gazillion" comments. :P But am overwhelmed with all the love showered, Yes. Thank you so much for this and for being there all year round.

Liz - I got inspiration to write this after hearing the conversation between Karen and Dave (Two outstanding poets and art-admirers. You should must visit them) Dave mentioned that "a work of art is always dear to the creator. It his baby. And only he knows what it truly signifies and identify its beauty. No one else can judge it. Others, can just admire"

Thank you for the comment.

Mahesh - I have to admit, I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading her work. And I hated it. Still have to read her novels. But knowing, a grand success that she is, I thank you for the compliment. Would definitely like a best-seller to my name one day. But then again, who doesn't want that? :D

Thank you for your constant encouragement.

Deb Smythe said...

Ha! Funny. Great job with the dialogue, too.

Rabid Fox said...

Nice dialogue and scene. The ending provided a good pay off.

J. M. Poirot said...

You have a very strong command of dialogue. Bringing characters to life through dialogue is really tough and you did it brilliantly. Good Job! Great ending.

Anonymous said...

oopsie...initially i was thinking to write on these lines but later decided to go for a dark story. good that i did not attempt because you have done a tremendous job here. good work!

Chris Eldin said...

Sooooo glad to have finally read your vignette! You and Sarah H. own the romance department.:-)
Most awesome writing! Loved it!

McKoala said...

Smart dialogue, even smarter ending!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Ha! Served with him, not seeing the beauty within the silhouette! I agree, him he'd had a silkier tongue, he could've had the girl.

Dottie :)

Aniket said...

Deb & Rabid Fox - Thank You!

J. M. Poirot - I had a good teachers. Jason and Sarah, have been most helpful in teaching me how to use dialogue effectively over the last year. :)

Truevoid - Honestly, I'm surprised too, that no one else took it as a painting. I was expecting at least a few. Thanks a lot for the appreciation.

Chris - Most generous of you, but all my friends (Karthik, Harish, etc) are ga ga over your entry and I'm very jealous. ;) Everyone loves it when someone kisses and tells. :D :D

McKoala - Thank you for gracing the post with your esteemed presence O' mighty one. I am honored. :P

Dottie - She did give him all the opportunity. :) Thanks you.

Ragna said...

Excellent piece, love the idea of it being a painting.

Adore the ending !

Terri said...

Excellent :)
This reads like a movie scene - I see Jennifer Aniston in the lead role. Very sleek little story.

desiderata said...

your gal's "punch"line really floored me; tastes sweet:) well done!

SzélsőFa said...

what an emancipated woman :))
i liked the smooth dialogue and the sophisticated twist :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

So there! Aniket this is one of the best pieces you have done! It is polished and skillfully written. The storyline is just perfect with the prompt!!! Kudos!!

Sharanya said...

I'm actually jealous, this is really good! Obviously, the bit about extinction goes down as one of the best lines ever. How on earth did that...come to you? (stupid question I know, but still. I'm sort of in awe.)

Harish said...

A firecracker of a post. I loved the character sketches and the crisp dialogues.

Made me go *ouch* :D

Great work!

Aniket said...

Ragna - Thanks a lot!

Terri - Thank you! I like Jennifer Aniston a lot too. But I've been smitten by Zooey lately. :)

Desiderata - Thanks! Nice pun-ch! :D

SzelsoFa - She is thrilled with all the praise. ;) Thanks!

Kaye - Best? Really? Super Thanks!

Sharanya - Million thanks! Honestly, I was in two minds to keep that. I kept thinking that I couldn't have come up with this. Since I'm big-time movie buff, I kept thinking I must've heard it somewhere and just don't recall it. I googled. Didn't find anything. So patted myself and went ahead. :D

Harish - Thanks man! I like firecrackers. :)

Anonymous said...

*“I believe nothing is ever extinct. People just stop looking for it.”*

Priceless line.

I love that you use the photograph as a conversation piece within this story. Great idea - great writing.

Good luck!!

~ COrra McFeydon

Anonymous said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like Sarah Palin's hair or the enigmatic career of Justin Timberlake.

Karen said...

Ani!!!! Hooray! I am so happy for you because I know how you must be floating on air right now! You deserve it on this one. :-DDDD

Laurel said...

Congrats! You went down on my Reader's Choice #1 spot...glad to see your genius officially recognized :)

Kurt Hendricks said...

Aniket, I'm so happy for you! Awesome writing - congrats!!!

Gia's Spot said...

Congratulations! Wonderfully done!

Aniket said...

Corra - Thank you! The 'Good luck' came through. :D

Aerin - No snarking. No. :)

Karen - Yes I am! Yes I am! I am a bit sad knowing about Margaret and Ello's troubles. They too have been most supportive throughout the last year. But I am very excited, yes.

Kurt & Gia- Thanks a million!

Margaret said...

Aniket - I'm soooo happy for you!
3rd Place! WOW!!!! Brilliant!!!

All I can say is WELL DONE - You deserve it!!! :)))

rohan said...

Congrats buddy! You deserve it.

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

Congrats on the third place win!

Dottie :)

joaquin carvel said...

i know i am pathetically late - but figured you wouldn't mind another round of applause. nicely done, and well deserved!

Aniket said...

Margaret - Thank you so much for taking out time to be here! Was missing you...

Rohan - Thanks mate!

Dottie - Thank you so much!

Joaquin - I don't mind it at all, friend. ;) Glad you could make it here.