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The Frank Keretta Story, a serial

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stimcrab
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The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-04 21:19:44 Reply

This is the thread where I will be posting my '70's era spy serial about the titular character and his old college roommate, Colin Humblin, who decide to open up a Spy organization. Hope everyone likes it and critiques are welcome.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

stimcrab
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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-04 21:22:24 Reply

Part 1
The letter looked up from my kitchen table. I sipped a Tom Collins and surveyed it. The scribbled handwriting gave away the author before the signature was read. It had to be from Colin Humblin, an old college buddy of mine. We were roommates back, oh say, twenty odd years ago up in Glasgow. I studied International Relations, and he was studying business management. Colin always sort of bugged me, in college, because I knew he'd be pussy whipped by some faceless corporation sooner or later.
My plan was always to go into the State Department, once I came back to America. It worked out in a way. I say "in a way" because, when I was given my first post in Brazil back about five years after I graduated from college ('68, I guess), there was an international incident involving me, some ayahuasca, an ancient civilization, the then president, and some mud. Suffice it to say, apparently, being appointed as a cultural attaché does not allow you to sneak around military offices deep inside the jungle, which honestly came as a surprise to me. You see, international relations had far less to do with spying than I had hoped.
I'm Frank C. Keretta, by the way, and I always wanted to be a spy. After that problem in Brazil, the government set me up in a nice, secluded home, and they paid me to keep my mouth shut. This is why the letter I got from Colin came as such a surprise to me. The note's contents were not any easier to understand:

Dear Frank,
I'm back in the States for a small bit of time, around Clayton, West Virginia, where you live, according to some friends. I was hoping we could go out to lunch for a chat. I have a proposal that you may find interesting. Around 18 o'clock, I'll be at your door; you'll take me somewhere nice, and we'll talk.
~ Colin Humblin

All this talk about going out to eat made me sort of nervous. I'd been around gay men before, in Brazil. There may have been one time where things got out of hand in Rio, but I'll never be sure because pina coladas are not forgiving to the memory. Still though, plenty of questions were raised by this note of his: How did he find out where I live? What's this proposal? Did he turn gay? And most importantly, why in God's name was he using military time?


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

TrevorW
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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-04 21:24:39 Reply

Alright, I enjoyed this. More.


Failure should push you until success can pull you.

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-04 21:38:49 Reply

I like it! I'm looking forward to reading more.

One criticism: work on Frank's intro. You have this awesome flowing, and descriptive back story, then you pick up a mallet and beat Frank's name into the face of the reader. This off handed "oh yeah, my name is ___" breaks the flow unnaturally. Keep up the good work tho!

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-04 22:06:53 Reply

At 2/4/10 09:38 PM, Version2 wrote: I like it! I'm looking forward to reading more.

One criticism: work on Frank's intro. You have this awesome flowing, and descriptive back story, then you pick up a mallet and beat Frank's name into the face of the reader. This off handed "oh yeah, my name is ___" breaks the flow unnaturally. Keep up the good work tho!

I think that is just common practice in these sorts of writings -- at least that is how the movies do it.


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 20:07:21 Reply

Part 2
I remember that that day passed with little occurrence. Clayton was a terrible town. My only facet of culture was the Ku Klux Klan's cross-burning ceremony, but they never stayed very long because they thought the locals were going to shoot them. Giacomo, the only Hispanic in the pentacounty area, was only allowed to stay because he was my butler. I called him Jimmy mostly because he stood a better chance of surviving that way.
Jimmy answered the door at around 8 o' clock. Unsurprisingly, Colin was late. I surveyed him as he walked through the door. He was wearing a bright blue suit.
"You're two hours behind schedule," I noted.
"No, I'm not! I said 18 o' clock, right?" he protested.
"Yes... of course. How silly of me." It figures that he can't tell military time correctly. "What's up with the get-up?"
"We're going to a nice place, right? I'm hoping for sushi," he answered.
"We're going to the only place that sells food that I'm sure doesn't have saliva in it, WASPY Mel's. And you look like a fucking smurf for Chrissake," I added. I was only wearing a pair of jeans and a worn "America Fuck Yeah" t-shirt, but I was okay because no one understood the reference.
"WASPY Mel's, you say? Can I still get a steak there?"
"Depends on how successful they were hunting today," I said, "So what's the big secret proposal?"
"We'll save that for dinner."
It didn't seem like Colin was going to make it out of Clayton alive, much less with his testicles still attached to his body. And I was worrying about leaving Jimmy alone at the house for what could be an extended period of time. The government probably wouldn't look very highly on me speaking to a foreigner. I mean, they put my here so I wouldn't talk to anyone, and, now, here I was, talking to a Scot who couldn't tell military time, looked like a smurf, and had a business proposal that somehow involved me. Still though, there was one important thing to note about that night: the Beretta was safely packed in my back pocket.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 20:46:23 Reply

This story was pretty good, it had an interesting story and was very funny (the whole thing about Frank thinking Clayton turned gay) but, the actual writing is lacking in quality. You need to put more more effort into making your prose flow. Other than this you did a decent job! :)


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
Than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
-- ee cummings

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:38:14 Reply

Alright, thank you! I'll try to be more fluid. As you know, it is a serial, and I'm hoping to get it to evolve. I was debating whether or not to actually have Colin turn gay, and I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out. Thank you very much for your criticism, and I hope you keep reading.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

stimcrab
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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:39:50 Reply

At 2/4/10 09:38 PM, Version2 wrote: I like it! I'm looking forward to reading more.

I hope our sourness on my play does not sour your opinion on my serial! I hope we can work past this as writers and peers. Thank you!


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:43:07 Reply

Yes, the fluidity does break down at the end. Reread it and if you can't find where I will point it out.

Cheers


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:44:21 Reply

Considering I've commented on both of your works, please comment on mine. On the first page from me, are Anxiety and Dubbi's poetry. Happy reading! :)


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
Than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
-- ee cummings

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:44:51 Reply

At 2/6/10 09:44 PM, Dubbi wrote: Considering I've commented on both of your works, please comment on mine. On the first page from me, are Anxiety and Dubbi's poetry. Happy reading! :)

Whoring master right here :P


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:46:13 Reply

At 2/6/10 09:44 PM, TrevorW wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:44 PM, Dubbi wrote: Considering I've commented on both of your works, please comment on mine. On the first page from me, are Anxiety and Dubbi's poetry. Happy reading! :)
Whoring master right here :P

You got to do what it takes to get by in this economy!


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
Than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
-- ee cummings

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:48:23 Reply

At 2/6/10 09:46 PM, Dubbi wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:44 PM, TrevorW wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:44 PM, Dubbi wrote: Considering I've commented on both of your works, please comment on mine. On the first page from me, are Anxiety and Dubbi's poetry. Happy reading! :)
Whoring master right here :P
You got to do what it takes to get by in this economy!

Yes, like spam up our friend's topic.


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 21:50:56 Reply

At 2/6/10 09:48 PM, TrevorW wrote:

Yes, like spam up our friend's topic.

Well I wouldn't consider spam, more like advertising of behalf of myself.


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
Than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
-- ee cummings

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 22:06:56 Reply

At 2/6/10 09:50 PM, Dubbi wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:48 PM, TrevorW wrote:

Yes, like spam up our friend's topic.
Well I wouldn't consider spam, more like advertising of behalf of myself.

I meant the conversation were are having.


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 22:19:25 Reply

At 2/6/10 10:06 PM, TrevorW wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:50 PM, Dubbi wrote:
At 2/6/10 09:48 PM, TrevorW wrote:

Yes, like spam up our friend's topic.
Well I wouldn't consider spam, more like advertising of behalf of myself.
I meant the conversation were are having.

Ah, I understand, but to clarify, you were joking right?


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
Than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
-- ee cummings

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-06 23:35:23 Reply

At 2/6/10 10:19 PM, Dubbi wrote:
Ah, I understand, but to clarify, you were joking right?

Ya


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-07 17:36:12 Reply

Part 3
We drove to WASPY Mel's in my pick-up. When we got there, there was already a long row of trucks. My truck was the only one sans bumper stickers. As we passed more and more bumper stickers, Colin grew more and more uneasy. By about the fifth Ol' Glory, he was visibly upset. Someone from inside tossed a Johnny Walker bottle through a window. I just kept walking because it was a standard incident, but he acted like a Brit during an air raid. As we entered, I noticed the local barflies sucking down some longnecks. They were unlabeled.
I was greeted by Big Mel, the restaurant owner. He acknowledged my t-shirt, saying, "'America Fuck Yeah'? You damn right! How about the two beers on the house, Mr. Guvment?" It was a well known fact that the government set me up here, so to them, I was just Mr. Guvment. I don't even think they knew my name, which was fine by the people who sent me here.
"Sounds good, Mel," I answered. He cracked one open and handed one to me and Colin.
"Who's the fuckin' smurf?" he asked.
"This is Colin Humblin. Colin, Mel. Mel, Colin," I introduced them.
"Hello, Mel," Colin chimed.
"Lose the goddamn accent," I whispered surreptitiously.
"Man, you dress and talk like a fruit. You're on thin ice," Mel growled.
I put myself between Mel and Colin. "Hey, everyone, let's not get angry before dinner," I interjected. As I started leading Colin to a corner table, I said, "Mel, why don't you bring us some deer?"
"But I want a Caesar salad."
"Shut up, idiot."
After sitting in silence, Mel brought us some venison steaks. He made a snarl at Colin, who obviously cringed. It was pretty funny to watch except for the fact that, since I brought him, I was in just as much danger. The venison was pretty good this night. It was served with ketchup, but neither Colin nor I used it. Midway through the meal, Colin looked up at me with a disgusted face. He spit out some buckshot, which made a loud clatter on the plate. Every eye in the place turned and looked at us.
Yanking out my Beretta, I pointed it at Mel. With these people, you have to be the one to draw first. I cocked it, and Mel brought out his huge elephant rifle from behind the counter. Everyone else drew their guns too. There were pistols, shotguns, rifles, and even a submachine gun, all pointed at us.
"Get the fuck outta here, Smurf," Mel said loudly.
"Look, Mel, we don't want any trouble."
"Shut it, Guvment. You're the first one dead. Your buddy is gonna get the pig treatment," he said. It didn't take a knowledge of Deliverance to realize what that meant.
Colin flipped the table. The shooting had begun. I don't think I got a round off, and the table wasn't going to last very long. Thinking quickly, I took some of the unlabeled beer, took a paper napkin, and made a very poor man's Molotov. It flew over our shield. There was an explosion. I turned around and started firing at anything that moved.
"We move. Now!" I yelled at Colin. I grabbed the sobbing Scotsman, and we ran out of the door. There was some overhead gunfire, but I'm pretty sure they couldn't see through the fire that was spreading across the floor and only ended up hitting each other. My shirt caught on fire, and I threw it off. It was only a matter of time before the fire was going to hit the rest of the beer. Jumping in the driver's seat, I turned the truck on. Colin piled in soon after.
Driving off towards my government-bought mansion, Colin fell sideways. There was an explosion in the background. I wondered what Jimmy was thinking. Turning to Colin, I said, "I think you better tell me what your proposition is."
"Maybe later," he replied.
"Are you touching my abs?" I asked Colin, who was in the process of touching my now bare chest. "Get off me."
I knew that I'd have to pack up, not because the residents were going to be after me. I had a gate to keep them out, and they had trouble with screw-off tops. But the government would be after me now. And I still didn't know what the proposition was. It was time to leave Clayton, though.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-07 18:23:45 Reply

You need to revise:

We drove to WASPY Mel's in my pick-up. When we got there, there was already a long row of trucks. My truck was the only one sans bumper stickers. As we passed more and more bumper stickers, Colin grew more and more uneasy. By about the fifth Ol' Glory, he was visibly upset. Someone from inside tossed a Johnny Walker bottle through a window. I just kept walking because it was a standard incident, but he acted like a Brit during an air raid. As we entered, I noticed the local barflies sucking down some longnecks. They were unlabeled.
I was greeted by Big Mel, the restaurant owner. He acknowledged my t-shirt, saying, "'America Fuck Yeah'? You damn right! How about the two beers on the house, Mr. Guvment?" It was a well known fact that the government set me up here, so to them, I was just Mr. Guvment. I don't even think they knew my name, which was fine by the people who sent me here.

Over all I felt that the voice was weak to start with and there were many errors. The start simply was not on par with the rest.


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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-07 19:11:54 Reply

I like it. Which is actually not normal for me, because I consider 'spy-stories' my cup of tea/ kingdom.

I subscribe to über-realism in spy stories (probably a hold-over from my love of Ian Fleming's esoteric monologues about Diamonds and Tropical Fish), but I like what you've done with this. No offence, but I would call your research rather cursory. That's not a bad thing. You have a funky and enjoyable story going on. I'm just a stickler for the facts. :-P

There are some issues, though. Your writing was choppy. A big issue I used to (and of course still do) have. Go back over passages twice, three times, a dozen times, inserting new details. The whole thing will need to be reworked to weave it all together of course, but you have room for more. The story is moving too quickly, really. You could stretch this out to twice its current length if you just included more details.

I just posted the first of (what I hope will be many of) my little spy stories. I like how much our styles contrast, and I'd love to see what you think of mine.

-~RWT~-


If you don't like my poetry, scroll down the page a bit. It gets better.

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-07 22:18:51 Reply

At 2/7/10 07:11 PM, RWT wrote: I like it. Which is actually not normal for me, because I consider 'spy-stories' my cup of tea/ kingdom.

I subscribe to über-realism in spy stories . No offence, but I would call your research rather cursory. That's not a bad thing. You have a funky and enjoyable story going on

Thank you very much. Yeah, my research here is less than cursory. It's none actually. My fact-checking consists mainly of thinking of whether or not they had bumper stickers in the '70s. And realism is not a concern to me, I'm going for a social commentary vibe with lots of humor thrown in.

And I know it's pretty choppy. That's an issue for me, especially when I'm trying to write with humor in mind because I have a tendency to sacrifice quality for the joke. I'm hoping to get better (that's one of my goals with this project). I'm actually hoping to film it, once I get some equipment, so I can use shots and cuts to help with the jumpiness of my prose.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories

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Response to The Frank Keretta Story, a serial 2010-02-21 21:19:36 Reply

Part 4

The bags were ready by the time Colin and I got there; Jimmy saw the explosion and just automatically assumed it was time to go. We screeched to a full stop in front of the mansion; my bags and my Jimmy were waiting for us. Working quickly, the luggage and Jimmy were thrown in the bed. I took my last look at the mansion, and, then, I pulled away from my old life.
A hand was creeping over my bare chest again. "Quit goddamn touching my abs. Tell me what we're doing. It's no longer a proposal; I accept," I said.
The hand shrunk back to Colin who noted, "I'm not going to tell you if you're going to be mean."
So, by this point I surmised he was gay. It was a fairly safe assumption between the baby blue tux, the lisped Scottish accent, and the fact that he was touching my abs regularly. I had no issues with that. However, with that last statement of his, I have to say, it became apparent that he was a cock tease, and I hate cock teases.
"Tell me what it is, now. We've got hillbillies and possibly the government on our tail, so think of this as an opportunity to not get thrown out of the car."
"You wouldn't do that to poor ol' me," he smiled. I pulled my gun. "Fine. First of all, you won't have to worry about the government, my proposal is approved by them"-this was getting interesting-"Secondly, you know how you always went on about spying when you were in college?"
"Yeah," I mumbled.
"Well, I figured that with my management skills and your spying chops, we'd go into business together," he stated.
"So, what you want to do is create an international spying corporation? And the government is okay with this?"
"Well, yeah, they said it was okay," he replied.
"Count me in then. Who's our first client?"
"I'll tell you when we get to N-A-S-I headquarters," he answered.
"Our company name is one letter away from 'Nazi'? Are you retarded?" I asked.
"No, and I even had tests done!"
Well, this was shaping out to be the beginning of one very strange journey. Colin came bearing good news. I'd be able to start spying; for real this time, not just on women. And I wouldn't just accidentally wander into forbidden military bases. I could illegally wander into military bases! I was none too happy about being a Nasi. Although, I'm sure that would've made the Clayton residents happy.
Also, I was wondering how Jimmy was handling the open air ride.


Hey, flash artists, want an idea? Check this out: The Scarecrew

And everyone, please check out the latest humorous spy serial, The Frank Keretta Stories