Read these stories from: The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction Tiny Smiling Daddy by Mary Gaitskill and review We Didnt by Stuart Dybek and critiques
this short story uploaded using the following information. Both the story We Didnt by Stuart Dybek and Tiny Smiling Daddy by Mary Gaitskill are stories that
demonstrate the tension-building technique of negotiation. Did the excerpt properly Compared and contrasted the way each author uses negotiation to drive the story.
Did the excerpt explained how does each author use negotiation to create tension in the story? Assess how well negotiation resolves the tension it creates in each
In The Scene Book Sandra Scofield suggests that not all stories must express conflict to succeed as a piece of fiction. She writes In many instances what we see is
negotiation an exchange of character desires and denials and relenting until some sort of peace is carved out or else the whole interaction falls apart.
Dont be late. The message from Tims wife was clear. It was 7:45 pm. He had fifteen minutes to go eight blocks (from Lakeside and East 9th all the way over to East
4th street) and the Cavs were playing at eight pm which meant the buses would be behind. Shit. He started running as soon as he made his way through office buildings
revolving doors into the subzero winter night. She wanted me to take that damn west coast account didnt she realize this would mean late nights? While he was
formulating an excuse for being late in his head he lost his footing on the snow-covered February sidewalk.
His briefcase broke his fall but in doing so it popped open and scattered folders on the icy ground. He bent down and started scooping them up looking around to make
sure no one saw how awkwardly his body contorted. The other guys in the office always made fun of his old-fashioned hard case but nothing inside gotten broken when he
dropped it- proving the value of being unfashionable. He looked at his watch. 7:51. His bus was already two minutes late. He decided to walk figuring that being
fifteen minutes late while red-faced and puffing would at least look sympathetic.
Tim cut down a dark alley behind a rusted skyscraper. He made a sharp right at the opening and ran into a panhandler knocking his crumpled Taco Bell cup down and
scattering change all over the sidewalk. Im so sorry Tim sighed. Im in a hurry. The bum crawled on the ground fraying his already worn corduroy pants. Tim kept
moving but another man stepped in his way. I dont have time for this. He was younger and better dressed trading the first panhandlers torn and discolored Cleveland
Indians Starter jacket for a shiny crushed satin Cleveland Cavaliers Starter jacket.
Yo man you got any money for me? His voice was flat but deep enough to seem threatening.
Tim looked at him again. Besides the jacket he had on a pair of red Jordans that looked brand new. Clearly this guy isnt hurting. His face looked young; his cheeks
still soft and lacking stubble.
Sorry Tim mumbled but Im late for dinner with my wife.
He walked by him and banged his right shoulder into his. The kid grabbed him from behind.
Listen motherfucker: Im hungry. The inflection in his voice was sharp.
Tim slapped his hand down and turned toward the younger man. Theres no way hes older than 19. Maybe you should have stopped at the grocery store before hitting up
Foot Locker. I heard they opened a supermarket downtown jackass. He spit the last part out in an effort to seem tough. Now if you excuse me Im late.
He turned back. Before his foot hit the ground he felt a sharp coldness on his neck followed by the click of a gun chamber.
I said Im hungry you dumb bitch. Ha-ha. The kid was laughing. He was laughing while pointing a gun at someone.
Tim tightened his grip on his briefcase and slowly turned around. He looked the kid in the eyes. Hey man I was just kidding about the Foot Locker comment. Im sure
you got those Jordans as gift or something they dont even look new he voice trailed off before it turned into a whimper.
The kid smiled. How the hell could he be smiling? He reached in Tims outer jacket pocket and grabbed his phone.
Ooooooh he cooed. An iPhone 6? And its the big motherfucker too. He pawed the phone with his right hand while he kept the gun pointed at Tim with his left. You
still gonna tell me you dont have money for the homeless? Gimme your wallet and whatever other money you got. Now.
You dumb kid I dont have any money Tim started. You think every guy in a suit is some rich business man? Cause Im not. Im not driving I dont have a car and
Im running through downtown because its faster than the bus. And Im doing it in dress shoes. Do you know how uncomfortable dress shoes are?
The kid kept looking at the phone. Give me your wallet. He waved the gun up and down.
Keep the phone okay? Its your gift Tim pleaded. But you gotta let me go.
The kid locked eyes with Tim. He smiled. Ill let you live asshole just give me your wallet.
Tim frowned and looked down. There was no one else on the dark street except the panhandler he knocked over. Listen to me. Im late for dinner with my wife she means
the world to me and I cant keep letting her down. I dont have time for this stick up kid bullshit. If you were gonna shoot me you already would have.
The kid pushed the gun into Tims forehead. He miscalculated. Clearly this was a man well-versed in the stick-up arts.
The gun pushed further into his head. Money. Now.
Tim closed his eyes imagining his wifes reaction to this event. Sure you got stuck up on a street corner on a Friday night in downtown Cleveland while the Cavs were
playing and people were walking around everywhere. Of course you got robbed thats why youre late. You have the worst excuses for everything you asshole. He
imagined she would end her verbal dressing down with a drink tossed in his face like in the movies.
Just take it okay? Tim reached inside his coat and tossed his wallet over the kids head. The kid dropped the gun following the flight of the wallet. He looked
down and started moving towards it.
Tims arms flexed and his right hand swung hitting the kid with his briefcase before he even realized that his brain had sent the command to his arm.
The briefcase smashed into the back of his head hard enough to pop the kids necklace out of his shirt and smack him in the face. He dropped straight down hitting
the sidewalk hard as loose dollar bills fell out of his back pocket. He gathered them up and walked over to the panhandler who was still crawling around the ground
picking up pennies.
Here. Tim put the bills inside his torn fast food cup.
He turned back stepping over the kid who was unconscious on the ground. His wine colored satin jacket was already starting to get discolored from the black sidewalk
grime. He bent down and picked up his phone. Tims forehead was covered in sweat.
He looked at his phone. It was 8:12 pm. He had six missed calls from Katie: 7:52 pm 8:03 pm 8:06 pm 8:10 pm 8:11 pm and 8:12 pm. He chuckled buzzing from the
adrenaline that was still pumping in his veins. The phone rang. Yes dear Im just running late. Im so sorry. Yes I know I promised. I know I know. Ill see you in
seven minutes. I love you.
He zipped his coat up and smiled looking forward to the remaining six blocks he had to cover.
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Dinner Date Project description Read these stories from: The Scribner Anthology
Best regards, Kate Williams