No, this is not a post about my yarn stash.
I’ve been working on Monday Street with Toni, and I have the fory-sixth draft of the opening scene of the opening scene sequence done, and it’s doing everything I want it to, but I think it may be doing too much. So I could use some feedback, beta readers. How confusing is this:
The chafing dish went up in a fireball next to the Defense Minister’s table at Maggie’s Ear and Restaurant right after Maggie told Cat Potter to pick Harry McNally’s pocket.
Cat dropped her tray on the mahogany bar, grabbed a pitcher of water, and ran to dump it on the chafing dish while the college boys at the next table who thought slumming it on Monday Street meant no rules hooted with underage laughter. Green flames whooshed up around the drowned silverplate, and then somebody slapped the lid over the dish, and the flames shot out from under one side, making a beeline toward the Defense Minister as if they had a mind of their own.
Cat thought, Oh crap, magic, and yelled, “Pansy!”
Two tables away, a little blonde hit the ground running and stumbled to a stop by the dessert cart.
The flames went out, leaving the DM with green ash for eyebrows.
“Yes, Cat?” Pansy said anxiously.
“I want to tell you what an excellent job you’ve been doing,” Cat said, shaking ash off her long black waitress dress. “Maggie’s Ear is so much better because you’re here.” That last part at least was true.
“Thank you, Cat,” Pansy said, beaming.
Cat looked closer and saw a fresh bruise by her eye, covered with too much powder.
Pansy pulled away, smiling nervously, and went back to the table whose order she’d been mangling.
“That was not what I expected,” the man with the chafing dish lid said as he looked at the Defense Minister, and Cat saw he was her mark, Harry McNally, known to the waitresses of the Ear as the Square Jaw.
Good. Things were finally going her way.
“I don’t think any of us expected that,” she said, taking the lid from him. Then she put her left hand on his right jacket front as she gazed up at him with only partially faked admiration. It was a good face, she’d decided when he’d first shown up at the Ear two weeks ago. Plain. Simple. Strong. Expressions would have been an improvement, but overall that was a good-looking face.
Too bad he was a vicious thug.
“You were certainly speedy with that lid,” she told him, patting his well-muscled shoulder. “A real live hero.” When he looked down at her hand, she slid his wallet out of his left side breast pocket and dropped it into the pocket of her white ruffled apron, said, “Thank you so much, let me get you a beer,” and got out of the way of Tannenbaum the bouncer who was dragging the college boys into the street with violence. Then she headed back to the bar and her boss, wondering why all the good-looking guys she knew were thieves and killers.
Oh, right. She lived on Monday Street.
I’d give you a list of all the things a first scene has to accomplish and what in particular this one has to do, but I’d rather just get your feedback to begin with. I’ve been looking at this bit for so long, it’s pretty much gibberish to me now.
What do you think?