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 Post subject: Confidence Man
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Shiny Wobbuffet Prince
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This is the last writing topic I'll make for a good while, I promise!

So, this is a story I'm writing. Feel free to comment.

Chapter 1


Wilson Makkerdy was as good as they came. A true artist among con artists. The tales of his escapades were famous in some circles, and infamous in most others. He was above the mob, and above the cops. Hell, he’d conned them both blind.

Wilson Makkerdy was looking for a protégé.

It was the talk of the criminal world. It was even in the newspaper-because Wilson Makkerdy could afford to be that blatant-an ad allegedly posted by the man himself. It was simple enough. “Makkerdy seeking apprentice. Talented Underlings or Lackeys with Super Applications. Only the qualified need apply.” That was it. No list of qualifications. No age requirement. No address.

It was the talk of the Hydeout-the basement of the Stevenson bar-where most of the illegal activity of Burbank went down.

“You actually believe it?” Olive asked her friend. “It’s an ad for a CON ARTIST. There are so many reasons for it to be fake; not the least of which is that Makkerdy isn’t even that old.”

“He doesn’t have to be old-he’s probably just satisfied with the money-wants out of the business, but can’t bear to lose his techniques. Heard he’s a real romantic.” Replied her friend. His name was Renolds, but he preferred Teller. Nobody ever asked why.

“It still smells like rotten fish.” Complained Olive. “I still can’t believe you actually want to go for it. You’re hardly qualified. I’m sure the great Makkerdy-if it really is him-is looking for somebody who’s pulled off more than the odd Ponzi scheme.”

“Everybody has to start somewhere. And I pulled off the Ponzi scheme masterfully, I’ll have you know. Those suckers still think that their offshore investments are blossoming.”

“My point is that there are tons of con men out there with more skill-more experience-than you. What makes you think you have what it takes to be the next Makkerdy?” Olive countered.

“Because I’m willing to learn.” Teller replied after a moment of thought. “A lot of the established hucksters hardly care for advice, let alone a full on teacher. I’m willing to improve in any way I can. Also, the economics degree wouldn’t hurt. I guess the question is, are you coming with me? I’ll need to show off my shill-she is the best, after all.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” Olive glared at her friend. “Besides, you don’t even know where to apply.” She pointed out.

“Sure I do,” Teller replied calmly. “We’re going to Oklahoma. See? The second sentence, the words spell out Tulsa. I guess that’s the first qualification exam.”

Olive was stunned for a second. “You don’t even know that that’s what it means.”

Teller just smiled. “Only one way to find out.” He smiled, slapping a plane ticket on the table. “Now, are you coming? I could use that acting degree of yours.”

Olive scowled. “I’m going to regret this, but I don’t want to let you out of my sight.”

“Did you really have to give that man your card?” Olive complained on the way in to Tulsa International Airport. “Can’t make a simple, pointless trip without being productive?”

“You’re the one who was complaining that the trip would be a waste of time,” Teller pointed out. “Although, maybe not so.” He pointed at a sign seemingly left at the terminal. It read, “CON AUDITIONS THIS WAY”, with an arrow pointing towards the internet café.

‘Well, Makkerdy certainly has guts,’ thought Teller as he walked into the café, Olive trailing behind.

Walking in to the café, he saw…..nothing. Well, nothing of interest. There was a businesswoman seated at one of the computers, typing away at a spreadsheet. That certainly wasn’t Makkerdy. Aside from her, there was nobody.

“I told you. It’s just an elaborate prank. Ironic that you were fooled, being a con-man and all. Guess whoever it was just wanted to see if anyone would fall for it. Let’s go.” Olive said, tugging on Teller’s sleeve. She had had enough of this.

“Hold it. Let’s just take a look around.” Insisted Teller. Within a moment, he had found….nothing. There was one terminal open, though.

“What’s this computer doing?” asked Teller.

“Don’t use that.” Explained the receptionist. “Somebody’s paying for it. They’ve been coming in every so often to check that website.”

Thinking it a bit odd, Teller investigated further. It was just a website for a self-help center, listing the employees and how they could help you. He figured he might as well look it over. He was already here, after all.

“Hey, look at this name.” Teller pointed at the screen.

“Helping you to fit in-Norm Median. Okay, so that’s probably a prank.” Olive said.
“No, the one below that. Helping you boost your self confidence-Dwayne K. Solkir.”
“Okay…,”Olive looked in puzzlement. “You having issues believing in yourself?”

“No,” Teller rolled his eyes. “Confidence, as in ‘confidence man’. And “Dwayne K. Solkir is ‘Wilson Makkerdy’ mixed up.”

Even ignoring the likely pointless question of why he was going around rearranging peoples’ names, Olive still had some other, more pressing questions. “Okay, so, assuming that your extremely contrived logic works out, how can we use this?”

“Well, we call the place, asking for Dwayne K. Solkir. Duh. C’mon, let’s go to the hotel."


End Chapter 1

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 Post subject: Re: Confidence Man
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:40 am 
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Mew
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Not a bad setup. Your sentence flow could be a bit better. I'd go into more detail but that'd require me doing some rather serious mark ups and I already spent way too much time today writing (homework and all that). Here's one thing that's easy to fix though, you need to put a break between where the girls leave the bar and when they reach the airport. You're changing scenes and there's a decent amount of time passing too, so you can't just go straight into it. That's the type of place where you either end the chapter and start a new one or, if you don't want to do that, put a line with some astricks in between to break it up.

***

And suddenly I'm totally talking about something else. Nothing at all to do with demonstrating what I had been talking about before... I think you get the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Confidence Man
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:14 pm 
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Shiny Wobbuffet Prince
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Incidentally, Teller's a guy. I thought I used only male pronouns for him.....

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Stevenson's Vocabulary Word of the Week:

Foment: (verb) To excite or arouse, i.e. 2014's Week of Randomness hopes to foment some activity on the forums.


Stevenson's Latin Phrase of the Week:

Brutum Fulmen: (senseless thunderbolt) This phrase, coined by Pliny the elder, is used to refer to an empty threat.
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 Post subject: Re: Confidence Man
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Mew
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 25723
Location: Hawaii
Maybe you did. I was doing IMing some people while reading your story so I might have just gotten mixed up.

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