(Photo is Christian Bale in "3:10 to Yuma" )
If I was casting actors to portray my characters, I would have to choose Christian Bale to portray Sue. Mostly because his character in "Batman Begins" has pretty much the same attitude at least when the movie opens and he is in prison in Asia. He fights because he is pretty much pissed off at the world, and being as pissed as he is, he is pretty good at fighting.
Of course, nowhere in my novel does Sue get training from a secretive Ninja master to polish his skills. Instead he stumbles on an interdimensional trip across the universe in pursuit of his father who "gave him that awful name." (Who of course, would be portrayed by Johnny Cash, were he alive to do so!)
Here is another small excerpt. Presented sans explanation.
Sue was about halfway through the bottle of whiskey when Mama Lisa and her girls came in. Residents of the local house of ill repute, they were on the prowl for customers and they quickly fanned out through the bar. One perky redhead fixed her interest on the scowling young man drinking intently near the doors."Hey there, care to buy a girl a drink?" she flounced down on a chair and latched on to one of Sue's arms. He looked sideways at her, his impaired brain working out a response. He decided to be surly, and instead of responding, slid his glass in front of her and sloshed some whiskey in it. Undeterred by the unfriendly response, she giggled, a high pitched laugh that rippled throughout the bar. "What kind of a girl do you think I am? I don't drink whiskey, at least not this early!" She snuggled up against him, and spoke quietly in his ear. "How about a nice glass of wine? Wine always makes me feel friendly..." she left the implication hanging there in the air, hoping this young boy was not already too far gone to catch her meaning."Don't seem as though you need much help in that area." Sue snapped, reaching across and recovering his glass. He tipped it back and drained it in a gulp and did his level best to ignore her. She decided to take another tack."I don't remember seeing you around here before, what's your name?" she trilled at him, one hand twirling his hair idly. Sue started at this question, and quickly checked to see if she was trying to make a joke. Apparently deciding she wasn't, he answered with the same surly tone."I don't have a name." The girl's eyebrows raised in curiosity, and she decided to pursue this line of questioning further."Aww come on cowboy. Everybody has a name. What does your Mama call you?" now more interested in this apparent mystery than in her pseudo romance she had pulled back slightly and was looking intently into Sue's face. However at the mention of his mother, Sue's face darkened even further, and he decided he had had enough of this game."Never mind my mama. I think you need to find someone else to harass." he snapped and scooping up his glass and bottle disentangled himself and moved away to another table. The girl, being a professional could tell when a man was not interested in what she was selling, and instead of wasting her time trying to change his mind she moved on to more fertile pastures. Two miners just off shift at the local gold mine were competing for the attentions of another of Mama Lisa's girls at a nearby table and she determined to help them resolve the conflict by offering herself as a consolation to the loser. One of the miners was immediately more than happy to abandon the battle and turned to the redhead."Decided you want a real man tonight instead of a boy?" The miner laughed, wrapping one arm around her shoulders and pulling her close against him."He didn't really seem to be in the mood for company tonight." she shrugged. Then added "and he wasn't too sure what his name was. Poor little guy..." she giggled and snuggled up closer to the miner. The other man at the table laughed out loud and said in a voice purposely loud enough to carry to the other table."I know why he's so shy about his name. I would be too if I had his name..." and then leaning towards Sue's table to ensure that he caught the next few words, "...or should I say 'her' name?" he guffawed at his clever humor, and the two girls, well trained by Mama Lisa tittered out of habit although they didn't really get the joke. Sue, on the other hand knew exactly what the man was getting at, and felt that familiar rage rising in his chest, felt his face and neck turning red."I hear tell his daddy was a big man, but when he was born he couldn't stand that his little boy was such a girly little thing, so he named him Sue and then left town before he had to face the shame of having thrown such a disappointing little whelp." the miner was on a roll now, and the girls were still giggling uncertainly, although they had begun to sense that this conversation was quickly passing from harmless fun into something dangerous and ugly."Aww, forget about him. How about that drink you were going to buy us? Let me go get a bottle of wine for us all to share." the redhead tried vainly to redirect the conversation, adding her trademark lamely "wine always makes me feel friendly, if you know what I mean..." she pushed herself up against the miner, hoping that her advances would distract him from his apparent aim of picking a fight."Besides, he's just a kid. I don't care what his name is. Let's go back to my place and have that wine." Her attempts were futile. The miner had seen the reaction his words had caused in Sue, and had decided that it would be good fun to release some energy by pounding on this apparently soused teenager for a little while."Yea, its a good thing you didn't take him back to your place Sally, you might have been embarrassed when he asked to try on some of your frilly things. I hear she likes that kind of..." the miner's insult was interrupted by a whiskey bottle at high velocity that impacted his head directly between his eyes. It shattered and splattered all four occupants of the table with shattered glass and whiskey. The girls screamed and instinctively deserted the table and made a beeline for the doorway. This wasn't the first bar brawl they had encountered, and they knew that once drunk men started swinging, it was no place for a lady, even if she was a working lady.To his credit, the miner took the whiskey bottle to the head rather well. He was of course stunned, and the alcohol and blood dripping into his eyes stiung and blinded him but nonetheless, he had the presence of mind to grab the edge of the table and fling it up in front of him as he rolled out of his chair onto the floor. This unthinking reaction served to save him from Sue's follow up attack as the chair he had been sitting on impacted the table where the miner had been split seconds before. The miner scrabbled at his face trying to regain his vision while rolling away from the table and trying to get to his feet. For a split second he remembered the rest of the story that had been related to him about this kid named Sue, the part that warned that he was a powder keg when provoked. But more pressing matters than reccolections of ignored warnings were at hand. He had regained his feet just in time to meet Sue's flailing attack. Fists windmilling and feet kicking wildly he waded in to the miner to exact vengeance for the earlier insults. However in his blind anger, he forgot the miner's companion who had rolled to the side and recovered much more quickly. As Sue flailed at his partner, he picked up a chair and swung it at Sue's back. Fortunately for Sue, the swing was badly aimed and timed and he had bent to aim an uppercut as the chair struck. Still, it knocked Sue off his feet and the miner quickly followed his surprise attack with an attempt to plant both of his hobnailed boots in the middle of Sue's chest. Sue rolled out from under his attack and lashed up and scored a hit on the man's groin with one foot. He groaned and hunched over, giving Sue an open attack on his face, which he took immediate advantage of, windmilling both feet in a lashing attack on the man's face. One kick landed squarely on his jaw and broke the bone with a soft crunch. He collapsed uncouscious to the floor. Sue struggled to his feet, only to be met immediately with a flying tackle by the first miner. He was driven to the plank floor and his breath was knocked from his lungs. Feeling his advantage, the miner's hands found Sue's throat and he quickly got a grip and began squeezing. Sue panicked, feeling consciousness quickly slipping away and his hands scrabbled at the iron grip of the miner while his feet tried to inflict damage where they could. The miner had too much of an advantage however, and black spots began appearing in his vision and his flailings weakened until blackness overtook him.
© 2008 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved