Mac Eagan, n’est pas?

Good morning, Literati!

Oh, my goodness!  Mac Eagan has decided to join us.  Here is his entry into the contest You Didn’t Write That.

Simply titled:

Tag.  You’re it!

by Mac Eagan


“My name’s Luminess.”

“Your name,” Detective Lasko grumbled as he opened a folder, “is Luis Michael Ness. You’re suspected in a dozen vandalism cases, and been arrested, charged and convicted on one.  Guess what?”

“I didn’t do it.”

“You didn’t?  Write that as your statement and sign it.  Luey, you even know what ‘it’ is?”

“Don’t matter.  You think I just walk up to a wall and start spraying? That’s vandalism, not art.  Art takes inspiration.  And planning.  I was home, working on sketches.”

Lasko tossed a stack of photos at Luis.  “But you sign your work?”

Luis flipped through the pictures. Colors randomly streaked on the statues outside the Art Museum.  The last picture caught his attention.

“That your tag?”

Luis flipped a photo over and grabbed a pen.  In a few minutes he had sketched the signatures of four other graffiti artists.

“That tag ain’t real.  This ain’t my style.  I use art to show how I see the world.  This somebody don’t see nothing. Check my jacket again.  That conviction?  Only because I confessed.  But I ain’t copping to this.”

Lasko nodded his head toward the door.

“Make sure I know how to find you,” he growled.

Louis Michael is nesslted among his brethren at the Cannes Filmed Festival. He was tagged in this photo
Loch and load. Mac Eagan prepares to edit

27 thoughts on “Mac Eagan, n’est pas?

  1. Kyle says:

    Always been a big fan of yours. Clever way in using the prompt. Authentic dialogue. That Lasko sure knows how to grind your face to the wall. I used to sit in(/the other side of the mirror) on some of my dads interrogations in Chicago. The dual of wits trying to get the perp to confess, was always entertaining. Glad to see your work. Great piece.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thank you, Queen of Play!  I never had the first-hand experience of interrogation rooms as you have described – just watched way too many crime shows on TV.  I appreciate you telling me the dialog was authentic.

      • Thorn says:

         Your proper response to Kyle should have been:  “Yeah, I have been interrogated so many times in my life, the interrogation is a tape that plays in my head.  I just had to transcribe it”.

  2. Julie4 says:

    Hi Mac,
    I enjoyed reading your story.  Satisfying ending. Clever character’s name. Interesting interpretation of “You didn’t?  Write that”

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thanks, Julie.  I’m glad you saw the prompt was still in there.

      And I am sure Thorn is trying to figure out how NOT to give me credit for writing this story, but I must nonetheless give a shout to my former writing protege/now leading editor, Mari Maiko.  My first draft ended at “ain’t copping to this” and Mari told me it was too abrupt and to rework it.  Thankfully, I listened to her.  (Then told her to go clean her room.)

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Lasko always growls.  Isn’t that what a cop does for a living?  Not surprised at your intellegent trickery with the prompt, Egan.  Mend them, break them, anyway you want them- you’re so cool.  Good to listen to the edited mind, and we have only just begun-again.

  4. diana_SD says:

    I really like the insight on the difference between vandalism and art. I live in a gang neighborhood with tagging going on all the time (and shooting occasionally).  Most of the taggers are metaphorical poodles pissing on fire hydrants, but there are some people who grow up in the ‘hood with real art coursing through their veins.  Your protagonist is the genuine article, and he reveals all when he says, “This somebody don’t see nothing.”  It rang true and made me want him to rise above his origin while maintaining his voice.  Nice work. 

    • Mac Eagan says:

      I like the challenge of writing with a heavy emphasis on dialog.  If I reach the point where the characters are not trading sentences but actually speaking, if the reader connects with them as people, then I feel I have accomplished something.  It means a lot that you are rooting for my protagonist.  Thank you.

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    At last Mac is back.  Fantastic.  The idea is great and your rendition is of vandalism and art quite forceful.  I’ve seen some art that should be labeled vandalism on the run.  Tell Mari – she’s sharp and smart.  Good to see the detective is still detecting.  Like this one Mac.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      I kind of felt obligated to separate the phrase into two phrases.  When Thorn first posted the prompt, someone new to the site commented they thought it would not work the way it was worded.  Thorn’s response (always the believer in those who inhabit his playground) was essentially, “Watch what they do with it.”  That motivated me to do more with it and hopefully inspire someone else to push a little farther and take a bigger risk with their creativity.
      And it was good exercise for me.  Thanks, Monica.

  6. SalvatoreButtaci says:

    Mac, you always have the dialogue down right! Did anyone ever mention that’s the hardest type of writing to put down on paper? You’re tops!

    • Mac Eagan says:

      From what I have seen, all the old gang is attacking this contest!  Some really great entries have been turned in.
      Thanks, Terrie.

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