Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 69 - a Bit from The Man Who Ran Away

Sigh.  My entry into the WriteClub2014 contest was never received.  So I'm not only not one of the 32 contestants, I'm not even one of the 145 rejects.

And I'm sure my excerpt would have won (won it ALL, I tell you!) if it had only had a chance.

On the other hand....

The thing about Write Club is that you're not supposed to talk about Write Club -- or at least not talk about your entry.  It's supposed to be anonymous, which means that you shouldn't even post related excerpts and such for fear someone will recognize, etc.

So... since I'm not IN Write Club, I can now talk about my non-entry.  And post it. Because I'm pleased with it.  (I did restore some details and such that I had cut to make it suit the contest.)

I may give you some story notes tomorrow from this, but for tonight, I'm just giving you the excerpt itself.  It's from one of my WIPs (the sequel to The Man Who Did Too Much):

The Man Who Ran Away

This is the ending of the first chapter.  It began with a bunch of police showing up at George's door (point of view of the Sheriff, who is a regular character in the series).  George is plenty cool about being suspected of an undefined crime, but he's clearly stressed about the fact that his alibi is his ex-girlfriend.  Sheriff Rosewalt stays behind to advise him not to meddle in the case, or to call the ex-girlfriend (Gwen), for fear it will look like he's coaching her.  George remains stiff and correct through out the scene.

(The title for this Chapter is likely to be "The Curious Incident of the Cops In The Daytime.")


GEORGE SHUT THE door behind Sheriff Rosewalt and locked it, checked the lock and turned out the light.  He then turned and went straight for the back door, moving with the focused intensity of a man in need of a lavatory.

He went out the glass patio door, closed it, and with studied deliberation, paused to check its lock as well.

And then George began to run; blindly, without any thought to where he was going.  Across the patio, down the sloping back yard to the path along the lake.  He pounded down the path, kicking up gravel like popcorn.

The police didn't want him to call Gwen -- didn't want him to influence her testimony -- and he wouldn't, but not because he gave a damn about their suspicions.  He'd been accused of crimes before, been guilty of them even.  That didn't matter.  George would not call Gwen because he was working hard not to be obsessive, especially about her.

And every bit of him wanted to call.  So he couldn't.

Every bit of him wanted to.  That was a line from a movie, wasn't it?  Which one?  He didn't know.  He'd have to ask....

And that's when he new exactly where he was going.  To the Guru on the Hill.  The Voice of Sanity.  The one who held the secret of movie quotes and how to skip over the awful details of life.

He ran along the trail, around the north end of the lake, then down the less beaten path through the woods to a stretch of highway, and then finally to an old gravel access road that ran along behind the row of houses along Decker Road.  It was a run about two and a half miles.

When he reached the overgrown garden behind the old yellow farm house, he didn't slow.  He simply jumped, up from the path, over the sprawling tomatoes, peppers, squash and kale, past the kitchen door to the side door, which was next to the drive, and where she expected her guests to arrive.

He stopped, out of breath and looked up at the door.  It had been replaced recently, and was still a very bright blue which clashed with the house.  He should get one of his workmen out to paint it for her, but just now the brightness seemed magical: The glowing entrance to the lair of peace and wisdom and sanity.

The woman who opened the door was about forty.  She was wearing a Big Lebowski t-shirt and ... bunny ears.  Fuzzy, blue bunny ears of a color that very nearly matched the door.  She was also carrying a very large knife -- practically a machete -- which glistened with a sticky, faintly pinkish substance.

The definition of sanity was, of course, relative.

She waited for him to catch his breath and then he finally spoke:

"I can't call Gwen, because all of me wants to."

"Maltese Falcon," said Karla Marquette, Holder of Wisdom, and Movie Maven Extraordinaire.   She opened the door wider so he could come in.


Tomorrow I'll tell you about why I am happy with this, even though it may not be in its final form.

See you in the funny papers.

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