Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hell A (Chapter 2)

Here is the rough for Chapter 2. Again, I still have a lot of mechanics to work out before it’s ready to submit, but it will give you a damn good idea about how the story is shaping up.

Enjoy…
Hell A

Chapter 2

“What?” Tom Wiley barked into the phone. Few things set him off quicker than phone calls in the middle of the night.
“M…may I speak to Detective Wiley please?” The unfamiliar voice on the other end held an urgency that grabbed Tom’s attention.

A sudden feeling of dread put the hair of his arms on end. He tried to shrug it off, chalking it up to being still half-asleep.

“This is Tom, but I’m not a detective anymore. Try calling the station if you need to talk with--”
“No, I need to speak with you,” the man insisted. “I understand that you have some experience with investigating…things that are out of the ordinary.”
“Look pal, I’ve already told you, I’m not a detective. They fired me for your ‘out of the ordinary’ crap.”
Tom wondered if one of the fellas from his old precinct was pulling a prank.

“I really need your help. There’s--” He began, but trailed off as Tom groaned. “Is this a bad time?”
“It’s--” Tom grabbed the alarm clock from his nightstand, blinking several times to clear his vision enough to read it. “Midnight on a Tuesday. What do you think?”
“I’m sorry, sir. I can assure you, I wouldn’t have called so late if it weren’t important.”

“Listen…fella.” Tom realized he didn’t even know who he was on the other end of the line. “Who the hell are you anyway?”
“My name’s Johnny Durant.”
“Well, Johnny…it’s been nice talking with--”

“Wait! Don’t hang up,” Johnny interjected in a rush. “Something horrible has happened to my wife.”
Tom tried to ignore the shiver that made the hairs on the back of his neck rise. He had the overwhelming urge just to hang up and go back to sleep.

“Are you still there?” Johnny’s voice trembled.
“Yeah.” Tom let out a sigh of exasperation. “What exactly is it that you think I can do for you?”
“She’s dead and everyone’s acting like she never existed. There’s something very wrong with this whole situation. I want you to get to the bottom of it.”

“I’m sure the detective working the case will be quite thorough--”
“No, they’re useless. They haven’t even found the body yet.”
“Look, I know the loss of a loved one is a terrible thing to deal with, but investigations take time. Let the police do their job.”
“I don’t think they want to solve this one. Everyone I talk to just blows me off. I think they’re trying to cover something up.”
“Who’s working the case?”
“A detective Torrelli.”

“I don’t know him. He must be new to the force.”
“He’s not from Tulsa. I’m out in Los Angeles.”
“L.A.?” Tom all but yelled.

He cast a nervous glance at his sleeping wife. Once he was sure she still slept, he crept into the bathroom, shut the door.

“Are you fucking nuts?” He growled into the receiver.
“I’m from Oklahoma. The only reason I’m out here is to find out what happened to my girl.”
“Surely there is someone in L.A. that could--”
“I’ve already told you there’s something strange going on here. I don’t know who I can trust.”
“There’s no way I can afford a trip to California right now.” Tom closed the lid on the toilet and took a seat.

“I’ll pay you…ten thousand dollars, plus cover all your expenses.”
“If you’re willing to pay that kind of money, why don’t you hire a real private detective?”

“I followed the story about The Puppeteer; I know you think he was driven by something supernatural and I must admit, I was with everyone else who thought you went crazy.”
“You really know how to butter a guy up, don’t you?”
“I’ve seen things…things that make me believe. I don’t think you’re crazy any more.”

“Like what?”
“Take the case. I’ll send you a packet with everything I’ve been able to uncover on my own. It’s not much, but should be enough to make you believe me.”

“I still don’t understand why you want my help.”
“Mr. Wiley, after everything I’ve been through and reading everything you’ve survived, I truly believe you are the only one that can help me.”

Tom took a deep breath. Everything about the conversation screamed at him just to walk away, but his curiosity overrode his good sense.

“Send the packet; make sure you include a good number I can reach you at. I’ll look it over and give you my decision then.”
“Oh, thank God. You’re a lifesaver. You won’t regret this. I’ll have the stuff in the mail first thing in the morning.”

I already do. Aloud he said, “I haven’t agreed to anything yet.”
“You will.”
Yeah, you’re probably right.

Tom hung up the phone; leaned back, barely noticing the cold of the porcelain against his bare back. He dropped the phone when Anna opened the door.

“Jesus, Anna.” He forced a laugh. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
“What was that all about,” she asked, crossing her arms as she leaned against the doorframe.
“Some nut job wants to pay me obscene amounts of money to go to Los Angeles.”

“And why would he want to do that?”
“He wants me to investigate his wife’s death.”
“But you’re not a cop anymore.” Her eyes narrowed as she moved to sit on the edge of the tub.

“I know.” He snorted. “That’s what I told him, but he said he picked me because of my experience with that demon last year.”
“Nina or Eramael?” She couldn’t hide the look of shock that washed across her face.
“Does it matter?”

“Well, want of them wanted to kill you and the other wanted to help you, so yeah…it matters.”
“Help?” Tom rubbed his temples before letting his hand slide down his face. “That bastard did something to me. Everything’s different now.”

He leaned forward, letting his elbows rest on his thighs. “I hear things…hell, I see things I know I shouldn’t.”

“I know, baby.” She gripped his hand. “I don’t see where having a better sense of what’s around you can be a bad thing.”
“A better sense, that’s one way to put it. If the winds right, I know when a frickin squirrel is climbing the tree out front. It’s no wonder people think I’m a loon.”

“You’re not crazy. I was there too, remember? I know those creatures were real.”
“Tell that to Captain Duke.”
“He just couldn’t handle all the press. Give it enough time for the story to fade and I’ll bet he’ll give you your job back.”
“If I get enough offers like this, I won’t need it back.”

“What’d he say?”
“Ten large, plus expenses.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“No, if I could get five or so of these a year, we’d be set.”
“So, you’re gonna take the case?”
“Yeah.” He took a deep breath as his conviction mounted. “I’m afraid so.”

6 Comments:

At 5:28 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

Good, James. Very good.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger lime said...

you are a wicked man reeling me in like this! good stuff

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thank you, ladies. :D

 
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