The Passenger (Rewrite)

This is an edit/rewrite of a short story I threw together earlier today http://wp.me/p1XRQQ-2a

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I take the slip road onto the motorway checking my mirrors as I merge into the first lane. A heavy bass line from the radio is trying my concentration so I turn it off.  The road is empty except for two or three cars so I hit the accelerator and move into the middle lane. Keeping one eye on the tarmac and one on my mirrors I consider my next move. If I get this wrong it will be all over and I will be back to where I started.

We have been on the road for over an hour and the sun is starting to rise. The young woman next to me is silent and staring out of the passenger window. It was 4am when woke her up, told her to get in the car and keep calm. So far she has been obedient and I am grateful. I hate giving orders. I’m not very good at it but it’s a crucial part of my job. I glance over at her again and notice that she is crying quietly with the occasional delicate sniff. I extend my arm and offer her a tissue from my chest pocket but she ignores me.

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The Passenger (Crime draft)

I don’t really write crime although I would like to. I don’t read a lot of it either so this is quite a challenge I have set myself. Anyway, bare bones of a short story which I am sure will go through various edits and rewrites.

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I take the slip road onto the motorway, checking my rear view and side mirrors as I merge into the first lane. A song is on the radio that I don’t recognize. The bass line is slow and heavy, it’s annoying me so I turn it off. I need to concentrate.  The road isn’t that busy so I indicate and move into the middle lane as I press down onto the accelerator. Keeping one eye on the road and one on my mirrors I consider my next move. If I get this wrong it could be all over. I’m speeding, pushing 95 mph but the rest of the traffic is going at a similar pace so I know this won’t arouse suspicion. I ease off anyway.

The young woman next to me is silent and staring out of the passenger window. I asked her to keep calm and thankfully she obeyed my orders. I hate giving orders. I’m not very good at it but it’s a big part of my job. I glance over to her again and see that she is crying. She isn’t sobbing, just crying quietly and occasionally sniffing. I extend my arm and offer her a tissue from my chest pocket but she ignores me.

We drive further north, passing Birmingham and a few hours later we crawl past Manchester. A red light starts flashing on my dashboard telling me that I need to stop for petrol urgently. It is a risk. Cursing myself for not thinking this through I turn off at the next services. Luckily I can pay at the pump so I can keep my eye on the girl. She can’t run anyway, not with her ankles tied together.

I need not worry though as she doesn’t try to escape. For the past four hours she has been frozen in the same position and not even turned to look out of the windscreen. I’m almost disappointed that she has lost her fighting spirit, she’s not the girl I used to know.

Ascension

Sandra knew she was going to die. This time she was certain of it.

With a pounding heart and clammy palms, the pain relentlessly tightened its grip on her left arm. She was scared and alone and powerless to the chrome walls closing in around her. Praying it would be over quickly she clung on to her briefcase for a little comfort.

The floor continued to move below Sandra’s feet making her feel lightheaded. She waited for her life to flash before her eyes. It never happened.

An automated soft female voice announced “Floor eleven” and Sandra took a slow deep breath.

Today she had survived. A little shaken but fully composed she stepped out of the elevator and walked to her office. It was time to put the Buchanan case to bed.

#Friday Fictioneers The Hunter

I have never done this before but came across it on another blog and thought I would give it a go. A visual prompt from Madison Woods to inspire your 100-word story.

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Samsun had been walking for months. Winter had been harsh and the blizzard had made foraging impossible. He kept moving south to locate the food from the autumn hunt, still preserved in ice.  He followed his nose towards the spot where he had left his feast and despaired as the ground turned from white to grey. The landscape below his paws felt dry and his home was now a new world. Samsun walked past the once frozen lake thawing for the first time in his memory. At the spot where he should have found his salvation, only bones and dust remained.

Wall Breaker

To have all the words and suddenly lose them is scary. To have no words when there is a fast-approaching deadline is terrifying. Bruce wanted to move away from the blank computer screen but he wouldn’t allow it.

So far he had read the paper, cleaned the kitchen, drank four or five cups of coffee, sorted out his car tax, sold a few items on ebay and contemplated making a start on the puzzle his mother had got him for Christmas. On the whole it had been an entirely unproductive day. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and submission time was at five. Bruce knew how sneaky time could be so he didn’t want to move until he had written at least three hundred words. Then he only needed to complete seven hundred more and he was on the home straight.

Bruce, the accomplished writer and best-selling novelist knew that he should find short story writing a breeze. Today he didn’t feel accomplished, instead he felt like a student pushed to start and finish an essay overnight.  Maybe he should give it up as a bad job and let the editor know that it wasn’t going to happen.

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Four Legged Friend

Today I say goodbye to the most wonderful friend anyone could ask for. I spent three years living with the in-laws and the fifth member of the family was always there to make me smile after difficult days, was always up for a natter and a cuddle and had the happiest smile whenever he saw you. Unfortunately he became very poorly and it wasn’t fair on him. I can’t tell you how much I will miss him and as I never grew up around dogs I was in all honesty surprised at how upset I felt knowing that he will no longer be around.

I wanted to write something to honour what he meant to the family however I couldn’t get this song out of my head. Roy Rogers sang this in Son of Paleface about his horse Trigger and I loved it then but it seems so poignant now.

Big hugs Jacky boy, have fun chasing squirrels and rabbits in doggy heaven xxx

A four legged friend, a four legged friend
He’ll never let you down
He’s honest and faithful right up to the end
That wonderful one-two-three-four legged friend

Who carries your burden, who carries your load
On tumbleweed land or a long dusty road
Who asks you no questions, who tells you no lies
That four legged friend with the two honest eyes

A four legged friend, a four legged friend
He’ll never let you down
He’s honest and faithful right up to the end
That wonderful four legged friend

That wonderful one-two-three-four legged friend

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Tracks

A sweaty brow, racing pulse, a mind full of numbers and a fist full of cash. Dean stood next to the track where the dogs had pounded the ground an hour before and contemplated his next move.

Looking down at the money he knew he should call it a day but his mind couldn’t help but think about what he could pull off. He already had enough to pay off the outstanding bills and then treat his wife to a new coat. He lit a cigarette and inhaled heavily. Turning on his heels he walked away from the track and towards his car.

Dean assured himself that his wife would never know that he got the cash from the dogs, he would say it would be from the job that she think he has. He sat in the car and switched on the ignition but he couldn’t keeps his eyes off the track in his rear-view mirror. Just one more, he thought as he removed the keys and walked back towards the stadium with a fist full of money and mind full of numbers.