After my post last week in talking about surprises, I thought about trying to post more often. Not like I did at the beginning of the year, when I posted every day. But something more frequent than the post-a-month-routine that I seemed to have adopted.
So I’m going to give a shot at more frequent posts. It definitely won’t be on a strict schedule, like every Friday. I don’t want to bring back the self-imposed deadlines that used to take a lot of my time away from writing my stories.
I’ll be posting about various things, the same kind of stuff that I’ve posted before. Maybe more variety. Who knows? I suppose surprise is the theme I’m going for. Surprise as to when I’ll post, and surprise as to what those posts will contain. Those will help keep me on my toes — and they’ll offer some breaks from my writing.
Let’s get started today … here’s an excerpt from a novel I’m writing that’s about a woman whose bent on getting revenge. Hence, the very clever WIP title Revenge. I have an actual title in mind, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise 🙂
Those lingering suspicions caused Michelle to hire a private investigator. He was a skinny guy named Harlan Foster.
In a noir movie, she would’ve found him by leafing through the Yellow Pages and seeing his ad. It would’ve been a small and simple ad, one that didn’t cost a lot of money. Maybe it would’ve had an illustration of a magnifying lens — to catch your eyes and tell you right away that he was an investigator.
And his office would’ve been in an old, worn-down office building. The office would’ve been on a middle floor, away from the expensive rent that the uppermost floors demanded. In the front room of the office, there would’ve sat a smart-mouthed secretary named Dotty or Gale. A desk-top fan would’ve been slowly oscillating in the corner. In the inner office, the private eye would’ve been gazing out the single window at the city, pondering his life. He would’ve turned at his door swinging open and Michelle entering. He would’ve had beard stubble on his cheeks, and his dress shirt’s sleeves were rolled up. He would’ve been sweating from the heat and from the stress of making next month’s rent and from the struggle to keep from opening the bottle of whiskey tucked in the bottom drawer in his desk.
But the experience wasn’t that way at all.
She found Harlan Foster by Googling private investigators in her area. The same method she had used to find recipes and directions to new places and tidbits about celebrities. Now she used that method to find a detective to spy on her own husband.
Harlan Foster’s office was on the second floor of a two-story building, with a payday loan business on the street level. It was in a part of town where such businesses had been there for years. Offering to cash your checks for a fee. Offering you a loan with an insanely high interest rate, to be paid off with your next paycheck. Down the block were liquor stores and cheap restaurants and convenience stores.
Michelle didn’t go to this area very much, and it saddened her because it felt of desperation. It was where you’d go for a short-term loan or cheap booze or a handful of lottery tickets that you bought every week. Some thin strand you were grasping onto, in the hopes of doing more than just getting by. You were sick of just getting through the day or the next week. Because you were so desperate that you couldn’t see past next week.
Text copyright August MacGregor. Photo copyright Kristine Paulus, and photo is used here under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to her Flickr page.