Here, to keep you guys occupied, here’s an excerpt from my novel. Tell me what you think!
The rain came thick and it came fast.
I pulled the collar of my coat over my face, and kept walking down the street. If only that damn phone call hadn’t taken place, I’d be sitting in my office with a warm cup of tea.
If only. There are so many ‘if only’ moments in a person’s life that it’s a wonder that we don’t drown in them like mice in a rainstorm. If only I hadn’t gotten that phone call. If only I hadn’t pushed Rowley to the edge. If only I had noticed the clues sooner. If only Sophia Lundmark hadn’t let them in her home.
No matter how many ‘if only’ moments there are though, you gotta keep wading through them. Because ‘if only’ didn’t happen, only what happened did. That’s all there is to it.
I made it to Red’s Diner, a normal place if you’ve ever seen one. The building was an old streetcar, and had the look and feel of an old, vintage diner. The walls were pinstripe with white and baby blue stripes, which stopped midway down the wall where the wallpaper turned a solid navy blue. The floor matched the stripes, and was tiled white and baby blue. Red, two person benches sat opposite one another, with a table between them. Right in front of me was the kitchen and cashier, complete with old fashioned vintage barstools for kids. Behind the counter was a large woman with frizzy red hair and a look that would cause a kid to soil themselves. Counter intuitive, really.
I took a seat at one of the benches at the end of the car, so I could see anyone who walked in. I took off my hat, and flicked it a few times to get the water off of it.
“Sir, please don’t get the floor wet, it’s gonna make someone slip.” The woman behind the counter was suddenly no longer behind the counter, but mopping up the mess my hat had made.
“I’m sorry ma’am, I meant no harm.”
“Sure you didn’t. I know your type, mister.” This woman is one of the few people that could make the word ‘mister’ seem menacing.
“My type?” It’s ten o’clock at night and I’m antagonizing the biggest woman I’ve ever met while she cleans the mess I made. I must not be thinking straight.
“Yeah. You’re the type that comes out here, and bugs the children. Makes ‘em slip that sorta thing. Then you take ‘em off somewhere and they’re never seen again.”
Not quite the answer I expected. The woman, who I could only guess was Barbara from her name tag, was staring at me as if to say ‘get out before I make you.’
“Ma’am, I mean no harm. I am a detective, not a pedophiliac.” I showed her my badge briefly to set her at ease, so that way she’d stop causing me trouble. I couldn’t afford her badgering me while I was ‘meeting’ with the people form the phone.
“So you’re the detective. That’s great. Wait a second.”
Barbara walked down the aisle, and disappeared behind the counter. I thought it was a bit fishy that she said that I was the detective. She was expecting me. Which means…
They’re here. This was a trap.
I grabbed my hat, and made a beeline for the door. There was no way in hell I was going to stay for what they had in store for me if I wasn’t prepared.
I didn’t have much say in the matter though. Right before I got out of the door, I felt a sharp pain in the back of my head.
“You better stay a while longer, mister detective. You’re expected in the back room.” With that, I fell out of consciousness.