test chapter. rough draft. realistic character? where to take this character? suggeston?
|He turned on the TV. The pretty news announcer read the ongoing top story of a beautiful young woman in her twenties that was brutally murdered. Her voice filled the room and he quickly filtered out the parts that he thought were rehashed in the case. He continued to the kitchen and began to make himself a breakfast of cold cereal. Annie, the news announcer, continued with new personal details of the blonde victim. More he heard of the victim’s personal life made the crime even more tragic and just plain wrong.
He had become accustomed to this type of news story and had developed an ability to filter out the clichés that were so often used in this type of newspiece. The “whole life ahead of her,” “wonderful person,” and a “tragic loss to the community” were peppered through out the story. Usually, he could filter them out but, for some reason, this time he could not. He lost his appetite and poured the half eaten bowl of raisin bran down the sink drain. He poured coffee into a travel mug and turned towards the kitchen window.
The window was streaked with raindrops that fell in a slow steady pace. The sky was a light grey. Normally, he liked rainy days. The grey sky and clouds often made anything green like grass or the leaves on trees bright and rich. But, there were no leaves on the tree and spring was late. The grass was still wilted from the winter cold. It was pale and limp. The day looked cold.
He turned off the TV, gathered his keys, took a quick check around to make sure he had everything and closed the door. As soon as he locked it though, he remembered that he left his report on his desk. He sighed, and opened the door shaking his head with disbelief of his own forgetfulness and entered his apartment.
He walked over to his desk and it was right where he left it. He reached down and picked it up and ran his index finger over the edge of the report. Not his best work at the end, but at least it was finished. He could go back and polish it some more when he had more of a chance. He turned to walk out of his studio apartment and saw that he had left the coffee pot on. “Cripes. Brilliant.” He said to himself as he walked over to the “kitchen.” He took a quick sip, opened the top, refilled the mug to the brim and turned off the coffee pot.
He had a disturbing thought. What if he is never caught? Could he do this for the rest of his life? It has been three months now. Was life going to be like this from now on? A mindless, droning haze of seemingly pointless tasks: get up, shower, get dressed, make the coffee, watch the TV, turn off the coffee maker, make and eat breakfast, turn off the TV, go to work, come home, turn on the TV, make a microwave dinner, watch TV, work on a report or create or work on a set of new report topics, drink a couple of beers, check email, turn off the TV and try to sleep for about seven hours, lucky to get six in and do it all over again. Pointless. He walked out of his apartment again, report and coffee in hand and locked the door.
The air was clean, damp and cold. The rain that fell on him was chillingly cold. It was almost April but this was a November rain. The street was slick and smooth with rain. He opened his car door, got in, and started the car. He had almost completely backed out of his parking spot, when a neighbor honked at him. He was confused. He rolled down the window.
“Hey. You ok? John?”
“Uh yeah, why?” he replied as he worked his fingers through his hair in an attempt to squeeze some of the rain water from it.
“Well,” Jane said. “You almost backed into me, for one.” She scowled. “Wake up hon.”
“Oh sorry. Haven’t had my coffee yet...” He suddenly realized that his coffee was missing.
“…And you left your coffee and your papers on the top of your car. I hope your papers are not ruined. Gotta go. I’m late as it is. Good day to stay in bed, huh? Talk to you later.” She flashed a big smile and sped off.
“Oh man.” John whined as he jumped out. There it was, the report on top of his car, wide open in the middle, soaking every single drop of rain that fell on it, and with his coffee mug right next to it. He snatched up the report and tried to shake the water from it and in doing so knocked off the coffee mug off the roof of his car. He watched helplessly as it tumbled across the roof of the car, down the back windshield and over the end of the car where it fell onto the street with a sharp smack.
“Oh man.” He whined and tried to wipe the report dry with his jacket sleeve. But, all he succeeded in doing was smearing the ink into an almost illegible smear on the page and when he looked at his sleeve was stained with ink. He through the report into the passenger seat and ran to the back of the car. The lid of the coffee cup had popped off. The mug was empty and left a coffee colored stain that was quickly dissipating on the wet street. He watched it momentarily. The edges of the coffee puddle faded into the street. He stooped and picked up the cup and lid. The lid was cracked and a big chip had broken off the edge of it. This travel mug was now just a mug. “Yeah, good day to stay in bed alright.” He thought to himself. It would be even better if he could with Jane. He laboriously entered his car, squeezed some of the cold rain from his hair and started his drive to work, though this time, with no coffee, broken mug, stained jacket and soaked report.