Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entry #161

Blood Echo
by Debbie Smythe


I quick-stepped past a boney tree, pretending I wasn't shaking like a goddamn probie. Pretending that tree, black with shadow and old-man twisted, wasn't creeping me out. Lack of sleep, probably, or something I didn't eat, as in breakfast or lunch. I mean, could a girl get a Ring-Ding in this town?

I unbuttoned my coat, clearing my gun. Habit. The scene was secure.

"So, whad'ya think?" Lopez nodded toward the clearing where the local ME crouched over the victim. "Our guy?"

"How 'bout we actually look at the body before deciding who killed her?"

"Somebody's cranky."

"Yeah, serial killers tend to put me in a bad mood. Go figure." Okay, so cranky was putting it politely.

Shadow flashed.

I drew, tracked and…jammed my weapon home.

Lopez grinned, watching the shadow soar. "Guess you're not the woodsy type," he said, adding an, "oof," as Jennifer jabbed him with her forensic-kit and a pointed glare as she passed. "Oh, right. Sorry, Moll. Didn't mean to dredge up bad memories."

"Nothing to dredge."

"You don't remember anything?"

"Only what they told me later."

"Abducted girl found wandering the woods. Multiple injuries."

I shrugged and stepped into the clearing. "Whad'ya have, Jen?"

"Judging by the dirt under her fingernails, I'd say she was buried alive. And look at this."
She stood, revealing a child's body, and beyond that a boulder, bearing a message in blood:

To replace the one that got away.

A deep-water chill sluiced through me. Not our guy, my guy.

32 comments:

Laurel said...

MORE! This is fantastic! I love the tough girl voice and hints at something in her past. And the tie in to the current murder.

Definitely would read this book. This is a book, right? RIGHT?

Anonymous said...

Interesting setting and very well thought out. I can't help but wonder if "my guy" is work-related, or personal, or both?

--JR

Bernita said...

Effective and engaging.Established personality and plot immediately.
Good opening scene for a kick-ass novel.
Only, what is a "Ring-Ding?" Slang or product?

laughingwolf said...

dammit debbie, i want more!

kashers said...

Like eating wine gums - you know you shouldn't eat any more, but you just can't help yourself.

Aniket said...

She escaped and now he's back. This is a great set up for a thriller. Superb curtain raiser!

McKoala said...

A complete little story with a great open ending. Great stuff.

catvibe said...

Really great imagery and intriguing plot. Great job here.

Blodeuedd said...

Scary, oh yes a sure thriller. Awesome work :=)

lena said...

Damn this 250 words rule. I want more of this. Great job with this piece!

Craig said...

Very covincing voice. The character's personality is apparent a few lines in. Well done.

Deb Smythe said...

Thanks for the comments and kind words!

Oh, and Ring Dings are a chocolate covered snack cake sold in the N.E. US. I meant to go colloquial, but got obscure instead. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh...very good - I'd read it!

John

BernardL said...

A complete novel with sequel ending in 250 words. Very impressive!

CJT said...

Damn! I would definately like to read more of this. Let me know if you decide to extend it, I will move this one up on the list too.

Chris Allinotte said...

"I quick-stepped past a boney tree, pretending I wasn't shaking like a goddamn probie. Pretending that tree, black with shadow and old-man twisted, wasn't creeping me out."

I love the setting here. However, in the spirit of your request for constructive crit .. I think these lines get a little "clunky". It's only noticeable as the rest of the story is so smooth and stylized. It may be as simple as altering the punctuation.

Great work. I love this type of story.

pjd said...

Wow, great writing and characters, with all the backstory and plot setup in one tight sequence. I love your word choices. The first paragraph reminded me a little of the Ghost-Eye Tree.

JaneyV said...

I'm as impressed as all who have commented before me. You have a great start to a novel here. So much intrigue, great characters and the makings of a terrific plot.

Great job.

Jane said...

wow! you packed so much into this..the characters are great, leaping off the page..great banter between them, and the ending is a chiller..well done.

Deb Smythe said...

Chris, thanks for the constructive crit. Perhaps in going for voice, I went over the top and got clunky prose instead. This isn't my usual voice or genre. But if I pursue it, I shall try to de-clunkify:)

Thanks for your lovely comments PJD and Janey. PJD, I haven't read The Ghost-eye Tree. I'll have to check it out.

Deb Smythe said...

Oops. I didn't mean to thank some people by name and not others. Sorry. I truly thank each and appreciate every one of you for commenting. You make my day.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Oh, excellent, to have to relive the horror and then realize it's 'my guy'.

Dottie :0

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love ring-dings. Haven't had one in oh so many years. Devil dogs are my favorite though.

This is so well done. I agree that the first paragraph needs minor tweaking, but the rest is brilliant. Does read like the opening to a book.

Preeti said...

I remember having commented that "some stories are never meant to end.." this is a fitting example.

I loved this story for the pace, for the possibilities, for the characterizations, for the darkness...

It absolutely THRILLS...
Incredibly brilliant.
i implore thee...to pen a book...!

Karen said...

I wrote this already, so if it reappears from Blogland, just ignore the duplicate.

This is my kind of fiction! It reminds me of Tana French, a new writer of this genre. Very good story - I'd read more.

Aimee Laine said...

Oh boy! Yikes to be her! That last line was perfect! I could feel her worry.

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

Holy smokes. The premise, the plot, the characters, the setting. Love.

Something I Might Tweak

You really shouldn't mention Ring-Dings if you're not going to share some with the whole class....

Aerin said...

OH and just to weigh in on the first lines - I thought they were artistic and really nice, but then you lose the gritty and go polished, so it's just deciding one or the other, not throwing away some terrific phrases.

Tara said...

I'm another who want more! Loved the story, and great writing.

Chris Eldin said...

You had me at Ring Ding.
:-)

This is utterly fantastic! MORE! MORE!!

Terri said...

An excellent little story.

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

Deb

I loved your piece, it should continue, I hope it does.

Crime thrillers are a fav of mine and this piece says a lot. Totally creepy.

Thanks!

Dottie :)