It’s NaNoWriMo! Hurray! The month of the year where aspiring writers attempt to write a 50,00 word novel in 30 days! Huzzah! And most of us fail! Wahey! Oh, wait no, that’s not something to cheer.
Anyway, knowing that if I were to try I would fail, I decided to not even try. That is, after all, my approach to most things; writing a story, eating healthily, dating, making my parents proud… that kinda thing. But sometimes I get a little flash of inspiration and manage to write a few hundred words. Like today. Wahey! That is something to cheer.
So here is what I wrote. Maybe I will eventually develop it into something, though it’s highly unlikely. No idea if it would be the opening scene, a key event in the middle of the story, or a cliffhanger ending.
It was exactly the sort of place you’d expect for such a meeting; a dingy office above some back alley bar, in the heart of the roughest neighbourhood. Barely even noon, yet the sound of a drunken brawl and the stench of regurgitated liquor drifted up through the decaying floorboards. The office itself, though well ventilated owing to the pitiful amount of glass left in the window panes, was filled with cigar smoke. Paper hung off the walls, all manner of stains adorning them and the ceiling. Some remnants of carpet lay tattered on the floor, its original colour long forgotten.
Opposite the door through which I entered sat a desk, behind which sat a man. In one hand he held the source of the smoke, in the other a flip lighter in the shape of a woman’s torso. Gold, with two small ruby’s for the… well, you can guess. Little sunlight was available with the tall buildings on the other side of the alley, and the only other light came from a single bulb suspended in the centre of the ceiling. The man wore a grey suit, though it may have been white. The smoke and poor lighting made it difficult to tell. His head was lowered and his face obscured by the trilby perched atop his head.
“Sit,” he said in a gruff voice, gesturing to a couch by the wall. It was old, very old. The cushions were ripped and holed, the sponge stuffing spilling out. In an earlier life it may have been a soft red, or perhaps brown. Either that or it was heavily coloured by whatever blood, or other substances, had been upon it.
Beside the sofa was a tall, well-built gentleman. He wore a black suit. His face was not obscured by a hat of any kind. He didn’t look like the kind of guy you would see smiling often. At least not at times it would typically be considered okay to smile.
“I’m fine standing, if it’s oka…” I began to reply.
“Sit,” he said again. “Or my associate here…”
He didn’t need to finish, nor even start, whatever threat he was about to make. I scurried over to the sofa and sat down. I jumped straight back up upon locating what felt like a dozen broken springs. The henchman, for that is perhaps the best word to describe the rather scary-looking fellow, glared and took a step towards me. I sat back down, shuffling a little to my left in the hope there would be fewer broken springs. There were not. The henchman returned to his position.
“So,” the man behind the desk said. “You’re here to make a deal.”