Archive for ‘Characters’

April 8, 2013

Victoria and the Birthday Gift – Part 6

She estimated it would take two or three minutes for the flame from the torch to ignite the canister. She located a place she could get to that provided as much cover from the blast as possible. With the butane canister and torch in place she crept back towards the men. They were in their same positions and she heard Wilkins calling on the radio. She went back, ignited the torch, and positioned the flame directly at the canister. She sneaked towards the men, fired several shots in their direction then ran back to her hiding place.

        The resulting blast was much more than she had imagined. Several things happened at once. The remaining men moved in her direction looking for her. They were about half way when the canister exploded sending up a huge fireball and concussive wave that shattered the glass in all the display cases and setting a number of things on fire. The men were stunned and tossed back by the blast to land hard against the counters and floor. The flames reached her position and singed her hair. Men and women screamed in fright and then the automatic sprinklers came on drowning out the flames and screams. She jumped to her feet and gathered the men’s guns then hustled them back towards the center.

        Several hours later the police had taken her statement and they let her go. The men were in custody and she went back home.

        When she walked through the door Sam saw her clothes were burnt and ripped and her hair was a mess. She rushed over and started asking what happened when Victoria handed her the gift. It was burnt, crushed and wet but the box protected the watch inside.

        Sam took the gift then opened it.

        “It’s beautiful,” she said looking at the watch. Then she read the card and a confused look crossed her face then she asked, “Baby, whose birthday is it?”

March 11, 2013

Victoria and the Birthday Gift – Part 2

Victoria and the Birthday Gift

A Short Story

Part 2

Emergency lights came on, the clerk looked confused in the semidarkness and a little nervous. She apologized to Victoria then picked up the phone, pressed a few buttons and looked even more confused.

The store manager came out and speaking quietly,  instructed everyone to remain calm while they sorted out the situation. Not to be deterred, Victoria thanked the clerk and took the proffered bag with the gift.

The distinct sound of gunshots echoed throughout the store shattering the quiet. In the distance came screams and raised voices.

She shoved the gift into her shirt and ducked down in a crouch. A scene of chaos awaited her as armed men forced shoppers towards the center of the store. It was clear whoever they were, were taking hostages.

The dim lighting allowed her to sneak deeper into the store without being noticed. Thinking quickly, she decided to find an exit. She hoped someone had the sense of mind to call the police and reinforcements were on their way. Staying low, she moved through the shadows and behind displays, anywhere that afforded her cover. She found the exit but the men had blocked it off and it would be too risky to clear the door. She turned towards the rear of the main floor looking for an employee only door.

One man’s voice rose above the others.

        “No one play hero and everyone goes home,” he said. The accent was English but that’s all she could tell. She chanced a look back in their direction just as one of them spotted her.

        “Hey, there’s one,” he yelled. A shot rang out and the sound of a bullet whizzed by her.

She scrambled towards the rear of the store and found the employee-only door. It was locked. The thug had lost sight of her as she watched him come within 20 meters of her location. He moved slowly in her direction.

Victoria picked up a perfume bottle from the counter and hurled it in the opposite direction. The sudden sound of breaking glass split the silence. The man took the bait and ran towards the sound. Victoria searched for a place to hide but found none. To her left about halfway between, her and the direction the thug had run off were the elevators.

Knowing the escalators were near the center of the store and too risky, she decided to chance the elevator. She sneaked toward them. The doors were open and stuck that way when they lost power. If she could get away from them she could make a plan and maybe find a weapon.

The best option was to get to the kitchen and find a knife, but that was on the fifth floor and with the elevators off and the escalators watched it might as well be in the next building. . Women’s wear was on the floor above, and she wondered just how organized the guys were. She kept the man in her sights and picked up another object and threw it back towards the center of the store. He moved to investigate.

“Come out,” he demanded. “You won’t be hurt if you come out now.”

Inside the elevator, she found the service hatch leading into the shaft.. She checked for the thug but didn’t see him. Seeing the chance, she braced herself on the wall and used the railing to push herself and onto the roof. The hatch closed with a soft thump as the panel reseated into the ceiling.. It was pitch black and the only sound was her own breathing.. She felt around the wall until she found the service ladder and started her slow climb upwards.

Every few minutes she checked for the entrance to the next floor. Eventually she felt the lip of the door and engaged the release mechanism. Keeping both hands and a foot on the rung she managed after several tries to move the door slightly. She felt around until she found the edge of the door and used the leverage of the ladder to pull the door open.

Faint light entered the shaft from the store and she could see well enough to put her foot on the other side of the door. She forced it open even more. Holding on to the door mechanism Victoria stepped carefully onto the ledge.

Inside all was quiet from her vantage point and she listened for a few minutes before squeezing through the narrow opening. Once safely back on solid ground she looked around her surroundings. She found herself in the designer shoe section. A thought crossed her mind and she wondered if she should have gotten Samantha shoes.

        The sound of a man swearing came to her. Crouching, she moved slowly towards the direction of the voice. She moved along the outside of the floor and crept into the clothing section. Several mannequins faced her and she got an idea.

February 2, 2011

Writing and Story Development

Trying to reset my internal clock I decided to go to sleep early. 10 PM. Woke up at 1 and feeling awake. That’s so weird. Well I guess I’ll do more editing. The characters are really developing nicely. Sam is interesting in that she’s a free spirit and likes to live in the moment while Victoria is a planner and has strategies and
contingencies. She thinks several moves ahead. I think they complement each other very well in this way. Sam keeps everything fresh and moving while Victoria keeps them on the right track. In one scene in chapter 3 they escape via an alley way and Sam says to her, “Oh it’s cozy in here. Fancy a shag?” To which Victoria ask, ” Are you like this all the time? Horny or hungry.” Sam: “Oh that reminds me I’m starving.”

With little effort the banter between them is pretty light but the relationship is intense. Victoria who has walled herself away from much of the world finds herself at odds with opening up to Sam but whatever she does to stop her Sam has a way of breaking through.

The world view of the book is gallows humor. We’re dealing with people whose job is to trade in secrets and often life or death situations. I decided that all these pressures would either cause one to burn out, nut up or for those who survive, have a twisted sense of humor.

Two other characters along the way are Vanessa Rogers who is a demolition expert. She’s kind and well mannered with most people unless she knows them. Her and Victoria have worked together on several missions and Van has no problem letting loose around her, to which she swears like a sailor and does so in a scene when she’s stuck in traffic driving Sam and Victoria to the airport.

The second character is JD Sanders I’ve not decided on what JD stands for but there’s a lot of room for doing something funny with it. Maybe his parents named him Jack Daniels. JD’s a college student with a background in computer science and decided to take a break to figure out what he wants to do with his life after he decided that he was gay. Sam learns that while says that he is, he’s never actually been with anybody. Vanessa takes this as a challenge to set the boy straight. Vanessa is very direct and there are some funny scenes where he’s running away from her with Sam and Victoria and side commentary.

In their first scene together they meet JD ( they don’t know he’s gay at this point) and rescue him from some bad guys determined to beat him to a pulp. They go out drinking and get really hammered. The next morning Victoria wakes up naked with JD’s arm around her. Well all hell breaks loose and Sam has a laughing fit over the whole thing.

In my next post I’ll talk more about the relationship between Victoria and her family which, without giving away too much is pretty messed up and twisted.