the space between: chapter five

Start at the beginning with Chapter One

Get up.

Seth stared at the boy’s lifeless body.  Had he and Danielle had plans for later, after she got off work? Had they been just friends? Or would he have stolen a kiss before saying good night? Maybe she would have given the kiss willingly, and maybe more than one. 

Get up! You’re vulnerable.

Did he have parents? Was he one of the popular kids at school? Was he part of one of the smaller cliques you find in any high school in America?  Or was he a loner? How many people would be devastated by his death? How many people would mourn him at his funeral? How many days after this one would Danielle cry her eyes out just as she was doing now?

Get up!  This isn’t over.  There are eight other lives at stake, plus your own. 

Seth got up.  Yes, there were eight other lives at stake.  Only eight.  Because with that bullet, Sean Kessler had signed his own death warrant. 

He started toward the front door, but Kessler stepped in front of him, barring his path.  Icy fury turned his body into a glacial monolith.  Nothing was going to stand in the way of him getting what he wanted, especially not Sean Kessler.  Continue reading

the space between: chapter four

Start at the beginning with Chapter One

The gunman parried his attempt to disarm him by driving his knee into Seth’s elbow.  It wasn’t enough to throw Seth off balance, but it got him the result he wanted. 

With his hand wrapped firmly around the grip of the gun and his finger on the trigger, the man staggered backward several steps.  His free hand reached around to the back of his shoulder, and Seth watched as his fingers stroked over the sharp, pointed blades of the throwing star embedded in his left shoulder.  His own experience told him that the more the guy moved, the more damage the blades would cause, and none of it would be pleasant.  Seth would take a gunshot wound any day over the vicious pain a throwing star was designed to inflict. 

As wet blood seeped into the long-sleeved shirt the man wore, the fabric clung to his shoulder blade, deltoid and triceps.  And yet still he had the upper hand, and Seth cursed the turn of events.  On the outside, his facial expression remained blank.  His body made the return trip from aggression to readiness.  Seth would have to force himself to wait and hope for another chance to take control of the situation.

“Should I put a bullet through the good agent’s forehead?” the man asked, angling his body to keep Seth and Moser in his line of sight.  “Then again, it was my mistake, wasn’t it?  He told me not to turn my back on you, but I should have applied that same advice to the other government lackey in my midst.” Continue reading

penny dreadful s1:e1: “night work”

I like to deconstruct hour-long television dramas as a method for identifying ways to improve plot, structure and character in my own writing.  Because writing helps me clarify my thoughts and make connections, I decided to post my musings here.  I’ll be using the TV show Penny Dreadful as my case study.  If you’re not familiar with Penny Dreadful, it is a Showtime drama set in London in 1891 that features fictional characters from a variety of late 18th and 19th century literature. 

Since “Night Work” is the pilot episode of Penny Dreadful, it’s primarily involved in achieving two goals: introducing the central characters and the overarching main plot. Warning: Spoilers Ahead.  Continue reading

the space between: chapter three

Read Chapter One and Chapter Two

“What is your name?”

“He shot me.  Ohmigod there’s so much blood and it—“

“Tell me your name,” Seth repeated, pressing his hand over the wound in her leg.  Sticky wetness soaked her jeans and spread across his palm, seeping into the space between his fingers as he applied pressure. Continue reading

the space between: chapter two

Read Chapter One

The Compass Bar was a perfect square.  At the center of the space, there was a circular bar and along each of the walls were booth seats.  No freestanding tables or chairs.  On nights when it was busy, customers either crowded up to the bar, made friends and shared one of the booths, or gathered in the open spaces and stood.  Tonight was not a busy night, but there were way too many people given the situation that was unfolding.

The two young women sitting in a booth on the left caught Seth’s attention as he scanned the first quadrant of the bar.  A girls’ night out gone horribly wrong.  Continue reading