Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 23



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 23
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,527  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22

Waiting for her bail hearing was exactly like waiting at an airport only with more uncomfortable seats and smaller spaces overall. But mainly it was noisy and forever taking. It originally sounded like good news that she’d be out of police custody that night but what Lyndsy really meant that she would spending most of the night trying to get out custody. Or at least waiting around while other people worked to get her out. IT was like the world around her was moving at a hundred miles per hour and she was standing still.
An eternity later some one asked her how she pleaded and she answered not guilty even though she hadn’t paid attention to what she pleaded too. Then there was still some wrangling between lawyers objections and your honors tossed out like she was at a live taping of Law and Order. Until at last she was out processed. She was never happier to see Stella waiting for her with her suitcase.
“Well, hat was a day, she said.”
“No kidding.”
“Lots of material for a book, uhn?”
Well, Christie knew now that Stella hadn’t learned anything new about her past, otherwise she would know that for the most part this was old hat for her.
“What’s next, where to now?”
They wheeled their cases out to a waiting town car. “Right we got a brownstone for you IN SOME BURROUGH unfortunately the publisher isn’t paying for anything at the moment. At least until you get this cleared up, so it’s on your dime. The tour is suspended until further notice, at least you got that part of what you wanted. They still want their pages though.”
“Awesome,” Christie said, because writing was the furtherest from her mind. The only thing on her mind was sleep. Actually, a shower first, then sleep. So not that different from the night before her arrest.
“Look, I know it looks like a shit storm right now but Lyndsey Sawyer is the best  criminal defense lawyer and town and look on the bright side, you can write a biography after this or tell-all trial experience.”
“Could stop talking about books for one fucking moment please? I don’t give a hit if I write another book ever again. They think I murdered like 12 people, which I didn’t…”
“Of course you didn’t.”
“AND my oldest friend in the world is some how involved too. Books and writing and the publishers can all rot for what I care right now. Just stop talking and get me to some place without cops, criminals, and journalist.” (Oh yeah this is probably all over the news right? There should be swarms right?)
“Ok, no problem.”


“I’m sorry to bother you but did I see you reading a newspaper earlier?”
“Yup, old fashioned I know.”
“Was there by any chance a crossword puzzle in there?”
“Oh yeah, do you want to give it a try?”
“Yeah, you have a pencil too, I thought I’d give it a go. My battery is dying and I’m running out of ways to play Eye Spy by myself.”
They laughed together and Cassandra knew she was all set up, in like Flynn, and all engines go.


They finished the crossword together.  When the coffee shop closed they went to a diner. Coincidentally the same place Sylvie took her. And at the end of the night, they exchanged numbers and went to their seperate homes.
She walked back to the hotel through dark and dirty streets. People were few and far between and traffic moved quickly instead of bumper to bumper. The air was the same though, stinky and repulsive but tolerable now. She could almost dance down the streets now. She found her WHATEVER THE RIGHT CHARACHTERS NAME IS. All right was with the world.



The brownstone they’d rented on her behalf with her money was exactly the sort of place she would have chosen for herself. The neighborhood was quite with an almost suburban feel. There wasn’t a person or car moving on the street, save Christie and Stella and the town car that dropped them off pulling away from the curb.
The door opened on a pre-furnished open living space with a quant living room and a a dining table for 8 behind that. She couldn’t see the kitchen but she was more interested in getting to a bedroom alone so she could stop listening to Stella micromanage her life.
“It’s a six months lease right now, with an option to renew,” Stella said, being the standard agent. “It’s probably best if you don’t go out much, you know keep a low profile. We can get food and groceries delivered or anything you need really. Except cigarettes and alcohol, I guess.”
“I don’t smoke,” Christie said absent-mindedly ignoring that since her second or third day in the city she’d done little else.
“All right, well, when you do you have to do it outside, there’s a tiny back patio. Also, if the need should arrive, I can get you an assistant to run errands for you, pick up whatever you need.  The press will be unpredictable at this point, Lyndsey doesn’t want them hounding you every step.” She check the small gold watch on her left wrist. “It’s pretty late. I think I’ll crash on the couch tonight. Lyndsey will be here first thing to go over some legal intricacies and your case. Why don’t you head up stairs and try to get some rest.”
“Whatever,” she said all ready have way up the stairs with her suitcase.
The entire car ride had been nothing but instructions and information and listening to one half of various phone calls that started with ‘Sorry it’s so late’. All ‘give a shit’ had been used up and exhausted, she didn’t even want to yell at Nikki now you had been hanging out all evening but not saying anything. She couldn’t remember any time that had happened before and quickly decided it was more annoying than her constant commentary, berating, or other usual antics.
There were two rooms upstairs and a bathroom. Using her best guess she ended up in the master bedroom and promptly crashed on the queen bed.

The morning came too soon. This room didn’t have black out curtains like the hotel did and even though the sun was already setting by 5:30 pm, it still rose around 6:45.
It wasn’t the sun alone that woke her. She could hear Stella moving downstairs, brewing coffee and making phone calls already. She didn’t grumble or try to go back to sleep, she rambled to her feet like a zombie on automatic and dragged her suitcase in to the bathroom. She need a shower to wash off jail grime, a toothbrush to obliterate the day old taste of her mouth, and an outfit that said not guilty. She could probably already use that assistant Stella mentioned the night before to run to a store and find her exactly that outfit, and a pack of Camel 100’s.


Nikki followed her downstairs, still silent. She really didn’t know what to make of that. She wasn’t speaking, she wasn’t glaring, she wasn’t starting shit, or knocking things over or threatening, any fucking thing. She watched Christie eat breakfast and listened patiently while Stella made phone call after phone call like her life depended on it. She was literally the specter at the feast and on top of shit hurricane her life had become, this new development was the probable the most unnerving.
“Are you listening, Christie?”
Of course she wasn’t listening, she was too busy watching Nikki watch her. “Yup.”
Stella continued talking. Christie continued not listening. Nikki continued watching them both.


Helen and Jennifer met at SOME HOSPITAL. It was Jennifer’s first day. Helen had been there the longest of any of the kids. Or that was the rumor anyway. Helen didn’t talk then. That was Jennifer’s favorite thing about her. She was so quiet. They were together for 18 month that time and Helen never said a word.

She didn’t have anything for or against Lyndsay Sawyer or almost rhyming name and occupation. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Lawyer Sawyer. Still Christie wished she didn’t  talk so much or ask so many questions. In fact, since breakfast, she wished both Sawyer and Stella would leave and let Christie get on with it.
They kept acting like there were all these things to do. Statements to be made, Tweets to compose, blog posts to be written, motions to be filed. Once again casually ignoring everything she wanted.
She wanted to let it blow over. She wanted to find Helen. She wanted to be left out of whatever had to be done even though she didn’t agree that anything needed to be done.
She was innocent. Maybe, indirectly guilty, but certainly not legally liable. And honestly, the indirect way this was her fault, people wouldn’t even blame her because all she did was write the books. She didn’t even really break up with Helen, the state did that for her, and that was on Cassandra anyway.


Thanks for Reading!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Write What You Know, Part 22



This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 22
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,509  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21

He was going to a cafe where he worked. At first she just thought it was a pit stop. He ordered a grilled sandwich and an orange blossom tea and sat at a table and read a newspaper. When she saw that he was endeared to him immediately. Bronx of course wouldn’t be so attached to modern technology, he was centuries old. He didn’t eschew it entirely just preferred analogue when he had the chance.
She order a hot apple cider to warm up her hands mostly and sat across the cafe from him waiting for him to go. She didn’t even consider she was about to spend the next four to six hours there or that over that span of time she would have to come up with some reasonable activity to do. No, instead she watched him eat, sip, and read and imagined what it would be like to cuddle up in bed on such frigid night. Or maybe on a sunny Saturday morning after breakfast in bed.
She hadn’t thought like that in a long time. If she wasn’t she, she’d slap herself.

Once again I’m severely regretting my lack of research. I’ve never had much need for research before and I’m a pantser after all. I knew there would be a police investigation or at least a detective in the story but I didn’t know it would be this involved or that it would include a cop viewpoint. At least not a cop view point while he was working. Damn me and my self-challenge to eschew typical romance cliches and not have the number suspect strike up a sexy love thing with the male cop investigating her. Also, damn my eyes for making this shit so crazy and a twist so juicy that I basically have to include a heavy investigation pov to make it work. But fuck, I’m really not looking forward to trying to do the research to make this shit work.
Okay enough complaining and damnation, here’s what needs to happen here: Christie’s lawyer needs to be there. I’m going with Stella  found a criminal defense attorney and got him on retainer and had him no her come down to the station but she can’t actually see her client because Christie has not requested a lawyer at all. So she basically goes in with her client as soon as she asks but she wants to get her out and stop having her talk to the police or at least immediately end the interview to the next day. For suspense I guess or to thwart Christie’s desire to talk.  So I guess I need to figure out how soon bail hearings occur, or can you get an emergency one if you’re a celebrity, or does she have to spend the night in jail and then . . . What exactly kind of jail or detention center would it be? I also really, really, really need to figure out if she is arrest for something like obstruction of justice for not coming in voluntarily or can she actually be charged with murder at this point OR can she really be held without being charged for 24 hours and hat exactly that entails.
I also need to know if a lawyer would encourage a “I’m being framed” approach with the cops or if she we would hold back the crazy fan theory. Because Christie definitely has to tell somebody that the victims all resemble tertiary and quadrary (is that a word) characters from her novels. All people who get killed by Nikki or the other fictional characters/criminals of her novels. I really want her to tell Stella, especially first but short of getting out of custody that same day, I don’t really know how to make that happen.
So, let’s go ahead and write some of these scenes and let’s just avoid the super police/law ones. Or Just write the bullshit and write all the possible scenarios. Fuck yeah, that’s a ton of words.

A lawyer was there sooner than she expected like they just had some waiting in the wings at the station. She didn’t have to call anyone or do anything.
“Officer I’d like to speak in private with my client.”
Officer Roderiguez who’d been staring her down for minutes now left but left the residue of her judgmental silence behind.
“Well Christie, I’m Lindsey Sawyer, I’ve been retained on your behalf by Stella, your agent, and I’ve already been working on your behalf. First, I want to ask, was it clear that you could ask for a lawyer at any time? Or did you ask for a lawyer sooner and was either ignored or told one was on the way but you could keep talking in the meantime?”
“Um, I don’t know. I mean, no I didn’t ask but no it wasn’t clear to me that I could ask for a lawyer at any time.”
“But you did sign the waiver, waiving your rights?”
“Yes, but I didn’t exactly read it. I mean, I thought I was here just for questioning. I mean, obviously but not really as a suspect but maybe as a witness or maybe. I don’t know, I don’t know what I thought it was all very sudden. Just quite sudden.”
“Ok. Did anyone explain them to you or offer to help you understand them?”
“I don’t know maybe, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too scared.”
She was saying whatever came into her head to not make her sound like a total airhead. This lawyer was so professionally intimidating in her black and navy pantsuit her, leather branded lap top bag, and high heels that made her as tall as a modern amazon, even when sitting down. In comparison, Christie, who was dressed for travel, looked like . . . Well like she could barely dress herself. She was competent enough to make it through her own contracts but too rattled to take care of her own rights.
“Ok. Well, first off well be getting you out of this station tonight. You have a bail hearing later this afternoon where I’ll likely be able to get you bail but probably due to your history and wealth is bound to be pretty healthy. On the hand we where able to rent you a place to stay while this gets cleared and and if you’re amenable to it we can maybe get it down if you wear tracking gear (I have no idea if this is a thing but it sounds good) Is that ok?”
“Sure, that’s perfect, anything to get me from staying a night in holding or detention or whatever they have here. Never again, please. I need to be somewhere sane.”
“Great. Do you have a passport because you’ll probably have to surrender it.”
“I don’t carry it around with me. It’s in a desk drawer back in Virginia. But I’m not going to go anywhere. I want this solved and if it is Helen. . .”
“Who’s Helen?”
“She’s the one who had the phone. . .”
“What phone?”
What prep was she doing if she doesn’t know anything about the case?
Oh no, don’t you dare. You shut the fuck up and I’ll deal with you later.
Some people are so touchy.
You are impossible!
“Christie?”
“Um what. . . What was I talking about?”
“A phone and snd someone named Helen.”
She was taking notes on phablet, swiping across its surface, scrolling down to look back at her notes, and barely breaking eye contacts.
“Right, Det. Riley found a phone registered to me near one of the Ripper victims, but it’s not my current phone, it’s an older one I gave to a friend, Helen. So, I know I didn’t commit murder and I don’t want to beleive that Helen did either. Whatever it is, I want to help her. So I have no intention of leaving town, Ms. Sawyer.”


“CAn I get another hot apple cider and I think a shortbread cookie this time.”
“No problem, That’s $7.50.”
She paid with money she picked from someone’s pocket (or something, if she can do this why didn’t she do it earlier?).
“Do you mind if I ask you something,” he said
“No not at all.”
“Are you waiting for some one or did you maybe get stood up? I don’t mean to be rude or anything but you’ve been here a while and, well it just looks like you’re waiting.”
“Oh, yeah, I was meeting a blind date but I guess he chickened out or something. Now, I’m just a little to sad to go home alone.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I shouldn’t asked. What a jerk, you know. He could’ve at least texted. And…
“ He handed her her drink. “It might be, well whatever to say, but you’re very beautiful.”
She a faked a demure humility she didn’t posess. “Oh thank you, you didn’t have to say that.”
“He’s missing out.”
Her smile, her blush, the flutter of her heart was real enough and years since the last time she felt that way.



Thanks for Reading!


Monday, November 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Write What You Know, Part 21


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 21
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,314  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20

For a hair of a second, Detective Riley wanted to argue like his was in a college level literature class about how fiction should be escapism and on average “real life” isn’t that bizarre. The thought that brought him back to Earth wasn’t that this was a police interrogation and not a lit class but that he was investigating a bizarre case of murders and that the recently elected President of The United States was a reality tv star instead of . . . A million other more reasonable options. Naturally he let the issue drop, since, like he mentioned it was a police investigation. Also, he didn’t want to lose an argument to rather bizarre suspect.
“How about this? Where does this Helen person live now?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“No.”
“Then, how did you give her your phone?”
Christie only wanted a handful of things at the moment and the number one thing on that list was to stop talking about this goddamn phone. So much so that she started thinking about how long it would take her to create time travel technology and go back in time to the moment she gave Cassandra (it was definitely Cassandra at the time, though she had really wished it was Helen) the fucking phone and killed one or both of them just so she wouldn’t have to be having this conversation right now. (And I could stop writing it)
“Oh my God, last time I was in New York, during my last book tour, approximately two years ago, I randomly ran into her on the street like it was serendipity. Or it sort of felt like that at the time, now it feels like a curse or doom.  We had a few drinks, a couple of meals together and life wasn’t going so great for her at the time. I offered to help her out, let her stay with me back home or even in my hotel room at the time,, or even just some cash or a check but she refused everything but the cell phone. I was going to get a replacement soon anyway, so we went to a Sprint store, I got my new, transferred all my data and number and I gave her the old one. I said I would cover the service cost until she got on her feet again but we didn’t really stay in touch and I didn’t want to cut her off, so I just kept paying the bill. Are you happy, Nosey Parker?” She’d started irked and ended up exasperated. She even banged her fist once during her speech but she was seriously done with this goddamn phone business.
He wished he had a word counter so he could see if that was the most she’d said since the interrogation began. As soon as she was done she went right back to avoiding contact and chewing her nail, on her index finger this time.
“Ms. Fields, I don’t know if you’ve forgotten or really ever noticed, or let it sink in the first time, but this isn’t a mid morning talk show interview or The New York Review of Books. I’m not doing this for fun or entertainment. This is a police station and you’re under suspicion for murder. So in this case, I’m going to ask as many questions as I need to to get a satisfactory conclusion, whether it’s inconvenient, annoying, or prying for you.”


When he finally, finally, finally got done studying, Cass was so stiff from sitting in the same position that she almost lost him just outside the library. If that had happened she would had to go off mission, let off a little rage. But she limbered up and improved her pace just in time to see which corner he walked around. She followed at a distance of about three yards, tracking him easily because of his bright green scarf and navy pea wool coat in a sea of black.
His brightness made the rest of the world seem grey. Something similar happend with sylvia (the piano player) (and did it? Are you sure? Did you mention it? Because you def should. . . If you haven’t already). Not literally black and right but desaturated, almost like walking through a snow storm or a foggy morning.
He walked leisurely like he was in no hurry, going no where in particular. She was more curious than she’d been with any other victim before. Not bout he’d look with his liver ripped out but where he was going, what he’d been studying in the library, what did his apartment look like, was he waiting for her too and long would they be together before the inevitable happened?

“Yes, detective,” she said meekly.
“Having said that, yes I am happy because, for the first time, we’re actually getting somewhere though I’m still having trouble believing you because, “ he started laying out different sheets of paper with strings of numbers in columns and rows. Helle n tried to understand the information but it just looked like repetitive indecipherable gibberish. One of the papers had a map, an outline really, of the United States with city hopping lines running back and forth across it. “This phone has been everywhere you’ve been recently for the same amount of time that you’ve been a visitor in each of the metropolises.”
“What?” She picked up one of the papers for  closer look and she still couldn’t understand it. She looked closer at the map but for all it told her it could have been the flight plans for a Southwest flight. “I don’t understand. I mean it doesn’t make sense.”
“Either you’re still lying and you’ve had the phone this whole time, until you murdered Jack Bronson on Wednesday night or you’re lying and you’ve seen Helen a lot more recently and you’re working together.”
Christie wasn’t listening or responding, she was thinking. Thinking slowly and foggily, like the gears of her brain had rusted over and were jammed with cobwebs but were starting to grind back to life. There was something. Something there. Something she should have seen earlier, something she should have remembered.
“I’m not lying but . . . But I think . . . I think I might know something. Maybe.” She was not sure at all that she should have said that. In fact, it felt very wrong coming out of her mouth. Like she’d reached the end of her depth of her knowledge gleaned from Law & Order, CSI, and Forensic Files. Then as suddenly as she as realized that, she heard a sound, or felt a force, something a bit like a vacuum seal coming undone. A shift in the air, the feeling of the room, everything. The room wasn’t as quiet as she thought it was, the air smelt like stale coffee and not scentless like she described before. The light was too bright and the colors too vivid. And the room was very small. Like claustrophobic small.
Had she been far away when she observed before? Did she have an out of body experience? Did she temporarily become a 3rd person narrator to her own life? Because now it was all too real, all too overwhelming, and wholly different than before.
“What do you know, Ms. Fields?”
Wesley felt the shift too but less dramatically as Christie. He saw the shift in her eyes. No longer far away or glazed over like she was looking beyond reality, instead her eyes were hard beads, pinpoint pupils and too much white, frantic and manic, like a terrified rabbit. As if she just realized the trouble she was in (or that she actually did do it). Det. Riley was very very familiar with this look. The interview was over.
“I think . . . I think . . . I need my lawyer now,” she said.
That’s what all the rabbits say. (Is this genius or absurd?)



Thanks for Reading!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Write What You Know: Part 20


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 20
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,881  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19

The second Riley left the room Christie was out of her seat. She waited a moment and tried the door which was definitely locked then just walked the room - cameras be damned.
Shit, shit, shit. What do we do now?
There was no response, no presence, no sass. Nikki had fled to where ever the fuck she goes when she decides to abandon her.
Fuck you. Just… seriously Nikki, fuck you.
She chewed on her thumb because her tongue had had enough and she wasn’t keeping up appearances any more.
Could she ask for a lawyer now? Could she do that after signing away her rights? The waiver she signed probably actually told her the details and intricacies of her rights but she didn’t read it or  pay attention to officer explaining it, again because of Nikki. If she asked would it make her look guilty? Even more guilty rather? Detective Riley obviously thought she was guilty as sin.
But it really shouldn’t matter how it looks because if it was her right then it was her right. It probably isn’t even admissible as evidence of guilt, like the results of lie detector test so her worrying about it is irrelevant. Still she didn’t know what to do so all she had was to worry.


She didn’t know when she found him that he would be quite so boring. She wasn’t even a couple of hours into stalking, one of her favorite parts in most cases but her Bronx was decidedly studious. He didn’t leave the library, he didn’t even leave the reading room. He turned exactly 33 pages and took 5 pages of notes. He didn’t get up to stretch. He didn’t go to the bathroom. He didn’t get a drink or get a snack. He didn’t even change books.
Cass sat in a chair and flipped slowly through a novel but she was so bored she thought she might actually read it instead as using it as a prop. And on top of it she didn’t know what time it was or how long she’d been there (so go change that part earlier at a time when words don’t count). With no cell phone, no clock, and no watch, they could have been there for hours or for five minutes.  It made her want to crawl the walls. It was almost enough to make her run in there and do something crazy. (This would go better if you knew what happened in the books, you sort of abandoned them and now it’s come back to bite you).


Once again Det. Riley stamped his stack of paper on the table.
“Ok, again, thanks for your patience. I’m sorry for the interruption. Now, you were just about to tell me that this cell phone found in a blood pool of a murder victim is yours. So, why don’t you have a seat and we can keep talking.”
 For a moment she stood there hunched and gnawing herself like their very first interview, before she sat back across from.
“Like I said, I can explain. That is my phone. Well, was mine. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I might still pay for the service but it isn’t actually my phone.”
He waited for more story but was too busy or preoccupied with chewing her left thumb this time to continue he supposed because that what she did and said nothing else.
He tried to draw her out. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”
“That cell isn’t my any more,  gave it to a friend.”
“You gave it to a friend?”
She nodded her head in the affirmative. She wasn’t looking at him anymore either. Her eyes were fixed on the phone records and photos across the table from her but he had a feeling that she wasn’t actually looking at them either.
“I’m sorry but I don’t believe that. I mean to start with, that’s pretty generic.”
“Nobody . .. “ She mumbled into her hand.
“I’m sorry, nobody what?”
She took her thumb from her mouth longer enough to repeat herself. “Nobody believes me.”
What he did want to believe was that she was working on her not guilty by reason of mental insanity defense right, she did have the history for such and claim, and she seemed clever enough to pull it of, or at least one side to her did, but his instinct told him that was the case. If she wasn’t working on a defense or putting on an act, he had the sneaking feeling that belfry bats were coming loose.
“How long ago did you give it to a friend? Maybe on Wednesday night?”
“Like a year ago. Maybe two. Last tour. Ask Stella.”
Usually it took hours or days for a suspect to act like this broken down, to suddenly change their sentence structure. There would come tears or denials first. Stalls or shifting blame first. She was shutting down with practically no pressure, far too early. If she closed him out now, there would be no confession, there would be no more interviews even, she would get a just pass go, do not collect $200, go strait to the mental facility. And there goes his case too. And on the off chance she was actually innocent, there goes his job and reputation too.
“Christie, is there anything I can get for you? Water? Coffee? Should we take a little break maybe?”
He actually wanted to offer her a friend, like her agent still sitting out in reception area making phone calls while glaring his task force down. Hell, even a lawyer, in the off chance it would relieve enough pressure to keep her from going comatose and medical examination. With a lawyer there was a chance she could  or would still talk.
“No, thank you,” she said quietly.
“All right, what’s the name of your friend?”

There were two factors keeping Cass glued to the increasingly uncomfortable libra reading chair. The fact that Bronx was so attractive and he came perfectly on the heels of the piano player, Silvia. ( You know why she is suddenly callling her this so go back and write in so everone else knows too.) and he was a match for match description of Bronx Daggers from the ‘NRaged series. The one set to die next in her series of murders. (OK, BLEW THAT LOAD TOO EARLY AND IT ISN’T BRONX SHE’S MEANT TO KILL NEXT IS IT? WOULDN’T SHE WANT WHOEVER THE MAIN LOVE INTEREST IS? I DONT KNOW, SORT THIS OUT)

“Helen Richards.”
If the interview was suddenly switching gears from witty repartee to tooth pulling, he was going to have to get a lot more specific with his questions and quicker at firing them off.
“And where does this Helen Richards live”
“I don’t know.”
“Well how and when snd why did you give her you own phone?”
“Sometimes she goes by Cassandra.”
Wesley didn’t know what to do with that.
“Or Cassie.’
“Ok. . .”
“Or Cas.”
“So she has more names than you do?” He muttered to himself, frustrated that once again he’d lost control of the interrogation reigns to chaos again.
“I have one name like everyone else because I’m. . .” She wanted to say she was one person just like everyone else but she had the distinct impression that sounded like a weird thing that someone who may not in fact be only one person would say. “I’m normal just like everyone else.” She wasn’t sure that was actually any better but it did of the benefit of not suggesting that she is sometimes someone else.
That one little slip, an odd insistence if you really unpacked it (and something that will probably give him hell at the trial if he really wanted to give an in-depth analysis), might just be the detail that gave him back control from his increasingly distant and odd suspect. “Now see, how am I suppose to believe you gave this phone to a quote unquote friend if you’re going to tell me fibs like that. Legally, you’ve used two different names but at various times you’ve given the police additional names including Nikki and oh look, you’ve even used Cassandra or Cassie yourself. So did you give the phone to yourself or are you lying?”
“You see,” she said with more enthusiastic blame than she meant to. She tried again, softer this time, “You see, no one believes me.”
“I want to believe you Christie, I really do. But you’ve got to be more cooperative,” he said. And more detail oriented and forthcoming and admit that you did it,  he thought.
“Helen Richards was a friend I know from growing up we met at SOME HOSPITAL/FACILITY. After that we’d occasionally end up in the same place. We even lived together a bit after our last release.” She stumbled over the last part and sort of tried to mumble it too. She didn’t want to go in to the real details of that if she didn’t have too. The main part she needed to do is make it clear that she didn’t have the phone any more and maybe even separate herself from Helen and/or Cassandra if it turns out she was responsible.
“And how long were you … living together?” he said, now taking notes. (He’s going to corroborate your story, like on tv).
It didn’t sound like he believed her then, like she said, no one ever did. To be fair, she had a habit of not telling the truth either. She wasn’t sure which actually came first. She tended to believe it was the former. “About a year until. . .”
 She didn’t want to tell him (surprise, surprise). He didn’t want to talk about any of this but she also didn’t want to spend a single night in jail. On the other hand,  she wasn’t use to sharing these intimate details at all. In fact it was the exact opposite of the reputation and personality she’d crafted thirteen years. So no she wasn’t going to mention that they actually dated for that year but that Cassandra got increasingly possessive and jealous until neither Nikki or Christie could stand it and broke up in a huge fight, verbal and physical, that resulted in yet another police arrest and a few weeks later Helen/Cassandra went back to the very hospital they met. Detective Riley didn’t need to know that because it had nothing to do with the case or anything of recent note in Christie’s life, besides the whole phone issue.
“Until she moved out.”  She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t grass on Helen like that and the result was the same. Whether she left voluntarily or being dragged off by orderlies threaten h-drone.
“Okay so you guys broke up about ten years ago but somehow in the last couple of years, at some in-determined point, you gave her your phone.”
“Well, yes.”
“I still don’t believe you. This story is barely above ‘I was holding it for a friend’. You would think a writer could come up with a better fiction.”
“Actually the best way to write a believable, and therefore good fiction, is to make it just as bizarre and disappointing as real life.”



Thanks for Reading!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Part 19


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 19
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,815  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18

When shit got real, Nikki evaporated like a ghost. It was a very annoying habit actually. As long as anything was fun, dangerous, exciting, she would be right there in the thick of it ready fuck shit up but when the cops, parents, or doctors showed up she fled the scene like the guilty bitch she was, and  left Christie holding the bag.
Like the infamous disemboweling incident. That asshole was one of Nikki’s boyfriends, Christie barely knew him. Nikki and he got in a fight over some chick they both hooked up with, on separate occasions. Started out as a shouting matched, graduated to a wrestling match, ended in punching when she got the upper-hand. The chick they were fighting over was the witness. She’d been sent to the hospital for promiscuity and self- cutting. She’d been the one with the knife, egging Nikki on to use it, and trying to use it on Nikki instead when she declined. Well, actually, Christie was who she’s tried to stab because Nikki peaced out the second she spotted the first security guard coming at her from across the dining hall.
The knife broke her skin actually. The scar was still a dark purple spot to the left of her belly button. She could have moved out of range if she knew that she was in the middle of physical danger but the abandonment was so sudden and unexpected that she didn’t have time. She too would have liked to disembowel Nikki with a a pocket knife.
Nikki would say it was Christie’s fault for writing her with such over confidence going into ever adventure with the exuberance of happy puppy and the ego of a rockstar. Christie stopped trying to argue about who created who pretty early on in their aquantaince.
Now Christie found herself holding a picture of her cell phone still stained with a police detective’s blood and no response.  Nikki had actually handled her part of the interview so well, Christie stopped preparing any answers in her head. So she looked guilty as hell when it came to this final and most important of all the responses.
“Ms. Fields? Is that your cell phone?”
“IT’s not what you think,” she said.

She hated being out in the world during the day. The sun was too bright. There were too many people, too many cars, too much of everything. She had to be out today because she was still missing something after holding back with the piano player the other night. She still couldn’t find where that ungrateful troll Helen hid the money or phone so she had to walk the streets instead of taking the cab she would prefer. Cabs were generally just as smelly and noisy as the streets of New York but they moved quicker and were on a whole, so much less.
She wasn’t sure where she was going until got there, she was just compelled to go, despite the hassle and annoyance. She had to move forward, like she was being tugged gently forward by an invisible strong string. It tugged and it tugged until she lost track of how many blocks she’d trudged.
The problem with this city wasn’t just too many people and too much rushing. The problem wasn’t just the dirt and pollution. The problem was that the buildings were too tall. They blocked out the sky and sun, so you had to look straight up to be sure you were still in the real world. Still on Earth. They blocked the air, so that the breeze had the texture and stale, garbage smell of the recycled airline air that had con through too many cycles. It could never refresh, never smell clean.  They made her feel trapped, claustrophobic, like a lion captured in a cage. Even in the center of Central Park she still felt those buildings around her, waiting for her to come back out into her clutches.
To be honest, she hated the city any time of day. But she was here, so she was here.

Knock Knock Knock

Finding herself at the library was a pleasant surprise. A little surreal but pleasant. A public library was like a free day time bar minus the drunk perverts and nasty toilets. She really wished thought of it before.
The smell of the library was better than the smell on the street. It was indescribable and took her straight back to her childhood. Was the smell of old books, furniture polish, stale mimeographs, or something else entirely? The smell of magic maybe? The smell of the imaginations of countess authors and loyal readers? How many hours did she spend in a corner of her local library, bathed in that smell and reading every book she  could find?
Today she walked up and down the aisles aimlessly, her fingers trailing against the spines of books, listening to the soft crinkle of the plastic covers, a sound as familiar as the smell. Sometimes she thought her mom encouraged her to read at an early age just so she could drop her off at the library for free daycare and babysitting. At least until she was sent away forever.
Her aimless walk through thousand of stories lead her to a reading room with one young man diligently reading and taking notes. He was by far the best looking man her muse (vices?) led her too.
He wore a navy sweater over a creamy button up. His corduroy slacks matched the walnut shade of the desk he sat at. His chestnut hair fell into his sea-green eyes and every few seconds he pushed it back. She needed an excuse to talk to him which was more difficult in a library than at a bar. If she could get a look at his subject matter she could wait in the stacks until he emerged for another book but that would only work if he actually needed another book and he didn’t already have everything he intended to read. If she had money she could run out, buy pens and notebooks, and pretend she was studying too, Maybe play  act frustrated enough to start up a commiseration convo. Finally, if he wasn’t in the reading room, at all she could maybe talk about any book topic - talking was forbidden in in the reading room after all. (Alternatively: She could easily start a convo by asking for directions within the library or help finding a book but the reading room was tucked on the bottom floor in the back of the building past at least one circulation desk and several librarians.
It wasn’t all bad news though - if she found a good vantage point,  watched him from afar, waited for him to leave and follow him to a more social setting and approach him then. Stalking was almost as much fun as the stabbing itself.


ANSWER THE DOOR

Officer Gimlet stuck his head in the door and Detective Riley wanted to slam it shut on his neck and be the first person of human strength to fucking decapitate somebody.
“You should come take a look at this, boss.”
He said nothing because he was afraid if he opened his mouth only a string of curse words would leave it and give away the absolute rage quit levels of anger he’d reached just now and ruin the entire dynamic of the interrogation. He hoped the silence would still sound heavy and judgmental and keep the pressure on Fields/Transom so they could pick up exactly where they left off. He wished for the strength to not actually kill Gimlet.
Outside of interrogation, O’ Ryan  grabbed Gimlet by the elbow and pushed him towards his desk.
“Listen. . .”
He kept his voice down but  his anger and disgust was obvious. “You listen,  Gimlet, and listen very, very well you just fucked up incredibly and if I can’t go back in the and get this suspect to confess or she lawyers up, I will have no problem throwing you under the bus and letting the great gears of bureaucratic finger pointing crush you career to dust. While I’ve got you here, call me boss one more time and I’ll take out back and punch you til you piss blood (super cliché, like most of this dialogue but it will do til I figure it out). Now, what the fuck do you have that is so goddamn important you had to interrupt my interview.”
“I’m sorry. . . Sir but we finally we received those records from the phone company, including the gps data of where the phone was when the calls were made and . .. . Well you’ll want to take a look at this.” He wouldn’t meet his eyes when he spoke like a scolded child and his voice had the right amount of recalcitrant which gave Wes some satisfaction but not enough. (Find out if the phone company has this info or if it’s data that’s taken from the cell phone itself by police techs and seriously, what’s the point of watching every Forensic Files episode if you don’t actually learn this shit.)
Gimlet handed him the records, on which he’d already highlighted and circled relevant information but through the lenses of anger and frustration Riley could only see a useless group of letters and numbers that refused to form themselves into useful information.
“Just tell me, Gimlet.”
“Well, sir, the data shows that the phone was active all the cities where Ms. Fields or Transom or whatever visited recently on her book tour.”
“Ok, well, that’s not. . .”
“That’s not everything, sir. On a hunch, I guess, I decided to see if there were similar unsolved stabbings in the same cities and, we’ll sir, there were several.”
He handed him more papers. They were police reports and descriptions, practically carbon copies of their own reports. One or two in each of the tour cities, nothing close to the numbers in New York.
“Are you serious? And no one else had or has any leads?”
“No sir, every fingerprint is smudged or isn’t in the system. There’s nothing linking them to anyone or each other. The phone is the biggest break.”
“I steal need the confession to seal the deal though.”
“Sorry about breaking your rhythm but I thought this was, you know, important.”
“No, you were right. Good job, whatever (his rank is).”
“Thank you, detective. Let me know if you need anything else.”
“Actually, can you get more information from the detectives working these cases? Also, maybe the synopsis of Christie Fields books? Whether she confesses or not, I think I have enough circumstantial evidence to charge her for the murders here. I’d like to know as much about her as I can by the next interrogation, on top of any evidence or details we can get about these other case.”
“No problem, b-…sir.”



Thanks for Reading!


Friday, November 25, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Write What You Know, Part 18


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 18
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 711 words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17

When Officer Rodriguez brought her back to interrogation, the detective was already seated, with a file box and more files with him. Rodriguez released the elbow she’d been guiding Christie with when she was quote unquote safely on the other side of the table.
“All right, Christie, before we get started again,  is there anything else you need?”
“Actually, I would love some ice, Wes.”
“Ice?”
“Yes, I’m trying to give up smoking, it’s such a nasty habit, and one of my therapist suggested, sucking or chewing on ice, so I’m assuming this is a non-smoking building and we’re not getting smoke breaks,”” she laughed like they were chums.
“Right, sure, Rodriguez, can you find us smoke ice?”
“Yes sir.”
“Until she comes back with that let’s go back to talking about your hotel. The way it was going I was a little unclear about whether or not you’d visit one of the three restaurants or two bars inside your hotel.”
“Oh, I’m sorry about that. I did have breakfast downstairs a few times. The coffee was atrocious. And I think I dinner once, on my first or second night there but that’s all. Why? Did one of these ‘Ripper’ murders take place in the bar?”
Riley was highly suspicious of this change in Christie’s cooperation. Everything about her mannerisms was different. She reclined back in her chair like they were friends having coffee in a salon. She smiled in her silences and while her answers were perfectly polite and amicable they somehow had a ring of falseness.  So it wasn’t only like he was talking to a completely different person but that different person was being fake as shit.
Rodriguez came back with a paper cup of ice. Christie slid one in her mouth and crunched down on it like it was a bug.
“Actually, as it happens, our latest victim worked in your hotel.”
“Really? What a coincidence!”
He could almost read the stage directions in her tone (I’m not sure that makes as much sense as you think it does)
 “I would actually call it highly suspicious.”
“I’m not sure I understand what you mean, Wes.”
Honey coated poison, that what her voice was. Honey. Coated. Poison.
“Well, let’s go over the facts. While you don’t remember exactly what day you arrived in the city, the first murders occurred around the same time as your signing events. You have no alibi for the night when a police detective was murdered, a crime scene where a cell phone, registered to you was found. And not only did the last victim work in your hotel, she was last seen with a woman who closely resembled you.”
“No, I don’t think those sounds as much like facts as you would like them to be. I mean how many people arrive in this city everyday? I’m sure the killings started not long after thousands entered the city. As for the cell phone,as I keep saying, I misplaced my phone or at least I thought I did some days ago but what if it wasn’t lost? What I was pick-pocketed or someone found it and didn’t turn it in.”
“And then they murdered a detective and didn’t noticed they dropped their newly procured phone near the body?”
“It’s possible. Just like it’s possible that any petite brunette out of the 50 or so staying out my hotel, not to mention the thousand in all of New York, could have run into this . . . This latest victim, you keep mentioning.”
“Ms. Fields, you’re right this is quite circumstantial which is why I’m trying to clarify all these issues with you but your answers are coming up lacking. And the fact that I caught you trying to leave town this morning again just fortifies your already highly suspicious behavior.”
“Wes, I’m not sure why you’ve honed in on me but I can assure you, I’ve had nothing to do with this.”
He didn’t immediately counter her or start a new question. He was watching her closely. So far, he’d seen three different version of this woman, four if you count the one he read about in her records and he still couldn’t reconcile any of them with each other. She was slippery like an eel and definitely not like most of the criminals he encountered everyday. He’d never interviewed someone who could read just as honest as she was lying.
In the pause so took another ice chip but sucked on it this time. She smiled when the eyes met and he read a new look in her eyes: adversarial.
“You know what, maybe you can help me then. You’re a writer, you have to imagine, or understand motives for your characters right? Maybe you can tell me what the murderer felt  as she was doing this?”
He produced a picture of the first crime scene and the first victim.
“This gentlemen, Anthony Baxter, was stabbed 16 times. Several of the stab wounds were ripped open further, probably with brute force. His intestines were pulled out of one of the wounds, and blood was smeared across the floor by the murders hands. The second victim, Amanda Richland, was stabbed anywhere between 20 and 30 times, it was difficult to tell with her’s because a disproportionate number of hers were directed at her face until it resemble a bowl of bolgenaise more than a human face. She could only be identified by tattoos and dental records. Jasmine Clark had her entire torso sliced open and every single one of her organs were ripped from her body and strewn apart the room. By the way each of these people were killed in condemned buildings, lured there probably with the promise of drugs or money, and spent their last moments n the most disgusting place outside of a dumpster fire. What do you think the person who did that to them thought or felt while they were doing it?”
She didn’t look at the pictures, she never took her eyes off his. She wasn’t smiling any more. A determined fire burned from out of her amber stare.


Nikki stared down the detective. She was not moved by his morbid and gory pictures, she’d seen the same and worse in her lifetime. Done it herself even. She would not rise to his attempt to bait her.
“Detective, please, I did not do this. I don’t want to look at these pictures. I’m very sorry for these people. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that whoever did this was very sick.”
“It’s very interesting that you said that because. . .” He collected the photos from the table, not putting them back in there respective folders, and exchanged them for one fat file folder. The first one he’d come into the interrogation with.
“It seems that your history is marred with the same description. ‘It is the opinion of this court that the defendant is very sick and needs specialized help that cannot be provided by juvenile penal system.’ ‘Patient exhibits disturbing behavior she herself describes as  too sick and messed up to help.’ ‘She wouldn’t stop until there was blood, then she pulled out a knife. It was sick. I couldn’t watch.’ The last one is from a witness in one of your cases, where you attempted to disembowel your boyfriend, I think it was.”
“That case had just as much evidence against me as you have right now and you will note that one was dismissed. The witness was found to be lying because she herself was sick.”
She leaned forward, one arm on the table, the fingers of her other hand in the cup of ice, bringing the freezing sensation from her tips to her wrist cooling the heat of anger, helping her maintain control. The doctor the Detective quoted would be so proud.
“Wes, I won’t deny that I’ve had a troubled past. But as you can see, I’ve been on the straight and narrow since my release. Not even a parking ticket. The most recent of these incidents was over a decade ago. Now, I’ve  cooperated and I’ve answered your questions. I know you must be under a lot of pressure to solve these cases and I completely understand that but I also know, through my past experiences that you’ve so kindly pointed out that I’m not charged with anything at the moment and I can invoke my right to a lawyer at anytime. And while I’d like to help, I’ve told you all I can, so if this interview isn’t coming to an end soon, I’ll have no problem asking for my lawyer and stopping it for you.”
“Okay, you’re right we aren’t getting very far this way, I just have one more thing, I’d like you to take a look at.”
Nikki leaned back again fully satisfied and happy with her handling of the situation. The detective dug in to his file box shuffling papers like he was having a hard time finding what he needed. She didn’t buy his Columbo act for a single moment.
“Here we go,” He pulled out another series of photo prints. “Could you just confirm that this is your cell phone right here?”
She was so sick of hearing about this mother-fucking cell phone that if she ever did find hers again she would very happily break it with a hammer and shove the shards down a running garbage disposal. For the time being she indulged in a healthy eye roll.
She took the picture from his hand and examined the bloody scene with a practiced (? Uninterested? Whatever?) eye.
“I don’t see a cell in the picture.”
“I’m sorry that’s the wrong picture.”
HE handed her another photo. She narrowed her eyes at him. This picture was cans body, only showing the smeared bloody handprints on the floor and a bloody rectangle.
“Detective, please stop playing games, I can’t ell anything from this photo.”
“Are you sure?”
She tossed the photo on to the table for a response.
“Ok, well, here’s the one we took after we cleaned it up a bit.”
Of all the pictures he’d showed her, it was this one,                                                       a relatively blood free samsung galaxy in a pink case.


Thanks for Reading!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: What What You Know, Part 17

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 17
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,307  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16


“Ok, I only have a few questions for you and hopefully we can get this cleared up pretty quickly.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Great, we’ll start with something simple. Which would you prefer to be called Christie or  Jennifer?”

Told you. He knows all your dirty secrets. Well, most of them, anyway.

Her face warmed up like she was blushing. She really didn’t want to be blushing. There was nothing she was hiding about her identity per se. Her name change was perfectly legal  and the right thing to do but she felt like she had when she got in trouble as a child, back when they were pulling heads off dolls. When they made it seem like she was doing something wrong but no one could explain why it was so wrong.

“Christie is my legal name now, so that is fine.”

Her voice came out cooler than she felt.

“Great again, so that was question 1, not too hard right?”

She nodded her head and bit her tongue. The chair cutting her fingers wasn’t enough any more.

“All right, now when I saw you the other night we touched a little bit on you’re whereabouts for Wednesday (some date) evening. I’d like to talk about that a little more. Have you had any better luck in remembering your activities for that night?”
“Like I told you before, I was writing.”
“Well, last time you said you couldn’t remember for sure but you now you’re sure you were definitely writing that night? Alone in your hotel room? Is there any who can vouch for you, maybe your agent called on you or a friend?”
“I was alone.”
There were actually a handful of answers she would have liked to given but this wasn’t a scene she was composing. She couldn’t delete and edit her wrong answers or suspicious tones. She had to give her safest answers. She still didn’t know when Wednesday was because she didn’t know what today was or how any of the days were different than any of the other days. Without sleep to break up the days or without her cell phone she didn’t know any one day from another. They blurred together into an incoherent events in no particular order. But she couldn’t tell the detective that, especially with her history in the mix, she would just insane again and once people decided you were insane they stopped believing you. Or stopped listening all together. She also couldn’t say she was never alone or that she didn’t have any friends, for the same reasons. She just had to be normal. She had to be Christie. Bland, bland, inoffensive, sane, non-criminal Christie Fields.
“I’m asking because we found a cell phone, registered in your name, in the vicinity of a crime scene and if I remember correctly, you did say you lost your cell phone right?”
“Um, yes, yes that’s correct it, I can’t find it.”
“But you don’t remember losing it, maybe around some address (look at a map dummy)?”
“No sir, I thought I’d misplaced around my hotel room.”
He couldn’t tell if she was purposely being evasive with simple answers or legitimately honest. Her delivery was one of confidant, open honesty, with a maybe a hint of bafflement, a completely different profile from the one gathered from her juvenile records. There were many counts and notes of open defiance and contempt of court charges (or is warnings better).
“You were checking out this morning, right? All packed up and ready to go?”
She nodded. She thought she tasted blood in her mouth but it was just as likely to be her imagination as it was real.
“So did you find your phone in your room?”
“No, sir, I still haven’t found it. I may have left it at a book signing or a car. I’ve been traveling a lot lately.”
“Right you said that before but don’t you think if you lost it at one of those places, it would be returned to you by, you know through you car company or one of your minders?”
This mother fucker. . .Who in the fucking hell does he think he fucking is? I would love to introduce my fist to his fucking face.
Nikki wasn’t the only one pissed. It took her already threadbare restraint to not show her own anger at the detective’s implications. In no way she some diva pop star princess who couldn’t keep track of herself but she also wasn’t the type of celebutante to lose who cool.
“I don’t know, sir. I mean things go missing that isn’t a crime. I don’t remember where or when I lost but I’m sure I’ve never been to that address or even that side of town. If it isn’t a book store, a tv studio, a restaurant, or my hotel, I haven’t been there. So, I didn’t leave my phone there.”
She didn’t yell or slam her fist but she did finally say more than a dozen words and she finally brought her hands to the top of the table. Wes felt like her was finally getting some traction.
“I’m glad you brought up your hotel. It’s a very nice hotel, lots of amenities, a spa, several restaurants and bars, a pool. What’s your stay been like?”
The change of subject snapped her patience. She could hear the little pop in her ears like the burst of bubble warp. “Are you looking for travel tips now?”
“I’m just wondering if you’ve visited any of the bars or restaurants in your hotel.”
“Did you find my cell phone in one of them too?”
“Do you have more than one cell phone?”
This was the type of behavior he’d expected to see and it was satisfying to be in control again. It was just a long day he had the other day, he was out of his element then. Now, she was much less haunting.
Instead of responding again and getting further entrenched in bickering, Christie bit down as hard as she could on her tongue. She breathed deep the pain and swallowed the blood that was for sure real this time.
“May I please be escorted to the bathroom?”
“Absolutely I’ll have a female officer escort you in a minute.”
Riley left the room happy with the direction of the interview. Christie was still fuming.

In the bathroom, there was a window high on the wall and Christie, not Nikki, was ready to climb out of it. Officer Rodriguez stood by the only other exit.
I told you we should have tried the door when we had the chance.
The last thing I need right now is a told you so, especially from you.
She swished the cool water from the faucet in her mouth and spat out more blood in the sink. She splashed water on her face but she couldn’t check the mirror to see if it was red because Nikki’s face was in the reflection.
How about you come up with a plan to legally get us out of this water this is, since it was your idea to try this without a lawyer.
It’s simple don’t take everything so passively and then overcompensate with aggression. Ask questions back. Interrogate him while he’s trying to interrogate you. And kill ‘em with ‘kindness. Like that time we were in Blue Mountain, remember? We got the one therapist to reduce our group hours, an orderly to give us cigarettes, and gave our stuck up roommate an attitude adjustment all without fuss, stress, or mess. We ran that place, we can run this piece too. (This is kind of lame and doesn’t make much sense with their personalities, sort that shit out)
Yeah, I was never good at that.
I’ll handle it.
Nikki spat more blood into the sink.


Thanks for Reading!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Write What You Know: Part 16


This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 16
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 457  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15


“ This should make your day. Here’s the print out of her records, boss.”

Gimlet handed him a half inch thick file folder when he was expected a piece of paper.

“What the hell? I did a records search, nothing came up, he said.”

“Apparently, she changed her name back in Virginia, so nothing came up until we had her social and prints from booking. She’s a total bat-shit case with a history of drugs and violence. Looks like a good suspect, boss.”

Wes was too relieved to tell Gimlet to stop calling him ‘boss’. He was damn near overjoyed when overjoyed when Rodriguez came out of interrogation with the rights waiver. This case was actually breaking his way for a change (dude, sort your timeline shit out cause it’s kind of important).

“Excellent. Let the agent know that her client has waived her rights, so she’s free to shut the hell up and sit down if she insists on hanging around but a lawyer isn’t necessary. Then someone bring me the phone and someone else see if Ms. Fields wants something to drink. Oh and go stand over somebody in fingerprints to compare her’s to whatever we pulled off the cell phone.”

Wesley sat down with the file and read very, very carefully. He was the stalker finally and he needed to know his prey.
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She spent time in hospitals, that part was true. Some times as a mental case, more often asa druggie, but these days they usually kept them in the same place. Everybody told her different things: she was too wild, she was anti-social, she was a danger to others, she was a danger to herself. Nikki was a figment of her imagination. Nikki was a fragment of own personality. Nikki was a completely separate personality created out of some trauma buried deep in her memory, Nikki wasn’t real at all and she was a liar.

Christie didn’t mind being in these places. It was better than being at home where she was always in trouble. Where she had nothing in common with anyone. Where she was constantly bored and stifled. In the hospitals, she had friends, there were like-minded people, there were activities, and, most importantly, she had a lot of alone time.

Juvie was the worst which is why she spent the least amount of time there. She wished her doctors could have been there to see what real anger and violence was like. In comparison, the time they set that car on fire (figure out who’s car this is) was kid’s birthday party tricks.

All of that was the past. That’s what the last doctor saved in her very last hospital stay. Before they released her because she was 18 and neither the state, her dead parents, or her absent guardians could keep her locked up against her will anymore and she couldn’t stay voluntarily.  It was the past and she should have a clean slate. She deserved it for putting the work in. So she became Christie Fields. She went to college, graduated and everything even though her first ‘NRaged novel was published before her senior year.

And when the publishers asked for a bio blurb, she made something up. Something nice and bland with general details. And when interviewers wanted to know more, not out of interest she realized but for their content feeds, she embellished the blandness with more blandness. Christie Fields was a normal person with a very active, bloody imagination according to the whole world. But the truth was that Christie Fields is as fictional as Nikki Vampyro.
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The wait after Sgt. Rodriguez left was longer than she expected. Someone brought her water and the was the last person she’d seen for an hour and a half. Her knees and back hurt from the too small plastic molded chair. Her mouth was dry because the single paper cup of room temperature water wasn’t enough. And now she had a tingle in her bladder like she was going to need to pee soon.
On top of that the room wasn’t as silent as she thought, the giant caged brown clock ticked loudly. Louder each minute it passed.

Gripped the edges of seat in attempt to not chew her nails. The sharp plastic dug into the meat of her fingers keeping her in this room without making her look nervous to whatever cameras were watching her.

You should try the doorknob, it could totally be unlocked and you’re just sitting here like a chump.

I’m not here voluntarily, I can’t leave at my leisure. If I try to leave, I’ll be escaping custody.

Did I say leave? If you want to be a baby about, just go cause a fuss. Make mr. Bossman come see you on your tim, don’t wait around for him. It’s just a power play, you know how this goes.

Well, he is the one with the power because he’s the one who arrested me. He’s the one who knows what the situation is. He’s the one with whatever evidence he’s got. I’m basically a bystander.

Fine, do nothing, keep being a bystander. That’s basically the story of your life anyway, to hear you tell it, but that doesn’t make you innocent, that’s only a facade of innocence and when he does get in here, I guarantee he won’t be buying it anymore. He’ll know who you are by then.
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He’d never seen someone sit so still waiting in interrogation before. Usually the people they brought in for questioning, especially after an arrest, and especially after 20 minutes of waiting start breaking down from the stress of their predicament. For some it meant crying, for some it meant practicing their story or demands, for some it meant pacing, and yet still for others it meant constant fidgeting. He figured by now she would have crumbled up her paper cup, changed positions once, maybe even switch chairs, or started chewing her nails the way she did during their first encounter.

Jennifer Transom, the suspect formerly known as Christie Fields, sat like she was doing an hour long mannequin challenge, staring at the things she was staring at (The clock? The Table? The door? The wall?) with the same intense, wild stare she had when they were in her hotel room. Despite reading her entire history twice, he did not understand her any better. Despite being armed with the facts, the evidence, her history, his suspicion, and his authority, he didn’t feel like he had any power whatsoever.

Still his only choice was to open the door.
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What’s it like being a writer? Another popular question. What’s it like being a writer?? How do you write a story?

Being a writer is like being a director of a film. You have to get your characters from point A to point B but you can’t just plop them down at point B and consider your job done. Only the bad directors (or is it screenwriter?) do that for bad movies. Have you watched, say an fluffy romantic comedy, and watched the whole thing, intent, not missing a beat, giving it your full attention even though it’s obvious it’s not good and you’re not really enjoying it, then get to the climax, the music swells and the characters give their emotional appeals, you can tell it’s suppose to be full of emotion because the music is all swolled up but you’re mostly sitting there screaming at the tv “What?! What is happening?! Why are you saying this? Nothing you’ve done or said means or indicates any of these things!”

That’s what happens when you just go through the beats you know a story is suppose to have but you don’t have the skill or or care enough to actually move your characters there. You just set them down. Beat A, Beat B, Beat C and so on. Meanwhile, the audience doesn’t care about your characters and everything sounds unnatural. You didn’t direct things correctly. You have to guide them right, to where they need to be and go and do, even if they don’t want to go that way.

I don’t know, maybe that’s not what it’s like. Maybe it more like being the banks of a river. Gently guiding the river of words, characters, and emotions through the landscape of the story, shaping the story while the banks themselves get shaped by the course of the river, changing as it changes. Very organic and very natural, gentle it just feels right. And it has the same kind of power, the flooding destruction, the unpredictable violence, the occasional surprise turn. The ever present danger of drowning and getting lost, caught up in your own creations.



Thanks for Reading!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Write What You Know, Part 15

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.


Write What You Know, Part 15
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 652 words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14

“THere’s nothing here.” He said to no one hear. “There’s nothing fucking here.” He said louder.

In the task force room he had every single piece of evidence laid out on every surface. Every useless witness statements, every useless picture. Every useless autopsy report. The only thing any of these victims had in common was that nobody knew what they were doing or who they were with just before the murders. Bronson had the privilege of being killed in the last place anyone expected to find him and Clara Daily, their most recent victim was the first to be killed in her own home. And there was nothing else of note. Gender, race, ages, were all over the place.

The only thing that connected them was that they were humans who were once alive. They didn’t even die with the same violence. Especially the last victim. Clara wasn’t like any of the other ones.

First off, she wasn’t high risk. She lived and worked in good neighborhoods, had no history of arrests, or drug use. People noticed she was missing, discovered hours, instead of days after her murder. Her place wasn’t smeared in blood like some animal rolled around all in it like a pig in shit. Dickhead detective was right, all her organs were still inside of her even though the cavity, her torso was wide open from to chin. And the cuts, the stabbing and slicing was done cleanly, not frenzied. Almost surgical, like it was done with care.

In fact the whole scene looked liked it was staged with care. Two wine glasses were in the bedroom. Two coffee cups were on the breakfast bar. There was one cigarette in a dish kissed with the bright red lipstick that was on one of each of the drinking vessels. The blood pool around her was neat and pristine, like someone, had simple watched it happen and disturbed nothing afterwards. Clara’s arms were folded neatly over her open stomach. Her hair was brushed away from her face and her eyes were open. Not wide open in fear or terror, just open like she lied down to look up out of the sky light to watch the stars. If it wasn’t for the blood and the fact that there were other people around him while he was there, he almost wanted to lie down next to her, hold her hand and tell her everything was okay now. She was okay now.

He looked at her picture while he indulged in his ridiculous out of character day dream. With her picture was a few biographical notes typed up by one of the better detectives on the task force. He was still imagining laying next to her, this time the blood was there, warm and pooling around them both, he held her hand tighter. It’ll all be over soon. The pain, everything will end , soon.
Something finally drew him away from what was now not just out of character but pretty damn morbid at this point. Something on the info sheet stapled to the corner of the picture. He focused on it, something important. It was something about where she worked.

Piano player, she was a piano player, played bars all over town but last night, last night she played someplace. He ripped the notes from the picture. Last night she worked at a hotel.
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Despite Nikki’s objections, Stella was right. The bath, the clean linens, which actually felt softer more luxurious than what she had before, even the air felt clean; all of it was refreshing, bracing, but also relaxing. She fell asleep faster and woke up clearer than she had since coming to New York.

Stella brought her breakfast and coffee from one her favorite diners and helped her pack up her bags. She took care of checkout too. It was the smoothest morning she’d had since starting the trip. Christie was optimistic for the first time in months. When she got to the lobby doors though, she knew it wasn’t going to last. He was coming in as she was going out.

“Leaving town, Ms. Fields?”

“Detective. . .Ryan?”

“O’Ryan, you can call me Wes.”

“Ok, Wes, I’m not feeling well. Going home to recoup.”

“And home is?”

“Virginia, couple of hours outside of D.C.”

“Are you going to the airport then?”

“Grand Central, actually, I can do more writing on a train.”

“I’m sorry I have to throw a wrench into your plans but I have some more questions for you. This time I’d like to ask them down at the station.”

”I’m sorry what’s going on here?” Stella was finished checking out.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Stella McGillcrest, Ms. Fields agent, is there something I can help you with?”

“No, m’am. I’m just going to take Ms. Fields here in for some questioning, she’s not under arrest. We’ve already talked, there’s only a few more things I’d like to clear up, and then she can go on with her day.”

Christie looked back and forth between the two lie a dog at a tennis match. More people talking about her instead of to her around her like she wasn’t even there. She was there right?

“I’m sorry we’re on the way to catch a train. I don’t under . . . If she’s not under arrest she doesn’t have to go with you. Come on, Christie.”

“Either she co-operates or I arrest but she is coming to the police station.”

He actually took her elbow like she was a child who needed help crossing the street. The hum of the crowd was starting to worm it’s way into her ear and like that was some sort of audible invitation.

Shove her, punch him and then haul ass to the first cab you see.

Shut up, I’m not running away. I’ll just. . .

Now Stella took her other elbow, actually linked it with hers like they were school girls in braids about to skip out of that joint.

“She’s not going anywhere without an attorney and if you have questions, you can call or visit her at her home. Once she’s arrived there after her train journey and her still with her attorney present. Christie, you talked to the cops without telling me? Let’s go.”

“I mean, I . . .”

“All right, Christie Fields, I am placing you under arrest.”

And that’s the story of how Christie Fields got arrested in a hotel lobby and made the front page of the newspaper the next day.
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For the first time in his career, Wes thought there should be a special room in a police station, maybe in a basement, that was specifically designed for lead detectives working high profile cases where they could go and punch the shit out inanimate objects when they cases got turned into shit-shows because right now he could use some beer bottles to throw at a wall or trash can he could kick around for a rounds.

Fields’ agent was stressing out some of the lower orders basically threatening to sue anyone who walked in front of her when she wasn’t on the phone with various law firm secretaries. The woman herself was in an interrogation room with a sergeant explain her rights and trying to convince her it was in her best interest to waive them.

And O’Ryan was trying to figure out he could explain to his lieutenant that he’d arrested a minor celebrity because he’d botched the first interview and then got in a pissing match with her agent. At this point he had no real idea of whether or not Christie had committed the crimes or not, the evidence, what he had, was highly suggestive but then again it wasn’t much. He basically only had a prayer.

A prayer that she actually did it. Because if she didn’t, this shit-show would graduate to cluster fuck and he could kiss any chance of advancement in his career good-bye.

He could really use that room right now. He’d even be willing to pay out of pocket for it.
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The interrogation room looked very different from what you saw on tv. They’d been questioned by police before, even spent a few nights in jail, a month or two in juvie, a week in county once but never taken all the way to an interrogation room. It was small and clean and plain. Plain walls, plain floor, a plan table and plain chairs. It smelt like stale air and, most surprisingly, was very quiet. Walking  through processing was loud as fuck with the basic noise of an office combined with all sorts of criminal elements and victim sobbing, it was an aural assault. But aside from the meek sergeant trying to talk her into signing a waiver, the interrogation room was like being wrapped up in a cloud. Like a ripped from page 86 of the office supply catalogue cloud.

As for listening to the Rodriguez, the name on her tag, she wasn’t. She was too busy arguing with Nikki, as per usual.

Now, look what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Me? I didn’t do anything, this is obviously your fault. Every time we’re in a police station, it’s your fault. You just usually tell me what you did before this point.

Bitch, I’m telling you, I didn’t do shit. This is on you.

I hate you.

Mutual but I’m telling you I had nothing to do with this. I’ve been to busy taking care of us to start shit up. It’s actually been pretty dull for me lately. When we get out of here, I might actually go start a fight. For fun.

No, when we get out of here, we’re going home and actually doing some real work.

If you want out of here, I suggests we start talking to Detective cutiepie instead of this paperwork bitch. He’s the boss and the only one who can expedite this nonsense.



Thanks for Reading!