Lazy Luddite Log

9.3.06

Gumshoe Telepath

The following short story (or rather the opening scene of a much longer but non-existent story) was recently printed in 'Diverse Visions' (the newszine of the South Eastern Science Fiction Club). I like the setting and characters and 'feel' of the thing but cannot for the life of me think of a plot! Anybody want to finish it for me?

Sometime in the dark night I woke with a sense of impending doom. I looked around my room. The florescent face of my alarm clock read 3:30 am. The rain was splattering on my windowpane and the light of the street lamp cast impressions of the raindrops on the wall opposite me.

I knew that some rotten shit was coming down over this old town of mine. The gangs were moving in on one another and the cops were helpless to do anything but sit by and place bets.

2050 had been one shocker of a year and everyone had been saying that the New Year was gonna be a whole lot better. So much for foresight. All I had right now was hindsight and from that vantage I knew that things had gotten a whole lot worse.

Why had I woken? I needed to go to the loo. But it was more than that. Something was nagging away at my senses. Somebody was whispering in the darkest corners of my mind. Suddenly I saw her: She was standing in a cold alleyway looking for a way back onto the street, but the alleyway was part of a maze of alleyways and there was nothing but trash cans and rats to keep her company. She was anxious and wanted me to know it. That was why I was seeing her. That was why she was in my mind right now. The investigation was like a maze to her, a maze of crooked hints and haunting clues. Hence the image of twisting alleyways she was projecting at me. The trench coat she was wearing – classic ‘gumshoe’ attire – also fit the story she was telling of an investigator running around in circles. So what was she getting at with the wind whipping the trench coat open and revealing that she was wearing only black lace lingerie? Hold on - that was my mind infecting her message. Well it served her right for waking me up in the middle of the night.

I picked up the holophone and punched in her number. It started ringing. The image in my mind fizzled and shattered into a thousand careless echoes. A moment later the phone projected a holo-image on my desk of Kristen answering her phone. Her hair was frazzled and she wore a dark blue dressing gown. There was no wind in her apartment to blow it open…

“Derrick, why are you calling me at this time of night.”

“Well, kid, if you had not started blowing creepy movies into my skull I would still be asleep right now.”

“You saw the maze?”

“Got it in one.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Its okay. I gotta go to the loo anyways.”

“Too much information Derrick!”

“Too much confusion Kristen. What is all that alleyway stuff anyway? And the trench coat? Been looking at too many old Bogie & Bacall vids.”

“This case is driving me crazy. I cannot sleep and once I do all I have is this maze thing happening over and over. Nothing changes. Except something was a bit different with this one just now…”

“Ah – how is that then?”

“Never mind. Look, can we meet for brunch and talk it over then?”

“Sure, as long as you give me some rest now, sweet thing.”

“I’ll try. This must be getting to me if I am projecting while asleep.”

“It’s a bugger of a case. Just get some zeds and try to keep it from getting to me too.”

“Okay, I’ll see you at the Roundtree, say, at 10?”

“Roundtree and 10. It’s a date.”

“No, its just brunch. See you then…”

That was just like her. Flirting with me. Getting into my mind. But never recognising that it was something more for me. Damn.

The rest of this now completed story can be accessed via this listing.

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6 Comments:

  • That's plain good. Intrigueing story, romantic allusion, deftly sketched world. So many possibilities! No wonder you are stumped.

    By Anonymous jac, At 16 March, 2006  

  • Thanks muchly. I am also stumped simply because it is my way - I tend to get bite-sized chunks of inspiration rather than anything more...

    By Blogger Daniel, At 17 March, 2006  

  • Hey, good to read that again.
    I think you emailed it to me when you first wrote it. I'm glad you dug it up and posted it, cos it deserves a wider readership.

    And, you really ought to write more of it! :)
    Perhaps if you write another chunk/chapter of character-based stuff, the seeds of a bigger plot may appear...

    Damien

    By Anonymous Damien, At 18 March, 2006  

  • I suppose the next part would be set at the 'Roundtree' and the plot (the 'case') could be explored via the conversation of Derrick and Christy. I could also play more with the amusing non-relationship of the two characters. We shall see.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 20 March, 2006  

  • Yes! Please do that!

    (Or it will bug me like a half-watched film.)

    By Anonymous Jac, At 20 March, 2006  

  • Fantastic, I'd like to read more! Katie

    By Anonymous Katie, At 03 April, 2006  

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