Monday, February 9, 2015
Okay, here’s the deal: I started to write a follow-up to last week’s post and couldn’t get it to work. Then I got another idea and couldn’t get that to work. I came up with a third idea, and … fizzle. So this is what we’re gonna do. I’m posting my three beginnings and leaving it up to you, the readers. Vote on which one you want me to finish. Otherwise I’ll pick one myself. Or come up with something entirely different. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s the execution part that’s a pain in the butt.
#1: FAST AND LOOSE
Mirabella stared down at the creature lying on his back in the grass. He had the look of a cat to him, but was thin and limber as a rubber band, with bony, stilt-like legs. His pelt was nearly as yellow as the grass, and speckled with dark spots. His eyes darted from her to the muttering gray stallion to the Clydesdale gelding and his heavy, deadly hooves. The cat held very still, with his paws tucked in to his pallid chest fur in an effort not to look dangerous. He must have experience with horses, especially protective stallions.
She had seen cheetah-shifters before, though she’d never spoken to one. Nor had she expected to find one in Montana. To her knowledge, Wells did not employ cheetahs. That implied her own secrets were safe. So what was he doing here?
If only she dared shift to ask him. But no one must know she was up here, or that she was something other than a horse.
She backstepped to allow Hicks, the gray stallion, in close to settle matters. Hicks did not like cats at all, and wasn’t that fond of shifters. Whatever he decided, she would back him. Better safe than sorry.
#2: FAREWELL TO THE LONG BIG SLEEP
Ziva only ever heard Nick moan on two occasions: during bouts of passion in their bed, and behind his desk on deadline day. Today he was moaning in his office with no deadlines looming, and her not with him to provoke the noises. She practically crashed into the office. “You okay, honey?”
“Let me claw my eyes out first.” Nick rubbed the abused orbs in question and sat back from his computer. “I don’t know how, but he just keeps getting worse.”
Ziva came around the desk to massage his shoulders, and to sneak a peek at whatever had upset her mate. “Let me guess: Ralph. What did he do this time, savage the new SpongeBob movie?”
“Worse.” Nick shuddered. “He’s writing a book.”
# # #
It was a quarter past my second bottle of scotch. Outside my office it was raining like a sonuvabitch. It’d been doing that all week. I think the sun figured if it dared to show itself somebody’d take a potshot at it. Not that it mattered worth a shit. All the rain in the world couldn’t wash this city clean. I lifted my bottle to the absent sun and took a swig in its honor.
Ziva raised both brows. “A detective novel?”
“That appears to be his intention,” Nick said. “Somewhere, Raymond Chandler is spinning in his grave.”
“How did you get hold of this?”
“Lamar hacked into his files. You know how territorial he gets when somebody else tries to write a book.”
“And of course he shares with everybody.”
“That’s a snake for you.” Nick continued reading.
And then she walked in. A dame classy enough to make me put the bottle down. Blonde—I mean, c’mon, what the hell else? Legs from here all the way down to there, a set of highly dangerous curves and a rack that’d make a saint scream hallelujah.
Ziva winced, close to moaning herself. “Yeah, that’s Ralph.”
She sat her hot ass down in a chair and crossed those endless legs. “Mr. Jakes? My name is Alabaster Crowe. I want you to locate a missing person. My husband has disappeared.”
#3 THE USUAL SUSPECTS
It had to happen eventually, Gil thought. When you’re in politics, scat like this hit the fan as a matter of course. That didn’t prevent him from seething.
He knew he could strike Louie and the gang at Rattigan’s off the suspect list. Maybe last year one of them might have done it as a joke, but not now. He had a wife and children now. Louie had backed off from the practical jokes the second Chloe announced her pregnancy, and saw to it everyone else did too. Louie had a cleaver. No, it hadn’t been anyone at Rattigan’s.
Somebody had it in for the Mayor of Talbot’s Peak. He’d have to nip this in the bud. But first he had to deal with the press. “No,” he told the reporter from the Gazette through grinding, gritted teeth. “I didn’t and have never made a sex tape.”
That’s all, folks. Pick the one you like and I’ll finish it. Or feel free to suggest something else. As for me, it’s back to caffeine. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be writers.