Well, as of my weekly writing meeting last night at the local coffee shop, I’m about half way through the first draft of Red Crane. I’m getting more and more excited about this project as I dive deeper into it, mainly because its something outside the realm of what I’m used to writing. Instead of science fiction and fantasy, it’s detective, mystery, and a dash of noir.
So, for today’s Friday Muse piece, I figured I’d give you all one more sneak peek at some of the story before I decide to lock it down until its publish date…
Thursday mornings were the worst. So close to Friday, but not quite there. So far from Monday, but with Monday’s lingering effects of unfinished projects. Detective Hale hated Thursdays, especially when he hadn’t gotten any solid sleep the night before.
By the time he had arrived home at three this morning, his wife had already fallen into a deep sleep. Since she usually suffered from acute insomnia, Hale left her alone and climbed into the bed next to her, dozing off almost immediately. But it only last two hours before he had to wake and head into the office to continue his pursuit of the Red Crane. He had to leave before his wife had woken, meaning she didn’t even know he had come home and left. And as much as he would have liked to have woken her up for an early morning rendezvous, he didn’t dare rob her of precious sleep, a commodity that she cherished above all else. It was rare for her to sleep a solid four hours during the night, so when she was asleep, he did his best to not bother her.
Sometimes days would go by without them having any kind of mutual interaction. He saw her – asleep. She saw him – asleep. When they saw each other, they were fighting.
Fighting about the Red Crane. Fighting about the lack of sex and communication in their relationship. Fighting about every and anything.
His only sanctuary lately seemed to be the police precinct.
Detective Hale set his cup of coffee down on the only free surface of his desk amidst the stacks of paperwork, folders of debriefings, and Chinese take-out containers. It was the fourth coffee cup on his desk, and most of the others were at least half full with now cold coffee from the same arbitrary vending machine in the break room.
He turned to the scratchy, female voice to his right. Stephanie was already at her desk, probably finished with five assignments before the sun even rose. Her desk, he noticed, was immaculate. Not a scrap of trash. The smell of furniture polish suddenly filled the air. How she was so efficient was beyond him.
“Hale?” She asked again, tilting her head to match his daze.
He shook his head and gave her a solemn wave before sitting down at his landfill of a workspace.
Even though there was at least five feet between their desks, Stephanie leaned over and in a conspiratorial tone asked, “What are you doing here?”
“My job,” he answered loudly before pushing the power button on his computer.
“I heard they took you off the Red Crane case and suspended you.”
Hale powered on his computer monitor and began rummaging through the refuse on his desk. He tossed the Chinese food containers in the small metal wastebasket he kept underneath his desk. He piled all of the manila debriefing folders in a semi-neat stack to the left of this monitor. Then he piled all of the loose paperwork together and slid it off the surface of his desk into the wastebasket.
He leaned back in his chair and took a good long look at his desk. A smile crept across his face. It was nice to see something productive come out of his work at the agency.
“If Chief Williams sees you here…”
Hale sighed and then turned his chair so he was facing her. He was surprised to find her wearing the same black shirt she had worn the day before. She wore makeup – simple eye shadow and lipstick that came out in a pinkish hue. Her eyes were a bright cerulean, filled with whirlpools of deep ocean. They were eyes he had to be careful not to get lost in.
“I’m not worried about it,” he answered her. “After all the cases I’ve solved for this precinct, the least Chief Williams can do is leave me alone.”
“You think that’s the least I can do?”
Hale spun his chair around, coming face to face with Chief Williams. Well, face to stomach. The man had a gargantuan stomach – probably filled with cannoli – and was tall to boot, giving him a towering demeanor. “Sir.”
“Come to my office, Hale. Now.” He turned and sauntered back to the small glass box in the corner of the room.
Look for Red Crane to release March 29.