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6 minute read # Heidi Manley

Chapter One

This focuses on the introduction of the two main characters, or the heroes of the story. The whole chapter itself is near 9,000 words so this is only a small chunk of what is to come. However the introduction for this entry begins with introduction the female lead character. Who I've decided we focus on events mostly from her point of view.



The young detective’s lips curled up into a smirk, as she pointed the gun directly in front of her. Breathing steadily as she could feel her heart beating with excitement, she aimed at the forehead, steadying her aim at the unfortunate target. The young brunette’s finger curled around the trigger pulling ever so slowly back on it, keeping her breathing natural which was the right thing to do. Holding ones breath when firing would only make the aim worse. She aimed a fraction higher then as to what she intended, to make sure the bullet would end the life of the man stood directly in front of her. Her finger caressed at the trigger squeezing it ever so lightly, feeling the jolt in her arm as the bullet bit into the victim.

Her opponent's face remained blank and expressionless.

Adelaide Jones sighed and chucked the pistol to the side of her desk, letting it clatter on the floor. It was an out of date weapon and she knew it, but it was her favourite no matter what new type of energy blaster the tech geeks were coming up with this year. Even if these new toys were effective, but then so were bullets. Adelaide rested her feet on the top of her desk that she shared with Jonathan; not that he was in to complain he was late as per usual; clicking her deadly red heels as boredom struck through her. The hologram television flickered on in front of her, buzzing slightly as it flicked through the channels as she jerked her hand to do so.

She studied her own reflection on the hologram screen hanging in front of her. Her fresh blue eyes stared wide back at her, young and intelligent full of laughter but only on the surface. If you were to look deeper, you would have been able to see the sadness she kept hidden beneath the layers. Secrets and lies that rattled around through her mind, secrets that even Schmidt didn't know about. She sighed again, running a hand through her thin brown curls that seemed to have a mind of their own . Life was unfair and cruel, and she knew that more than anyone else, she thought back to the times when she had been called beautiful and when she daresay had even been happy.

It had seemed such a long time ago perhaps now it was the right moment to move on, and it would only seem right for the man she had loved and now so very far away to be the only one to ever call her beautiful. Adelaide frowned realising she held a finger tentatively to her soft red lips the only real colour to her face as they stood out amongst her pale and lightly freckled skin. How she had remembered he who would gently touch those lips each night before leaving her till the next morning, the last touch to those lips before she had ran away in the night leaving everything behind. Secrets chewed her up inside and she was the only one to know what she had done for the sake of one person. Her hands gently trembled and her finger slipped from her lips.

Realising with a sudden what she was doing and with slight embarrassment noted she was crying shut down the hologram and wiped away the tears before they really started to fall, and moved back in her seat.

The dummy she had just shot was now unbelievably covered in bullet holes, each one a perfect hit; each one indicated the time Adelaide was alone to let out the pain she felt and that she couldn’t share with anyone else. She hated guns, she had originally refused to carry one, but her past job hadn’t allowed her to be sentimental about these things. Also it was more likely you would get attacked on any street on any planet these days, she carried one around with her just in case. Plus Jonathan practically forced her to at least keep a blaster with her, even a stun gun would be better than no protection in his eyes, and she could see he did have a point .

Frowning deeply, she stared at the white cracked paint on the walls, walls that had obviously been painted over to hide damp. The whole room was bare, save from the fact of the two filing cabinets to the side, the desk and the bills that lay across them, and also a tiny shelf filled with Jonathan’s memorabilia of his home planet. Well he was only a humanoid after all. Although Adelaide smiled lightly as she saw the small picture frame of him and her smiling lightly covered in plant goo, at the end of their first case. She felt her heart tug a little as she remembered how well everything had gone before…

Not that it mattered anymore, that had been over 5 years ago, and both of them were moving on, even if now meant going without any cases for 4 weeks. Adelaide sighed looking over to the door that bore both of their names

'Adelaide Jones & Jonathan Schmidt

Private Investigators'

There had been more painting on the door but time had erased those words away. What was even the point in pretending that's what they were, her and her colleague, crime wasn't a simple matter of solving the murder of someone in a locked room and going about who the actual murderer was. Things were a lot hectic these days now they had aliens and technology to keep up with, nothing was out of the ordinary anymore it was just the way the world worked now, and if they didn't normally hear about half eaten bodies littered down abandoned street corners every now and again then that's when Jones really would have started worrying.

Maybe different times called for better times, Adelaide thought as she began to hum to herself gently an old Earth hymn that her mum used to sing her to sleep….her mum, that thought hurt more than anything but only she knew the full facts of her past that not even Schmidt knew…, just as a clatter jerked her away from her thoughts and her partner in crime as he liked to refer to them as, burst through to the room.

‘’Wotcha Jones.., did you miss me?’’ The brown haired green eyed humanoid beamed to her, as he bumped down onto his usual battered leather chair. His style had somewhat improved since the last time she had seen him, and was actually wearing a suit and tie, even if the tie was tied round his head like a rebellious teenager then some adult.

‘’Like a hole in the head Schmidt’’ She replied rolling her eyes, smiling as they referred to each other by surname rather than first names, as she smoothed her hands down over her dress that she had specially worn for work. Not for comfort, otherwise she wouldn't be wearing the heels.

His eyes noted the gun that Adelaide had earlier thrown to the floor with a raised eyebrow and slight disapproval ‘You do realise that it is an old shop dummy, and therefore poses no actual threat what so ever’ Jones knew he knew about her habit the moment he left the office, the only reason why she did it, well he still was trying to work it out.Adelaide could tell by the worried look he tried to mask over on his face, her hobby frankly worried him.

Sometimes it was safer not to ask questions. Sometimes it was better never knowing the truth or the past. As for Adelaide, well she certainly had a complicated past.

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Comments

  • Jane Morleith #

    I like how you made us think she had callously shot a person... you set that up well.

    There's a wistfulness about Adelaide. It seems she's in a career that isn't quite in keeping with her personality, but that she needs in order to prove herself to herself. You've done quite a good job of characterization here.

    There are a few grammar issues in your piece -- sentence that are a little too long, that sort of thing. Here is an example -- This is an awkward sentence. I think you've just left out a couple of words ... and maybe break it into two sentences?
    <Realising with a sudden what she was doing and with slight embarrassment noted she was crying shut down the hologram and wiped away the tears before they really started to fall, and moved back in her seat.>

    <her and her colleague> *she and her colleague*

    This is a strong beginning with a character who has quite a bit of conflict and who seems likeable so we care. I'm excited to read more.

    Reply
  • Cerys Knighton #

    This sample is great! I love the introduction to your characters; even in a short sample, you have started to create layers to your female protagonist, making her very engaging. I also think the subtlety with which you introduce the alien aspect to your novel is fantastic, it really creates tension and an eerie feeling of the unknown.

    One thing I would watch out for is at times use of punctuation and sentence structure. I have noted a few examples below of ways you can switch things around a little to give a really nice flow:

    For instance, even small changes in punctuation like this one:

    The young brunette’s finger curled around the trigger pulling ever so slowly back on it, keeping her breathing natural which was the right thing to do.

    Could become:

    The young brunette’s finger curled around the trigger, pulling ever so slowly back on it and keeping her breathing natural, which was the right thing to do.

    And:

    Things were a lot hectic these days now they had aliens and technology to keep up with, nothing was out of the ordinary anymore it was just the way the world worked now, and if they didn't normally hear about half eaten bodies littered down abandoned street corners every now and again then that's when Jones really would have started worrying.

    Could become:

    Things were a lot more hectic now that they had aliens and technology to keep up with; nothing was out of the ordinary anymore. It was just the way the world worked now; if they didn’t regularly hear about half-eaten bodies littered down abandoned street corners then Jones really would start to worry.

    I hope this feedback is helpful!

    Cerys Knighton - Rowanvale Editorial Team

    Reply

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This cohort ended on 31st October 2016

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