First Chance I Get

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This is the opening scene of a work in progress. I'm posting it here to find out if anyone would want to read further... So far I have 50,000 words and need some encouragement to get it finished! Over to you.

Oh, shit!


I didn’t say it aloud.  Maybe I should have.  Although, knowing Megan, it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference, because she knows me well enough to read my mind and she knows ‘Oh, shit!’ is pretty much my default position whenever she turns up to wreck my life.  So I continued to serve coffee to a waiting line of impatient commuters and kept my thoughts and feelings to myself.  Three skinny lattes, four cappuccinos and a double espresso later and there she was, standing in front of me, her dark blonde hair tucked under a navy baseball cap, big green eyes, a megawatt smile and absolutely no indication that the last time she got me involved in one of her crazy schemes I nearly died.  Twice!  I was determined not to get drawn in again.


‘Help you?'


‘Hi, Red!  You look good.’


She always calls me ‘Red’, mainly because she knows I hate it and she likes to see me get mad.  It wasn’t going to work this time.


‘Cappuccino?  Latte?  A little steamed milk with a shot of cyanide to go?’


She smiled widely enough to bring the dimples out.  Double shit!  I’m a sucker for those dimples.  But I hardened my heart.  I was determined to keep out of whatever hellish plot she was working on this time.  The last time I saw Megan, she was skipping out of Nice with £2 million of assorted coloured gemstones in her pocket, leaving me behind to wrestle a rabid Alsatian who had a grudge against mankind and breath you could surf on.  I’ve still got a six inch scar on my inner right leg from teeth which came this close to leaving me singing falsetto.  No go this time.


‘I brought you a present, Red.  Happy Birthday!’


She handed me a small box, wrapped in shiny silver paper with a big blue bow.  There was only one problem.  My birthday’s in October, as Megan very well knows.  This was April.  I didn’t know how, yet, but she was doing it again.  Drawing me in.


‘What is this?  A bomb?’


The guy behind Megan looked up from his earnest perusal of the sports page of his newspaper, alarmed.  OK.  Maybe my voice had risen a little bit and maybe the modern world is not the best place to joke about explosive devices in crowded city centres.  But if you knew Megan, you’d know that anything is possible.  And then I caught the expression in her eyes and suddenly I knew the joke was on me.  She gave me the look which scares me most of all.  The one where she’s absolutely, deadly serious.


‘Good guess!  We need to talk, Red!  Now would be good.’


Not a dimple in sight.  And, just like that, I was in it.  Up to my neck.

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