FlashFic: Work

Chris decided to walk to work. She had a bounce in her footsteps, a song in her heart. The odd looks her way made her laugh.

The project would finish today. She’d fly home tonight and the next ten days were hers and hers alone. No more projects, no deadlines. Ten days to work on her latest novel. Another laugh bubbled up. Chris didn’t mind people peering as they passed by. They’d never recognize her under the wig and makeup. The mobs of people served as camouflage. She was just another blur.

She glanced at the café as she passed. Beautiful people in the beautiful weather. How they could stand the exhaust of the vehicles while they ate, she’d never know. More than miles separated her home from New York City. The corner table had a reserved sign on it. Chris mentally checked that off her list.

11:08. She got to the building right on time. The doorman held the door for all the worker bees heading for lunch. She wove her way among them, passing the reception desk unnoticed. Check. Slipping into an empty elevator, she waited for the doors to close before she hit the button for the twentieth floor.

A glance at her watch put extra speed in her footsteps as she left the elevator, heading for the stairs. Nearly two minutes off schedule. Her heartbeat thumped, but she handled everything smoothly. A wire here, a button there. Practice did make perfect. 11:23, check. They’d get to the café any moment.

Chris tied a scarf over her wig and pulled the fancy sunglasses out of her handbag. A huge vent was near the roof door. Her case was tucked under its ledge. She snagged it and settled into the shadow of a billboard. Assembly was easy. Tab A into Slot B. Check. As she worked, a part of her listened, smelled, felt, and filed everything away.

He was being seated at the corner table as usual. She watched through the lens as he got comfortable. Three joined him. All in boring business suits, all carrying attaché cases. As she watched, they ordered. 11:52, within the estimated timeframe. Check. Still she waited.

When the waiter put a bowl of soup on the table, Chris knew it was time. Amusement registered within the part of her on observation duty. She took a slow breath and eased off the safety. He bent to his soup. She squeezed the trigger. He dove face-first into the soup. She broke the weapon into components. No time to waste. The security system would be back up in three minutes.

As always, she was disappointed she couldn’t watch the mark and aftermath up close. The feeling was filed away with other details. She stayed on schedule and was in her hotel room by 12:35. The bank manager’s murder splattered across the news. She hardly noticed as she typed up observations.

Research made a novel come to life.

© 2010 Jessica Rosen

The first lines are a #storystarters I wrote and filed away a couple months ago. Have you searched the hashtag on Twitter yet? Treats for your muse.

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34 thoughts on “FlashFic: Work

  1. Johanna Harness May 13, 2010 at 6:50 pm Reply

    The bubbly murderess. OMG. Love her. Is that bad?

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 3:04 am Reply

      Bad? Of course not. A little twisted, maybe. It’s part of your charm. Thanks!

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  2. dennisfinocchiaro May 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm Reply

    Love it! I love flash fiction!
    http://www.denwrites.com

    Like

  3. peggy May 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm Reply

    Nothing like proper research. I think I like this gal.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 3:07 am Reply

      Reading books only gives so much insight. True research is hands-on. (The aforementioned represents the beliefs of the character and is not necessarily representative of the author.) Thanks, peggy.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  4. Mireyah Wolfe May 14, 2010 at 2:02 am Reply

    Holy crap that was good. O.O Nicely done. 😀

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 3:07 am Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for checking it out.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  5. mazzz_in_Leeds May 14, 2010 at 4:00 am Reply

    haha! Her job sounds like more fun than mine…

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm Reply

      Which part of the job? It’s all the same to her.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  6. Jen Brubacher May 14, 2010 at 4:36 am Reply

    Ooh, that last line is just dead on. (No pun intended?) I think this is my favourite of your stories I’ve read so far. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was heading but it sure got there.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm Reply

      Thanks so much, I do appreciate it. I wanted to do something a little different with this one. It’s good to know it came across well.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  7. yearzerowriters May 14, 2010 at 6:04 am Reply

    Think I’d shoot the mark first, then decide to become a writer (& draw on the research) only after as some sort of retrospective justification…

    Nicely done.

    Bests

    Marc Nash

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm Reply

      That’s another interesting approach, Marc. Thanks, very kind of you.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  8. Gracie May 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm Reply

    Just brilliant, Jess. It’s very important to love the work you do. 🙂

    Well written, and your killer was charming and seemed like fun. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm Reply

      Thanks, Gracie. That means a lot to me. I’m sure she sees herself as novelist first and foremost. The rest is just research. Intriguing to think what else she’s done in the name of research.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  9. 2mara May 15, 2010 at 9:40 am Reply

    Well we are only as good as our research. I can’t wait to read her novel 😉

    Great story!
    ~2

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 12:43 am Reply

      I’ve been thinking about her novel(s) as well. Sincerely doubt this is the first time she’s done something like this. Thanks for your nice comment.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  10. Deanna Schrayer May 15, 2010 at 10:02 am Reply

    Jess, this is edge-of-your-seat fantastic! Super build up and perfect reveal. Well done!

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 12:44 am Reply

      Thanks so much, Deanna. I really appreciate that. Wanted to do something a little different this time.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  11. Eric J. Krause May 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm Reply

    Wow, that’s dedication! I guess hands-on research really is best. Good story!

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 12:46 am Reply

      All for the sake of art, right? Thanks a bunch, Eric.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  12. Laurita May 17, 2010 at 8:53 am Reply

    Research is what makes the story. One of these days she’ll have to stick around to research the aftermath.

    Great concept.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm Reply

      Thanks, Laurita. I’ve been thinking along those lines, i.e. what extent she’d go to so that she could watch the event and aftermath.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  13. J. M. Strother May 17, 2010 at 11:37 am Reply

    Research! Ha! Well she certainly seems to enjoy her work. Hope the novel comes out well. 😮

    Good character development here. She’s a real piece of work.
    ~jon

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm Reply

      Thanks, Jon, I’m glad you liked it. What would one sacrifice for one’s art?

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  14. katirra May 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm Reply

    I loved this piece! Very interesting concept-one almost hopes she manages not get caught so she can write that novel.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm Reply

      Hey, Katirra, thanks. I have a feeling this isn’t her first outing. Heaven knows what she’ll do for a follow-up.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  15. Carrie Clevenger May 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Hey, you gotta have your reference. 😉

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 18, 2010 at 2:46 am Reply

      Too right, Carrie. Thanks for stopping in.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  16. Cathy Olliffe May 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm Reply

    I’m with Jen: this is definitely my favourite! The heroine is really charming, in a despicable kind of way! Great stuff! I could see a whole novel with her as the star character.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 18, 2010 at 2:48 am Reply

      Thanks, Cathy, that means a bunch to me. I really enjoyed her. There but for a moral or three go the rest of us.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  17. ganymeder May 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm Reply

    That was awesome. Did not see that coming…Research!

    I write about zombies sometimes. I always thought that watching movies was research but now…? LOL 🙂

    Well done.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen May 18, 2010 at 2:53 am Reply

      Oh dear, zombies? Perish the thought of that sort of hands-on research. Thanks for the kind comment.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

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