Saturday, June 6, 2009

Note to Self: Keep that Notebook in Your Purse!

While I was out today, an idea for the opening chapter hit me. It was almost strange, if not frightening, because I wasn't me for some time, but my main character. I could hear the sounds she was hearing, smelling the smells and the fear....well, I think you get the point. I think I freaked a couple people out when I went to the information desk to ask for a piece of paper so I wouldn't forget my fabulous idea. (I'm not quite sure why I walked out of my apartment today without my notebook.) Eh, they'll be fine!

Now, once I got home from hanging out with a friend of mine, I put the final touches on the opening chapter. So, since you have all been waiting oh, so patiently, here it is.

Devyn Williams, a young black woman currently attending the nearby police academy, walked into her dad's house and immediately felt that something was off. Putting her purse down on the table in the foyer, she walked toward the living room where she heard the TV playing. Her dad was probably just watching a rerun of the Dead Zone, she thought to herself as she turned the corner and walked into the room. She noticed that there was slight metallic smell as she entered the room and got stronger with each step she took. That voice in her head telling her that something was wrong was only getting louder.

She expected to see her dad, Darnell, and godfather, Clayton Ford, sitting on the couch, like she left them a few hours before. Instead, she saw no one in the room. When she walked around to the couch to turn the TV off, that's when she saw it. Her dad was lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. His mouth was duct taped shut and his normally warm brown eyes were dilated and glazed over. Her hands flew to her mouth and she fell to her knees in shock. Her dad was dead, stolen from her.

After what seemed like eternity, she ran to the other room to call 911, Clayton and her mother. Since the room was now a crime scene, she sat on the front stairs to wait. Clayton showed up just as the police and other emergency arrived. As soon as he ran into the house, Devyn ran into his arms and finally cried. He had been a huge part of the family and helped raise her.

“What happened?” he asked the young woman.

Between sobs, she replied, “I don't know. I just found him like this.”

Before he could say anything, a police office walked over to ask some questions. As she told the officer what she knew and how she found her dad lying there, she watched a couple morgue workers put her dad in a body bag. When it was being pushed past them, Devyn asked them to stop for just a moment. Unzipping the bag to see her dad one more time before they took him away, she started crying again. His skin was so cold and his lips were purple.

Clayton pulled her away, saying, “You don't need to see him that way. Your dad wouldn't want you to.”

She just nodded and let the morgue workers push the body out of the house. Her mother, Lane, finally showed up as they were loading it into the van and ran to her daughter. The officer from earlier reintroduced himself and asked the three of them where they were all coming from and how they knew the deceased. At that word, Devyn lost it. The attempts by Clayton and Lane were fruitless and she finally had to be sedated before being taken to the hospital herself.

The weeks leading up to Darnell's funeral were tough for Devyn. Between being questioned by the police if she knew anyone who would want to her hurt her father, supporting her mother, who was still in love with him despite the divorce, and the thought of burying him, she wasn't sure if it would be possible to even continue at the Academy. Seeing this, Clayton took on the responsibility of burying his old friend.

Two weeks after they buried her dad, Clayton told Devyn that his job was offering him a spot in their New York City office and he was going to take it. “I think this will help me focus on something other than your dad's death.”

“But what about me? You said that you would always be there when I needed you,” she said with tears in her eyes. “You can't leave.”

Wiping the tears from her eyes, he said, “I will always be here for you, no matter where I am.”

A week later, he was gone. Less than two years later, her mother was killed in a double hit and run while she was on a business trip in Milwaukee. The day of her funeral, Clayton never showed up, but sent a bouquet of twelve red roses and one white rose in the middle with a note attached in his place. The note said:

Don't give up. I'm still here!
Uncle Clayton
Devyn had never felt more alone.

The only thing that I ask is that you remember two things:
  1. This is still kind of rough and nothing is set in stone.
  2. Please comment. I would like some feedback on this and every part that I post.

Thanks! :o)


  1. I like this start! Why is Uncle Clayton only sending flowers? Is that part of the story?

  2. All I can and will say is to keep that detail in mind. :o)

  3. Oooooh, methinks uncle is guilty of something!!!! lol!

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! It's a great start. Just keep focused on the details and the rest will follow. I'm so proud of you!