A Writing Exercise with the amazingly fun Ruth Logan Herne... :)
Today we're doing something different. We're doing a writing exercise.
I love these things. I absolutely love them.
I did well with these as a kid because my brain was full of the strangest things.... And I love working with people and writing exercises as an adult because we bring a whole lot more to the table:
8. Lack of faith
Kids generally bring fantasy to the table. That's how their minds go. But as an adult, when presented with a mystery set up, what would you do? How would you handle it? How would you write it?
Here's the format we're using today: I'm going to give you a quick set-up... you then are going to write a paragraph either opening the story... or as part of the story anywhere in the book... or you're going to briefly say how you think the story should go, so basically adding to the plot line.
Here's the set-up:
Mike climbed into the car, frustrated, but it was his own fault. Again.
He was late. He was always late these days, driven to be the best cop, the best investigator, the best man on the job. And now he was holding Kate up and he was 100% certain she was not going to be happy about it for good reason. A man who treasures a woman wouldn't take her time for granted. He wouldn't assume she'd wait-- except Kate always waited. Was that why he was an insensitive jerk? Because she never held his feet to the fire?
He pulled into the small parking area of the coffee shop, the one she loved because the barista topped her macchiato with milk foam hearts. As if that was a thing.
He got out of the car, crossed the lot and swung open the door. Instantly his eyes went to Kate's table.
Their table. When he finally showed up.
The table was empty.
All the tables were empty.
There was no barista. No weird music. No noise at all. Not even the hum of the espresso machine broke the silence.
The place was empty. Absolutely empty, with not a hint of movement except a thin trail of steam rising from a coffee cup on the counter. A to-go cup.
"Kate?" He stepped inside hesitantly, like he was entering a crime scene. Or one of those b-grade horror films. More likely. "Kate, where are you?"
No sound answered. No creaking door from the gender-neutral bathroom down the hall. No one emerged from the on-site cooler behind the coffee counter.
Except that steamy cup of coffee on the counter. A grande Americano, no sugar, a splash of cream, with a customer's name on the side.
Sitting waiting, like Kate must have done.
Was she teaching him a lesson?
He pulled out his phone and texted quickly. "Kate, I'm here. At the cafe. Where are you?"
No reply. No noise. Not a sound or breath of air except from that silently sitting cup of coffee, labeled just for him.
He stared at the phone.
No one there during working hours.
He swallowed hard and hit 911 even as a cold snake of fear put every part of him on high alert.
"911 Center. State your emergency."
He was a moron. What could he say? Was he about to report an empty building? The guys would have a field day with that one, wouldn't they?
He knew it. The minute he walked in the place, the different air overtook him and he knew it. Kate wasn't there. And she should have been. Which meant--
She was gone. And despite the fact that he was the biggest jerk on the planet, Kate wouldn't have just gotten up and left. Not because he deserved her faithfulness.
But because she was Kate.
He studied the walls around him as the operator made the request a second time. "911 Center. State your emergency."
The walls seemed to close in. Shortening the distance between him and whatever. He held the phone tight, dared the walls to come closer and kept his voice tight. "I'd like to report a missing person. And an empty building."
He didn't care that dispatch would call him crazy.
Maybe he was.
But Kate should be here. Right here. Right now. And the fact that she wasn't...
And his coffee was...
Meant something horrible had happened.
But what in the name of all that's good and holy could it be?
OKAY, FOLKS, YOUR TURN!
Have some fun, come up with plot ideas or thoughts or write a quick paragraph and if you want to tag onto someone else's paragraph, then go for it!
Sometimes the best way to kick writer's block to the curb is to write.
Come on in, my friends.
We've got this!
ruthloganherne.com, on facebook where she loves to talk about all kinds of things, and follow her on Twitter.... or just email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as for today...
I know you can do this!