Chapter 2

Written by: PriyaS

Jim knew he had to calm down. He had no idea why police were there or what had transpired. Their presence could have nothing to do with him. However, considering the recent turn of events in his life, it was likely he was being set up. 

His nervousness increased when he noticed the casino manager walking towards the officers. He assumed the manager wanted to know the reason behind their visit. They did not waste any time chatting with the manager and strode towards him.

Jim was exploring his escape options. The dark door to the right, past the flaring pokies perhaps. He shook his head. A pin drop silence descended upon the casino. Suddenly everyone wanted to know what police were doing there.

Jim’s nervousness increased with each step drawing the police officers closer to him. One wrong move had the potential to land him in prison, he thought.

Jim took one last sip from his glass. A stray beam of light flashed off it. He closed his eyes. When he opened them, two policemen were standing right in front of him.

The tallest one broke the silence, “I’m Officer Maxwell and this,” big hand gestured to the man on his right, “is my partner, De la Cruz. We’re investigating your wife’s accident.”

Jim nodded, digesting the information.

Francesca glared at him, hands on hips.

Jim mockingly raised his eyebrow. 

Ignoring his sister-in-law, Jim asked, “What do you want from me?”

There was no reason to panic. The police could not have concrete proof against him, he reasoned.  

“Preliminary investigation has revealed that someone sabotaged your wife’s SUV brakes,” said Maxwell coolly.

Jim realized the other officer, De la Cruz, was studying him. He was a couple of inches shorter with a muscular body and shrewd eyes. De La Cruz stuck his thumbs into his belt.

Francesca gasped and murmured incoherently. She pursed her red lips tightly together.

Jim smirked . One of the officers probably came up with the silly idea that Cate’s death would benefit him financially. He brushed the crazy thought aside. “So you decided to personally update me?”

“We want you to come with us. You’re the prime suspect,” Maxwell announced.

Jim’s heartbeat quickened. He could feel tiny drops of salty sweat form on his forehead. They ran down into his eyes and stung. He blinked. Everyone’s eyes were trained on him, as if questioning what his next move would be.

“You tried to kill my sister!”

 Jim heard Francesca hurl the accusation at him. He wasn’t expecting anything else from Cate’s sister. Her body was trembling angrily.

“You need to come with us,” Maxwell repeated impatiently.  Jim nodded, and the three of them walked towards the exit. 

Francesca’s beautiful face contorted with disgust. She sobbed quietly. 

Jim knew Francesca would gladly see him behind prison bars. But for what? Wanting out of a loveless marriage or for gambling and being in debt?     

Then he remembered that, while they were still together, Cate had given him money to get the car serviced. Instead, he’d used the cash for gambling and lied to her. 

Priyanka Sharma (IN)




I like the way Priyanka has used the casino for the whole of this scene yet pushed the story forward, adding new characters and creating some mystery. I really hate Francesca and I'm feeling sorry for Jim. Maybe the next writer will change my mind.
Lots of possibilities for the next few chapters have been opened up in these first few. Never assume what direction chapters ahead will take until the previous one has been written.