Chapter 2

Written by: Linda Alley

Glass tinkled as Jacques caught the rear end of a parked car and skidded into the shrubbery. He sank back in his seat, heart pulsing faster than the electric circuit he’d built in Physics class. The man who had startled Jacques was studying him thoughtfully. He was fortyish and dressed in sleek grey suit with a pink silk tie. Suddenly, without saying anything, he turned and sprinted across the sports field.

“Hey!” Jacques shouted, but the man didn’t stop.

Jacques staggered out of his car and limped around the back. Slowly, the other car came into view. Jacque’s heart plummeted. It was his mum’s brand new Mercedes Benz and the entire back fender was dented.

He spun around, waiting for the footsteps, the accusations, but there was only the blank wall of the gym. 

Jacques glanced at his watch. In ten minutes the rest of the students would be out. He ran back to his car, slammed the gear stick into reverse and sped through the school gates.

What was his mum doing here? She wasn’t due to finish work for a couple of hours yet. His own car was OK apart from a smashed front headlight. If he parked strategically in the garage, she might not even notice. There were two thousand students at Lakeside High School. Anyone could have dinged her precious Mercedes. Unless that man said something. But surely he wasn’t a teacher. His suit was too expensive.

The car engine suddenly spluttered and died. Jacques thumped the dashboard and uttered a curse that would have got him detention for a month in Grumpy’s class. He was still three blocks away from home. Jacques was usually a pretty laidback guy. Too laidback, his school reports said, but there was nothing at stake in History. How could there be? It was finished. But Emily wasn’t finished. He wasn’t going to be like all those stupid rulers, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Fate had given him a second chance with Emily and nothing wasn’t going to screw it up this time. 

Jacques pushed the car into a side street and ran home. He peeled off his clothes, scattering hangers on the floor as he searched for his Egyptian brown shirt. His older sister Aimée, a fashion designer in New York, had bought it for him last Thanksgiving. When she told him it brought out the colour in his eyes, he’d laughed in her face…and then worn it to every party since. Jacques sniffed his armpits and gagged. No time for a shower. He sprayed himself with deodorant, grabbed his jacket and sprinted across the road.

The bus shelter was cordoned off with plastic tape. A council notice flapped in the wind: Out of service.

Jacques sank down onto the kerb with groan and put his head in his hands.

“Need a ride?” said a low voice.

Jacques looked up. It was the man from the carpark.



That is a good ending. It comes as a surprise. That's what life can throw at you.
Thanks, Ken. I'll be interested to see what the next writer does with it.
I loved the way you kept the action moving forward. Anyone reading this comes in on the first word and is taken on an action packed ride to the last word without floundering in a flat spot. That is the essence of short story writing and you have demonstrated once again your considerable talent with short form fiction.
Thank you for your kind comments. Jacques was a fun character to write about. He was on the move as soon as I started typing!
Linda I really enjoyed reading your chapter. After chapter 1, I thought this serial would veer toward the 'slice of life' genre but you added a suspense element at the end. Very nice touch.
'Jacques sniffed his armpits and gagged.' Six words that shows the reader so much. Love this chapter , Linda, and i agree with Aiden-penn... really well paced. I also love where this is going. Fantastic.
I absolutely loved this line: heart pulsing faster than the electric circuit he’d built in Physics class. It located the story and revealed age of the characters without actually saying....he was etc. It also set the story off at the pace that had the eye gliding along.