Chapter 3

Written by: Suraya Dewing

Robert lay on the bed. Through the wall he could hear Jack snoring. Passing cars threw blades of light across the room and the rumble of motors swelled, drew close then faded, swallowed by the night.

He cracked his knuckles. The crack syncopated with the flashing lights and his mind flicked back to his days when lights, guitar riffs and rolling drums made up his leisure time.

Those were the days when Lucy sat in the wings of the stage, keeping beat with her ukulele, pony tail pulled back and dancing to the music her father made.

His jagged breath hooked in his mouth.

As he put his feet down, his cold toes curled against the thick carpet. He fumbled in the dark and found his jeans where he had thrown them. A car light swooped into his room and fell on his sneakers, one lying across the other. He scooped them up, pulled them over his feet and tip toed to the door. He tried the handle. It clicked but did not swing open as he expected it to. He tried again. It refused to move.

‘Going somewhere?’

Jack’s voice cut through the room. Robert froze. Letting go of the door he turned to face Jack, smile pasted on his mouth, heart beating.

‘No, just got lost trying to find the bathroom,’ he growled.

Jack flicked the switch and the room flooded with light. A set of keys swung from his fingers, jingling lightly. He stood in his boxer shorts and shook his head slowly.

‘You should know I wouldn’t leave the door unlocked.’ His face twisted into a lopsided grin. He looked out through the open curtain. A flash of light from another passing car shone into his face, turning his eyes into black holes. ‘You never know who might be trying to get in…’

Robert finished the sentence. ‘Or who might be trying to get out,’ he muttered.

Jack’s features filled with mock regret. He shook his head. ‘That never entered my head.’ He held up a hand. ‘Now why don’t’ we forget about this silly nonsense and catch some sleep. Busy day coming up with the move.’

Robert reluctantly peeled off his clothes and climbed into bed. Jack left the room but left the door ajar.

Robert waited until Jack’s loud snoring filled the room again.

He carefully peeled back the blankets, slipped his jeans and sneakers on, and then tiptoed to the bathroom where he pushed against the window. It gave a sharp squeak then slid open. He squeezed through the tiny slit and slipped into the night.

Once out on the street he ran, breath gasping in his throat. He stopped outside a guest house, checked Jack wasn't behind him and slipped into the brightly lit lobby.

‘I need a phone,’ he told the startled receptionist.

A sleepy voice answered.

‘Yeeees’.

‘Lucy I need your help….’

A shadowy movement caught the corner of his eye. He glanced toward the entrance. Jack was coming.

 

Suraya Dewing (NZ)

 

 

Comments

chapter 3 and although we are still in a motel room the story is grabbing the reader's attention. So far this is about the interaction between the two protagonists and their limited surroundings. I really like 'Passing cars threw blades of light....' and the reference back to performing while the daughter watched, 'keeping beat with her ukulele, pony tail....' Suraya's descriptive work and 'limited but essential' dialogue really make this a chapter full of intrigue. I certainly want to turn the page to read more.
Thanks Raymond. I appreciate your comments. Great that you want to turn the page and keep reading....That's exactly what I was after.
A good amount of tension is going on. Good to know Robert put his plan in motion. But it seems like he’ll be caught soon. I want to know if he’d make an excuse or run.