Chapter 4

Written by: jessica g

A crack of thunder struck outside. Jason could see rain through the grimy office window. The drops pelted down on the roof of Snohomish Exchange. They were deafening. 

Disorientated, he stumbled and fell over. Christine laughed; it raised the hairs on the back of Jason’s neck.

“You thought you could keep it all to yourself?”  Christine said. Jason shook his head and picked his aching body up off the floor. Attempting to look composed, he carefully made his way over to the doorway where Christine stood.

He slid his hand in the pocket of his jeans to feel for the scrap of paper he’d scooped off the desk. She hadn’t noticed that, he was sure. It stayed hidden for now, along with the colt pistol he always kept in his suit pocket. You could never be too careful these days.

“Madison kept this in the blanket box. Last place anyone would think to look,” said Christine. “It’s very, shall we say, interesting.”

Jason did not speak. His suspicions had been confirmed. His head was spinning and he felt that at any moment he could vomit. The rain grew louder.

“You and I both know we could make a pretty penny out of this whole thing. After Albert gave me this rock, I knew there must be more somewhere. Silly boy wouldn’t tell me where,” she said. “But you’re not like that, are you darling?”

This was not what Jason wanted to hear. Of course there were more diamonds, but at what price? One man had already lost his life in a gruesome manner. Jason had no plans to follow suit, or let anyone else for that matter.

With a wife and a baby on the way he had to do his best to get by. Change the details on the receipts of a few shipments here and there. Make a little extra money. Christine was the mistake he regretted.

Albert had always told him what they could get away with, how far they could go before auditors would get nosey and start poking around. Jason swore he’d stop as soon as he had enough put aside.

He hadn’t planned on this. And the body in the container? He was many things, but not a stone cold killer. He’d tell the police the truth, do his time, and come back to his family. That was the right thing to do.

He walked over to Christine. She thought she was so beautiful and could make men do anything she wanted. But Jason saw through her facade, and, with a heart like hers, she was ugly.  He placed one hand on Christine’s shoulder and with other reached for his colt.

She twisted away but his fingers bit into her shoulder and held her in place. She froze when she felt the gun pressing into her back.

“Give me the log book Christine and start walking towards the door. Slowly. Do exactly as I say and you will not be harmed.”

Jessica Gillon (NZ)




This is very clear storytelling. The male/female dynamic is evolving at a good rate. Guns coming more into this story make it a crime/thriller cracking along. One point though: spelling. 4th line down "Christine sad" should read "Christine said" (I reckon)
I caught the typo on "said" as well. One other thing struck me as inconsistant with Jason's character description. As a First Mate in the Merchant Marine the assumption of his age range would be too have a pregnant wife. Was this a second or third marriage and a new family? Some how, to me, it doesn't fit. Other than that, the chapter is entertaining story telling and I am enjoying the way it is going.
I meant to say he was too old to have a pregnant wife. I got ahead of myself and left out a few words in my previous comment.
Well done Jessica, the story is taking on a life of its own. I think a colt pistol would not have been hidden very well and "He slid his hand INTO, not in... those are small points. Also, the whole question of the diamond smuggling issue is still a little confused. Why change the invoices for the goods if you are just hiding gems? Loved the rain - it creates a dark atmosphere and helps set the next chapter up.
Good job of moving the story along. When I was a kid there was a juggling act that spun plates on the end of poles. This is what a writer does too. You need to move the story, give the characters more dimension, create your scene (move that scene) and have the skill to keep the plates all spinning while adding new ones. The writers knowledge about mechanics and technical rules of writing stays invisible--but like the juggler, you must know how much spin to put on each plate and when to go back and re-spin it or the story will all come crashing down too. Now you are learning the "magic" of how to "spin" the story. Good job!
Very hard to make one chapter captivating and interesting especially when the lead up is written by someone else. Making a 500 word short story that is 'all you' is difficult enough, doing a piece that needs to stand on it's own but also be a part of something else is a huge task. I think everyone is doing a great job. And any comments mentioned are worth noting but often only minor... and they are also just opinions (some more correct than others). I bet if Cormac McCarthy jumped in and wrote a chapter for us (if he was still unknown) everyone would be giving their 2 cents on how his writing is stunted and confusing.
Hmm, I use Cormac McCarthy in a lot of my posts. I guess because his writing style is so out there. I don't idolise him though, and I don't wish to write exactly like him. But his writing syle is interesting. Ok, enough from me.