Chapter 8

Written by: amandine

Hugo stared with bemusement at the black Limo parked outside the restaurant. Who on earth drove a Limo to a place like the White Dolphin? Ducking down beneath the window, Hugo scurried around to the back entrance; careful not to be seen and wishing he was somewhere else. Still sporting a cracking headache from the blow to his head and the disconcerting knowledge that he was no longer safe in the town, he decided to leave. Unfortunately he had some unfinished business first.

Creeping past the ovens in the kitchen and down a narrow passage to the employee lockers, Hugo silently turned the dial of his lock. A sudden faint laugh caused his heart to beat rapidly. Hugo fingered the pages of his social security documents, his precious passport, and an envelope full of a thousand dollars’ tips desperately needed. He caught his reflection in the locker mirror. His usually handsome features looked worn and tired and his hair dirty and disheveled; the last 24 hours seemed to have added ten years to his life.

Hugo’s fear subsided. Anger burned inside him; his only crime had been lying about some ridiculous ring to impress a girl. What red blooded male hadn’t tried something similar? Hugo was attracted to the voices in the dining room. Crouching down on all fours, he moved quickly down the corridor, darted behind the bar, and peered through the wine glasses.

Sitting with their backs to him were Maria and Vivienne; the pair of them looking like women out of film noir, ready to seduce. Two older men who he didn’t recognize sat with them, one silver-haired with a serious disposition and glasses perched on his nose. The other with a shock of white hair, solidly built and expensively dressed. Dark suited men hovered nearby.

Hugo fingered the compact item hidden in his pocket. The gruff man in the pawn shop had been reluctant to sell it to him with no identification. It had a reassuring weight and he let his fingers wander around its outline. “Hugo Stackpole” his name rose out of the whispers of a conversation he could barely hear from behind the bar. They were still talking about him, he knew this wasn’t over. Wherever he went, he would never feel safe.

A wine glass fell from the table to the floor and shattered. The waiter rushed to clean it up while Vivienne rose out of her chair. Moving to where the wine glasses stood on the bar, directly above Hugo’s head, she reached a manicured hand across for a glass stem. Hugo grabbed her wrist and yanked her backwards. His left arm wrapped around her neck, trapping her. He reached for the pistol in his pocket and quickly pressed the barrel to her temple, pulling her back over the bar.  Dozens of wine glasses smashed, cutting his hand in several places.  He held her tightly against his body; all eyes in the room and several guns pointed at him.


Amanda Hale (NZ)



New writer Amanda has really given this her all. I can see and hear the characters and can feel a lot of tension. I like the way she has captured the personality of the two women - ....women out of film noir, ready to seduce.... and had a reassuring weight and he let his fingers wander around its outline.... this is good characterization and description. Nice chapter, Amanda.
Holding a gun to your girlfriends head! I'm loving that. This story is now so different to the preface. Excellent Amanda.