A good opening creates an intriguing scene that makes the reader crave to read more. This contest was especially for self-published authors and aspiring writers with works-in-progress. Today I’m publishing the first 5 runners up in no particular order. Enjoy the first 690 words of Creston Mapes’s WIP!
DEETZ – Evening of Event
Investigator Wayne Deetz turned on the tape recorder and wiped the sweat from his forehead. In twenty-six years with the Portland PD he’d never been in such close proximity to such a monster. Nothing had shaken him like this.
“Okay, let’s try this again. Tell me where you live, Rogan?”
The only word the kid had spoken since his arrest was his supposed first name, Rogan, which Deetz finally got him to spill in exchange for the Mr Pibb that sat on the metal table between them.
“You live in the city?”
The kid didn’t flinch. He was slouched in a green metal chair in the tight investigation room at Portland PD headquarters. His greasy straight black hair hung over his green eyes, which locked on Deetz and didn’t tick a millimeter. They were actually stunning eyes — large and clear; almost pretty, like a girl’s.
Although the kid couldn’t see them, seven to ten investigators were camped on the opposite side of the large one-way mirror. Deetz felt the pressure of the whole city — heck, the whole country — pressing against that mirror like a sea of black water held back only by a quarter-inch-thick piece of glass. The city was in an uproar; they wanted answers — and justice. The media was crawling all over the place like Transformers climbing on buildings.
“Are you local, Rogan? How’d you get to Pioneer Courthouse today? Did you take the TriMet?”
The kid looked at him with a lazy roll of the eyes, as if he’d just been told to clean his room.
“We’ll find out you know.” Deetz checked the tape recorder with shaky hands to make sure it was rolling. “We’ve got people checking the cameras from the square.”
Still in cuffs, the kid interlocked fingers, stretched his arms, and sighed.
When Deetz had first seen the kid at the murder scene, pinned under a pile of people and cops at Pioneer Square, he’d thought he was in his mid-twenties; but now he looked younger, eighteen or nineteen maybe.
Deetz checked his watch. Twenty past six. What he wouldn’t give to be heading home for dinner with Joanie, just another average night.
But in a heavy, sad way it dawned on him that “normal” was now gone.
The unthinkable that always happened on the news, somewhere else, had exploded in his town. Joanie and the kids had been calling and texting so much since the shooting that he’d been forced to turn his phone off.
Nope. Average nights at home were gone for the foreseeable future. Yet another obstacle in the road of life.
“Do you live with your parents? Are they here in the city?”
The kid jerked, and it made Deetz jump. He sat up and set his shoulders back, unsure whether the kid had been nodding off and suddenly woke up, or if the question had physically sent a jolt through him.
“You want to talk about your parents?”
Rogan pursed his lips and looked down at his black Converse, crossed out in front of him and locked in shackles. He wore skinny jeans. His legs were long and thin. They’d measured him in at five-eleven, 139 pounds.
“Are your folks together? Divorced?”
Deetz was simply trying to get a reaction — any reaction.
Rogan’s eyes flicked from his shoes to the investigator. “Are you divorced?”
Deetz felt his own eyes bulge as he contemplated how to answer. “Fortunately, no. I’ve been married a long time. Do you live with your mom?”
The boy scowled. “Why do you assume that? What are you, a shrink? I killed those people for the hell of it, okay? That’s it. End of story. There’s no deep, dark secret.”
Deetz hoped his face didn’t show the anger that boiled within.
“So you did it . . . for fun.”
“You play video games, Rogan?”
“Oh here we go.” He huffed and sat up, then leaned over and rested his forearms on his knees. “That had nothing to do with today.”
“So you do play video games? Which ones?”
“This is bullshit. Where’s my lawyer?”
“You’ll get a lawyer. What games, Rogan? Mortal Kombat? Resident Evil?”
Rogan laughed, but it didn’t seem like a genuine laugh. His eyes closed and he shook his head. “Old school, Deetz. So old school. How old are you, like sixty?”
Deetz was surprised the kid had remembered his name, and embarrassed he’d guessed his age wrong by ten years. Did Deetz really look sixty? The job and life had taken their toll.
“Did you picture what you did today like a video game?” Deetz asked. “Is that how it went down?”
Name: Creston Mapes
Thanks so much to all who entered.
Don’t forget to support your fellow self-published and aspiring authors!