Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Fishing Boats at Whitby,
John Singer Sargent,
oil on canvas, 1884.

An extrusion from another WIP that involves a missing child. I'm trying for creep:

Bjornsen ignored the introduction. He took in my blue and black windbreaker, my jeans and regulation hiking boots, and frowned.

"You are a volva woman?"

It sounded dirty the way he said it. Will stiffened beside me.

"Did he just call you a car - or something else?"

"Relax. He means a cunning woman, a kind of sibyl. I'm the latest model anyway. But if he tries to kick my tires you can slug him."
I gave Bjornsen points for nailing me with a cultural equivalent right off, but his instant recognition told me something too.

"You hair is silver, but your face is young - too young, " Bjornsen continued with nose-pinched suspicion.

I didn't like him. I didn't like his red and black aura. And I especially didn't like his dismissive European arrogance - the kind that implied the Atlantic was a railroad track and Will and I were clearly from the wrong side of it. He didn't much resemble a frantic father either. Or even a resigned and hopeless one. And no welcome.
But to be fair, in his place I wouldn't have welcomed me. He couldn't pretend, as he could with Johnnie or Will, that I was anything but a body finder. I represented finality. In a sense, I was death.
I hate missing child cases.


December/Stacia said...

So intriguing, sigh. I do love this narrator.

Bernita said...

Thank you, December.
Sorry about the screwy formatting.

kmfrontain said...

Intriguing is right. The mood just grabs ya.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen.
A certain foreboding, I hope.

Ric said...

A lot of information packed in a short sample. Love the tension.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric.
No question who's the villian, hmmm?

kmfrontain said...

Foreboding and distrust, some cynicism. They mesh well.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen. Greatful for the extra feedback.

Demon Hunter said...

It grabs the reader right away. I want to read more. You were spot on! :*)

writtenwyrdd said...

good stuff.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very interesting interaction here.

Bernita said...

That's a relief, Tyhitia! Thank you.
Now, not to let it fizzle out.

Thank you, Written.
I haven't consciously, deliberately, tried to write "creep" before.

Bernita said...

I'll take that as encouraging, Charles. Thank you.

raine said...

Very well done! I think you and creep are getting along just fine.

I've always loved protective males in the company of women who don't need them, lol.

Bernita said...

I do too, Raine. Very masculine, I find it. They are so sweet.
Thank you. Gives me confidence to continue.

Jon M said...

As me more!!!

Loved the picture too, many a happy holiday spent in Whitby but not in 1884!!! :-)

writtenwyrdd said...

YOu may have not tried to write creepy before, bernita, but you have the right instincts: Let the reader fill in the blanks, because what you lead them to imagine is far worse than mere words could portray.

Sam said...

Very intriguing. I want to read ALL of it.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jon.
I like the contrast of the dark sails and the pastel sea.
Excellent theory, Written, and I hope you are right and I can put it into practice.

Bernita said...

In progress, Sam! Thank you.
Hope that you may.

Bhaswati said...

Such brilliant character development in a piece so brief. Thanks for sharing, Bernita. Good education for me, as always.

Bernita said...

Not "brilliant," Bhaswati.
Just competent - I hope.
But, thank you, just the same!

takoda said...
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