Friday, December 30, 2011

Opening Lines - God Save The Queen

Got Books asked authors and readers to post an opening line to a book they were reading, writing or just to make something up. We had 21 entries. From there we were to combine those opening lines to create a story. Below is mine. The opening lines have been italicized, and I may have broken a few literary rules, but it was fun. The opening lines are posted at the end. Give it a try and have fun.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

I love opening lines. They can tell you so much about what to expect, and many times give you a clue into the identity of the bad guy. As a homicide detective I’ve used that trick many times to profile a killer, robber or drug dealer. Often it worked, but not this time. Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, at least for a little while. The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry. The new super was demanding results or my badge. Some girls get flowers, I get a yard full of dead bodies. I shot a glance at my partner, Adam Shaw. “Throw me a line, Adam.”

“It was a dark and stormy night.” Adam growled, peering through the windshield. July had been blown out like a candle by a biting wind that ushered in a leaden August sky.

“Don’t be a smartass.“ I doodled on the blank page in front of me and flipped it over. “I need something original and spectacular.”

Damn! Adam thought. Just great! It’s getting dark and I have no idea where the hell I am! “What do you think of our new super?” Adam asked, abruptly changing the subject.

I snorted. “She’s so cold, I bet she poops out ice cubes.”

Adam laughed. “The bureaucrat fell from the sky.”

As usual, Adam’s mind never worked the way anyone expected. He jumped from subject to subject without laying the ground work for the change of topic. “What bureaucrat?”

“Your opening line.” Adam said, turning left down Crenshaw Avenue and pulling up in front of the two story brick ranch. Officers were stringing yellow tape from tree to tree, closing off the crime scene.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Adam turned off the engine and opened the car door. “I count five bodies.”

“Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death,” I muttered opening my door and climbing out. Winning the lottery wasn’t always a good thing. And for Rick Feldman it had turned out to be a nightmare. The stench of death was overwhelming. Of course, if the rumors were right he’d gotten what he deserved. Someone should have told those poor girls Rick Feldman is best admired from a distance—if you get too close, you might find some of your body parts missing.

I couldn’t quite suppress my satisfaction as I noticed the new super turning a delicate shade of green, one hand covering her mouth. Long after she moved on, she would remember the smells. My satisfaction was short-lived though. She spotted me and clomped her way across the crime scene destroying any usable evidence in her path.

“This is unacceptable, Sparks.”

I bit back the sharp retort on the tip of my tongue and stared at the toes of my shoes. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Can you tell me what this means, or do I need to call in help?”

I raised my eyes and glanced at the sheet of paper she was waving in my face. Taking the sheet I read it quickly. When a burning is announced, the taverns off Smithfield order extra barrels of ale, but when the person to be executed is a woman and one of noble birth, the ale comes by the cartload.

Pulling out my notebook I found the first note the killer had left. Since King Garrick made Samael the province’s official god, Sundays in the saloon were always busy.Ale, saloons, Kings and women of noble birth. So far ten dead bodies, and these were the only clues. Bingo! God, I feel like such a jackass! “Isn’t Sarah McGinty visiting next week, ma’am, along with the Queen? I believe her father is known as the King of Ale. This could be a threat on her life or that of the Queen.”

The Super grabbed the paper from my hand and gave me a long, quizzical look. “I believe you’re acquainted with Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins. She’ll be arriving this evening. I expect you to grant her every courtesy and share any and all information.”

I felt my fingers curling inwards, spine stiffening as I watched her walk away. How dare that bitch. I breathed deep, shook my hands to loosen them up and watched as Adam approached. He nodded toward the car and I followed, slamming the door behind me. “She’s calling in Simpkins.”

Adam gave me a slow, sensual smile and pushed my hair behind my right ear. “We had a good run, Sparkie. Time to pull up stakes and move on.”

“I can take care of Simpkins.”

Adam shook his head, started the car and glanced at the dash. “Got your opening line. The beer ran out at nine o’clock.”

It was three am. The dead hour. I felt washed out, but Simpkins looked like she’d just stepped out of a fashion magazine. She’d arrived just after midnight and spent the next three hours grilling me while I slaved over a hot stove cooking for her. I lifted my wine glass and smiled at her. “You should be dead in about one hour, maybe less, “I said as I watched my dinner guest eat the dinner I had prepared for her.

Panic has a way of defining an individual. Her eyes widened slightly as realization sunk in and she pushed away from the table. “You poisoned me?”

“I believe the coroner’s report will show you died of natural causes. You should have taken better care of your heart, Lorne. Seems it just gave out on you in the middle of the night.” I refilled my wine glass and took a sip. “And even God can’t save the Queen.”

Never underestimate your enemy. The glass slipped from my hand as the first bullet struck just below my left rib cage knocking me backwards. The second bullet struck two inches higher.

Lorne Simpkins pulled out her cell phone and hit the programmed number. The phone was answered on the second ring.

“Superintendent Marsh.”

“Need an air evac medical team, ma’am. The crazy bitch poisoned me.” Lorne listened for a moment before heading for the door and her car. “What about Shaw?”

“Picked him up fifteen minutes ago. He’s singing like a parakeet.” Marsh said.

“That’s good news, ma’am. I’ll see you at the station.” Lorne closed the cell phone, and opened the car door and sat down. Marsh owed her one for this. As soon as she’d seen the names Candace Sparks and Adam Shaw she’d known exactly what they were up to. What she couldn’t figure out was why they’d used the same names. She’d been searching for them for ten years since the last attempt on the Queen’s life. What the bloody hell. Serial killers were a strange breed. Mistake or destiny, she’d take it.

At the sound of helicopter blades whirling in the distance, Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins leaned over the steering wheel and peered at the sky. God Save the Queen.




Opening Lines

1) The beer ran out at nine o’clock.
2) Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death
3) I feel like such a jackass!
4) Damn! Adam thought. Just great! It’s getting dark and I have no idea where the hell I am!
5) Since King Garrick made Samael the province’s official god, Sundays in the saloon were always busy.
6) July had been blown out like a candle by a biting wind that ushered in a leaden August sky.
7) Some girls get flowers, I get a yard full of dead people.
8) She’s so cold, I bet she poops out ice cubes.
9) The bureaucrat fell from the sky.
10) You should be dead in about one hour, maybe less,” I said as I watched my dinner guest eat the dinner I had prepared for her.
11) When a burning is announced, the taverns off Smithfield order extra barrels of ale, but when the person to be executed is a woman and one of noble birth, the ale comes by the cartload.”
12) Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, at least for a little while.
13) It was a dark and stormy night. . .
14) It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
15) The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry.
16) It was three am. The dead hour.
17) Panic has a way of defining an individual.
18) Long after she moved on, she would remember the smells.
19) Rick Feldman is best admired from a distance—if you get too close, you might find some of your body parts missing.
20) At the sound of helicopter blades whirling in the distance, Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins leaned over the steering wheel and peered at the sky.
21) The stench of death was overwhelming.

4 comments:

  1. That's brilliant! This could make for another one of your awesome books! ~Valerie~

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely! Thanks, Linda... you are so clever!

    ReplyDelete