Saturday, April 10, 2010

I is for "Its Gonna Be a Bloody One Folks..."

In keeping with my A-Z Blogging Challenge, I've entered a Blogfest hosted by Anne Riley. Today's theme is is "I" is for Its-gonna-be-a-bloody-one-folks-murder-scene-blogfest... try saying that three times fast.  So I was a little on the jittery side because...well, I don't write murder mysteries.  I write Christian Romance/Suspense.  I'm a little out of my element here. But I guess that is the point of the whole excercise, isn't it? To hone my craft by stretching my little trembly writer's wings. 

I've written a scene that actually goes into my book, Ruby Dawn. Its a flashback from my main character's past and it is her point of view.

Murder Scene:

Dresden Heights – Six Years Ago

It never rained this hard, not here anyway. But it was raining, and the noise was like a thousand marbles on a pie tin. I told myself this could be a good sign as I crawled on my hands and knees across the sheet metal roof of the abandoned bus station. I hoped the rain masked the sound of the metal bowing under my weight. Rust and dirt sloughed off the roof and I dug my fingers into the pitted metal, struggling to keep from slipping backwards. I looked over my shoulder, at the asphalt two stories below, and shuddered.

Heights are bad, really bad.

I crested the roof and peered over it to the empty lot where they used to park the buses. Defunct for nearly six years, the bus station now served as a graffiti magnet and crash pad for street kids in the area. The bottom doors and windows were barred, but I’d asked around and a girl in Biology told me to look for windows on the second floor that everyone would use to get inside. I scanned the roofline and found them. There was my way in; a row of vent windows with broken glass like jagged teeth in the rusty face of the building.

I turned on the roof, swung my feet down toward the ledge, and let go. I slid down, flailed frantically with both hands, and caught hold of the vent window’s frame. Panting, I spit rainwater from my mouth and teetered along the building’s outside ledge on my tip-toes.

You can do this, Ruby. The strength will come, it’ll come.

I took a deep breath and side-shuffled passed the first window. My knees trembled as I forced myself to look down into the hollow maintenance garage below.

The vague, block-like shapes of toppled lockers made huddled forms in the darkness below. Lightning streaked overhead and gave me a flash of the torn girly magazines and trash littering the floor. I flinched when the thunder rumbled over me, and I gripped the window frame with aching fingers.

Two windows down, I lowered my legs in through the roof and poked around with the toe of my tennis shoe for the one locker section still standing upright. Tongue out, concentrating, I started when I heard Tom yelling from somewhere inside the building.

Frantic, I aimed where I thought I saw the lockers, closed my eyes, and jumped down. Slick with the rain overhead, I pawed and scratched for a handhold on the slippery surface of the lockers.

Another desperate echo bounced along the fallen lockers and empty halls towards me. My pulse shot prickles down through my fingertips and I lost my grip. I hit the filthy tile floor with a wet smack.

Gasping for breath, I called out. “Where are you?”

I scrambled to my feet and squinted into the darkness. My name floated back to me from the bowels of the dark building. I stumbled towards Tom’s voice. Slipping on the wet trash and magazines, I tripped over something solid and went sprawling to my stomach. Hitting the edge of an overturned table, the breath whooshed out of me again.

Tom shouted from far away. “Don’t do this! Stop!”

My side on fire, I pulled myself back upright and lurched forward. Panic exploded in my chest. I yelled again. “I’m coming, I’m coming!”

I hoped my voice would stop what was happening, that the thought of a witness would stop Griffin. Tom’s pain-filled howl stabbed through me. I ran blindly bouncing off walls to get to him. Up ahead, the weak light from the street lamps glowed through the hallway door’s broken window.

Almost there!

Griffin shouted angrily and I sprinted, heart tumbling in my chest, toward the sound. I nearly lost my footing and staggered out into the maintenance building’s open courtyard. A few yards ahead, Tom and Griffin tangled with each other against the chain-link fence.

I screamed.

Griffin’s head snapped towards me and he snarled with wild eyes. “You stay out of this! This isn’t about you anymore!”

Tom stood pinned against the fence with a knife to his throat. His busted lip dripped blood onto his torn white t-shirt.

Tom strained in Griffin’s grasp. “Ruby, get out of here!”

“Griffin, stop!” I pled.

Griffin ignored me and turned back to face Tom. He grabbed a wad of Tom’s t-shirt and shook him like a rag doll. Rain poured down from the sky and splashed around their feet.

“Griffin! What are you doing?” I screamed. I edged closer, my mind reeling.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to stop this.

Griffin didn’t look at me when he answered. His eyes, transfixed on the knife at Tom’s throat, narrowed with rage.

“He has to pay,” Griffin yelled, spittle flying out of his mouth. “He needs to pay, don’t try to stop me!”

Rain dripped off their noses and matted hair. I couldn’t make out Tom’s face, but his hands shook as he pushed against Griffin’s knife hand.

I inched forward. If I could just get close enough to distract Griffin, then Tom might have a chance. “Please, you don’t need to do this,” I said evenly.

“No, this is exactly what I have to do!” Griffin snarled.

Closer now, I caught Tom’s eye, tried to tell him what I was doing, but Griffin was already moving. He lunged with the knife. Tom twisted in his grip, and I screamed as my hands barely brushed Griffin’s arm.

And then everything went silent. I remembered later that the rain fell without sound for those few frozen seconds.

Griffin’s eyes went wide, lit up with the lightning flash, and crimson spray fanned across my white t-shirt. The blood started to run as the rain poured down on us. My heart rammed in my chest, and I staggered against the fence.

Then everything sped back up, the noise hit me like a physical blow, and I heard the knife clang onto the asphalt. Terrified, I locked eyes with Tom. His face already going white, he reached out to me.

My eyes went to the gash in his side and my heart stopped.

Tom’s eyes swam as he looked at me. “Ruby?”

Photograph by FranUlloa, Uploaded on January 5, 2007.

Dont forget to sign up for the Primal Scream Blogfest - Your Most Heart Pumping Scene, here on April 19th. The Blogfest will take place on May 5th...can't wait!


Harley D. Palmer said...

Wow! Great tension and panic there at the beginning! You wrote this very well! Loved it!

Iapetus999 said...

Murder! Murder! Murder!
This is a good one.
Just wondering why she had to go through the building instead of just climbing the fence. There was a lot of scenery in there but the action was elsewhere.
I take it Tom doesn't make it :(

Nice job!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great scene. Great description.

I remembered later that the rain fell without sound for those few frozen seconds.

I really love that line. :)

Jordan McCollum said...

I like the line Sarahjayne mentioned, too—the whole time warp at the end is well done!

Anne Riley said...

Great job, Raquel! I think you did quite well outside of your comfort zone!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Your pacing and detail wrapped around the heroine's panic and fear makes this a very effective scene. Great job.

If you have the time, please check out my own entry in this blogfest. It's from my historical fantasy, RITES OF PASSAGE, set in 1853.
Again, thanks, Roland

Amalia T. said...

Woof! I both love and hate that I don't have a good look at what happened in that moment-- I love it because that kind of confusion of arms, limbs, etc is bound to happen in a fight. Things happen so quickly, and get out of control so fast! hate it because I want to know more :) I think the murder scene itself definitely does the job!

Anonymous said...

I njoyed reading this. Well done :o)

Wanda said...

Enjoyed reading this. good job!

arlee bird said...

A lot of tension in this one-- You held me right up to the end.

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Tara said...

I really felt for Tom - I wanted her to do something to save him!

VR Barkowski said...

I can't believe you're out of your element! You did an extraordinary job of showing us the scene. Great detail and movement, which makes it all very immediate and the tension palpable. Very well done!

Elaine AM Smith said...

You kept the suspense coming. The scary climb through to the race to make it in time to make a difference - how sad at the end.

Ellie said...

Great suspenseful build; you had me wanting more~ I love the adjectives, it wasn't over the top.
I want more....

Anonymous said...

Very gritty scene - very visual and tense. I'm curious about what Tom must have done to be in such a situation. Nice job!

EJ Fechenda said...

Ruby's panic just pulls the reader into the story. First, she is introduced perched on a metal roof during a thunderstorm. Something big has to be going on for anyone to be placed in a high stakes situation like that. When she bounces off the walls in her haste to make it to Tom, that is so easy to visualize. Awesome!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful encouragement. I had a great time reading through everyone's posts. This was a lot of fun.

By the way...Tom doesn't die. I just couldn't kill him off in the end. =)

Anonymous said...

I think writing outside of your comfort zone is working magic! Nice tension and scene-setting.

My world said...


Slushpile Slut said...

This was really good....loved the thousand marbles on the pie tin...and the pace, tension, dialogue and internal conflict was well balanced! Looking forward to reading more!

Myne Whitman said...

Wow, I am impressed! I was hooked from the first opening paragraph. Crawling on the roof, the sound of rain. I do like your descriptive phrases. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Great one! Love the tension! And the line that sarahjayne mentions is my fave, too!