Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Father Lucifer, a novel in progress: End of Chapter 3

Father Lucifer, a novel in progress: End of Chapter 3:

Night was rushing across the sky, swarming over the last glints of sun that poked out between the mountains, with a chill coming on. Stacy pressed close to me and I put my arm around her. That was nice.

"Here's the thing," she said. "I had this idea that I could get away from my idiot parents and steps, once and for all, if I could just make one good score. You know how good that can sound."

"Oh, yeah. Thought you said it wasn't drugs."

"It wasn't."

I thought for a long second about several things I didn't want to think about, and decided to stay real neutral. "So the deal went south."

"Way south. The people I was dealing with knew my old history, and it was too late to back out."

I didn't know her old history but this didn't seem like the time to ask.

She rubbed her head on my shoulder. "It's just hard to tell you about it, is all. I know you would never judge me but the whole thing is dumb and embarrassing, and I just hate to think about telling you."

"Then don't," I said. "Tell me when you want to, if you ever do. Doesn't matter to us being friends." It's easy to be all understanding and shit when you have no idea what you're talking about, and don't want to.


So at last the hard comes to a boil ... I'm grateful to those of you who stuck with the slow start of this thing, because it really was something I wanted to try. Mysteries, especially series mysteries, are about character, and in this case Hal is pretty embedded in a community, an idea the police procedural guys developed very heavily, but it's there in all the hardboileds -- look at Crumley's vivid town of Meriweather, Montana or at the world surrounding Matt Scudder. So I resigned myself to starting a slow one and hoping some people would find the permanent cast interesting enough while they were meeting them. But the wheels have turned, the spring is sprung, and from here on there's going to be some action.

Special nod to Ellyn X, not her real initial, who dropped me a note saying that she just liked the characters and didn't care if the mystery EVER got started. Me too, Ellyn, but who are we two against so many?

So, see you all next week, and till then, happy mayhem!