Fiction, Poetry and Havering

Fiction – Trying Out Voices

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

I’m practicing writing in the voices of the two narrators in my crime novel. These are both rough first attempts.


Perched as I was in my loft above the warehouse, I felt safe enough until water began, not as a trickle but as a thrusting wave, to swallow up the concrete floor below. With the power out and dark skies above, I couldn’t see much detail, but the shadows swirled and rushed, trying to escape the bounds of the steel and brick.

Then the double doors out front, a huge wooden arch that hadn’t been used since the days when the building had been a livery stable, burst free of their bolts with a splintering crack louder than the pounding rain.

Now a river ran below me, arising like a poisoned spring out of the floor near the back wall and exiting though the gaping doorway. It cleared its path of light boxes, loose pallets, anything it could float out or shove aside–but a churning mix of ragged debris flowed past–or got dropped, caught up by crates, stuck in crevices–brought down from who knows where uphill. And the smell was almost palpable, not a sewage odor but dirty oil, solvents, mold and sharp decay.


The rain was fun at first, until I got bored and restless. I wanted to go out and tramp around, but the downpour was too much. Then my work phone rang, and I jumped across the room to grab it.


“Got a call.” It was my sergeant, Eamon Maguire. “Two vics, skeletons, down the Flats.”

That meant I was the only one who could possibly get to the scene. Eamon and the rest of the team couldn’t cross the Industrial Canal, both its bridges were out. My heart kicked up a notch or two waiting for him to continue.

“Secure it. Dispatch about passage.”

“Will do, sarge.”

“And call me.”

Sometimes I think he took me on only because I can hear the words between his lines. He wanted me to protect whatever I could at the scene and to call dispatch for information about where I might be able to drive through the flooding.

Actually started working on a third voice there, too, that of Sgt. Maguire.

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