disapproving kitty

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Short Story Starter

J once told me of an idea he had for a short story, and even though I think someone else has written similar stories, I thought I'd give it a roll.  All of it is fiction, any resemblance to the living or dead is coincidental, etc. etc.

     G. Daniels shifted uncomfortably in the seat of his sedan.  It was an old Buick, and the springs in the cushions were long since shot, but it was dark and non-descript which is what he needed for this assignment.  He sighed.  "Stupid assignment." he muttered for not the first time. When he'd signed up at the Agency, this was not what he'd been hoping for.  In his mind he'd envisioned heart-pounding excitement, high-tech gadgetry, chases at high speeds through twisty streets, using computers and logic at the speed of light to nab dangerous criminals and turn them over to the system of Justice.  Instead it was....this.  Sitting in a broke-down sedan, drinking sludgy coffee and needing to take a pee while staring at what had to be the most boring house in the whole damn country.
    It was a standard two-story colonial, with aluminum beige siding and beige trim with the standard two-and-a-half car garage, driveway and walk to the front stoop complete with three bushes, one tree and some tired-looking flowers.   In it lived Daniels' subject.  One Davis E. Portmeyer, ostensibly a minor paper-pusher at some local company that made bricks or envelopes or some other mundane product Daniels couldn't recall at the moment, was of intense interest to the Agency.  According to Daniels' superiors, Portmeyer was leading a double life, and used his job, his house and even his wife as cover for covert terrorist operations.  Daniels' job was to watch him, 7 pm to 7 am, every night, document his movements, his phone calls, his contacts.  Wait for him to leave a trace of this other, mysterious life.                  
       It was Daniels first solo assignment, and it had gone on for a month now.  With nothing.  At all.
       Daniels could set his watch by Portmeyer's movements.  When Daniels arrived at his post, Portmeyer's wife, Grace, would already be home from her job at the local library.  She would be puttering about the house, listening to the radio, preparing dinner.  At 7:15 pm Portmeyer would roll into the garage, putting the door down before getting out of his car.  At 7:25,  they would sit down to dinner where they would eat and talk about the minutiae of their day.  This was usually excruciatingly boring.  At 7:45, they would clear the table together and sit down to watch whatever was on television at 8.  On Tuesdays they would head out together to catch a movie at the dollar theater, and on Thursdays, after their favorite show they would head up to bed early for a night of what Daniels' mother used to euphemistically call "grownup time."  Not having any children themselves, Daniels figured they didn't call it that.  They probably didn't call it anything, though the old seven-minutes-in-heaven moniker wouldn't have been far off.  Then it was off to sleep, up at 5:30, breakfasted, showered, dressed and rolling back down the drive by 6:45.  Every. Damn. Day.
     Daniels thought he would go crazy if it kept up much longer.  He read, and re-read the weekend reports, which were just as dull as his own tedious logs.  How could the Agency be so sure?  He'd asked one of the department heads if they were sure they had the right guy, but they were.  Portmeyer was dirty.  He was evil, and they just had to be patient.  There would be a payoff.  Now get back to work.

More later.  Stay tuned!

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