Coincidental Circumstances (Part 6)

I redrafted the entire opening. I needed to sprinkle in the ingredients of an explosive beginning. Plus, I needed something to ground Miranda and establish the stakes. My fingertips danced off the keyboard.

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I nodded my head confidently. Now I was getting somewhere. I reached to take a last sip of my macchiato again. I had been nursing it like a cheapskate for over an hour. All writers do it. Some will go an entire day sucking the free Wi-Fi without blinking an eye. I actually thrived on the caffeine. It was time for another cup of inspiration to propel me to finish my James Bond-esque opening.

TO BE CONTINUED 

Coincidental Circumstances (Part 5)

I needed to brainstorm this. Bad prologues were often saddled with too much exposition and background. If Miranda was getting a prologue, it was going to be kick ass. In the world of espionage, there is one bar to surpass.

Sometimes a high bar.

Sometimes a low bar.

It has been the standard for 50 years.

I had to beat a James Bond pre-credit sequence.

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I rubbed my hands together. Even on paper, the story had no punch. Any good writer knows there has to be a kick ass hook at the beginning. Miranda needed a motive. I glanced at the barista, an overweight girl with short hair with a frosty top. A back tattoo expanded onto her neck. She had added extra pumps of flavor in my macchiato so she was good in my book.

I swear, the bullseye never fails. I pointed at the barista and clapped in glee.

Miranda obviously needed a partner.

CONTINUED

 

 

 

 

Coincidental Circumstances (Part 4)

For three days I toiled with the greatest case of writers block known to man. Maybe it was the girl in the red truck. Her hair. Her eyes. Her mysterious offer.

The killer robot was wreaking some serious plot issues. Where did it come from? What was its motive? Who was behind it? I first tried to replace it with a clown, but it seemed too similar to a recent hit movie, that was really a remake of another movie that was based on a book based on a common childhood nightmare. Scratch one. Imitation isn’t the best form of flattery; its a case of immovable writers block.

There was only one thing to do.

Desperate times called for desperate measures.

I had to go to another Starbucks. Not just any Starbucks though, I needed to hit this case really hard, right in the bullseye. That’s right. I was at the last stop.

I headed for a Starbucks within a Target. A literal riddle within a riddle.

This isn’t a place for any normal writer. This is only a place for the most bourgeois of writers. And it was a place with unlimited gum supply and selection of average people to watch.

My second idea was a straight cop-out. I’ll admit it. Creative writing doesn’t always spark ideas that make us feel like talented artists. I replaced the killer robot with a drone with hellfire missiles. It gave the story an espionage type feel. There were only like 37 movies in the last 5 years using drones. Where did the drones come from? I had no idea. I was already 5 sticks of gum in, and it made little sense why the drone would destroy the cops. I’m not a Tom Clancy ghost writer dammit. Government conspiracies are not my thing.

I went with it. I made up some tin foil Illuminati deep state conspiracy theory that went back to the founding of America. Yeah, there hasn’t been enough books on that. I didn’t want to quite pigeon hole the narrative into an established genre quite yet. I was free flowing. My keyboard needed to hear my lyrical rhymes.

But something still didn’t make sense.

What was Miranda’s backstory then? Where did the knife come from. Was she part of the Illuminati? Was she a double agent? How did she just so happen to be driving right by the tracks at the right time? Chills ran down my spine. Was her meeting with Zeek by happenstance or was it a covert operation? I needed to reach deeper, dig deeper, and travel to depths I’d never known.

I snapped my fingers and pointed at my macbook.

Maybe, just maybe, she needed a kick ass prologue.

CONTINUED

Coincidental Circumstances (Part 3)

I slowly panned my view all around me as if I was in a Michael Bay film, hoping to spot my gum benefactor. This was no mere coincidence. In my moment of greatest need, she was there for me just like Miranda was there for Zeek.

Except she didn’t need a knife to save me as writer’s block barreled down toward me.

I slapped my macbook shut, unplugged the charger and darted out of Starbucks. Where was Miranda … I mean, the purple haired girl. Sometimes my mind mixes reality and my imagination. I can’t help it. I’m a writer. This is a bane and blessing rolled into one delicious mix.

Disappointingly, there wasn’t any purple hair in sight. I immediately scanned the parking lot for a befitting car but didn’t see a purple Prius hatchback. Damn. I stood on my toes and frantically looked for a hatchback of any color and couldn’t find a single one in the Starbucks lot. The astounding odds of this baffled me.

I walked past the green-umbrella protected islands of conversation and glanced at three tea-patrons sipping on their half empty drinks.

“Did you see a girl with purple hair walk past here?” I asked.

“Purple hair?” answered a guy with a red beard.

“Yes. She had a nose-ring too. Not too big though.”

The guy with a red beard glanced around. “No buddy. Can’t say that I did.”

“I’m serious. It was like thirty seconds ago.”

A skinny girl with straight, black hair chimed in, “Did she forget something?”

“No … well, I mean … maybe. She left me some gum.” This elicited only silence from the potential witnesses. Nobody understands life as a writer.

This would not be my denouement. I paced around the corner for a better view of cars on the other side.

Then I spotted her.

In a red truck. What? This made zero sense to me.

She was backing up and about to shift gears back into drive. I needed to get to her. I picked up speed and started to jog to her car but it was too late. She didn’t even glance in my direction. She exited the parking lot with a right turn.

Fate couldn’t even give me one long left turn at a busy intersection.

CONTINUED

 

 

Coincidental Circumstances (Part 2)

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The purple haired girl with the nose-ring furrowed her brow. “Um … what?” I could see in her face that guys like me normally didn’t ask her for gum. Their loss. Time was of the essence because writing can be a fickle thing. One moment the story is with you, and the next moment, the eureka moment disappears.

“Please, I’m a writer, and gum helps me think.”

“You’re a writer?” she asked. “What have you written?”

“Nothing you’ve read.” I was unpublished at the time, so of course she hadn’t read anything yet. Silly girl. This was the whole point of sitting in Starbucks. I had to sit amongst the people and seek inspiration.

“How many books have you sold?” She took a sip from her coffee and awaited my answer as if she was actually interested.

“Technically, I’m unpublished.”

“So … zero?”

I chewed my gum, now out of the delicious flavor I so enjoyed and just slowly nodded embarrassingly. I looked at her purple hair and noticed a bright red streak on her right bang and watched her eyes to see if she was kidding but I could see the disdain in her pupils. “How does the gum help you?” She obviously didn’t know a damn thing about writing.

“It just does.”

“Stellar reason.”

“Listen, it was just a question.”

“Do I look like a gum factory to you?”

“You looked like a girl who enjoys gum.”

“What does that mean?”

“Please … don’t act like that. Who doesn’t like gum?”

“I like a lot of things way more than gum,” she said. “For a writer, you have some really lame pick-up lines.”

I couldn’t believe this. Really? A guy can’t ask a girl for gum anymore? I rubbed my temples and stood up. “Let me check the counter.” My investigation lasted thirty-four seconds. I guess coffee and gum doesn’t mix. Maybe it was like Disneyland in not wanting gum to be placed under the tables and on the floor. I grabbed another coffee and returned to my writer’s corner and saw the purple haired girl with the nose-ring was gone, but on the keyboard of my macbook was a single piece of gum.

It was the last one in the pack.

CONTINUED