The first shooting happened on a Monday. A man walked through the downtown office of a small insurance firm looking for someone in particular, and, upon finding him, opened fire, sending a single bullet through the accountant’s forehead.
“On your feet, pirate!”
Jay, lying on the metal plank that constituted his bunk in the small cell, turned his head for a moment to look at the man who had barked the order. Unimpressed, he turned back and continued to study the ceiling, his hands cuffed together in front of him.
Time: 9 hours
Late last year I watched An Evening with Ray Bradbury. He was giving the keynote at The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea in 2001 and, during his speech, he offers some interesting advice to aspiring novelists:
One time, a few years ago, I took to a river in Cambodia in a rented kayak for what I hoped would be a lonely overnight adventure. It turned out to be neither lonely nor overnight, but it was so much of an adventure that I struggled for many years to put it down.
On the first morning we stepped outside our bungalow and took a seat at the two wooden chairs that faced out to the water. I poured us each a cup of the fresh coffee from the pot on the small glass-topped table between us. Breakfast wasn’t due to be served until seven thirty but we had arisen earlier partly because the jet lag had left us wide awake at six but mostly because we’d been told we’d have more luck seeing whales at this hour.
“My boy, it is desire and nothing more. You want to possess her. You do not love her.”
I thought about the old man’s words as I stared at the divorce papers.
The trigger had a resistance to it as I began to squeeze. It was asking me “Are you sure?”
More force for yes, relax for no.