6/6/10

I could have been a contender...

...if I wrote a scene full of testosterone, fear, and a weapon or two.

The writing contest was, in my opinion, an easy one.

"Write the most compelling chase/or action and/or suspenseful sequence."

The hardest part, I thought at the time, was writing a scene in under 500 words, but still giving the reader a sense of the above.

I went for suspenseful, but either I don't know the meaning of the word, or I was just out of my league on this one. I didn't even make Honorable Mention.

Here's the story. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Grace Alexander slipped a key into the lock of the garage door. Even though this was an action she wasn’t accustomed to doing, it was necessary. Henry had only been buried six months ago. She was hesitant to pack his things up. It was just another reminder that he really wasn’t coming home.
She began to circle around the organized asylum her husband spent the majority of his time. The garage was always Henry’s domain, and she tended to stay out. She started to pack up some car magazines stacked on the workbench. Suddenly, the sound and resounding echo of metal hitting the concrete floor startled her. She looked down, only to see a single key laying in the sunlight. Grace looked up at a peg board were various keys hung, each marked for their appointed destination—lawnmower, red toolbox, blue toolbox, Chevy…There were no empty hooks to accommodate the newly found key. Not knowing where it could go, she simply laid it on the workbench and went about her task.
Walking over to the corner of the garage, she bent to pick up a crate. It looked light, but she couldn’t pick it up. Must be where he stored his bowling ball, she thought to herself. Once she got a good grip on it, she drug it out to the middle of the floor so that she could open it. It was locked with a padlock. Pure gut instinct forced her to grab the key she had found earlier. She slid it easily into the lock, twisted, and the shank opened immediately.
Inside the crate were decades of memorabilia. She smiled as she pulled out a bowling trophy, Henry’s Mason’s handbook, and various certificates and awards he had gotten for his work for with city. At the bottom, were a stack of letters, tied together neatly with a red ribbon. Grace sank to the cold floor and began to read. Various photographs floated around where she sat, freed from their envelopes. Tears streamed down her face. Raising her face to the sky and not caring who heard, she yelled, “WHY!? How could you have done this to me? You filthy bastard! I will never forgive you for this.”
“We were in love.”
Startled, Grace spun around, still seated on the floor. She hadn’t heard anyone walk in. “What….what did you just say?”
Her neighbor, Richard, stepped forward. “We were in love. We knew we couldn’t live together, so we thought this was the best arrangement.”
Grace looked up at this man like she’d never seen him before. “I don’t understand. You and Iris have lived next door for over thirty-five years! Did she know?”
Richard looked down at his feet. “No,” he whispered. “I knew it would kill her if she ever found out. As much as I grieved over her death, I was relieved the hiding was over.”
Grace stood, walked over to Richard and slapped his face. “Oh. It ain’t over. Not by a long shot.”

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