I thought about writing something tonight that I wanted to put in my book, but it doesn’t work since I’ve changed direction with the story after plotting it out. While it doesn’t work in the current WIP, this scene just won’t get out of my head. My hope is that if I write it out then I can stop having it pop into my mind while writing the other story. I don’t usually post stuff like this when it happens, but some of the others I’ve written up have felt ‘at rest’ afterwards. There’s no better way to describe it. This scene however is one of those ‘stronger impulses’ to write, so I’ll do it justice and post it. There is a novel in there somewhere, and someday I may come back to tackle it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 – 7:30 AM
Thirty yards away from the row of elevators, just inside of a little bookstore, stood a dead man. He was quite healthy looking, especially for someone that had been cremated. The tall, young man was dressed in an expensive black designer suit, dark shirt, and purple tie. He continued to read the latest issue of Time while keeping a careful eye on the entrance to the vast lobby, which was already filling with hundreds of people.
“Damn, this was going to be bad.”
From a lifetime of experience he knew that there was not much he could do to prevent the impending tragedy. More often than not, he usually made things worse. Sometimes, much worse.
Still holding the magazine with Colin Powell on this week’s cover, he rotated his wrist to check the time on his new watch. Less than one hour.
Although the article he was reading did not mention it, he knew that the Secretary of State was currently out of the country. He was sure that he could pinpoint his location if he concentrated hard enough. ’South America…Peru maybe?‘
He saw her when she came in with the stroller and made her way to the security desk. The baby would be safe, this he knew – felt it to his core. Mary on the other hand, she was a variable. That’s where things started to become messy. Change one variable and it typically changed the outcome of everything that followed.
“Hey buddy, if you wanna read it, you gotta buy it. There ain’t no freebies here,” came the gruff voice from behind him. The young man turned to face the challenger, expecting someone a bit shorter. People, especially from this part of the world, reminded him of Chihuahuas. The smaller they were the louder they liked to bark. This particular rag attendant was by no means small. Even so, he briefly considered a response, then thought better of it. After all, the poor guy would probably be dead in an hour or so.
“Sorry,” he said, putting the magazine back on the rack.
“Seriously? You read it for twenty minutes and you’re not even gonna buy it? You probably make your company a million a year, while I’m down here running a public library.”
The young man reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of bills. He peeled one of the bills off and handed it to guy. “Here,” he said, “Keep the change.” When he turned around, he saw that Mary had finished her discussion with the security people in the lobby, and was now pushing her stroller into one of the dozens of elevators. He had not anticipated the momentary distraction with the clerk. Great. Another unseen variable gets in the way. How many more before he would start to feel the baby wouldn’t make it through this?