Below you will find the beginning of my new work in progress. The genre is currently mystery, which is new to me but turning out to be fun.
Fair warning on this one, it is entirely unedited. I haven't even read it since writing it earlier this week. I like to think that my grammar and spelling are relatively good, but there are bound to be several hiccups.
Why am I posting an unedited excerpt of story? Because I wanted to share it with you, and I couldn't think of anything to write at the moment. Truth is, I have been busy writing this story, and not much else, and I'm kind of excited about it.
So, without further ado...
I will never forget the day I came into work to find my boss dead at his desk. It is,and forever will be, ingrained in my memory. It wasn't gory, in fact I don't remember any blood at all, just him sitting there.
That was the strange thing, you see, him sitting there at his desk. Gavin Tulloh never sat at his desk. He hated that thing. "It'll make my rear end fat" he would say, though any damage in that department had clearly already been done.
No, he was always in the lab, working on some experiment, writing in his notebooks, cursing at faulty software, or tapping away at the computer in that strange way people from his generation did. That was his domain. Far away from that cursed desk, oppressive office, and about as far away as one could be from project management without leaving the building.
If he ever needed something from his office, he would send me. Sure, I was hired to be a junior level research assistant, but all that means is I run errands. It wasn't all bad, since Gavin detested "bean-counters" and "interior designers," I ended up being the middle-man, which meant I held a semblance of power. At least, I knew most of the people from the office, and was pretty excited about my career trajectory.
Until this morning at least.
I took the steps any rational human being would in this situation: call an ambulance, check for signs of life, talk to the police. None of this would bring the man back.
Suicide, they said. They found a note on the desk, his hand still on the pen. I didn't notice any of this, but opted to sit in the corner and wait for someone to tell me what to do. I won't deny that I was in shock, and I knew that they had told me at some point that their detective would want to talk to me. I didn't realize that he was speaking to me until he removed one of the coffee cups from my hand.
"Hey, sparky. Dual wielding this morning? I can understand that you just lost a colleague, but no one should drink this amount of sugary beverage," he took a look at the paper cup emblazoned with the all-too-familiar coffee logo, "ever. I didn't realize that they could put that much stuff in a drink."
One of my duties was to bring Gavin his coffee in the morning, and like everything else about the man, he had a peculiar drink. "Yes, it's a grande extra-hot non-fat half white chocolate, half caramel latte with whip and caramel crunch topping" I explained. I hadn't realized that I was still holding his drink, let alone my own, and absentmindedly took a sip from my own cup.
The detective held the cup to his nose, then took a sip. "Shut the front door. This is literally a large cup of sugar."
"I know, I've tried to tell him that it is not doing him any favors, but he would just ignore me," I said, now smiling. "You must be the detective."
"That's right, and you must be Thomas Perry," he said pointing to my cup. "Unless, of course, your boss is Tom, and I am, in fact drinking your cup of sugar."
I looked down at my cup and saw my name written in bold black ink across the side. "You are correct, though I don't imagine I need to tell you that."
"You most certainly do not." He took another sip of the drink that could only be loosely described as coffee.
"I'm sorry, I don't think that I caught your name."
The detective smiled, "That is because I did not give it to you, but there is more than one way to find out someone's name." He took another sip of the coffee and walked over to the doorway into Gavin's office.
We were in the hallway just outside the office. It was, in every respect, a stereotypical office hallway. Cream-colored walls decorated with various gender, politically, culturally, and religiously neutral artwork. The carpet was short, gray, and low maintenance. It was also uncomfortable, which prompted me to drag a few office chairs from the next room over to sit on.
The police officers were bustling about, taking photographs of the scene, taping doorways with the iconic *crime-scene* ribbon, and questioning anyone who happened to be nearby. The detective, on the other hand, simply stood in the doorway, just outside the yellow tape, and watched. He took another long drag from the cup, and stroked his chin.
"I'm sorry, did you have questions for me?" I finally asked.
"Hm?" he turned around to look at me, confusion on his face. The question seemed to have broken him out of some sort of trance.
"Was there anything you wanted to ask me about?" I repeated.
"Ah, yes," he said, regaining clarity. "There is a great deal that I would like to ask you, but this is not the time, nor the place." He took another drink from the coffee cup, then looked down at it, regarding it with what I can only assume is humor.
"Thomas, I do believe that your, no doubt, lovely boss has been murdered." He let the word ring out. "This was not suicide, but we can't talk about it here. Meet me at this address, tomorrow morning, 9am sharp."
He handed me a card with an address hand written on one side.
"Do you have a phone number? In case I get lost?" I asked.
The man smiled, took another long draw from his coffee cup and tossed it, empty, into a nearby bin. "Don't get lost." With that he walked down the hallway towards the exit.
"Oh, I didn't get your name!" I called after him. He didn't answer, or turn around, but made a swirling motion with one hand, then disappeared around the corner.
It took me a moment to realize what he was trying to tell me, but I finally flipped the card over and read the front.