Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Genre Experiment: Brandilyn Collins

A man walks into a room occupied by two women. One he loves, one he hates. He utters one line, then exits. One of the women then follows him.

The genre experiment a la "murder mystery":

Two a.m.

We waited in the hotel room, Cassie, pale-cheeked and refusing to speak to me. Picking at a tattered seam on the chair upon whose edge she perched. I on my feet, pacing, peering every five minutes out the window.

Three o’clock . . . Three-twenty . . . Four. How many hours since we’d slept?

Brad stumbled in shortly before dawn, face shadowed with new beard, eyes bleary. Cassie shoved to her feet.

“It’s done.” Brad’s gaze flicked over his wife and landed on me.

A moment passed as the news sank in. After all the years, I felt numb. “How?”

“It doesn’t matter how, dear sister.” Cassie’s eyes spat fire. “You’re finally free of your rat of a husband, so just be thankful.”

“But I don’t want Brad caught. And I sure don’t want the police to think I did it.”

Cassie snatched up her purse and stalked over to push her face within inches of mine. “Brad thinks of everything; you know that. The perfect schemer. You wouldn’t have begged him to do your dirty little deed if it wasn’t for that.” She pulled back, her jaw rigid, pulse throbbing in her neck. “Now go back to the rock you crawled out from under and leave us alone. Brad hates you as much as I do.”

My lips spread in a smug smile. Perfect schemer, indeed.

“Really now, Cassie. You think I’m the one he hates? He killed David for me, didn’t he?”

The lines in her forehead unraveled. She stared deep into my eyes, as if seeing me for the first time. Her gaze slid to Brad, who regarded her with bland expression, then back to me.

Cassie blinked, and hardness etched her jaw once more. Flinging back her shoulders, she swiveled toward the door. “Let’s get away from here, Brad.”

Following him out, she swiveled back. “I don’t ever want to see you again.”

I wiggled my fingers in a mocking wave. “Farewell, dear sister.”

The next day when Cassie was arrested for the murder of my husband, Brad and I both cried crocodile tears.

Brandilyn Collins lives and breathes suspense at www.brandilyncollins.com.


At 7:57 AM, Blogger matt e. said...

Whoa, schemers indeed, though Cassie is hardly a likeable character herself. Some great description throughout. Nice work!

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love that O'Henry twist at the end, Brandilyn.

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one bad dude, Ms. Collins.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I love the urgency of the descriptions. My muscles tensed, and I kept pulling myself closer to the computer as I read. Wshoo. Relax.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Southern-fried Fiction said...

I forgot to breathe.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Carol Umberger said...

Wowsa! I loved it and didn't see that twist at the end coming. :)

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

That was great!

You rock, Brandilyn! Good makings for a book!

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

LOL! Love it! Talk about a twist.


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