CW: The search. Part 1.

Normally, I do not break my stories into parts, but today will be an exception. It is a story I started writing the other day, but have been unable to finish it since. Instead of rushing it and giving you a whole, but half-baked piece today, I opted to tease you a little with part 1 and then share part 2 with you next week. 

Oh, and because it is a two-parter, you will not get the prompt for the story today. It will reveal it next time. Good? Let us begin!

***

Mrs. Donna Cobweb sat across from Officer Mike Powell, who was typing something into his computer using only his index fingers. She let out a sigh and looked at her watch. It’s been more than five minutes since the man in uniform told her that he would be with her shortly. All she wanted to do was to grab that keyboard and beat him with it until he paid attention to her, but she knew better than to get rowdy at a police station.

As he continued to type up a presumed report, Donna looked around the room. The desks were all chestnut brown, covered with piles and piles of paperwork. Even though the people working there were of different gender, age, and race, to Donna, they all looked the same in those uniforms. A big blob of blue. Aside from some service awards and three flags – the city’s, the state’s, and the country’s, there was nothing on the walls. Donna found the room lacking character, concluding that it must have been a man who designed and decorated it.

How do they work here?” Donna wondered, looking at few of the women scattered around the room. Being here all day, every day would have been boring. The room needed some color. “Maybe some fuchsia, orange, or even green, would liven this place up. A plant in the corner or on every desk wouldn’t hurt either,” she thought to herself.

The black plastic chair Mrs. Cobweb was sitting on was not comfortable, and Donna began to shift her weight from one butt cheek to the other when the policeman hit Enter and directed his gaze onto her.

“What can I help you with today, Madam?” Officer Powell asked, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair.

Mrs. Cobweb turned around and waved to a man pacing in the hallway. “That’s my husband,” she explained to the officer as Daniel approached the desk and sat down next to her.

He immediately shifted in his chair. “Our daughter – Delilah, she’s… well, she’s missing,” Mr. Cobweb said very matter-of-factly, looking around the room and wishing that his house was a simple as this office.

“Missing…” the officer said mostly to himself as he clicked onto something on his computer.

“Yes. She’s nowhere to be found,” Mr. Cobweb replied, fidgeting in his chair. “The room is nice, but the chairs are a hard pass,” he thought to himself.

“We looked everywhere in the house,” Mrs. Cobweb added, running her hands down her bare legs to make sure the skin still felt moisturized.

“What about family? Friends? Have you checked with them?” Mike Powell asked without looking away from his screen, extending his right thumb and then his index finger as if he was reading down a list of preset questions.

“We don’t have any family in this state,” Mrs. Cobweb said, slightly annoyed at the invasive questions.

“And Delilah has no friends,” Mr. Cobweb added, sensing his wife’s irritation.

“She’s a … peculiar child,” Donna said, wondering whom their child took after. Neither she nor her husband is a loner.

“She’s been gone for more than 24 hours. Correct?” Mike asked, still without taking his eyes off his computer.

“Yes. We last saw her Friday night at dinner. Afterward, she went into her room and we assumed she went to sleep,” Donna began, looking up and slightly to the left. “We want her to learn about life and responsibility, so on weekends, we let her do whatever she wants while we are busy at work,” she added, knowing that the officer would ask them about the gap between Friday night and Monday afternoon.

“When she wasn’t ready for school at 7:30 a.m. today, I went to check if she overslept but she wasn’t in her room. Her bed was made,” Daniel said and stood up, finding the chair impossibly rigid. “I’ll stand. I’m used to sitting at work a lot. Standing is supposedly better for you, anyway, so I might as well try it out,” he explained defensively after Officer Powell looked at him quizzically.

“These chairs aren’t very comfortable,” Donna said to the police officer, but he acted as if he didn’t hear her and turned back towards his computer.

“Please leave a photo of Delilah with the lady at the front desk and I will be in touch as the investigation picks up,” Officer Powell said and began typing on his keyboard.

Donna stood up, joining her husband, and looked at Mike just in case he had anything else to say but no words were uttered. The Cobwebs turned around and left the precinct without leaving a photo. They believed that cameras have the ability to steal one’s soul, which was definitely possible since Delilah has always been weird ever since the nurses took a photo of her the day after she was born.

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png.

***

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51 thoughts on “CW: The search. Part 1.

Add yours

  1. I will be with you shortly,” the man in uniform said to Donna Cobweb when she sat down in front of him five minutes ago.

    This sentence doesn’t parse well 😦 I would suggest starting with ‘Donna Cobweb’ instead of ‘Mrs Cobweb’, and then replacing this sentence with:

    After five minutes, Donna began to feel impatient. Sensing her discomfiture, the man in uniform looked up and said “I will be with you shortly.”

    Italics are usually reserved for internal, as opposed to spoken, dialogue (as you’ve used when Donna ‘wonders’ in the fourth paragraph).

    Donna found the room lacking character, concluding that it must have been a man who designed and decorated it.

    I like this; it gives us a nice glimpse of Donna’s own character.

    The plastic, black chair…

    I would replace this with ‘The black plastic chair…’.

    Neither her, nor her husband are loners.

    I would replace this with ‘Neither she, nor her husband were loners.’ (But I wouldn’t for the life of me be able to justify it!)

    Standings Standing is supposedly better for you…

    Sorry for being so picky… I’ve been spending too much time over on Scribophile 🙂 Please do come over and join me there, you could return the favour by picking my writing to bits 😀

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for such detailed feedback.
      I will start from the bottom and work my way up.
      1. Typo. Thank you for pointing it out. I re-read it twice before posting and still didn’t catch it. The devil is in the details. It has since been corrected.
      2. RE: loners – great catch. Corrected.
      3. You don’t know how many times I went back and forth with the black plastic chair. Your option was my first thought, but for some reason I wanted to be a rebel. Changed.
      4. Thank you for the compliment RE: Donna’s character insight.
      5. It seems like I’ve been living in an alternative reality for a while because the way I write dialogue is different than what is considered mainstream. I have been tweaking things recently to make it look less rookie-like. Still a long way to go. As a reader, I sometimes skip descriptions and read the dialogue (when the descriptions are boring), so I like it when it stands out on the page. Therefore, italics. But thank you for pointing it out. I hope to keep this in mind. Also changed.
      6. I had a hard look at your first edits and wasn’t sure if that felt like me, so I rewrote the beginning. Can you tell me what you think now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. O.o… you asked for it…

        It’s been more than five minutes since…

        I think this should read “It had been more than five minutes…” Again, can’t justify it; going with my gut.

        … as Daniel approached the desk and sat down next to her, immediately shifting in his chair.

        I think you need to split this sentence at the comma, and then say “He immediatelys shifted in the chair.” or some such… it needs a pause to let him realise that the chair’s not comfortable.

        “The room is nice, but the chairs are a hard pass,”

        That should be italicised, as it’s his thoughts.

        You’ve improved it a lot on this pass!

        (These kinds of exchanges are so much more… elegant on Scribophile. You should dip a toe in there. The water’s fine!)

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Typical of Goldie to pique readers’ curiosity and watch them torture themselves with ideas about what may and may not happen in the next part of the story. (I’m currently rolling my eyes).

    I don’t want to judge the Cobwebs yet, especially because I don’t know their story, but what kind of parents don’t have a single picture of their child? That’s strange, if you ask me. Then again, Delilah isn’t exactly what you would call a normal girl, is she?

    Is she, perhaps, a vampire? Or maybe a werewolf? I know vampires and werewolves are averse to photographs (or, at least, that’s what the movies say). Ugh! I guess I’ll just have to find out next week.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks, Goldie. I’ve been quite all right. School and work stole me away from the Blogosphere. Fortunately for me, I finally got a job (Yay me!). It’s not the best paying job, but for now it’ll suffice.

        I hope you’ve been well?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting story. The Cobwebs have no photo – so they should be fluent in describing their daughter from sneaker to dimple, but did not. How old is she, and are the parents working Friday night through Monday morning? What responsible things does she do on the weekends?
    Damn. I should be working at that precinct.
    Nice story Goldie-

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cameras have the ability of steal someone soul.

    1. I agree. All those selfie takers these days don’t seem like they have much soul 😉
    2. So “the search” will not be easy if people don’t see what she looks like!

    Very very interesting beginning.
    I can’t wait for the rest.

    Is this from Reedsy btw?
    I saw that the theme was about Haruki Murakami!
    I read Norwegian Wood from him. It was the first non children’s book I read (I was 12 or so).
    It was of topics I never read about before.
    Years later I watched the film and things made much more sense 😉 have you ever read anything from him?

    Liked by 1 person

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