It’s been a while since I looked at this story, and after reading the start through each iteration, it always seems the case that I’m never quite satisfied.
That said, I decided to come at it from a different direction. It might not be better, but it might provide a different perspective, and lead to a more polished start in the next iteration.
Certainly this time, there are more words, and a totally different start. It was needed bcause we need to get a little insight into the main character, just before the action starts.
This iteration puts the main character squarely in the frame, gives a few small details about him, and context leading into the next part
I was woken abruptly from an uneasy sleep by an unusual sound coming from my cell phone.
It was late afternoon, and the night shift had extended into the morning after an incident that required a report, and a statement to the police. As a security guard in a dormant factory in an abandoned industrial estate, this was the worst incident I’d been involved in since starting there, a deliberately lit fire, no doub to hide a body, and what looked like wholesale theft of a factory’s machinery, and the police had hinted it was an inside job. As the new guy, I had been interrogated rather than questioned, and it had been rough, my past being dragged up, and not the good aspects of it. I was very tired and still angry.
The phone was on the floor, just out of reach, and I was tempted to ignore it. I might have, if it hadn’t made the same sound a minute later.
It was a simple phone, one that stored numbers, sent messages, and took photos. I purposely didn’t get the internet connected, and disabled the GPS. There were seven numbers stored on it, the only people I wanted to make contact with, or had to, and none had a unique message tone.
I pressed a button and the screen came to life.
Two notifications were displayed, two missed calls from Penelope Bryson. Definitely not one of the seven stored numbers. Penelope was my sister, and Bryson was her married name. But the bigger question here was, how did she get my cell number?
She had also left a message, and I played it out loud.
“David, long time. I am somewhat disappointed you didn’t tell me you were back, or for that matter, whether you were dead or alive. You’re a hard man to find, for obvious reasons, but don’t be a stranger, at least not to me. I need to see you for some advice and I will be in Wilmington next Monday. Let me know where and when and I will be there.”
I rang the number but it went to message bank, and then I remembered she rarely answered the phone first time, waiting to see who it was, and then decided if she would call them back. Perhaps it was a lawyer thing.
I tossed the phone back on the floor and lay down again. I tried to put it out of my mind, but kept going back to the phrase ‘I need to see you for some advice’. I was the last person a high flying lawyer would want advice, unless she wanted to become a soldier, or a get away driver, the only occupations I had since leaving school. I doubted she was looking to become a secuirty guard, but she could hardly know that I was one. I hadn’t spoken to her since our father died, just before I served my final tour.
Now I had two issues on my mind, whether the police would assume I was the guilty party so they could wrap up the case, even if I could prove it was not me, and what Penelope could possibly want, and it was odd that it was the latter that caused me the most concern.
© Charles Heath 2020