With today’s #1lineWed theme, it would have been easy to find a snippet to plug in here. Instead, I made myself write new words. So, ignore the typos and first draft stuffs because this totally is a first draft. So, what is the theme you ask? It’s **SO**. So, basically, this scene is self-explanatory and leads up to some serious consequences. I will tell you that Maura Brannigan is confronted by her boss, DA Alex Crenshaw and some truths come to light. Rut ro!
Maura pretended her head wasn’t pounding. She walked into the DA’s offices and headed straight to the one with her name on the door. Frantic movement in her peripheral vision caught her attention. Her assistant, arms waving as she all but jumped up and down in place, had just emerged from the file room. Curious but not worried, Maura opened her door and only then realized the frantic message Gina had failed to convey. Her boss waited like a poised rattlesnake, ready to strike out.
“So…” He trailed off ominously.
She left the door open and strode across the carpet to her desk where she deposited her messenger bag. With a deft move, she put the desk between them and then she opened the bag and riffled through the files.
“So…?” He said it again, making it a question this time.
Worldlessly, she pulled out the pertinent file and carefully slid it across the desktop in his direction.
He ignored it. “ I know what happened, Maura. You didn’t put up much of a fight, now did you.”
She wanted to yell out in frustration, “ So what!?” She didn’t, wisely keeping her silence instead. Alex had a habit of losing his temper and venting it on his underlings. This wasn’t the first time he’d unloaded on her, nor would it likely be the last. She stared at him but remained quiet.
“That fucker should still be behind bars. The judge didn’t even give him fucking bail.”
Maura swallowed the sigh threatening to escape. Showing her disgust would not help.
“So?” He barked it this time. “What do you have to say for yourself.”
“The judge dropped the charges, Alex. Given the overwhelming evidence of Mick O’Connor’s innocence, this office will be lucky of they don’t bring a law suit against us for false arrest and imprisonment.”
“The fucking judge is on their payroll.”
Laughter burst out before she could contain it. “Really? It was my understanding that Judge Jackson is in JD Moore’s pocket.” She immediately regretted the outburst as Alex turned purple. He slammed her office door, but not before she caught the shocked faces of the office staff. They’d all been listening, including several of her ADA colleagues.
“I expect my employees to be loyal,” Alex said in a low, growling voice.
Keeping her voice calm and even, she replied, “I am loyal to this office, Alex. And to the law.”
He slammed his fist on her desk, rattling several items. “You better watch your step, Maura.”
On that threat, he pivoted and headed to the door. Jerking it open with enough strength it slammed against a bookcase behind it, he marched through the now-silent office watched, faces showing a variety of emotions ranging from shock to fear to one ADA who grinned viciously as he stared at her. Maura sank into her chair, knees suddenly weak. She placed her hands flat on the desk and held them there, fighting the very visceral urge to pick up the phone to call the last man on earth. Then her cell phone rang.
So, there you have it. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to who she’d like to contact. 😉 So, what about y’all? So, writers, have words to share? And so, readers, how do you feel about hooks* at the end of a chapter or scene? Also, do NOT use “so” as extensively as I did in this post. Like “that,” it can be something of a “crutch” word.
*Technically, it’s a cliffhanger as it’s at the end of a chapter and while cliffhangers are good IN a book, I hate a book that ends on one that’s used with the express intent of “click bait” to buy the next book. I call them hooks because 1) you need a hook to start a chapter, and 2) you need one to end it to keep the reader turning pages, swiping the screen and/or listening to the book.