Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weekly Writing Challenge

Last week: I'd like to bestow the top prize upon genderist, whose story of first-angst really appealed to the frustrated writer in me.

This week: A character sketch. This character is about to embark on the greatest journey of her life. What is she in search of and why?

If you're so inclined, you can include name, occupation and any other background information. Bonus points to anyone who involves the Yakuza, just because I think they're cool.


Greywulf said...

She sat across from me, the smell of lavender failing to mask the scent of tobacco that took control of my office all those years ago when I started paying the rent. When my client is a man, I like to smoke while they talk; it helps me think. I don't mind if they mind too. It's my office, so they play by my rules.

When the client is a woman, I don't smoke. Generally speaking, they mind. And I mind that they mind.

I didn't smoke.

Her name was Rebecka Yakuza. Her mother came here to Hong Kong from China, her father was a British diplomat from an age when that was a good and noble profession. She looked as good as she smelled too, clearly having gained the best qualities from both parents. Her poise was a fine balance between humility and assertiveness. When she turned her head, it was like watching poetry come to life. That's not to say she was beautiful in the magazine-airbrushed sense. The beauty came from who she was, not what she looked like. The only oddity was her preference for wearing long black leather gloves. I'm not a follower of the latest fashions, but I'd not seen anyone else wearing them in the middle of a Hong Kong summer. Fashion I don't know. People though, I notice. It's an occupational hazard.

"How can I help you, Miss Yakuza?"

She cross her legs, and lay her hands on the table, face down. She'd been practising this speech for a while; I could tell.

"I want you to get back something that belongs to me, something I lost a long time ago. I know who has it, but not where it's kept. There'll be a degree of danger. I can cover any expense you might face. Is this of interest to you?"

I smiled. Nice to have a client so succinct. Normally it takes a good few days before I find out the real reason I'm hired. She was clearly holding a few things back though.

"I'm still listening." I replied, not wanting to get in the way of a well rehearsed tale.

"My childhood was very regimented, as I'm sure you can imagine. In my early twenties, I rebelled and fell in with the wrong sort of people. We decided one night to steal some cars, just for the thrill of it. At least that's what I thought. The head boy in my gang had other plans, just didn't share them with the rest of us. The cars we were taking were already stolen. We were taking them from a gang of organized criminals who specialised in high value trades. Cars were small time for them. Their speciality was organ legging. They took body parts and sold them on the black market.

"Not the kind of people you want to mix with." I interjected. She required little prompting.

"Quite. I was caught."

She slowly removed the glove from her left arm and I recoiled in shock as she lay the glove on the table.

"I want my hand back. Let's discuss your fee."

5:52 PM  
Cavan said...

Best. Challenge response. Ever.

Good job, greywulf! This is fantastic. It'd definitely make an excellent short story.

6:10 PM  
Grubber said...

Hats off Greywolf, I liked that a lot!

12:02 AM  
Greywulf said...


Aw shucks, glad you liked it. I've no idea why that picture gave me the idea; it just did. Things happen like that sometimes.

I've also posted this up as my daily short story post up at The Grey Scribe. I like the way it turned out. Hats off to Cavan for giving me the inspiration!

7:07 AM  

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