Hunted or Hunter?

Darlene stood on the cabin’s porch.  She noticed the front door ajar, probably due to the warped frame.  She heard movement inside and inched off the porch, her sneakers crunching glass broken from the window she’d jumped through to escape the fire several weeks before.

Not knowing whether she’d find a skunk, bear cub- or worse, she scanned the area around the cabin for a stick.  She found one at the edge of the clearing, just before the dense forest began.  She approached the house again and nudged the door open with the four-foot-long stick and waited for a blur of fur and teeth to charge her.  Nothing.

She slipped inside and left the door open.  The sunlight streamed through and illuminated the dust and ash still permeating the air.  Darlene used the stick for balance as she stepped over debris on her way to the small room just off the kitchen that Scott had used as his office or “alone space.”  She opened the door to find a man hunched over a filing drawer.  Her scream startled the man, and he squealed too.

“W-who are you?”  Darlene asked, keeping her distance.

“Mark.”

“Why are you here?”

“I’m sorry… I thought the place was abandoned.”

“Where do you live?”

“Wherever I am.”

Darlene felt sympathy as her gaze traveled from the transient’s thread-bare jacket, to his dirty pants, to his shoes.  “Well, my home is your home,” she said.  Her smile, a doctor to gain his trust, seemed to put him at ease.

“Thank you, ma’am.”  He kicked the filing drawer shut with his heel.

“You dropped something.”  Darlene pointed to the ground beside him.

When he looked down, she swung the stick at the side of his head.  He crumpled to the ground, blood trickling from his nostrils.

She pulled the leather dress shoe off his right foot.  Gucci.  She removed the lace and used it to bind his wrists together.

Never trust a transient wearing Gucci, she thought to herself.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to the (rather difficult) Trifecta challenge this week.  We were asked to use the following word/definition in a 33 to 333-word piece (mine is 332 words:)

DOCTOR (noun):  (a) material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect; (b) a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface

This continues Darlene’s story (if you haven’t read the other parts and are curious about what has transpired so far, here are the links:)

First Part (Dead Flowers)    Second Part (Investigation)     Third Part (Unknown Path)

Fourth Part (Missing)     Fifth Part (Facing Memories)

UPDATE:  Oops…I forgot to mention that this is a community-voted challenge, which means that when the challenge closes at 7PM Eastern time on Thursday, voting opens on Trifecta’s site for twelve hours so you can vote for your 3 favorite responses.  Check it out if you can (click on the tricycle picture to go to their site) – you’re bound to find something you like 🙂

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77 thoughts on “Hunted or Hunter?

  1. UndercoverL February 25, 2013 / 12:47 PM

    That was great! Indeed: transients wearing Gucci are likely to be smarmy, grifters as well as drifters. 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:09 PM

      Your comment made me laugh, UndercoverL – thanks 🙂

  2. deanabo February 25, 2013 / 1:12 PM

    How great! The last line was my favorite!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:11 PM

      I’m glad you liked the ending, Deanabo…I decided it would be fun to lighten it up a little (well, as light as it can be with some guy bleeding on the floor!)

  3. jollof February 25, 2013 / 1:20 PM

    Congratulations on your Trifecta award. I admire your descriptive power – ‘…the dust and ash still permeating the air’ (that kind of detail makes me feel like I was right there with Darlene). I scanned your blog but I have to ask, have you published any books?

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:14 PM

      Thanks for your encouraging comment, Jollof!

      I don’t have any published books…yet. I could think of many reasons why, but I think it’s mostly because of fear. I’m entertaining the idea of self-publishing, but will have to see how it plays out. When I do have something published, I’ll definitely announce it here!

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge February 25, 2013 / 2:05 PM

    Whew! Worried there for a second. Glad Darlene is cautious – and assertive.
    Love the way you precisely writing yet build character and suspense

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:15 PM

      She has a bit of a shoe fettish and knew they didn’t fit with the rest of the clothes. I hope the next prompt is one that will allow me to reveal his identity 🙂 Thanks for reading, Phil!

  5. Tara R. February 25, 2013 / 2:24 PM

    Did not expect that, I jumped when she smacked him with the stick.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:17 PM

      I’m glad it was unexpected, Tara…I like it when that happens!

  6. steph February 25, 2013 / 2:32 PM

    Love the way you used the prompt word. It’s a tough one this week. It specifically says it’s a noun, and I haven’t read too many nouns yet, but you used it that way. At first I thought, how trusting, and then she walloped him. Nice twist. Well done!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:18 PM

      I struggled with the prompt word, Steph. The noun usage just doesn’t feel natural to me. I’m glad you liked the twist. Now to find out what he was up to!

  7. joetwo February 25, 2013 / 4:10 PM

    I agree with Deana, love that final line!

  8. kz February 25, 2013 / 5:30 PM

    Oooooh smart gal! And good eye! 😉
    “Never trust a transient wearing Gucci” – THAT is a killer line! bravo! ^^

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:21 PM

      Shoes tell a lot about a person, Kz. The inconsistency between the clothes and shoes speaks of a lack of attention to details…who knows what else was overlooked. Thanks for reading!

  9. Debbie February 25, 2013 / 5:51 PM

    A transient wearing Gucci shoes?? Nice twist. Good for Darlene spotting that one — and handling the situation (though I suspect more difficulties are coming her way, aren’t they?!)

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:46 PM

      Being that you write mysteries as well, I’m sure you’ve guessed he might not be a transient, Debbie 🙂 I hope to reveal the guy’s identity in the next segment, if the prompt cooperates. Oh, and of course there will be more difficulties….she’s only escaped death, grieved a missing/dead husband and found out the FBI is looking for her dad…wouldn’t want life to be too easy for her 😀

  10. diannegray February 25, 2013 / 6:34 PM

    LOL! Darlene is one smart cookie! I love this 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:47 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! My co-workers read this and they now think I have anger management issues 🙂

  11. Draug419 February 25, 2013 / 6:41 PM

    I think there’s an old saying about judging a person by their footwear…? I might be thinking about a movie or book lol This was such a great piece!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:48 PM

      I just realized that a story I posted a few days ago was about shoes as well…I might have deeper issues here 🙂 Thanks for reading, Draug…I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  12. Eric Alagan February 25, 2013 / 7:27 PM

    Good one – the shoes gave him away.

    Looking forward to learn how “Jeff” fits into the scheme of things.

    Thank you, Janna.

    🙂 Eric 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:51 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by to read the story, Eric. She’s gotta pay attention to details 🙂

  13. nrhatch February 25, 2013 / 8:04 PM

    Well done, Janna! I hope the shoes weren’t a recent gift from a kind and generous Samaritan. If they were, Darlene’s got some explaining to do! 😉

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:53 PM

      Hahaha! I hope they weren’t a gift either, Nancy. (I’ve made a mental note to refuse gifts of expensive shoes…especially if they have laces!)

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2013 / 9:53 PM

      Thanks – I’m glad you stopped by to read this next part of the story, Tedsrutz!

  14. DonettaS February 26, 2013 / 1:11 AM

    This was great. Here I was thinking she was being too kind to someone who wandered upon her and then what a turn around!!! Loved it.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:15 PM

      Thanks, Donetta! She had to make him think she didn’t suspect anything…the element of surprise 🙂

  15. GodGirl February 26, 2013 / 1:59 AM

    Hey Janna 🙂
    I love the way Darlene moves from appearing quite timid and vulnerable to this tough, no-nonsense chick! Nice move with using his laces to tie him up 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:16 PM

      Thanks for reading, GodGirl! Darlene is scared, but she’s fighting for survival.

  16. ramblingsfromamum February 26, 2013 / 4:13 AM

    That was brilliant Janna, no idea where it was going to end up – you finished it extremely well! Love the descriptiveness.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:17 PM

      Thanks so much, Ramblings! I’m happy you enjoyed where this segment ended up. I appreciate you taking time to read it!

  17. Eugene Uttley February 26, 2013 / 7:54 AM

    Very well done. Excellent usage of the word.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:19 PM

      Thanks, Eugene. This word wasn’t easy and it didn’t quite ‘roll of the tongue’ for me, so I’m glad it passed in reading 🙂

  18. Kelly Garriott Waite (@kgwaite) February 26, 2013 / 10:06 AM

    Again, the plot thickens. I’m enjoying this more and more with every installment. I like the broken glass, the description of the cabin, the file cabinet, amazingly intact. Nice write.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:20 PM

      I’m glad you’re liking the story plot, Kelly! These challenges are good at making us think about the balance between story and description, right?

  19. thevixenfiction February 26, 2013 / 10:36 AM

    That last line was awesome… Excellent piece..x

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:20 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Thevixenfiction!

  20. KymmInBarcelona February 26, 2013 / 3:15 PM

    Great use of the word, Janna. Rocking the ninja scene!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:21 PM

      Thanks, Kymm. The bad guys better watch out for Darlene 🙂

  21. Sandra February 26, 2013 / 6:08 PM

    Whoa! Totally did not expect that, Janna! I’m thinking maybe Darlene is not who we think she is? Or maybe there’s more to reveal… I love all the details about this–you’re so good at setting the scene and providing the intricacies of a suspenseful story.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:31 PM

      I hope to clear up some of the questions with the next segment (like who the man is). Thanks for hanging with me through the set up – I appreciate it, Sandra!

  22. trailertrashdeluxe February 26, 2013 / 6:34 PM

    This is really good. I can’t say as I care for sudden unexpected violence in real life, but I love it in fiction.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:32 PM

      Hahaha! I’d have to agree with you, Trailertrashdeluxe…getting smacked in the head out of nowhere is the worst 😀

  23. Rachel February 26, 2013 / 7:46 PM

    This is my first time reading your blog and I must say I really loved it! What a cliff-hanger! Definitely has me wanting to read more!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2013 / 8:33 PM

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Rachel! I’m glad you liked the story and I hope you’ll stop by again to see where it’s heading.

  24. barbara February 26, 2013 / 9:09 PM

    it’s always the shoes that gives em away – and I loved your use of the word, too!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:03 AM

      The details often trip up those with things to hide. Thanks for reading, Barbara!

  25. Lumdog February 27, 2013 / 4:04 AM

    This is another great chapter in this story. Your words are so well chosen. Also loved the Gucci twist! 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:04 AM

      I appreciate you reading, Lumdog. I’m glad you liked Gucci 🙂

  26. Bee February 27, 2013 / 7:49 AM

    A transient wearing Gucci? No way can you trust that! I love that detail.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:05 AM

      Hehe…I haven’t personally met a transient in Gucci, but I certainly wouldn’t trust them. Thanks for reading, Bee!

  27. Katie February 27, 2013 / 10:52 AM

    Glad I was able to read several of these to realize I had used the word incorrectly. Your correct usage of it really made it clic for me

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:07 AM

      This word was difficult for me (especially the noun form). Thanks for stopping by to read the story, Katie.

  28. El Guapo February 27, 2013 / 12:10 PM

    Ha! Well done, and a great use of the prompt!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:07 AM

      Thanks, El Guapo… appreciate you reading it!

  29. Rog Rites (@RogRites) February 27, 2013 / 7:20 PM

    Didn’t see that coming – even when I paused questioning the description of her smile – “her smile, a doctor to gain his trust”

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:11 AM

      She had to let him think she didn’t suspect anything. Surprise was her ally here. Thanks for reading, Rog Rites!

  30. Renee TennisMcKinley (@2old2tap) February 27, 2013 / 7:25 PM

    I like your use of doctor. Very clever. I have to say I was a bit worried when she accepted his presence so quickly. Well written!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 12:12 AM

      It would be strange for anyone to accept a stranger who’d trespassed on their property. (Especially one who answered her questions so evasively!) Thanks for reading, Renee 🙂

  31. Lance February 28, 2013 / 3:46 AM

    The Devil Wears Prada and The Transient Wears Gucci. Now we know the sequel to that book/movie, ha!. I love your dialogue here. It moved the story.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 9:06 PM

      Oooh, good one, Lance! I like that follow up to Prada 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion.

  32. christina February 28, 2013 / 11:10 AM

    i really enjoyed all the detail. great piece.

  33. atrm61 February 28, 2013 / 3:21 PM

    Loving this Janna-great use of the prompt as a noun too:-)The surprise end was very enjoyable &^ I agree with you,shoes are very important-I remember once a murderer was caught cos he wore the wrong shoes & some alert soldier on the border noticed & he was caught.Glad that Darlene knows how to watch her back:-)

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 9:09 PM

      That was one strange prompt word, Atreyee! I think this is a lesson: if you’re going to be a good criminal, you have to pay attention to the details 🙂

      • atrm61 February 28, 2013 / 11:00 PM

        True-am glad we were allowed to use it as a verb as well-phew!So true-attention to details are a must 😉

  34. Tina February 28, 2013 / 6:10 PM

    They always forget the shoes! Glad she remembered, it gave authenticity to the character.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2013 / 9:09 PM

      Yeah, bummer for him not thinking to change shoes 🙂 Thanks for reading, Tina!

  35. Imelda March 4, 2013 / 8:19 PM

    What a nice detail – a transient wearing Gucci. God thing Darlene remained collected.

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2013 / 9:42 PM

      The shoes are a bit of a clue, Imelda. Not enough words left to elaborate, though!

  36. pattisj March 4, 2013 / 9:31 PM

    I’m glad she didn’t fall for it. 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2013 / 9:43 PM

      It would’ve been a different story then, wouldn’t it? Thanks for reading, Patti!

  37. Annabelle March 6, 2013 / 9:07 AM

    I’m not sure I trust any man wearing Gucci, transient or not!

    • jannatwrites March 6, 2013 / 9:29 PM

      Hahaha! I couldn’t agree more, Annabelle 😀

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