Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Creative Writing - Introducing Pert

Ahhhh... another day, another post. It's Hannah again.

In my experience in a big family, copycats are common. Younger siblings look up to older siblings. They spend so much time together, they begin to pick up characteristics from each other. It's not unusual for a younger child to be interested in what their big sister does as a hobby, or for siblings to want to do the same things. You copy people you spend time around and people you look up to.

That, my dears, is my excuse for stealing Trinity's idea and putting up another Creative Writing. I really shouldn't. I've been thinking that I should do another Character Post or something. But this isn't just a Creative Writing to me, it's likely the longest CW stretch I've ever done, surpassing even my 8-page mini story based on a single picture. And now that I've been reading over it again, I thought I'd bring it up.

Allow me to introduce Pert. The name "Pert" is a nickname that refers to how impertinent she is, even if she'd like to think otherwise. She's a private detective. The other man is Cowar (I haven't given him a first name yet). Cowar is a retired FBI agent turned cop, if I recall correctly. After the death of Pert's parents, he'd taken her under his wing, if only from a distance. He's a Lestrade/Commissioner Gordan type man, the kind who would (and probably already did) bail her out when she gets arrested for whatever shenigans she had most recently been involved in, but he'd also give her an hour-long lecture on why there are, in fact, rules for conduct on the road. He's also the one she depends on to link her to most of her clients.

Understand that when I was writing this, we'd probably just finished watching BBC's Sherlock, for the, I don't know, first, second, third time. So my mind was temporarily obsessed with detectives and mysteries and maniacal villains. When I saw the assigned picture, the story just started flowing. I love when that happens, it's so magical. I probably spent over half the allotted time on this installment alone.

This here is the recently edited copy of the first chapter (be warned, it's a bit long, and I'm no expert on detectives and the assorted rules, regulations and procedures of law enforcement, so this was the best I could do).

Winipertia Jane Apago is my full name. Winipertia. I wonder if I was named after an insane relative, but I’ll never get the chance to ask, I suppose. My parents died - or were murdered - when I was about eleven, and not quite able to appreciate the absurdness of my name. While I understand that some people may adore their names, even brag about them, I personally dislike mine, which is why I prefer everyone to call me Pert instead. Pert means, according to dictionary,

1. bold and lively in a pleasant or amusing way
2. jaunty and stylish in design
3. Small, well-shaped, and pretty

I personally think all these could describe me, except perhaps pretty, which I’m not sure about yet. I like to think of myself as jaunty, bold and stylish. As for the third entry in the dictionary, I’m definitely pretty small. Concerning the other two, however, the best I can say to well-shaped and pretty is that I’m not mutated or ugly. I have an unfortunate amount of frizzy, brown-blond hair that tangles easily, green eyes (which I guess I don’t mind so much), and, as I mentioned before, I’m not exactly tall. But I can also be relatively stealthy and observant. Pretty good things for a private detective to be, which I am.
I sat in my office, twiddling my thumbs. I had been there for three hours, gone through all the files on my laptop, deleted everything that government agents could use against me, erased all evidence of anything I had done on the Internet, and was still bored.
In the past week I had solved two murders, three pick pocketing cases, and one identity theft. Now, being suddenly derived of practically anything interesting to do, I felt like my brain was going to explode.

Ring, ring!

I scrambled for the phone. Briefly checking the caller ID (it said something about a CC agency), I answered it.


“Hello. I wonder if you would please take some time to take a survey– ”

“Goodbye,” I said impatiently and slammed the phone back onto the desk. Boring.

Ring, ring!

I grabbed the phone again, pressed the ‘talk’ button, and yelled, “I don’t a survey! I don’t want to buy
anything! I don’t want credit cards and I don’t have kids! You got that?!”

“Hey, Pert, calm down, I’m not selling credit cards,” said a definitely male voice in a much more civil tone than I had just used.

I exhaled slowly. “Sorry, Cowar, just had a call. Do you have something for me?”

“Yup. Police case. They can’t take it.”

I grinned somewhat evilly. I don’t know why I like it so much when the cops are pathetic. Unless it’s the fact that they hand the case off to me.

“What is it?” I asked, feeling a thrill of eagerness.

“Drugstore robbery.”

I frowned. “Cowar, you know I don’t do that sort of thing.”

“Yeah, I know, except it was in Yew Town, and it was the hotshot himself,” said Cowar.

I looked up at the ceiling in exasperation. “Cowar, I know so many “hotshots”, really, which one are you talking about?”

“Cameron Truetor. You know, Senator.”

“Oh, that hotshot. Why on Earth can’t the police take it?”

“This is politics, not local.”

“Boring,” I said hotly. “State troopers, militia, pick someone else to do your brunt work.”

I could practically hear Cowar’s eye roll through the phone. “Grunt work. And it's not only that. I called because I thought you’d take it, but if you don’t even want to hear what happened…”

No one could see me, so I slouched very low in my chair until my head was about level with the armrests.
“Fine, then, go ahead.”

Cowar took a breath as he dived into the story. “From what I'm getting, Truetor wanted to go out, get a night by himself. He’s always being followed by paparazzi and such, so he can’t go anywhere in peace. He ditched his service guys somehow. Unfortunately, he was recognized and practically mobbed in the street, so he tried to escape into a small drugstore off the square. Equally unfortunately, a stick-up was happening right then.”

“That sounds terrible. And staged.”

“Yeah, I wish. The cops had already been called by the drugstore keeper’s daughter, the service guys were everywhere, trying to find Truetor, but the thugs just panicked. They shot at him, but it went over his head. The cops got there just as the crooks got out the door, but they started shooting everywhere. “The police did next to nothing. Ethics or something. The crooks had guns and the officers wouldn’t shoot unless they warned the men that they were going to fire, and they didn’t get the chance. Gretta got shot in the shoulder and some guy who was on the street got killed. Then the thugs turned down an alley, and when the police followed on foot, they couldn’t find them anywhere. One man swears that they disappeared in front of his eyes. We think an unauthorized helicopter was in the area, but there was only one sighting in the whole crowded street. The service guys are having conniptions, and Truetor’s gone without a trace. ”

“Wait a minute, is Gretta okay?”

“First things first, huh? She’s fine. That’s not the issue, though.”

“Well, what’s the issue, then? You just called to tell me Truetor’s missing? I got better things to do that save his sorry– ”

“Yeah, I know,” Cowar snapped. “But tell me you don’t see something fishy in all of this.”

I don’t like to lie. At least to Cowar. He can always tell. “Fine, it seems weird. But what’s the point?
Again, why can’t you guys handle this?”

There was a long silence. I listened, then checked my phone to make sure it was still working. Cowar’s voice finally came through the speaker.

“I have a small suspicion.”

“As to why the police are inept?” I asked.

“As to the person who arranged this.”

“Not much to arrange.”



And that was all I could say. My brain seemed to have had a fuel malfunction and shut down, and I could swear that my heart made a little sputtering sound as it skipped three consecutive beats.


To be perfectly honest, the name itself literally made goose bumps come out on my arms, and not in a good way. Like Al Capone, or Billy the Kid, if you’d ever met them and come away alive. Alexander Cornwall had a reputation as an insane, brilliant man who was suspected of murder on several dozen cases.

I had had a few encounters with him, and they’d never ended up well.

Finally, I got control of my faculties. “Seriously? Cornwall?” I scoffed to cover up my hesitation. “What you’re talking about sounds nothing like him. It sounds like incompetent thugs who accidentally got lucky.”

“That’s ridiculous, and you know it,” Cowar said in a low voice. “The one day the senator decides to take a day off, he runs into a drugstore stick-up with idiots with guns. Then he’s gone.”

“And you got Cornwall out of this.”

“I got Cornwall out of the fingerprints that one of his established lackeys left.”

“It’s a kidnapping. Cornwall, in my experience, prefers death.”

Cowar cleared his throat. “Well, fingerprints don’t lie. If you don’t want to take it, say so. I’ve got three other privates lined up for a call.”

That was a lie. At least, I hoped it was. I was silent for a long while. I didn’t want to show him I was desperate, even though I was. Finally I sighed and said, “Okay, let me check my files on him.”

That wasn’t enough for Cowar. “If you’re taking it, Pert, I want you to get down here. If you want first-hand evidence you’ve got an hour.”

Blast it, blast it, blast it. Of course I did, I was just hoping he’d give me a larger window of time.

“Alright,” I said. “Fine. I’ll be down there in twenty minutes.”

And that's it for now. I wasn't sure whether to list this among my stories that I'm currently working on. I have four other chapters among my files, but Trinity has mentioned that it's hard to understand the characters sometimes. For instance, the first time she read this, I had completely forgotten to mention that Cowar was male. And, in my last post, she was confused as to the gender of Arsha Beacon. If you have any confusion or would like to point out a mistake in my post, please do, because I want to make sure that I fix it.

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