Well, now, you do realize you’ve given the Editor the worst case of heartburn ever to have afflicted that unconscionably sour individual. The Editor, in fact, will not be joining us today. The Editor is out hunting for aniseed-flavour Gaviscon.
You see, when I stomped my little feet and insisted on posting the first scrappet of The Novel on this very blog, the Editor, on regaining her breath after a brief interlude of rolling on the floor laughing uproariously, pointed out that the best response I could expect was a puzzled silence. As it is, seven people have said they’d like to see more of The Novel, and I think when Bloglily used the term ‘expertly handled’, the Editor fell off her chair and I did a little Snoopy dance on her fallen body. Because I’m petty like that.
To answer Sol‘s questions on the first scrappet, yes, his name is absolutely Jiro Watanabe Smith. His name came to me almost before anything else. He limped in, looked at me, announced his name, and then spent the next three months glowering and refusing to talk. I can’t tell you the relief when I worked out he was a policeman and a desperately in love one at that, hence the sulking (ooh, spoilers! heh heh heh!). And Helen, since you liked Ian Happy so much, I will follow my original plan (rather than the revised one, which admittedly dictated by the Editor in one of her more humourless moods) and give him more air-time. As to Jiro’s being a hunk, well, I collapse in giggles.
Golly, but this is balm to the tattered old ego!
Meanwhile, the printing and sorting and thinking continues to muddle my brain (as does my official job) putting rather a crimp in my plans for Blogosphere domination. So, to keep you however briefly amused, here’s the next two pages, also still in their scruffy just-as-I-wrote-them state:
Jiro started to walk briskly along the designated trail that lead to the wall of brambles under the cliff-face. He could see the rest of the SOCOs, in their white jump-suits, carefully standing motionless at the end of the police tape. A police sergeant stood a little apart, looking gloomily at his boots. They were probably waiting for DI Bacon. Well, theyâ€™d have to make do with DS Smith. He fished out his ID again and held it in the sergeantâ€™s line of vision. He looked up. â€˜Where the bloody hell is Dinah?â€™ he asked.
â€˜DI Bacon,â€™ said Jiro, feeling his lips tighten, â€˜Is on another case, and will be here as soon as she can. Youâ€™ll just have to put up with me.â€™ And since when, he added to himself, is everyone down to and including the sodding constable, on first-name terms with Bacon?
â€˜No offence, sargeâ€™ said the other sergeant, holding out his hand. â€˜Alan Broadway. I know her,â€™ he nodded towards the silent knot of ghostly SOCOs. â€˜Itâ€™s a shock. What did you say your name was?â€™
â€˜Jiro Smith,â€™ The manâ€™s eyes flickered over Jiroâ€™s face. Jiro continued: â€˜You knew her, you say? You mean the DB?â€™
â€˜No trouble about idents, now, eh?â€™ said the sergeant. In the white actinic light he looked very pale.
â€˜Iâ€™d better have a look,â€™ said Jiro. He walked onwards. He couldnâ€™t see anything, anyone huddled on the ground at the SOCOâ€™s feet. He frowned. Suddenly, he realised that they were all looking upwards, into the rain. For the first time, he looked up at the brambles too. Nearly six feet off the ground, supported by the years-old wrist-thick stalks, lay a bright pink coat. A dead woman in a bright pink coat. She was on her back, feet and arms hanging down and tangled in the brambles, head hanging back at a nauseating angle. A purple cloche hat was still jammed firmly down over the dark hair. He was too short to see her face. Fifty feet above them, the steep stairs leading up to the town reached a landing, turned, and started to crawl back across the precipitous slope. Incongruously, a chair stood under the corpse, with a muddy foot-print in the centre of the seat. One of the men pointed at it: â€˜Paramedic used that to stand on.’
â€˜Where is he?â€™
â€˜Back in the ambulance, drinking coffee.â€™ This was the SOCO Jiro already knew. So it was safe to assume the others already knew all about his western name and eastern face. No odd looks when he introduced himself as Smith, no relieved ones when he revealed his first name was Jiro. He looked at the chair again, raised one sopping loafer to step up, and stopped, his foot in mid-air. His hip twinged.
â€˜Have any of you stepped on this? No? Get the photographer and the paramedics back here’.
‘Please,â€™ he added.