In this writing exercise, I'm using my friend, Jen Robidoux, as my avatar. She's a soft-spoken, gentle woman who never-the-less is a fierce protector of the defenseless and the under-dog. This is just a snippet of a story but seriously? I want to know what happens next!
"Are you... Richard McCallum?"
Rick lowered the whisky glass and squinted in the bright desert sun. His vision, which was decent, had necessarily shortened as he drank his way through the dry heat of the afternoon.
A woman stood in front of him, dressed in a stylish flowered blue dress and a straw hat. Her brown hair was cut in a bob and she carried a battered leather suitcase in one hand and a handwritten note in the other. He couldn't help but notice that she had the kindest eyes he'd ever seen.
Those eyes were studying him, trying to size him up. His five o'clock shadow had lengthened to the beginnings of a true beard and his khaki colored clothes were wrinkled for having been slept in. He looked awful, truth be told, and being broke, he thought it was an accurate representation and a safer one in a town this tough. The only thing he owned worth stealing was his plane, his father's old watch, and, maybe, his leather jacket. Not that he'd let that happen.
He brought his glass to his mouth to take another swig, thought the better of it, and asked instead, "Who's asking?"
"My name is Jennifer Robidoux. I sent you a telegram, inquiring about your services."
"Wait..." he staggered to his feet. "You're the woman who needs a pilot to fly you across the desert on some crazy treasure hunt? With the whole world about ready to go to war? Are you nuts, lady? Go home, stay home, where it's safe."
That was the wrong thing to say. Her eyes narrowed and her shoulders squared.
"I'm not going after some foolish treasure, Mr. McCallum, and I'm well aware of the state of the world. My father's gone missing. And I need your help to find him."