A little while ago I woke up with this scene in my head. Several writing fits later I'm up to almost 10,000 words in an evolving scene. It's not written as a story opening scene, though I suppose it could be. The question is, do you want to know what happens next?
Note, this snippet is explicitly copyright Keith Cartmell 2018.
Belinda looked up as the door to her control room opened, and was surprised into silence to see a complete stranger stroll into the control room like she belonged.
“Good morning, Miss Vesterby.” The stranger’s voice was clear and confident. She sat in the other chair but didn’t relax into it.
Belinda took her feet off the desk and sat up, taking in the poise and air of fitness radiating out of dark clothing that was neither tight or baggy. Her night shift hallucinations had never been quite this focussed.
“I can’t remember the last time anyone called me that,” she said, hoping her voice sounded calm. She thought that was a much more mature response than ‘Who the hell are you and why are you in my control room?’
“It wouldn’t do to be thought familiar and call you Belinda like we were friends. Just being here could be thought impolite at the least.”
“Trespassing is probably the word the City would use. I’d call it startling, but I’m also guessing you’re going to have a great story for me. So you’ve got my attention, unless I’m really face down on the desk, asleep and dreaming.”
She smiled and shook her head. “No. Unlike all the other operators, you’re awake.”
“Are you going to tell me, or make me ask?”
“Telling you is faster. My name is Amber. We’ve never met, though we were at the same event, you more briefly than me. We have several acquaintances in common. One of them has a shortcut to this plant, and I know the same shortcut. That’s how I’m here.” Amber relaxed into the chair but her eyes were alert.
Belinda slowly nodded. “The reception Dwen and Les went to. You were at the door as they were leaving. Hair up, fancy dress slit almost to your butt, heels, not that you need them. I don’t meet many women taller than me.”
“I wasn’t sure if you had noticed me, while you were standing beside that nice limo. As for the why, you already know that I’m not here to hurt you. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is a private place for us to chat about a proposition I have for you.”
Belinda pursed her lips and looked thoughtful. “I’ve never been propositioned at 3am here. This ought to be good if you’ve gone to the trouble of getting here.”
These lilies don't have anything to do with the snippet. Just some dark lilies to remind us of summer.