Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rule of 3 Blogfest: Troublemaker Part 1


It's finally time for the Rule of 3 Blogfest!

Today I'm introducing you to Laine Masterson, Sheriff in Renaissance who quit the New York Police force after the death of her husband.

She's about to get a grim reminder of her previous job.

Prompt of the week: There is a fear of impending misfortune.


Blue… Red… Blue… Red… My SUV’s strobes bring a grim festivity to the scene. Smashed guitars lie next to upturned amplifiers buzzing the sky for help.

Too late for the victim. 

Bile rises to my mouth as I throw a glance at the corpse hanging in a nearby tree. This doesn’t happen in Renaissance. 

“Probably did it in a meth rage,” one of my deputies mumble on the way to the victim.
“Or a ritual,” another mutters. “You know how they are.”
“Looks like a piñata.” 

I rub my arms to settle my hackles and walk away. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but the person hanging from the tree beaten beyond recognition is as far from a candy-stuffed paper animal as I could think. Except for the blood stained baseball bats strewn about. 

“See if you can get prints on those.” Is it wrong that my blood is buzzing? It’s been years since I quit the NYPD, came home… I shake it off and stare up at the mangled person. The remains of the green and blue mohawk marking the victim as one of them.

Blood drips down from his tight fist. What’s he holding?

“Laine?” Mr. Piñata - Jack Flynn - sounds hesitant now. “What can I do?”
“Find the caller yet?”
“Nope. I’ll go round up the rest of the punks and see if we can scare out a quick confession.”

I frown at Jack, hunting for a nice way to cut him down. Policing isn’t about taking anything for granted. It’s about finding truth and justice. If it existed.  

This isn’t New York. I forget that sometimes. I’ll see everyone at church tomorrow. 

A bitter bark of laughter draws us both around to where one deputy is sidling away from a girl about my son’s age. Dried tears and mascara warp her face. Smudged black lips jump from laughter to crying until sobs win out. “We’re different, so we’re evil?” 

Jack looks ready to speak, but I silence him with a single look. Shut up or be suspended without pay.

I choose to avoid the topic altogether. “Let’s move away from the scene.” 
The girl combs her fingers through her bright pink hair. “Ray was a good person.”

Jack snorts before sauntering to where the medical examiner is unloading his pick-up.  

“Ray?” I run my thoughts through the families I know in town. 
“Sean Drummond.”
Shit. His parents sit two rows in front of me. “Were you here when it happened?”
Her pink bob weaves as she nods. “We all were. It was supposed to be a concert.” She wipes her nose on the back of her mittened hand. “A fun night out.”
“What happened?”
“They came out of nowhere and started beating people. Most of us ran, but Ray…”
My heart contracts at that word. They. Would I know them? “They?”
The girl snarls as she stares up at the victim. “Yes. They. The jocks. The town’s little angels.”


  1. Nicely done Misha! Very gruesome with plenty of hints that there's something big a-foot.

  2. This could be interesting.

  3. What a gripping beginning! Looking forward to the next round to see what happens!

  4. It has a feel of a mystery thriller...well captured first scene.

  5. This is a creepy and nice way to open and introduce the small town, which feels like the star to me so far. Can't wait to see where this goes.

  6. I love the narrator's voice! Great first scene.

  7. I really liked it, unique character, interesting setup, suspense in the end - good job!
    - andrea

  8. Wow. I love your conception of post-ghost town Renaissance.

  9. Even in small towns we get our goths, don't we? I bet the chasm between jocks and goths is bigger here.

  10. I love the tension in this piece! And great last line.

  11. Great contemporary set-up. Looking forward to seeing how it keeps shaping up!

  12. I'm a sucker for police thrillers so this really drew me in.

  13. Nice beginning! I usually find present tense in fiction too distracting, but you seem to have handled it well. Good job building the suspense.


  14. Very interesting - I can't wait to see where this is going! :) I love the description and the character conflict, even in such a short scene.

  15. Ooh, a murder investigation mystery, I'm hooked. =)

  16. love me a murder mystery! can't wait for the town's little angels to get their due! Great story Misha!

  17. Oo, punks vs jocks! Awesome~ This is going to be exciting. You got the tension going in such a short space~ Good job.

    Also love the blog change.

  18. I love the them vs. us setting - always resonates with me! And I'd never have expected a Law & Order type scenario in Renaissance so this is refreshing! :)

  19. The first police drama I've found in Renaissance so far - great stuff!

    I was wondering if the victim was thrown up into the trees by something supernatural at first - well, I suppose the jocks could be supernatural. We'll have to see.

    Thanks for taking part in the Blogfest!

  20. Hi Misha,
    This is one of my favourites so far, very different from the others and a great hook. Looking forward to more.

  21. I love a good police thriller! Great first part. I'm off to read the second part!

  22. Oh, how nice! Well, not the crime itself, but the fact that this is a rather different story than those that I've read so far in this challenge.
    I'm heading to the 2nd chapter right away!


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