Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penny Lane

Since I have taken a hiatus from my novel (because once you stop it's hard to start again), I'm hoping that by using writing prompts I can hone my skill further and hopefully get back into the writing groove.  I've been gathering writing prompt ideas from the internet and I will put them in bold and continue the story from there.  We'll see where this takes us...  

Penny Lane
The detective saw his opportunity.  He grabbed the waitress’s arm and said,
“I’m sorry miss but I must direct you to leave this instant, you’re in danger.” Ethan Valcone wasn’t accustomed to giving orders.  He was a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type man and for the last year of the waitress’s life, his job was to observe and not to speak or act.  He glanced quickly at the waitress’s black name tag to learn the name of the woman he’d been trailing, Veronica.  
Before this moment she had only been known to him by the code-name he had received, Penny Lane.  Ethan assumed that he was kept in the dark about the woman’s true name in order to protect the mission.  Throughout the year of surveillance, he’d spent hours thinking about what a woman such as herself would be called and no other names seemed to fit her besides Penny.  
Like Mt. Vesuvius, the coffee pouring out of Penny’s coffee pot overflowed the cup and the scalding liquid overtook his dinner plate.  She quickly wrenched her arm away from his grasp and stared at him fearfully.  Penny’s brown eyes grew large and looked at Ethan as if he were a hunter with his crosshairs pointed in her direction.  Before she could back away from him he continued,
“The men in the corner booth- don’t look!” he hurriedly whispered as she automatically glanced over her shoulder.  “You need to leave and you need to come with me.”
“How-how can I trust you?” Penny stuttered as tears filled her eyes.  She bit her lip as if trying to decide which way to run.
“Your father, Congressman Bishop has known that you could be a possible target.  He hired me to follow you and protect you.” 
Penny’s eyes darted around her as if to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation,
“Anyone could say that.  Prove to me right now you are who you say you are or I’m taking this can of mace out of my pocket,” Penny threatened as she regained her composure. 
“Your father gave you a code-name, the title of your favorite Beatles’ song,” Ethan leaned forward.  “Penny Lane.”  Penny’s face relaxed and she took her hand out of her pocket.  
“Fine,” she sighed while brushing her curly, copper locks from her face.  “What do you want me to do?”
“There’s a window in the ladies bathroom that opens and leads to the alleyway.  Meet me there in five minutes.  Don’t tell anyone you’re leaving- not your co-workers or your boss. Go.”
“Well so much for this job,” Penny whispered under her breath as she glided toward the back of the diner. 
Ethan chanced a peek at the corner table.  The three men were attempting to blend in with the customers as they sipped their coffee, read their newspapers and chatted lightly.  He rose, tossed a crinkled $20 bill on the table and exited the establishment without drawing attention. 
Penny was already waiting in the rain soaked alley when Ethan arrived.  The November night was chilly and she shivered as she buttoned her cardigan. 
“Now what?” she asked, clearly irritated with his silence.  
Ethan stared for a moment at Penny and sighed.  This was the moment that had been a long time coming.  He’d been dreaming for the last year about finally being alone with her and he felt a twinge of sadness knowing that it would only be temporary.  Her cheeks were alive with the slightest blush and her eyes looked wide and wild.  He was sure if he placed his hand on her neck he would feel her heart beating quickly with adrenaline and fear beneath her milky skin.  Her beautiful long hair reflected the moonlight and her lips glistened seductively.  Ethan wanted so much to kiss those lips that he’d been admiring in numerous surveillance pictures that littered his apartment floor.  
“We’ve got a car coming to take you away to your father’s safe house in the Hamptons,” Ethan’s words poured out of his mouth easily.  The well-rehearsed line that he’d been instructed to tell her in order to make her feel more comfortable made him feel dirty to recite.
“My father doesn’t have a house in the Hamptons,” Penny said slowly as she took a step back from Ethan.  She almost looked like she was thinking about climbing back into the restroom window before the black van pulled into the alley.  
Ethan grabbed  her arms and before she could shriek the van skidded to a halt in front of them.  Two men dressed in black emerged and Ethan threw Penny to them.  They made quick work of duct taping her mouth and tying her up.  One of the men made a move to close the door before Ethan cried, “Wait!” 
He caressed Penny’s face softly and kissed her covered lips,
“I’m sorry we had to meet this way, Penny,” he said softly before the man shoved him out the door.  Ethan lost his balance and tripped into rain puddle.
“Stop!” a man shouted from the other end of the alley.  Three men with guns drawn pointed at Ethan as the van’s tires squealed forward, leaving Ethan alone in the alley.  A shot rang out and caught him in the chest and he collapsed to his knees.  He clutched at his chest as if he could claw out the bullet from his body.  Sinking onto his back he stared at the clouds in the sky as rain began to sprinkle his face.  The world swirled around him but all he could think of was the frightened look on Penny’s face.
        He vehemently wished that he had been the good guy. 

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