Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – May 14, 2016

Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group for writers I’ve been hanging out with.

From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”

This week’s snippet picks up where last week’s left off. It’s a longer than usual, mostly because I really wanted to get us out of the bar already! Sorry ’bout that.

We’ve just learned that Jed is headed to jail for shooting someone, which moved him up a notch on Jake’s danger scale. The last lines of last week’s snippet ran like this (Jake speaks first);

“First time he pulled something that serious?”

“First time someone had the guts to testify against him in court.”

And here’s this week’s segment;

That earned Jed another notch. Maybe two.

I stopped dancing. It took her a second to follow suit.

“Only second degree?”

“Jury bought it when he said he didn’t intend to kill the man,” she replied.

I leaned back against the nearest unoccupied table. I had my pick of them. All of the tables in our immediate vicinity had become unoccupied over the last few songs.

“Do you buy it?”

“I don’t think he much cared, so long as he got to shoot him.”

I grumbled something unintelligible. I glanced at Jed’s end of the bar and ran right into five hard stares coming my way.

Jed and his crew had all turned to face Marisa and me and each man had his eyes on us. A uniform aura of the kind of overconfidence a man developed when everyone he’d ever roared at backed off in a hurry blanketed the five of them.

The four followers gave me the dead fish eyes, devoid of everything except for boredom and indifference. They were good at it too, though slight facial tics and a lot of blinking showed me how hard the two latest arrivals had to work to sit still.

The big man himself drained his beer, then gave me a smile that would’ve made a game show host proud.

Everything I needed to know was in that smile.

I matched Jed’s stare until the end of the song, then broke contact and took Marisa by the hand.

“We can clear out of here now,” I said, pivoting toward the door.

She turned with me, slipping her arm around my waist.

“You sure about this, Jake?” she asked. If she was disappointed by our uneventful exit she hid it well. Her tone of voice held only surprise and a hint of doubt.

“He wants me to know he’s there,” I said as we walked. “Nothing more.”

“For now,” she replied.

I paused when we reached the door. Marisa pushed it open.

“If he was gonna pull something we’d be into it by now.” I stifled the urge to look over my shoulder. “That’s how this usually works.”

She stepped forward and led me out of the bar. The heavy wooden door creaked as it inched shut behind us.

A gust of salty ocean wind blew through, chasing some of the cigarette stink away from us. The cries of seagulls enjoying the late night buffet near the edge of the water rode in with it.

“Usually, huh?” said Marisa.

I waited for ten long seconds. The door did not open.

“Usually,” I replied as we climbed into my Olds. “But not always.”

The engine caught on the first try. I gave her little gas before shifting her into gear.

Her sun-browned skin took on a reddish glow in the soft dashboard light. She slipped out of her sandals and stretched out her legs.

“Drive, Jake,” she said, resting her bare feet on my dash. “Shut up and drive.”

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for any feedback you feel inclined to leave.

Please make sure to read other Snippet Sunday author’s kung fu.

Here’s a handy link;




Posted on May 15, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Everything about this works, Jeff. The descriptive writing–the salt air and her feet on the dash. Wow–took me back a few. lol. And your dialogue seems so natural. No forcing at all.


  2. My favorite line (and it was hard to pick just one, this one jumped out at me and grabbed my by the brain) is “Everything I needed to know was in that smile.” That was the shifting point of the whole scene.


  3. Again and again you draw me into your story with the very unique descriptions. I just love it. Great read


  4. Tan legs, salty sea air, and great dialogue. I am really enjoying this story.


  5. Really like this–like the “dead fish eyes” description, plus the salty sea air. Great dialogue, too.


  6. I can feel the tension in the bar and see his cautious exit.


  7. Interesting that there was no confrontation after all (which I sure expected a bar fight or something). A nice twist to end that part of the scene. As always, enjoyed the snippet!


  8. Good snippet, Jeff. I don’t think that’s all that it’s going to be, but he got a reprieve that night. 🙂


  9. Fantastic snippet. Love the way you pull me right into the story where I can see where they are, smell the salty air, and hear your characters loud and clear. Well done.


  10. elainecsc2013

    Nicely done! Like Karen said, you put me in the story.


  11. Well, that was a rather easy exit. I’m not sure for how long, Jed probably has some surprises planed for the rest of the night.


  12. Easy, comfortable dialogue and great descriptions.


  13. Like Paula said, it was hard to pick a favorite line, but I have to go with the “dead fish eyes” too. I really loved reading this scene, but I must admit I’m glad they finally left and look forward to seeing what comes next. Great job. Write faster!


  14. So descriptive, great snippet.


  15. “Everything I needed to know was in that smile.” Wow! What a powerful and attention grabbing line! Pivotal moment of tension. Great imagery! Great descriptions as always! I always love the way you write, it’s so precise and spot on. Great snippet!


  16. chellecordero

    This feels so real and I love how the tables were emptied as they danced. Great snippet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: