Just read Rob’s comment to my post, below, and thought how right he was about motivation. Gah. What gets me stuck is when I write my way into an impossible situation — by that I mean something I didn’t plan for and that really doesn’t have a place in the plot — because then I have to navigate my way out. This time it was the introduction at an awkward time of a character who I’m sure has a purpose, but whose presence at that time was annoying. I spent a couple of days debating whether to cut him out or not. If it weren’t November I would’ve done so, but then I’d’ve lost words. So I have just decided to try writing through it.

And here’s a little bit of what I got tonight:

A taxi drove up to the door, and the valet stepped forward to help the passengers offload. The younger man shot Trim a look, and Trim felt it blossom in the back of his chest like a flower; it was a come-on, as sure as Trim knew Jazz was in love with Armbrister. He received it and played with it: he moved a step closer to the valet.

“You work last night?”

The young man shook his head.

Trim stuck out a hand. “Trim Romer,” he said, and changed it to a two-handed clasp when the valet took it.

“Roscoe.” The older valet stood behind the younger one. “Let me handle this. Go check those people in.” He faced down Trim. “What you want with that boy?”

“You’ll do.” Trim watched the man straighten, felt a sensation surround him that was like being wrapped in a grey Hefty bag, knew he was flirting with danger. He parried with a grin, and glanced at the man’s name tag. “Roosevelt,” he said, “I want to know a couple things bout last night.” The truth was always better than a lie. Both travelled with you, and the truth was far easier to recognize. “Valet parking. The function in the ballroom. Was there any?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“You or Roscoe there work last night?” It was a long shot, but sometimes people pulled double shifts for financial reasons.

“Yeah, me. Why?”

“I have a friend –” this lie wasn’t going to go far — “who drove there but travelled home, shall we say, with another person. She can’t come pick it up herself, so I come for it. You have any cars not collected last night?”

The man was relaxing; Trim could see it in his neck and shoulders, could read it in the man’s face. There was innocence in his question; he wasn’t out to corrupt young boys; he just wanted to collect a car. “Check with the front desk,” he said. “I just drive ’em.” And as Trim turned, he added: “Could be. There’s always one.”


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