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Killer/Cop Writing Project
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TaboriHK



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 3887
Location: CA

Post Killer/Cop Writing Project Reply with quote
Here's a little back-and-forth project my friend and I are working on, just to sort of pass the time and hone writing technique. The idea is simple: my friend has created a character that's a killer, and I have to respond with the entries of a cop chasing him, although obviously we haven't hit any kind of "chasing" yet. It's funny because a killer is completely counter to my friend's writing strengths; the cop I'm writing is more in tune with mine, but I'm trying new things with him that I haven't with characters before just to make it a little more fair. I'll post them here as we complete them.

KILLER:

The man stops struggling, but I don’t let go of his throat. I hold on for several more minutes, fingers locked, arms tensed, before I’m convinced that he’s dead. Then I let go and it all hits me.
I’m sitting on the chest of a dead man.
A dead man I’ve just killed.
My heart has never beaten this fast before, and the adrenaline coursing through my body is so apparent, so prevalent, it hurts just to be aware. My mouth is immediately dry and I can feel the familiar tingle in the back of my throat. All I have to do is swallow too much air or cough and I’ll be vomiting. I can’t have that, not if I want to move forward.
And I do.
So I stand up slowly and try to steady my breathing. I will the sick to stay down. Because this is what I wanted, what I willed, and there is no turning back now.
The man lying at my feet is dead. I set out to kill him and I did it. He was a bum, poor and hungry. For all I know, he was slowly dying already. He didn’t scream and he barely struggled and it was easy.
But that wasn’t the point tonight.
I just had to be sure. I had to know that if I’m going to pursue this crusade, that I can take life away from someone. I had to know that I was capable of taking away everything from a person, all that they are and ever will be. I have to be ready to play God and all that that implies.
Tonight was easy. It was supposed to be, but I’m still careful. I don’t want to be too careful, but if I’m serious about this, I have to be careful for a while, or at least in the beginning.
And I am serious.
I make sure to reposition him so that he’s laying roughly the same way I found him. I take off my gloves and I put them in my coat pocket. As I’m walking to the alley entrance, I unzip my fly. Once I get to the entrance I let out a long theatrical sigh for the benefit of any passersby. As I reach into my coat to get my gloves, I make sure to put on an apparent show of looking embarrassed upon discovering my open fly. I quickly zip it up and pretend that I’m hoping no one saw that. Judging by my peripheral vision no one’s looking anyway. Given this city, I probably could have walked out with my penis in my hand and all these people still would have made a point of ignoring me. I stuff my hands in my pockets and head home.
As I walk down the street toward the nearest BART station, plenty of thoughts are flying madly through my head, but I make sure to stay focused on my plan of action above all else. I should be ok tonight. I can go home and sleep in my own bed and I can stay home. No one will be looking for me yet. Even when the body is found, the police or whomever won’t have anything. They’ll have no clue who to look for.
I’ll have to wait. Wait and see if anything comes of this. Wait and see if a dead bum shows up in the paper or if it works its way under the radar and remains police business.
Because it won’t always be bums.
Soon enough, it won’t matter who I kill. Evading capture will become increasingly difficult with each person. If I’d walked a little further down the street to the Warfield and I’d killed Michael Stipe instead of some bum, my mission would already be over. It is imperative that I work my way up. A bum is nothing, in the grand scheme. The others, now that remains to be seen. Will I have the nerve to do a businessman, or a mother? I can only hope.
And I do hope.
I start to get excited at my prospects, and I feel a smile tugging at my lips. I quickly force it down with a reminder that this is not pleasure. This is duty. This is my purpose, but it is not my right. It is my privilege. I cannot allow myself to enjoy this, or I’m no better. The fact that everything tonight was planned is bad enough. It bothers me to no end, but it must be this way for now.
For now, I must be patient. I must see what comes of this before I know how to proceed. The work is mine, but I will not dictate the terms. By choosing this job, I have already forsaken that right. From here on, my survival will depend on my ability to react. I will wait.
I will wait.
I enter the BART station and when I go to put my ticket through, I notice that my hand is steady. In fact, I realize that my breathing has been calm for a while now. I’m not shaking at all. I put my ticket through and walk through the barrier.
As I go to my platform, I take note of the people surrounding me.
So many different people live in this city. Different genders, different ethnic background, different class, different age, different musical preference. The differences go on and on. It’s comforting, in a way, to know that the city where I grew up, where I begin my crusade, is perfect.
Perhaps the greatest creed, after all, is that I must never discriminate.
Soon enough, my train arrives. I’m standing right on the black, so when the doors open, everyone has to walk around me. I must look frightfully rude, but no one says anything. I’m busy soaking it all up again. The people getting off the train are just as diverse as the people at the station, and as they all pass me, I wonder if any of them suspect what I’ve done tonight. I wonder if I will remember any of their faces.
I wonder if I will see any of them again.
I board the train and sit down. As the train begins to move, I look at the window and watch as the station goes by, and soon, there’s only the darkness of the tunnel.
Looking out into that darkness, I think about what I’ve done tonight and I’m relieved to find that I feel no remorse. I’m not sorry at all. In fact, I’m a little hungry and certainly tired. Even a little satisfied.
I snuggle into my seat and continue to stare out into the dark. I have my answer for now, and that is enough. I can move forward if I am capable.
And I am capable.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COP

“Alright, where’s my 419?”

7:00 AM and the sun’s still only just beginning to rise. Looks like it’s gonna be another cold day in San Francisco. I duck under the tape and step into the alley, being mindful of the trash. There’s not enough light to fully illuminate the area, resulting in a sort of half-shadow that’s visually disorienting.

“You got here quick,” the first officer on scene says over his shoulder, “I called this in less than ten minutes ago.”
“Yeah, I was in the neighborhood, figured I’d jump the line. Lead the way.”

The alley dead ends in a small courtyard of sorts, circled with dumpsters. The smell of garbage wafts uninvited into my nostrils. It’s a good distance from the street, and the curve of the alley obstructs a clear view of the courtyard. On the ground slumped near one of the dumpsters lies the lifeless body of a homeless man.

“You’re in luck,” the officer says, indicating the body, “he’s still fresh.”
“Relatively, anyway,” I say as I pull on a pair of latex gloves, “CIB should be here in a couple minutes. Any witnesses?”
“Nope. As you can see, this area is pretty secluded.”
“Who called it in?”
“Some guy working outta one of these buildings, came out here to dump some trash.”
“Looks like a junkie. Probably OD’d.”
“Or so you hope.”

I give the man a cursory inspection. Sure enough, the disheveled form bears the familiar signs of a drug addict. Come on, overdose. Last thing I need is another goddamn murder, especially this year. It’s hardly May and already we’re close to the numbers we had last year. And with the clearance rate under 50%, the last fucking thing we need is a goddamn no witness homicide. Especially considering the victim is someone no one gives a good fuck about. Just when I think I’m in the clear, I pull the collar of his coat back and see the tell-tale bruising of a strangling.

“You son of a bitch,” I mutter to the corpse.
“Haha, that’ll teach you not to cut. Shoulda waited your turn.”
“Yeah, yeah.”

This should have been Mendoza’s case, but stupid me, I decide to be Mr. Charity and volunteer. I heard homeless 419 and thought I’d get lucky with an overdose or something. Now I’ve gotta tell my SIC to put more red fucking ink on the board. With my luck, the guy who strangled him was probably high out of his mind and doesn’t even remember it. I sigh, standing up and stretching my back. No perp, no eyes. If the vic even has relatives, I doubt they’ll know shit about what happened. What the fuck? I can already tell I’ve got a snowball’s chance in Hell of putting this one in the black. I pull the gloves off my hand and pocket them.

“Bad year to be a homicide detective in this town, Bill,”
“Yeah I hear that,” the officer says with a curt nod.
“Well, may as well wait for the wagon to get here. Is there anything else?”
“Nope. No witnesses, no suspects, no nothing.”
“That’s just great.”
“Any ideas about what might have happened?”
“Who fucking knows. Homeless addict, could have pissed off any number of people. A dealer, maybe, another addict, hell, maybe even a citizen. Can’t wait to hear Jay bitch at me about this.”

Jay’s the SIC of the homicide section of the Personal Crimes Division. He’s been a pain in the ass since the spike in February, when the Major started getting on his back. Shit rolls downhill, as they say, and Jay is a premier shitramp if ever such a thing existed.

I walk out of the blind alley, back to the street. Then, leaning against one of the buildings, I light a cigarette and wait for the meat wagon to arrive, hoping this goddamn headache would go away already.

Another cold day in San Francisco, without a doubt.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


800m has a bit he contributed as well, but I'll let him post it if he wants to make any changes or whatever.

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Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:02 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
TaboriHK



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 3887
Location: CA

Post Reply with quote
Did I post this already? I keep having the feeling like I'm reposting this.

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Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:06 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Jericho



Joined: 22 Jul 2007
Posts: 1346
Location: Southern CA, where I belong.

Post Reply with quote
Not that I recall. What ever happened with that other series you were writing, Killer 7 was it?
Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:17 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
TaboriHK



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 3887
Location: CA

Post Reply with quote
Killer 7 was the unfortunately-named, very bizzare game. I'm still working on my project, Killer Six. I'm hesitant to post it for what I feel are pretty obvious reasons.

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Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:21 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
TaboriHK



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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Location: CA

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Part Two:

Killer by Lucio Valentino

I wake up the next morning with the sun in my eyes, and for those first few moments of consciousness it's just another morning without work. I can turn over, lie in bed for a while longer and get up when I'm hungry or I need to urinate. Maybe I'll go for a run through Golden Gate today, but I've been pretty good about exercise lately, almost obsessive in fact. It might be nice to just laze around and take it easy for a day. Maybe I'll just stay inside and catch up on my reading. Or listen to some music and do some painting. I think I'll definitely make it a point to pick up some zongzi for lunch.

These half-thoughts sluggishly crawl through my drowsy head for all of about 10 seconds before I remember why it is that I've been so obsessed with exercising lately. Why I've devoted myself to making sure that I'm as fit as humanly possible. Why I've been taking karate and jujitsu classes. Why I want to make sure I could outrun a wolf and take down a bear. I remember all of it, and then I remember last night.

I remember that I'm officially a killer.

I'm not shocked though. I don't jump out of bed, and I don't suddenly wake up and spring out of bed or anything like that. I just soak in it. I'm calm; thoughtful; even a little proud of the fact that I was able to do it. Sure it was a bit anticlimactic. I choked him and he died, and it was over in about 10 minutes and that was it. However, given the nature of killing, I certainly can't expect for any sort of recognition or a pat on the head or anything, even if I wanted it.

And I don't.

After a minute, I realize that I need to have a bowel movement, so I get out of bed and tread over the bathroom.

While I'm sitting on the toilet, I start to think about what I should do today. I'm a little bothered to find that, now that I've finally killed someone, I'm not really sure what to do. So much time has passed since the thought first entered my head. A fleeting thought, one that I was sure everyone must contemplate at least once in their lives: could I kill someone if I wanted to? Of course, like any sane person, I dismissed the question as a ridiculous one at best, and one I would not like to think about at worst. Over time, though, I was intrigued, and a little bothered, to find just how much more relevant the question seemed to become. Such a chaotic world that I'm living in. Who's to say that I might never need to do it?

And after that night, the answer became clear.

Before I worked up the nerve, I would lay awake thinking and calculating. Before last night, killing people seemed like something I could only do if I had the perfect plan. Before that bum drew his last breath, my entire scheme seemed incredibly methodical, but now, it feels as though I’m swimming in the middle of the ocean, and there’s nothing but small wavy lines of water on every horizon.

I have no idea where to swim.

How do I make this work, really? Do I go out and kill every night? Several times a night? Do I leave town now before I kill again? Are the police already hunting me and am I simply unaware of it? So many questions that I wish I could have answered, but given that killers don't exactly have any "Frequently Asked Questions" pamphlets floating around, I suppose I'm on my own.

And the question that bothers me most: do I practice and plan? With each kill, I expect to become better, to refine my method. It is only natural. But do I find my victims first and then meticulously plan their demise, so as to better ensure my survival? Do I enhance my own situation so that they stand no chance when they find me at the end of their lives? Do I use forethought?

Before I can think on it for too long, I reach the logical and correct solution: no. I am a killer now. In time, the number of people I kill will grow and grow, stopping only when someone stops me.

But I will never be a murderer. Murder is unnatural, a creation of man and a line that was crossed in the animal kingdom eons ago. It continues to be crossed every day, and years ago, on that night… It is a line that will always be just in front of me, if I continue to walk this path, and each step forward will always bring me closer to crossing it.

And I won't.

That thought triggers something, and I realize that today is a good day to prepare. Prepare for the long road ahead and the task that I will soon undertake. I wipe and flush and then proceed to wash up and get dressed.

Two errands today, at least, before I can settle in and relax at home. I don't know what my little escapade from the night before has wrought, so I figure I had better go and buy as many daily publications as I can. Even though I don't really have an idea how murder makes its way into the media when it's very low profile, or so I hope, I would suspect that there will be nothing in the papers today. Still, better safe than sorry, and I think I should see if there’s any scent in the air of what I have done.

Secondly, I will need to buy some supplies for tattooing. I almost scoff at the thought. I wish I were capable of being more original, but I don't believe I can deny that they will serve their purpose. When I am caught, I will hide nothing. I will of course, confess to everything, and the lucky guy who brings me in will even have all he needs in plain writing. More to the point, however, I will have constant reminders. Reminders of who I am to help ebb the onslaught of who I will become, and to stop who I fear I might become. Reminders that I will carry with me always, so that I can never forget.

And I won't forget.

I grab my wallet and keys and head out the door and down the creaky apartment building stairs. In the lobby, I see Mrs. Kim outside, walking toward the glass door, and I go to hold the door open for her.
"How are you doing, Mrs. Kim?" I ask her.
She gives me a gentle and wrinkled smile as she walks through the door.
"Oh, I doing just fine. I just went out for walk this morning. It was bit cloudy earlier, but I hope it get sunny, later on."
She sort of hobbles over to the elevator and pushes the button. She turns back to face me and smiles again, a bit hunched over.
"I see you later!" she yells as I'm leaving.
I think about how easy it would be to kill her.
I turn around and I smile at her.
"And I, you!"


_____________________________________________________________________________________

Cop by Bryan Thaxton

Just another shitty dive bar in downtown SF.

I picked this one in particular for a couple of reasons. First off, it's not too far from the Montgomery St. BART. Which is good because I do not intend to drive home tonight, even though my car is parked not more than a block or so away. Secondly, I've never been to it before, which means the chances of me running into a familiar face are slight. Third, the alcohol is not outrageously priced, probably because the place couldn't justify it if they tried. Although that doesn't seem to stop a lot of places in this city.

Tonight, I feel like being lost.

I brood over my Jack and Coke while trying not to think about work. The fact that it's more Coke than Jack doesn't help. The last six months, I've felt like I've been swimming against a current, one growing stronger and stronger. I'm not sure what it is; life just really feels like a dull, maddening roar right now. The days feel like they're all blending together into one quiet, beige nightmare. Not even a nightmare really; more of a Purgatory than a Hell.

I remember as a kid, thinking this job was going to be…I dunno, something magical, for lack of a better term. I remember watching old detective shows and wanting to be a part of that puzzle-solving fantasy. It sounds stupid, but I used to watch Quincy all the time and dream about one day becoming a lieutenant like Frank Monahan, except not retarded. Even then I was smart enough to realize that the shit Quincy pulled probably wasn't realistic. But the fantasy, of solving murders, of proving my prowess and superiority, always remained. Call it intellectual vanity, for lack of a better term. I always wanted to be the man with the answers to the tough questions.

That's the problem with this job. The questions aren't tough, at least, not in the way I'd thought as a child. Not intellectual but moral. Don't get me wrong. San Francisco is a beautiful city, and a far cry from a degenerate shithole like D.C. But that doesn't stop me everyday from seeing sights that just make you a littler number inside. The urban puzzle is not found in solving the perfect case, apprehending the brilliant sociopath through critical thinking. Shit, 85% of the cases that I come across, I know exactly or at least have a good feeling about who the prime suspect is.

And it's always stupid shit. It’s never a cunning bank robber or some kind of masterful killer. It's fucking Joe or Jose or Tyrone shooting his girlfriend because that hoe be triflin' or because I drank too much and she wouldn't shut the fuck up. It's a gang shooting, or a hit and run. Or like last night, it's a homeless guy strangling another for a bottle of cheap booze. The problem has never been who or why, but how. How do we get civilization to be civil?

Nowadays I hate my fucking job, because it seems like no matter how much effort I do or don't put into it, everything stays the same.

"Why so glum, straynger?" a man with a thick Russian accent says, seated next to me at the bar. He's a tallish sort of man, with very short hair and an unkempt but likewise short beard, jet black. He has a friendly grin plastered on his face, his arms resting leisurely on the bar. His clothes looked dated; his black wool coat seems to be near threadbare in places but remains more or less functional. His shoes would probably be dressy if he treated them as such, and they are partially obscured by black slacks, which appear to be perhaps a length too long. He reaches for his drink and his hands, rough but deft, are covered in small tattoos, in bluish-black ink.

I ignore him, and continue drinking.

"Is eet because the laybor of the day was partikularly unkind?" he continues, undaunted.

His words sort of flow in a peculiar way, the accent of one language imposed on another. It's sort of humorous, but also has the effect of drawing you in, to follow how he handles the English terrain.

"You could say that."
"A-ha, I deed say that, my friend."
"I am not your friend. Stop talking to me."
"Even more reason why I should be talking to you!" he says with a wide smile. This guy just won't give up. "Everyone ees friends with Vitaly!"

He's the sort of guy or girl in a bar who holds you hostage in a sort of conversational prison; the more you try to get through the bars, the more aware of just how trapped you are. You can either go with it or flee; in this case, my jailor is a 6'1 Russian with what looks like Bratva or vor v zakone tattoos. But he doesn't seem to have a threatening air about him, and I'm not at the bottom of this Jack and Coke yet anyhow.

I'm pretty sure this isn't a gay bar (one develops a radar for that in a city such as this) so he's probably just being friendly.

"Wat is yoor nayme, friend?" he asks.
"Sam Overbeck."
"Vitaly Vishnevskiy. Yoo can call me Vitaly, or Vivi if yoo are, ehhh how yoo say, a sweeshy man."
"A swishy man?"
"Yeas, yoo know, ehhh, wan who does not kare much for the laydies. A sweeshy man."
"You mean a fag?" I'm hoping this will opt me out of the conversation by default as a bigoted asshole.
"Haha, exahktly, a faggot! Yoo know wat I am saying." He says this with unusual exuberance, like he either has no idea of its derogatory nature, or does not care.
"How drunk are you right now, Vitaly?"
"Ehhh, too much to walk but not too much to fly."
"You are a pilot?"
"Yeas, of course. I am a pilot, yoo’re a pilot, yoo know. We are flying everyday, and eef we keep our eyes open, we can fly to many interesting playces."
"Wait, are you actually a pilot?"
"Yeas I jus told yoo, am a pilot." This does not clarify things, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.
"Those are some interesting tattoos you got there, Vitaly."
"From another time. More eenteresting but also more stoopid, yoo know?"
"I think I understand."

And I suppose this is how you make friends with a maybe current, maybe ex-vor v zakone-slash-Bratva muscle, possibly pilot, definitely drunk Vitaly Vishnevskiy. Or Vivi, if you are a swishy man, which I am not.

The next couple hours sort of expand and contract, an effect no doubt of the alcohol consumption, but also due in part in attempting to follow the words of my newfound friend. Hearing him talk is sort of like watching the bouncing ball bump along the words of a singalong, if the ball were a bit lopsided but still keeping pace.

"I am too drunk to drive, my friend," Vitaly says, taking great pains to not cross drunk and drive as we step out onto the sidewalk.
"Don't worry, I'm a cop, I can drive you home," the words straining to come undone and slur off my tongue.
"Militsya!" he says with an accusing laugh, intoxicated and a little too loud, pointing at me haphazardly. I point him in the direction that I'm pretty sure I parked in, and we start walking.
"So what do yooooou do?" I question, forgetting in my haze if I asked.
"I am jack of all trades, yoo might say," he replies simply. He says it in his own way, which lacks any implication and thus invites all. He has this way about him, in which you can't tell just how lucid he is in his drunkenness. He could either be very drunk, or very calculating, or capable of both at the same time.

"You live around here?" I ask, opening the front door of my car.
"Yeas, Reechmond Deestreect ees very russkiy yazyk. But mostly yevrei." It's unclear whether Vitaly realizes he's speaking in his language, let alone if he's speaking in it coherently. I start the car and head down the street. Vitaly instructs me to turn around, until we're on a main street. From there, we head down maybe six blocks away from the bar we just left, well within walking distance. I pull to a stop outside of street full of apartment buildings, of various sizes, shapes, and states of disrepair.

"Deed I ever tell yoo about the time I pushed my boss' face through a weendow?" He says with a laugh.
"Uhh, I don't think you should be sharing that story with me, Vitaly. I dunno if that’'s safe.”
"Why not? You don't look like FSB."
"This is your stop," I say abruptly. I certainly would hate to be killed by the probably gangster who accidentally told me too much.
"Thank you for the drive, my friend. And for the ehhh, how you say, cheet chat." He says, patting my cheek gently with his outstretched hand in a gesture I can only assume (hope) is an eastern European thing.

"See ya around, Vitaly."

Once he's through the door, I pull into a nearby lot to make a u-turn. Throwing it into reverse, I promptly slam into the front of an expensive-looking BMW.

Goddamnit.


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