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Candervalle
April 8th, 2013, 09:21 AM
A Runner in the Night

It was three in the morning, and Douglas Trinidad was the sole occupant of Meadow Park. Hunched over on a park bench beneath one of the three lamps, Douglas scribbled on a legal pad. He had been writing for what seemed like hours. More than once, he had dozed off, only to wake with a start, and glance around to see if he was about to be grabbed. Getting a decent amount of sleep was impossible with the CIA searching for him. The latest correspondence was going to go to the director of the FBI. This would make the twelfth letter he had sent to the FBI, but he had yet to receive any response. It had only brought him more watchers. He grinned to himself, knowing their games. CIA operatives were known for their stealth, but Douglas had known who they were for some time. Sometimes, it was better to play dumb.


This newest letter told the FBI about the newest “tail,” he had received. The clerk at the post office, Fred was his name, had been at his post every working day, for the last ten years. The man never missed a day of work. That was until a week ago. Fred stopped showing up to work. When Douglas inquired about Fred, his replacement told him Fred had retired. The replacement, “Frank,” as he called himself, seemed a little too interested in Douglas’s daily affairs. He was also upset at the cockiness of the CIA to give their operative a name so similar to the old postal clerk. He wondered about Fred and what they had done with him. He cringed, knowing full well that organization would do whatever it took to get what they wanted.


He finished scribbling his letter to the FBI’s director, ending it with his code, “2498.” The code had been given to him by one of the FBI agents who spoke with him over a year ago. That was when he was still allowed inside their field office. They had since banned him from the building. He knew it was for his protection though, as it would be too obvious if he ran into that office every time he discovered another secret. He felt that things had become dangerous for him in that town. He needed to disappear. If the CIA knew his intentions, agents would surely be sent to silence him.


Fog gathered in the park, bringing with it an eerie silence. This suddenly came to his attention. It was too quiet. He listened for a few seconds. Silence. He breathed a sigh of relief. Visibility was poor as there were only a few lamps to light the park at night. He stuffed the hastily-written letter in an envelope and plastered his last stamp to its face. The letter was addressed to, “The FBI.” He did not bother to write an actually address. The post office was a federal agency, and the letter would get to where it needed to go. Suddenly he heard footsteps, slow, deliberate footsteps. His heart froze. They were on to him. He grabbed the letter and jumped up from the bench, shaking loose his cramped legs. He couldn’t see anyone, but the footsteps were coming closer. “Who’s there?” he croaked. The only answer was footsteps. He wasn’t sure but he thought the footsteps quickened. Terror seized him.


He whirled around and ran in the opposite direction of the footsteps. He had to get the letter off before it was too late. The fog and scattered lights disoriented him but he pushed on. His heart was pounding and his lungs were burning but he persevered. The footsteps were so loud now he could feel each one. They were almost on him. A wave of relief washed over him as the fog gave way just enough to see the curb line of Bennett Street. He gained his bearings, and he remembered there was a mailbox just across the street. The footsteps were on him. He charged into the street hoping to see the blue rounded top of a U.S. Post Office mailbox. Suddenly, something was screaming in his ears.


He didn’t know what hit him, but when he came to, he was lying face down in the street. He looked down at his hands and they were covered in blood. He remembered the footsteps. He tried to get up and run, but his legs would not work. He looked behind and saw his legs lying useless. One of them was bent at an angle he had never seen before. His pants were soaked with blood. He would have thought he was seriously wounded, if he had felt the pain. Instead, there was only numbness. He looked back towards ahead, and to his relief, the mailbox was only feet away. He found the letter beside him, splattered with blood. He clutched the letter in his left hand as his right has refused to work. He began dragging himself towards the mailbox.


Then he heard it, the footsteps had returned. They were coming for his now. Their attack hadn’t finished him off and they were going to take care of that. He dragged himself closer to the mailbox. The footsteps were practically on top of him. The box was within his grasp. With the last of his strength, he pushed himself up against the mailbox, pulled open the receiving hatch, and threw the bloodstained letter into its open jaws. The footsteps were now at his feet. Who cared, they could take him out. He was tired of running anyways. They couldn’t stop his letter now. He twisted his body to face his killer. No one, the street was empty. The footsteps were gone, their owner as well. Maybe they didn’t think it was worth killing him now that he had accomplished his mission. It would just solidify his findings. The fog had grown heavy and had hidden the street from view. The fog grew dark, so dark that everything seemed to turn black. He felt he could finally sleep now.

Belderan
April 12th, 2013, 06:07 PM
Your sentances are too short and your punctuation needs work, comma's do not come before "and" or "but" as these words serve the same purpose of joining two points into one sentance.

It was three in the morning and Douglas Trinidad was the sole occupant of Meadow Park where he sat hunched over on a park bench beneath one of the three lamps (perhaps some description of the light thrown by the lamps?). He continued to scribble on a legal pad which he had been writing on for what seemed like hours. More than once he had dozed off only to wake with a start when he would glance around to see if he was about to be grabbed. Getting a decent amount of sleep was impossible with the CIA searching for him and this latest correspondence was going to go to the director of the FBI making it the twelfth letter he had sent without any response. It had only brought him more watchers. He grinned to himself knowing their games, after all CIA operatives were known for their stealth but Douglas had known who they were for some time and sometimes it was better to play dumb.

The above, to me anyway, makes the paragraph flow much better.

Terry D
April 12th, 2013, 06:20 PM
Your sentances are too short and your punctuation needs work, comma's do not come before "and" or "but" as these words serve the same purpose of joining two points into one sentance.

Actually, the use of a comma to create a compound sentence, in conjunction with an article like 'and' or 'but' is correct usage. If the author chooses to leave out the comma in those cases, and if it doesn't impede the flow of the sentence, s/he can do so, but the comma is appropriate.

ZayneJ
April 13th, 2013, 07:16 AM
I can see where some people might have an issue with the flow, but I like how you have laid things out. It kept a good flow for me.

chrisps
July 2nd, 2013, 03:11 AM
I agree with ZayneJ in that the flow wasn't an issue. I think, however, you could, even in a short piece, keep a bit more anonymity and mystery for a bit longer. For instance, maybe don't come right out and say "Getting a decent amount of sleep was impossible with the CIA searching for him" and hold onto the identity of the CIA for a little more, so less is laid out so quickly.