|Risser's Beach Boardwalk on a balmy afternoon in January|
Tonight I opened the my draft novel, Murder in Camera, for the first time since November and reread parts of it hoping I'd feel inspired to start rewriting. I didn't. I'm just far too tired after a busy weekend of running, socializing and taking pictures.
Instead, I've decided to play along with a little game started by B.E. Sanderson over on her blog Tabula Rasa. The rules are simple. Post a snippet of your manuscript from a page ending in "7" and leave B.E. a comment so she knows you've done it. Below is a scene that starts on page 137. Hope you (and B.E.!) enjoy it.
* * * * *
"You don't remember being found, the ride in the ambulance, nothing?"
"No, I guess I must have been out cold. Judging by how my face looks, I'm guessing the guys who did this must have come on to me pretty hard. Maybe my subconscious is blocking it out." Not likely, thinks MacIntyre.
"So, there was more than one guy?" Dana asks looking down at her notebook nonchalantly.
"Yeah - I mean, I guess. I don't really remember that either."
"Amy, are you sure about that?" Dana asks gently. "Whoever did this to you is a pretty nasty character. If he - they - told you not to talk to police or threatened you in some way, you should tell us. We can protect you and we need to find whoever it was so we can stop them from doing this to someone else."
Amy listens carefully rubbing her thumbs back and forth across the top of her phone nervously.
"I'd help if I could, officer, but I really don't remember", she finally says. "Sorry but I really can't help you."
"Amy," MacIntyre interjects finally, "Did the nurses or police officers who were here earlier speak to you about being examined for evidence that you'd been sexually assaulted." Her cheeks flamed again.
"Yes, they did - and I told them it wasn't necessary," she replies, defiant now.
"May I ask why? As I understand it, the examination wouldn't be painful. I understand there are specially trained nurses who could do the examination and take samples of whatever they find."
"They wouldn't find anything, Inspector. I wasn't raped."
"How do you know, Amy?" Dana asks softly. Amy's eyes widen and begin to well up with tears. "I would know if I was raped," she says again more forcefully. "I'm a virgin so I would definitely know if some guy had had sex with me when I was out of it - so I know for sure I wasn't raped."
"Okay, Amy. If you're sure, that's fine. I just wanted to make sure someone had discussed it with you." MacIntyre voice is reassuring. "One last thing, Amy. By any chance, have you ever registered with a website called 'Working It'? I understand it's a site where aspiring models post photographs and information about themselves so that photographers in hopes of being offered modeling jobs."
Her face which had been flush moments ago was suddenly pale again. "No," she said faintly, her voice barely audible, "why do you ask?"
"It's just that several local women who've been attacked in recent months claim they met they were attacked by men who approached them via Working It. I wondered if the same might have happened to you, that's all."
"God, no, Inspector. My dad would kill me if I did something like that. He and my mom are devout Muslims. They let me live like pretty much any other Canadian girl but there are limits. And there's no way he'd approve of me modeling - especially if it meant wearing skimpy clothes."
"I see. Okay, then, Amy. Well, I just wanted to check. Constable, why don't you get Ms. Haddad's personal information for the file? I'm just going to step up the hall to the waiting area to make a phone call. Thanks very much for speaking with us, Amy. I hope you feel better soon."
When Dana joins him a few minutes later, MacIntyre is just ending his phone call.
"Thanks, Toby." Then, to Dana, "So what do you think? Did you believe her?"
"No. That's why I excused myself when I did. I wanted to get Toby to check to see if she had a Working It profile before she has a chance to delete it."
"And does she?"
"He thinks so. He found one for a Amy H in Halifax and the description matches. He's sending me a link now so we can take a look. Here it is." MacIntyre fiddles with his phone for a minute, then hands it to Dana.
"So why did she lie to us?" asks Dana.
"Presumably, because she doesn't want her parents to know what she'd been up to while they've been out of the country."
"And, of course, she wouldn't want them to know she'd been raped either."
"She likely figures what she doesn't remember - or chooses not to remember - won't hurt them."
"You think she does remember?"
"Yes. From her injuries, I'd say she fought back - meaning she was with it enough to realize what was happening - unlike most of the other cases we know about."
"So we finally have victim who could testify about what happened to her but won't because she doesn't want her parents to know."
"Well, that really sucks."
"Yeah, Constable, it does."
"So what's next?"
"Let's see what Toby's got for us and go from there."