Mark Terry

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

So I Re-Wrote It Like This

December 6, 2006
I don't know that this is where we'll end up, by I re-write it along the lines of those suggestions you made:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The traitor ran and Monaco Grace went after him. He let go of the little girl and sprinted down Jalan Petaling, dodging around shoppers in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. He hit a table, flipping it and its multi-colored umbrella with a crash. A couple shoppers screamed. The nearby vendor yelled at him.

Monaco stopped by the little girl just long enough to say, “Don’t go away. Stay right here.” The little girl looked blankly at her. Dammit, thought Monaco. She only speaks Malay. She tried again in Cantonese, but still got no response.

She turned to chase the traitor, whose name was Christopher Augustine. Augustine glanced over his shoulder, eyes wide. He crashed into a table containing hundreds of watches. The watch seller screamed at him as Augustine untangled himself from the collapsed table, scrambled to his feet and ran.

Monaco was only a dozen feet behind him. She could take him out now if she wanted to, but the crowd was watching.

It was the little girl, dammit. Why did he have the little girl with him?

Abruptly Monaco melted into a booth selling DVDs. She suspected they were pirated copies of American films, probably dubbed with Malaysian actors speaking in Malay or Chinese. The proprietor, a fat woman with cheeks like greasy donut holes, jabbered at her in Malay. Monaco answered in Cantonese, saying, “Did you see that idiot? I thought he was insane.”

She turned, pulled up the hood of the sweatshirt she wore beneath her jacket, and strolled away into a market selling vegetables and fruit. Keeping an eye peeled for Augustine, she thumped a melon, sniffed a pineapple, picked up a lime, all the while studying the crowd.

She had been hunting him for a week, watching him as he moved from his apartment to the government offices of the Jabatan Riskan Persekutuan, the Malaysian Federal Intelligence Department.

Monaco didn’t think the JRP trusted Christopher Augustine. It had taken her two full days to figure out their surveillance routines, mostly because they were so damned sloppy she couldn’t believe it. Somebody kept an eye on him at all times, but most of the time it was a single person in a vehicle outside whatever building he was in. Either they didn’t think he was in much danger or they didn’t much care.

The truth was, he was in grave danger. From her.

The United States government had made a formal appeal to the Malaysian government for Christopher Augustine’s return to the states for trial, along with the prototype computer chip he had stolen from a National Security Agency facility where he had been employed as a computer engineer.

The Malaysian government had responded by indicating they knew nothing about Christopher Augustine.

When it became clear that the Malaysian government was protecting Augustine and had every intention of utilizing the chip for their own uses, Alex Bright, Monaco’s boss in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Special Operations Division, had slapped a TOP SECRET folder on her desk and said, “You’re going to KL and you’re teaching the fucking Malaysians a thing or two about screwing with us.”




Like I said, I may change it, but for now I'm going to live with this and move on.

Best,
Mark Terry

4 Comments:

Anonymous spyscribbler said...

Much, much better! I'm really intrigued. And I'd read on!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous gregory huffstutter said...

I think this is a much stronger opening. A lot more viceral! I did a quick line edit to help streamline a few sentances and smooth the 'traitor' to 'Augustine' transition.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The traitor ran and Monaco Grace went after him. The traitor let go of the little girl and sprinted down Jalan Petaling, dodging around shoppers in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. He hit a table, flipping it and its multi-colored umbrella with a crash. A couple shoppers screamed. The nearby vendor yelled at him.

Monaco stopped by the little girl just long enough to say, “Don’t go away. Stay right here.” The little girl looked blankly at her. Monaco tried again in Cantonese, still no response.

She turned to chase the traitor, Christopher Augustine, who glanced over his shoulder, eyes wide. He crashed into a table containing hundreds of watches. The watch seller screamed as Augustine untangled himself from the collapsed table, scrambled to his feet.

Monaco was only a dozen feet behind. She could take him out now, but the crowd was watching.

It was the little girl, dammit. Why did he have the little girl with him?

Abruptly, Monaco ducked into a booth selling bootleg DVDs. The proprietor, a fat woman with cheeks like greasy donut holes, jabbered at her in Malay. Monaco answered in Cantonese, saying, “Did you see that idiot? I thought he was insane.”

She turned, pulled up her sweatshirt’s hood of the sweatshirt, and cut through the vegetable and fruit market. Keeping an eye peeled for Augustine, she thumped a melon, sniffed a pineapple, picked up a lime, all the while studying the crowd.

She had been hunting him for a week, watching as he shuttled between his apartment to the government offices of the Jabatan Riskan Persekutuan, the Malaysian Federal Intelligence Department.

Monaco didn’t think the JRP trusted Christopher Augustine. It had taken her two full days to figure out their surveillance routines, mostly because they were so damned sloppy she couldn’t believe it. Somebody kept an eye on him at all times, but most of the time it was a single person in a vehicle outside whatever building he was in. Either they didn’t think he was in much danger or they didn’t much care.

The truth was, he was in grave danger. From her.

The United States government had made a formal appeal to the Malaysian government for Christopher Augustine’s return to the states for trial, along with the prototype computer chip he had stolen from a National Security Agency facility where he had been employed as a computer engineer.

The Malaysian government had responded by indicating they knew nothing about Christopher Augustine.

When it became clear that the Malaysian government was protecting Augustine and had every intention of utilizing the chip for their own uses, Alex Bright, Monaco’s boss in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Special Operations Division, had slapped a TOP SECRET folder on her desk and said, “You’re going to KL and you’re teaching the fucking Malaysians a thing or two about screwing with us.”

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Yes, I think this opening is more exciting. Of course, no matter how many ways you write something there's always another way.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Exactly, Eric. And I note that Robert Gregory Browne just asked a day or so ago on his blog when it was time to stop tweaking...

4:38 AM  

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