Does a book end the way a year ends?
January 1, 2020
I want to know how the book ends. At the moment, I have no idea. So I write on. I read on. Does it leave the reader feeling as if they know more than they really do?
A year is coming to a close.
We see it coming.
We know it’s on the way.
How will it end?
We hardly remember how it began.
I have the same feeling when fireballing my way toward the end of a book.
I’m in a hurry.
I want to know how it ends.
At the moment, I have no idea.
So I write on.
I read on.
That’s the magic of knocking out another book.
Like the old year, how does it end?
In 2019, I wrote three novellas featuring a rogue operative who has run out on the CIA.
He takes assignments no one else wants.
If he dies, no one will miss him.
The novellas are noir thrillers.
At the end of the year, I thought it would be interesting to go back and see how each of the thrillers ended.
Here’s what I found:
Lovely Night to Die:
He had left the lady in red an address.
Maybe she would come.
If she were smart, she wouldn’t.
He wouldn’t be there.
But the little old lady who ran the boarding house would know how to reach him.
She might have mercy on a beautiful, dark-haired attorney from Colorado.
She wouldn’t give anyone with a badge the time of day.
He closed his eyes and saw the image of Eleanor lying naked and alone on the bed.
She had still been sleeping when he left her.
Rainy Night to Die:
They rode along the coastline toward the canals of Vylkovo to begin their journey into the light of a new day and toward home.
The rain erased any trace of their footsteps.
Only the dead remained on a dark and rain-swept marshland, the dead and a single piece of Sheet music that Sand had left behind.
That’s what it was.
He thought Guns ‘n Roses had sung it.
He wasn’t for sure.
He couldn’t remember the roses.
Only the guns.
Thunder banged against the sky as if it were a hammer on a cold tin roof.
Lonely Night to Die:
The street preacher walked across the sidewalk toward him.
He was smiling, a measure of warmth in the midst of an ice storm.
“What happened?” Sand asked.
“A bullet can make a terrible hole,” Bible John said.
“It hurts like hell.”
The street preacher shrugged.
“It always does,” he said.
“Is this heaven?”
The smile faded from Bible John’s face.
“Or is this hell?” Sand asked.
He felt a hand on his arm.
He turned and looked into the face of an auburn-haired woman.
Her face aglow from the winter chill.
He had seen her before.
He knew her.
He remembered the scent of her perfume.
Lancôme La Vie Est Belle
That’s what she had said it was.
But Sand could not recall her name.
She appeared to be as tall as he was – with long legs hidden beneath a flowing topcoat as red as her lips.
She wore a strange smile, and her eyes were as green as the brand new dollar bills in his wallet.
Sand felt the damp cold gnaw at his bone marrow.
He shivered as sleet battered his face and peppered the sidewalk around him.
“Where are we?” he asked.
“You don’t know?”
He shook his head.
“This is Chicago,” she said.
Please click HERE to find Lonely Night to Die on Amazon.