The Thread: Graceland
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With so many newbies around, it’s probably best to start this with a description. The Thread series is a collaborative writing exercise in which writers take turns building on a single story by adding roughly “500” word sections. These sections are posted in the “comments” box so that the story can be read as a single tale. Please, do not post comments in the comment box as it will disrupt the flow of the story. Below are just a few rules to help this run smoothly:
1. If you’re interested in writing the next section, please come to the forum named, “The Thread: Graceland,” and leave a note. This is to avoid having two or more writers working on the same section. You could say something like, “I’m gonna do the part after Beckett Grey.”
2. Keep you sections to around 500 words. I’d like many people to be able to participate, and this should enable it.
3. End your section with the characters on the verge of an “event.” This will make it easier for the next writer to pick up where you left off.
4. Follow the characteristics that have been established for characters. If in one section “Johnny” has blonde hair, then he should still have blonde hair in your part too.
5. Do not post comments in the comments box. That space is for the continuation of the story. If you wish to leave comments, please do so at the forum.
6. Please submit your story within 48 hours of signing up. This is to prevent the thread from being bogged down.
7. Above all else, have fun, be creative, and get involved! These can be a heck of a lot of fun but it depends on you. Feel free to add or delete characters and to take the storyline in whatever direction you feel necessary. It’s really the only way something like this can work.
Thank you. Now on with the story.
Graceland, a greasy place modeled after Las Vegas and Atlantic City, is populated with all things sinful, like hotel casinos, night clubs, strip joints and prostitutes, and while its surface seems somewhat seedy its dark underbelly is even more so.
The restaurant named the Mirage is strategically located on the waterfront. It caters to Graceland’s elite and as a result, the dining area is open and well lit. People eat here more to be seen than the cuisine, which is expensive and served in small portions on oversized plates. The seating area is tiered with the highest level located in the back next to the large glass windows that afford these powerful diners a spectacular view of the bay and the yachts that travel there.
The bar is tucked in a shadowy corner and it is here that Kyle sips on his gin martini. Assassins rarely have the social clout necessary to garner a table, and he is no different. He stares out over the crowd of mostly “have-s,” who are being served by the “have not-s,” when he notices them all turn to face the door. It is the signal that his mark has arrived.
In a city where celebrities play it is unusual, if not altogether unlikely, that a police detective would rise to such status, but Det. Paul Landsdale has done just that. Graceland’s most famous son glides into the restaurant and receives the adulation that is usually reserved for conquering princes. As if they rehearsed, the diners all stand and clap. Some call out and wave and Kyle cannot help but notice the number of women who appear to be blushing.
“Shit on a stick,” the assassin says under his breath as a great ball of envy forms in his belly. He turns to the bartender for a re-fill, but the young man is applauding and staring at the detective in such a way that one would think they were lovers. “Oh forget it,” Kyle says, “and the same goes for your tip.”
The bartender doesn’t seem to notice and this irritates Kyle all the more. “What is it about this cop?” he thinks. And though Kyle would never admit it aloud, it is obvious that the young detective is quite handsome. His shoulder-length brown hair is combed back off of his forehead and his face is decorated with classic features that appear in the shape of his nose to the dimple that adorns the cop’s strong chin. Kyle cannot help but rub his own nose and chin for a comparison and the fact that they both feel weak and small does nothing to his dwindling self-esteem.
“Fuck him, the city and everyone one who loves him. Tomorrow a new name will be on this city’s lips and it will be mine.” Kyle removes the pistol from his pocket and takes aim. For a moment, he imagines the bullet ripping through the popular officer. He pictures the diners screaming, crying and mourning as the watch their hero collapse in a bloody heap.
Inside, the assassin is filled with an immediate sense of joy and buoyed by this feeling, he gladly pulls the trigger.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.