Crystal Clock

Sam opened the hotel room door to see a rather large gentleman standing in the hall.

The big bloke mumbled something, and Sam was about to ask him to repeat it when he took a swing at Sam.
A roundhouse right which was an inappropriate punch under the circumstances.
Sam moved back slightly, and the punch landed on the door frame. The large gentleman hesitated for a moment, but the pain in his hand didn’t seem to worry him.
He mumbled something again, and this time Sam recognised the words, ‘Sam Bennett’.
Sam decided to hit the large gentleman as it seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances.
He hit the large gentleman several times, but it didn’t have much effect.
Sam hit him in the mouth a couple of more times, but this only made it harder to understand what the large gentleman was trying to say.
Before Sam hit him again, he discerned the words ‘stay away from.’ ‘Stay away from ………. Sam Bennett?’
That didn’t make any sense.

It was at this point that Scarlett intervened.
Her first blow struck Sam on the shoulder, and it hurt quite a lot.
Sam wondered if Scarlett had found a hammer somewhere in the suite and he hoped that her aim would improve quickly because he was not sure how many of these mistimed hammer blows he could take.
Scarlett’s hammer was, in fact, a lovely little crystal travelling clock that her grandmother had given her when she started her nursing training, it even had an inscription, ‘To Scarlett on the commencement of your nursing journey.’ There was a date and a ‘love grandma.’
Scarlett’s mistimed blow momentarily distracted Sam and gave the large gentleman a chance to catch his breath. He was definitely mumbling through broken teeth, but Sam clearly heard, “Stay away from the Leveson case, or it’ll be too bad for you, Sam Bennett.”
Sam was just about to be pleased with finally deciphering the message when Scarlett regained her aim.
The reliable little crystal travelling clock came into violent contact with the large gentleman’s skull and after a moment of silence, the fight came to an end.
The large gentleman lay motionless on the rug, but there was a disturbing groan.
This soon stopped.
He wasn’t dead as it turned out, but he wasn’t going to be conscious for a long while either.
Scarlett stood looking at the crumpled man lying on her rug.
She wondered if her little crystal clock would need repairing.
She also wondered if this was a taste of the life that Sam had lived before he married her.
The blood that dripped off the clock and onto her shoes only added to her wondering.
Sam stared at Scarlett.
She was standing there, holding her weapon of choice, blood slowly dripping.
She looked beautiful and a little stunned.
Nurses tend to repair wounds rather than create them.
His Scarlett was a woman to be reckoned with.
He was very proud of her for coming to his rescue.
He had been doing quite well in the tussle, but he was not too proud to accept help when it was needed, but he did hope that her aim would improve should another occasion arise.
His shoulder, face and knuckles hurt a lot, but the rush that arrives at the end of a successful bout would keep him going for a while.
The apartment had sustained a deal of damage as the two men fought and there were bits and pieces of some expensive furniture strewn about the floor.
Housekeeping was not going to be happy.
Scarlett came out of her temporary trance and Sam smiled at her.
“Good job, slugger, you saved my bacon.”
“My pleasure, but I think I broke my clock. Did I kill him?”
Sam checked. “No, but he is going to need an aspirin.”
“Do we know him?”
“No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure that he was sent to deliver a message.”
“I didn’t see any papers.”
“It wasn’t that kind of delivery. It was the kind where you definitely remember the words because they are pounded into your skull. It seems that someone doesn’t want me on the Leveson case. I do wish I could convince everyone that I don’t want to be on the Leveson case.”
“You know about these things, Sam, what are we going to do now?”
“First, we call the cops and get them to take this character away. Then we spend a lot of time answering annoying questions. Then we talk to Inspector Blank because I think I know where he should be looking.

A long hot bath would be nice, then I think we need to get out of this bomb site, and maybe a move to another room would be a good idea.”


The hotel was efficient and discreet.
They had Sam and Scarlett in a new suite within a matter of minutes. Sam soaked in the bath and took note of where the bruises would be by tomorrow morning.
Spending time with the detective who had been dispatched to take their statement had given Sam a headache.
It was painful watching him laboriously writing in his notebook.
Sam closed his eyes and slowly slipped under the water.
It felt good, and he could hold his breath for a long time, but eventually, he would have to surface.
His mind was racing.
He didn’t want to be involved in this case, but it seemed that it didn’t make any difference what he wanted, he was in it.
Some of his best ideas had come to him while soaking in a hot bath.
It was true that his injuries were a distraction, but nevertheless, the ideas started to flow.
By the time he was dry and dressed, he had a pretty good idea who the murderer was. Maybe not the name just yet, but he knew where he came from and what he wanted.
You didn’t need to be a member of Mensa to work out that Leveson had stumbled onto something that someone didn’t want to be discovered. Something important; something worth killing for.

7 thoughts on “Crystal Clock

  1. Okay, pretty intriguing, but honestly – so much tell when you could be doing more show. The pieces that really worked were the description of Scarlett’s hammer – that just created a wonderful mental image. And the dialogue (“Good job, slugger…”) onwards was excellent. But I feel like there’s too much inner dialogue before this, that gets in the way of what is clearly some real action. Too many inner thoughts to keep that part of the story flowing. Give me more magical tidbits and snappy dialogue. The last part is also very heavy on narration more than active storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Trent, thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad you had fun with the piece. By now you are starting to figure out that I like ‘voice over’ aka first-person reporting. Last week’s piece was closer to this style than this weeks, but you know what I mean. This story is a reworking of a piece I wrote years ago. My style/voice has changed a bit since then, but essentially I write ‘first-person’ even when I’m not if you know what I mean. My editor is constantly on me about ‘show don’t tell’ and sometimes he is right, but in the long run, I write ‘voice over’. It’s the style of writing I love — Mammet, Chandler, King, Maugham, etc. I know it is an old fashioned way of writing, but it is my style. I’m glad you enjoyed the dialogue, it’s something I enjoy and I’m pretty good at it. See, SHE DIDN”T TURN UP. or BOSS LADY or THE TASTY PIG CAFE or YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS. For ‘first-person see SO MUCH DEPENDS ON A RED WHEELBARROW or THURSDAYS or TRAIN SLEEPER.
      Thanks again for taking the time. Keep those comments coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I get it. I love writing in first person too, also in current tense (I just posted a story like that). It’s a wonderful tense. I really like it, was just pointing out the tell/show dimension. May I ask who your editor is? Do you work with a professional editor?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Brian Buckley. He’s in the US. He’s very busy these days, but I always recommend his service when I run short writer’s courses. We hooked up a few years ago when he was establishing himself.

          I’m too poor to afford his services most of the time. He worked on KEEPER OF SECRETS and YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS. He gives comprehensive notes.


          • Links can be accessed through my page. At the top you will see ALL MY FICTION. The stories are listed with links. I run three short courses a year (sometimes more). Lately I have been doing courses on producing eBooks, audiobooks and paperbacks. It’s a lot of fun, but it takes me away from writing so I try to keep it down to only a few per year.

            Liked by 1 person

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