This is an excerpt from chapter seven of my e-novel “Silent Murder” that takes place in 1927. Chet and Eveleen are husband and wife; he a screenwriter at Paramount, she a supporting actress. Pat is another screenwriter that Chet has agreed to work with, though doubts Pat will get to work on it. There has to this point been two murders that may have been connected.
This is the third book featuring Chet and Evelyn, but only the second involving a murder mystery.
The selection is a rough draft. What I am attempting in this scene is to show a character, rather than tell. A character’s action and description should indicate what type of person he is. Let me know if this works for you:
After introductions were made Eveleen got Pat a plate, which he piled high with what I had hoped was going to be my heaping plate of spaghetti, leaving me less than I expected, and less than I wanted, and after taking two pieces of garlic bread, leaving Eveleen and I with one each, I realized I could never work with this guy. I thought about stabbing his hand holding the fork which he twisted the spaghetti around on, but Eveleen sensing my food rage, gently patted, then held my hand. I glanced at her and seeing the look in her eyes, I gave up murderous thoughts and ate what was left of the spaghetti.
I noticed when Pat sat down his shoes were dirty, his pants and coat looked wrinkled, and when he took off his hat, his hair looked dirty and matted. He also had the smell of cheap booze.
I asked Pat how he was progressing with our screenplay, but his mouth was full, actually bulging with spaghetti and he could only murmur and nod his head up and down, so I assumed he was indicating things were going well.
Eveleen poured some wine for Pat and I sipped from my glass, while he grabbed his glass and took a good swallow, still with food in his mouth. Miraculously nothing spilled out, though his chin was red from the sauce.
Finally, like a man’s head submerged in water that reemerges gasping for air, Pat took a deep breath and slowly let the air out, letting fork-rounded piles of spaghetti work slowly down his throat, while he took another gulp of wine, then snatched his garlic bread and took a big bite.
Despite having more food on his plate then Eveleen and me, he finished when Evy and I were half done. He gave a contented sigh, looked around and saw a pie on the counter.
“Eveleen, that was wonderful. You continue to eat while I help myself to some pie.”
He got up, grabbed a nearby knife and cut a slice of apple pie, opened cupboards until he found a plate and sat down again. Naturally his slice was about a quarter of the pie.
I figured there was no point in talking while he shoveled a huge chunk into his mouth, moved it to the side of the mouth like a tobacco plug and asked if we had ice cream to go with the pie. After learning we had none, sighing as he shook his head, he attacked more pie. He finished about the time Eveleen and I were done with our spaghetti.
She cut me a slice of pie and herself one, then as we sat down, Pat got up and carved out another huge slice, sat down and engorged his mouth again. He reminded me of my old friend Charlie Faust, my teammate on the 1911 Giants. He ate food with as much relish and gusto as Pat, but with apple pie, a daily meal for Charlie, he ate with slow, sensual, delight.
When Pat finished his meal and burped quietly, the first thing he said was not thank you to Eveleen, but that Elmer Bishop, a sound technician at Columbia was found murdered on a stage at the studio.
The first time Chet and Eveleen meet they are in New York 1911 in “Loonies in the Dugout.” It is based on a true story and is a satire on fame and celebrity. The second book is “Loonies in Hollywood,” set in 1922, and is based on the true life murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor. The case remains unsolved, though in my fictional account, Chet does discover who killed Taylor.
Here is a link to my Amazon page. http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38