Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 20

Title: Not What She Seems
Genre: Mystery/Suspense

The telephone rang for the zillionth time that morning, and Samantha bristled. Mondays are always like this, she thought. Everybody and their dog, and their dog's fleas, calling here.


"Paul Berman Insurance, this is Samantha speaking, how may I direct your call?" She leaned back in her flimsy build-it-yourself task chair, certain that one of these days the back was going to snap and send her to the floor.


Samantha could hear Paul on the phone in his office behind her. "I'm sorry, Mr. Berman is on the phone right now, would you like me to put you through to his voice mail?" She tapped her pen on her desk. "All right, please hold." With a little more force than she meant to, she pressed a button on the phone and hung up.


She loathed this job. She hated the cheap plastic plants strewn about the reception area, the pea-green drapes from the 1950's, and the way Paul insisted she answer the phone. There were only two agents in the office for heaven's sake. She felt idiotic every time she said, 'How may I direct your call?'


The phone rang again, and she gritted her teeth. She wondered if anyone would notice if the line became unplugged for a while. Surprisingly, she heard Courtney's high-pitched voice coming through the receiver.


"Samantha, you're not gonna believe this. Lana's husband called her from the station today. They got a phone call from Emily Grant. She said she's gonna come turn herself in!"


13 comments:

Yunaleska said...

I think the secondary character is Paul...he seems like a slavedriver, leaving everything for Samantha. He also seems very full of himself. I don't like him, but as a character he is real.

fairchild said...

Hmm. There only seems to be one char in here so I'm assuming Samantha is the secondary character in a POV switching story? I could really feel her angst for her job. I think she comes out well in this piece.

Sponge said...

Samantha is not what she seems...

She is developed enough to be your MC (visible and can hear her), and she technically is the only character here except for Courtney (whose voice is described and phone-dialogue worded well enough that I can hear her).

But I do know she is the SC.

So nicely done.

Blodwyn said...

I'm confused about who the secondary character is after having read the other posts so it's a bit hard to comment. Paul is a realistic boss, but one-dimensional here. Samantha seems like a MC so is well rounded.

Luc2 said...

I kno this piece quite well, so I can say no-one in this scene is an MC. All SC, and quite well portrayed, IMO.

Lori said...

First off- I LOVE Samantha's voice. It's sassy and sarcastic and fresh. However, I don't think Paul counts as a SC in this scene, as he doesn't interact with Samantha directly, nor would I say Courtney is a full SC yet since we only get her for the last two lines of the section. Right now, with only two lines to judge from. there's nothing unique about her.

Alicia said...

If I hadn't looked through the comments of people who know your characters, I wouldn't have been able to tell that Samantha is an SC. From this scene, she reads like an MC -- which would be a good thing. She felt rushed and irritated. I like her voice.

Just_Me said...

All I see is the recptionist and I'm not sure if she's the MC or not. None of the other characters moved out from the background. Sorry.

Victorine said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! Yes, this is a pov shifting story, so Samantha is the SC. I appreciate all your thoughts so much!

disorderly said...

Wow. Samantha comes across loud and clear. (Yes, I cheated: I read your explanation of multiple viewpoints.) I like her, and she seems very well-drawn to me. :-)

RedDuck said...

I was thinking that Samantha must be the SC, since the whole scene was about her. If so, she seems very realistic. I love the line about there only being two agents and she still has to ask how to direct the call. That was awesome.

Jessica said...

Samantha is your SC? That's what I got, anyway. It's obvious that she hates her job. :)

Anonymous said...

From the excerpt, I couldn't tell that this was an SC. Her POV dominates the section and I don't see her interact with anyone else.

That said, now that I know she's a POV character at some point in the story, I think you've drawn her well enough that when we get her POV, I'll have enough info to slide effortlessly into that section. Good work.

Kizmet