Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2012 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved
Her legs wobbled under her and she found herself sitting next to him. The tech for building security was commonplace. But a whole country…? “Wouldn’t you be better asking your military about this sort of thing?”
He brushed at his mustaches. “Ah, no. We are a small country with little in terms of development resources. But you and your company have just the combination of initiative and experience that I am looking for.” He took her hands and held them tightly. “I’m sure we will work well together.”
She managed to squirm her fingers out of his hands and had to steel herself against shaking the ick off them. “I’ll have to check with the vice president of development on this, Col. Fahrrad. Unless you’d like to speak with her yourself?”
“No, sweetheart, I’d rather with you.” Again that oily grin. “Such beautiful, unusual hair.”
She shuddered even now, remembering it.
Two days later, as she left work, men had kidnapped her. They hadn’t said a word, but they didn’t have to. Their guns spoke for them quite clearly. She knew better than to get into their car but with four of them grabbing her and carting her off she didn’t have much choice. She tried to not be a complete victim; as they dragged her past the clipped hedges she struggled briefly, chucking her briefcase surreptitiously into the nearest bush. She hoped it would alert someone, anyone that something serious had happened to her.
She only started suspecting the Middle Yemen connection when her kidnappers broke their silence. Only one spoke English. She didn’t recognize their native language but she overheard a conversation punctuated quite frequently by Col. Fahrrad’s name.
And then they had arrived in that place of sand and sweltering heat and dank buildings, and produced
skimpy teddy, which they had requested , quite
nicely if you didn’t consider the rude manner in which they had pointed at her
and the guns they had used to point with , that she
put on. Then they had burned her own clothes.
“Hey, I might need those,” she protested.
“Not with the Colonel, Madam,” the bilingual one answered.
They went into the city to celebrate, leaving one guard behind. Maybe they thought she wouldn’t attempt escape since she was nearly nude. Well, she was modest, but she valued her life more highly than modesty.
The remaining kidnapper was relieving himself in the next room, and she simply let herself out. She snuck down the stairs.
And saw the other three men, just entering the lobby, carrying food and drink. Apparently they’d only gone out to get it.
She dove behind a large sculpture that looked like a curled up triangle. For a moment it seemed as if the men hadn’t seen her, but an old woman coming down the stairs stopped and pointed at her, eyes bugging from under her veil. Desperately Vickie put finger to lips, hoping the sign for shh translated. It must not have because the woman started yelling at her.
The three kidnappers came running. Vickie had then begun the flight which had brought her to that truck of a man. To Cliff.
[MH1]Compare isn't the best tool to show what happened here. The rule of thumb I learned from Donald Maass is to delete all backstory from the first 30 pages and if you still need it, try to make it its own scene later. In this case the reader was left with too many questions too late. Rather than intriguing it was confusing. So I picked up a couple chunks of scenes, Vickie's initial meeting with Fahrrad and her visit with Kulinahr after the escape, and moved them earlier.