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Past or Present

Okay, I’ve had my book in both past and present tense, and I am STILL not sure which one is the way to go… so I have the first few lines written BOTH ways for your viewing pleasure.


Here it is in present… this is the way I wrote most of the book:

I hold my breath and dive into the crawl space just before the beam of a flashlight sweeps across the wall.

The echo of police boots trails away while I silently count to thirty-to make sure they’re gone. I exhale, and check for the gem in my pocket.

Still there. Good.

Slipping out of the small opening, I look back at the glass case that held the Queen’s Ruby moments ago.  In a few seconds, an entire team of forensic specialists will show up to comb this place for evidence, and I can’t be here for that.

Frantically, I survey the room trying to decide on an exit strategy. Above me there’s a high ceiling with big metal pipe beams criss-crossed in a design more fashion than function. In the middle is a huge octagon shaped skylight with several smaller windows connected together.

That’s what I saw in my drawing.

I snatch the grappling hook off my black patent leather belt and shoot it towards the ceiling next to the skylight.  Missing the beams entirely, the hook smashes to the floor. The loud clank against the tile ricochets all around me and down the hall-alerting everyone to my whereabouts.

Crap! I push the retract button, and the hook snakes back to me, nicking my black nail polish. Oh great, I just painted these today, too. I shoot it once more and watch it wrap around a beam three times.

Tugging hard to make sure it’s secure, I grab the end with both hands, push the button, and flutter up to the ceiling. Balancing my feet on the beam, I carefully reach above me and pop open the skylight to squeeze through as the barking dogs scurry into the room below.

Safe on the roof, I reach to my belt for the overly complicated phone. It almost slips through my sweat soaked hands as I dial.

“Sketch here requesting an immediate extract. Pinging my location now.” Snapping the phone shut, I activate my GPS and wait.

And here it is in past:

I held my breath and dove into the crawl space just before the beam of a flashlight swept across the wall.

The echo of police boots trailed away while I silently counted to thirty-to make sure they’d left. I exhaled, and checked for the gem in my pocket.

Still there. Good.

Slipping out of the small opening, I looked back at the glass case that held the Queen’s Ruby just moments ago.  With only a few seconds before an entire team of forensic specialists showed up to comb the place for evidence, I needed to get out of there.

Frantically, I surveyed the room deciding on an exit strategy. Above me was a high ceiling with big metal pipe beams criss-crossed in a design more fashion than function, and in the middle was a huge octagon shaped skylight with several smaller windows connected together.

That’s what I saw in my drawing.

I snatched the grappling hook off my black patent leather belt and shot it towards the ceiling next to the skylight.  Missing the beams entirely, the hook smashed to the floor. The loud clank against the tile ricocheted all around me and down the hall-alerting everyone to my whereabouts.

Crap!

I pushed the retract button, and the hook snaked back to me, nicking my black nail polish.

Oh great, I just painted these today, too.

I shot it once more and it wrapped around a beam three times.

Tugging hard to make sure it was secure, I grabbed the end with both hands, and fluttered up to the ceiling. Balancing my feet on the beam, I carefully popped open the skylight to squeeze through, as the barking dogs scurried into the room below.

Safe on the roof, I reached to my belt for the overly complicated phone. It almost slipped through my sweat soaked hands as I dialed.

“Sketch here requesting an immediate extract. Pinging my location now.” Snapping the phone shut, I activated my GPS and waited.

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