A Practice in Building Tension


Hello to all my Friends and Fans…

While I am fine tuning the next three parts to The Serial Killer of Bush Street, I thought I’d share this practice in tension building with you. In April I was given this prompt from the website Write to Done: She looked up from her writing. Was that a creak? But she’d oiled the hinges just yesterday. I dashed out the following:

April 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

She looked up from her writing. Was that a creak? But she’d oiled the hinges just yesterday. Gina’s mind delved further by evaluating everything about her one bedroom apartment on the third floor. If it’s not my front door, and not my bathroom, or bedroom door…it must be the steps outside my front door leading to the roof. Oh no. What if there’s a burglar trying to escape from the police again? I hope he runs into the wire clothesline and chokes. She heard the same creak again. He’s right outside my front door. Gina’s mind is racing now. Where could she hide? Did she lock the door? Of course! She scolds herself. You’ve always had the good habit of using the deadbolt. Why do you doubt yourself?

Heavens, living by yourself again, and living in this place, is making you nuts. You wanted peace and quiet and now you’ve isolated yourself and live like a hermit. Hiding in plain sight, you say? Among the Chinese in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown? Who are you kidding? You don’t even look Chinese anyore. Now, think again, why did you come back here to live, and who doesn’t want you here?

Gina’s mind worked on her at lightning speed as she hid behind the short sofa and stared underneath the front door, looking for the shadow of someone moving around outside. A strange odor seeped in. That smells like old cheese, thought Gina. Seconds later, a mouse scrambled in from underneath the door. When Gina saw it, she also saw the crumble of cheese pushed in ahead of it. Oh my God! Someone’s really out there! She raced for the telephone in the bedroom. As she ran through the kitchen, she heard the front door split open.


I hope you enjoyed the short moment. It’s not perfect… and I think there was a word limit. I had so much fun writing this I thought you would enjoy it, too. I really wanted to keep in touch with you sooner but just couldn’t throw out less than my best for the next few parts of The Serial Killer of Bush Street. Part 25 will be posted shortly. I’ve had a handful of MRIs and CTs lately. Can you imagine how exhausted I am mentally and emotionally? But now everything is fine. Hang in there with me!

Thank you!


Copyright 2014 MillieAnne Lowe, Orange County, California

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