(This sample from day 5 falls just past the 10000 word mark. Linda is Daniel’s sister.)
He was telling Sanjay about the ‘offer’, as he called it with air quotation marks, from Quintex, when his phone rang. He unplugged it from the charger to answer.
“Linda.” Photo call display told him who was calling.
“Daniel, we have to talk.”
“You mean you talk and I listen.” He replied holding the receiver away from his ear.
“I’m not in the mood for your wise cracks this early in the day.” Her voice seemed to echo off the kitchen ceiling. “I’ll expect you at the FairVista store by ten.”
He brought the phone to talking distance. “Not unless I teleport. I’ll be there when I get there. Eleven at the earliest.”
“Get your houseboy to drop you off.”
Dan rolled his eyes to Sanjay’s frown. “She’ll never forgive you, will she.”
“I can hear you.” his sister said.
“Well, so can Sanjay. Trying using your inside voice. Oh, I forgot you don’t have one.”
Linda had never learned to modulate, as his mother called not shouting. Even quiet conversations ramped up to her shouting. He often wondered if she has some sort of hearing problem but the one time he had suggested she get her hearing checked she went even more ballistic than usual.
“I’ll be expecting you.”
The line went dead.
“Fuck, you’d think she’d learn to say hello and goodbye.” Dan shook his head.
“Family is like that. I don’t think my mother ever asked me how I was doing before she detailed how my sisters were doing.”
“I’d better get going if I expect to be at the big shop by eleven.” Even if he caught the right transit connections, travel time was nearly forty minutes. A trip he would make no more than twice a week. Despite her brusqueness his sister did run the business well. She enjoyed the interaction with customers much more than he did.
“Not going to bike out there?” Sanjay asked.
“No thanks. The war on cyclists is as bad the city’s supposed war on cars.”
The door bell rang.
“Who could it be at this time of the morning?” Sanjay asked as he went to answer it.
“Is my brother decent?”
“Good morning to you too, Linda.” Sanjay said as she brushed past him.
“I was outside already Daniel. I knew you’d dawdle.”
She took a mug out of the sink, rinsed it and poured herself a cup of coffee.
“I don’t suppose you don’t have real cream in here do you?” She pulled the fridge open. “I guess this’ll do. Not two percent I hope.” She took two swallows. “Not half-bad. You ready yet. I don’t have all day.”
Daniel put his loafers on, checked his shoulder bag to make sure he had the missing children photos he’d printed off the TV. As expected the quality wasn’t great but would do for now. He followed her out to the car.
“New?” He ran his hand along the hood.
“Don’t give me that look.” she opened her door. “Yearly lease means I can upgrade every year. Why own anyway? You should try it.”
He got in. “Bike styles don’t change that rapidly.”
“Tell me about it.”
She turned at the end of the street and headed to the Expressway.
“What is going on Linda?”
“Those pricks at FairVista say we aren’t making a large enough profit for them. Look, you know we are breaking even at least. It takes a few years for a business to really get established. I’ve explained all that to them. Even their accountants say we have a sound business plan but to them sound means faster profits.”
“Uh huh. Tell me something you haven’t told me before. I warned you that the profit clause might bite us in the ass one day.”
“Who expected it to bite us so soon. That’s what I’m saying. But I have an opportunity that may increase profits for a minimal outlay.”
“Linda we’ve spent enough getting the new shop set up. I’ve already split off best selling stuff to you. Or is this another attempt to pressure me into setting up shop with you?”
“No, nothing like that little brother. The people from Cuppa’s have approached me.”
“What? You want to start a coffee shop somewhere?”
“In the store. It’ll be like Starbucks and Indigo. Timmie’s and Shoppers.”
“How much of an outlay?”
“For the two locations a couple of hundred grand.” she said quickly.
“FairVista and Queen.”
“What about the Classic.”
“That lease is coming up soon. Daddy always said follow the money. Cuppa’s is the money.”
“Classic is doing fine. Better than ever in fact with the new condo complex.”
“Why do you always fight me Daniel?”
“I didn’t fight you on the new shop did I?”
“I’d call refusing to move all the business to it putting up a fight.”
“If I remember correctly you thought having two locations would reflect what a success the business was. The big expansion. Right. Once FairVista was established then there’d be franchise opportunities to sell.”
“Daddy said you have to dream big to get big. Besides Peggy (their mother) thinks it’s a great idea. She’s already signed the agreement.”
She pulled into the mall lot and parked behind the shop.
“Mom would sign anything you asked.” Dan wanted to get angry but he admired the way his sister often went ahead and did the ground work. “But …”
“I know you have the final say. If Daddy knew …” she trailed off.
His father had died before Daniel had come out to his family. He’d kept that part of his life a secret from them. They didn’t know until he showed up at the funeral with Trevor, his lover at the time.
His Dad’s will split the business three-ways with Dan getting sixty per cent, his sister thirty-five and, as long as she lived, his mother held the five per cent. Daniel held the controlling interest so that the business would retain the family name. There was an in trust bequest for Daniel’s first born.
Linda had fumed and was sure his Dad would never have split the business in such a way if he’d known Daniel was gay. After all she was married and already children why should he get the bigger share.
“Sorry.” She touched his shoulder. “I didn’t mean to go off on you like that.”
“Done is done. Sis.”
She glared at him. She hated to be called ‘sis.’
as I post this today I expect to be hitting the 40,000 word mark 🙂 by day’s end.
One of the major domestic relationships is introduced – his sister Linda – as you might tell I’m thinking out loud as I world build their business set-up, their relationship as well. Another character not to be trusted. [business names open to change].
On Thursday – day 13 – I hit my first real stumbling block – partially because Thursday is one of the days when I don’t have the same focused time for writing but mainly because I was a bit lost. I started one scene two times and pushed as hard as I could but got no sense of flow – I call these false starts – I’m keeping them, for now, to perhaps pillage when I edit & also they do count as part of the NaNo word count.
my back is cold
The issue I stumbled over was Dan’s relationship with the RCMP. I ended up doing some research into the RCMP, how they function in each province. They do have a digital forensics division. It occurred to me to make Dan a former member of that division. Why did he leave? Sexual harassment of course. As if that hasn’t been in the news.
This creates for him a huge new backstory that can continue – he was accused of the harassment by a male coworker – etc etc. He’d cleared of the charges but his reputation has been sullied and he opts to leave the force. This plot addition is the result of letting things flow.
one black sneaker
It also means in rewrite I can weave this back story to fill in his character in even more. I know this is one of those stock crime fiction tropes – the dismissed officer seeking redemption – if it works why not use it with my own little spin.
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more Christmas kitch– sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet