I’m trying to decide which project I’m going to work on for NaNoWriMo this year.
As usual, I have a choice of stories and I’ve narrowed it down to three. I’m taking a look at each of them, in turn.
The final one is,
Crime of the Century.
A time travel caper.
We all have crazy ideas when we’ve had a bit to drink. Steff’s was for the perfect crime.
All you needed was an old newspaper.
And a time machine.
You could go back and steal something that nobody would ever admit to owning.
You couldn’t get caught, they wouldn’t be looking for you.
Besides, there was already someone else to take the blame.
This novel is set in at least three different times, for reasons that will become obvious. Normally, I’m not a big fan of writing about time travel, but this idea is so simple.
I’m surprised that nobody has already thought of it.
It’s based on a real event. What happens in my version is just one of the possibilities.
Here are the first few paragraphs, just to give you some idea.
The noise was getting louder, as well as the sound of shovels and drills, you could hear people talking. We had all that we could carry in our backpacks and had managed to close up the safe-deposit boxes, so it now looked like we had never been here in the vault.
“Where are you, Roger?” called Steff, Roger was our getaway man, without him we were stuck here, at the mercy of the approaching tunnellers, and we did not want to have to explain ourselves to them.
Roger wandered around the corner, clutching a small package, “look what I found,” he said, “more diamonds.”
“Never mind them, just get your contraption fired up and get us out of here.”
“OK,” he said, pulling the innocent-looking box from his pocket, “2115 here we come.”
We linked arms as he pushed buttons. In front of us, I saw a small hole appear in the wall and heard a triumphant cry as the scene dissolved. Now we were in a dark alleyway. Ahead, I could hear the noises of a busy city.
Roger looked at the box, “Two hundred yards east,” he said, “let’s go.”
Holding hands, we set off down the alley. It looked like we had got away with it, so far.
It had started off as one of those drunken conversations. One that all poor students have. The three of us, sat around the lounge of our shared flat at one in the morning, after a few too many drinks, talking about how we could be rich without really putting too much effort into it.
Steff suggested committing what she thought was a perfect crime. Except, as we were all more than a little drunk, it took a while to work out what it was.
“What about if you stole something that nobody could admit existed?” she asked.
“What do you mean, Steff,” I said. “If they couldn’t admit to owning it, how would you know they had it?”
“No,” she shook her head, “that’s not what I mean. You didn’t know it existed until it was stolen.”
“Then that makes even less sense,” said Roger. “If it’s already been stolen, we can’t steal it.”
Steff was getting frustrated by our inability to see what must have been perfectly clear to her, “no, you don’t understand, I mean that they can’t report it stolen because they can’t admit that they had it in the first place.”
“But, you said that it’s already gone,” I said.
She gave me a triumphant grin, “how about if we steal it first.”
“How are we supposed to do that?” asked Roger. “We’d need a time machine to do it.”
She nodded furiously, in that half-drunk state where everything made sense. She started jabbering about newspapers and tunnels and holes in the wall. I’d obviously drunk too much beer and was having trouble grasping all the details.
Mind you, Roger seemed to be having trouble as well. He was less drunk than me and way cleverer, so it must have been pretty complicated.
“Tell us again, Steff,” I said. “Slowly.”
“Try to make sense this time,” added Roger.
“In the morning,” she said, “I’m going to bed.”
Do you want to know where it goes from here? Is this what I should be working on this November?
I’m going to have a think about which one I’d like to carry on with.
In two weeks, I’ll be announcing the winner.
Why not comment below and give me your thoughts?
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