I was supposed to write a character sketch of a hero or a villain for crime piece. I chose a villain because they are much more interesting!

Genre Writing – Week One

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On December 30th Adeline Veroe hurriedly left her office in her black sedan. To the casual observer she looked to be in her early thirties, blonde haired and blue eyed with, at this particular time, a rather grumpy disposition. She worked in an office building so she was obviously some type of business woman, and the ring she wore indicated that she was someone’s wife.

A more intent observer might have wondered what kind of business was run without clients or other employees, as no one ever came to the office. Or they may find the number of unsavoury locations she travelled to after hours to be quite strange for an ordinary woman. The people she was meeting with would also have raised questions of their own.

Truth be told, Adeline Veroe was nothing she appeared to be. She was a business woman, but she dealt in secrets instead of goods or services. From an early age Adeline was very good at getting people to admit things they didn’t want too – it was a game she enjoyed. That talent lead to the realization that one “client’s” secret is another man’s treasure, a treasure that was sometimes worth a fortune. If there was no one to sell the secrets to, often the client would pay to make sure it stayed a secret.

Even with all of Adeline’s second-hand secrets, the world was a difficult place, made more difficult by the legal system. Her first, and only, run in with the law led to a year of probation and a less-than-amicable divorce from her husband of three years, whom she had never let in on the secret of her livelihood. The probation was expunged from her record – judges, it seemed, had secrets too – but Adeline had learned her lesson. She not only had to make sure her clients were too scared to ever go to the authorities, but also that they would never know who was extorting them.

From that point on Adeline split her business into two parts: the recruitment and reconnaissance of new clients, and collecting payments. She no longer handled either part of the operation personally; instead she became a puppet master, sending her employees toward specific people and allowing them to do their work. None of the employees really knew who they worked for. Adeline met with them as a middle man, a secretary to the “real” person in charge, at a variety of different locations.

But on December 30th Adeline could feel the walls beginning to close in on her. One of her new employees was most likely some type of police informant. She could easily have gotten rid of the man, but his presence alone meant that the authorities were going to start searching for her in earnest. She had more money than any five people could ever need and a plan to escape the country for good. But she thought, wouldn’t it be fun to turn everyone’s world upside down before I disappear? She laughed to herself as she drove. They all deserved it for making her run away in the first place.

 

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