Sixth Sense | Teen Ink

Sixth Sense

July 3, 2015
By WritinGirl PLATINUM, DeKalb, Illinois
WritinGirl PLATINUM, DeKalb, Illinois
20 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

He didn’t think he liked coffee. But that was before today. He twirled the empty cup around in his hands, wondering if you were supposed to drink the little grains that looked like dirt, swirling in the bottom.
“I hear you’re good at finding people.”
He looked up, his green eyes taking in the man who had just slid into his booth.
You can never be too sure with strangers.
“I read about you on the internet. You’re Austin Bradley, right?”
He was on the internet? Great. Just great. He scowled. They were going to pay for this.
“So can you help?”
Austin focused on the man once more.
“Depends on your problem.”
The man shifted slightly on the bench before speaking. “I need you to find my daughter.”
“Why would I help you?” Austin asked bluntly. He leaned against the back of the booth and raised an eyebrow, studying the man in front of him. Mostly bald, with a few wisps of hair that looked as if they were glued on to the sides of his head. A stomach that threatened to pop the buttons of off an expensive, pressed button-down. The man continually wiped away beads of sweat from his forehead with thick fingers.
“My name is Tom Carrey. I have money.”
Austin lowered his eyebrow and sighed inwardly. Money.
“I see,” he said, disinterested.
“Enough to make finding my daughter worthwhile,” Tom added.
“I see.” He said again.
The conversation paused as a group of teenagers noisily walked past. The fluorescent lights gleamed off their red jackets, which matched the interior of the diner perfectly. The noise of cars whizzing outside the large picture window blended with the low roar that was their conversation.
“Finding people is your job, isn’t it?” Tom asked once the group left.
“More like a hobby.” Austin corrected. “I don’t work for just anyone.”
“I am willing to pay.” Tom leaned forward across the table, his hands toying with the rings jammed tight on his fingers.
“You mentioned that.” Austin glanced around the diner, wishing Tom would just leave.
“Why can’t you find her?” Tom’s eyes were distraught.
Austin’s senses shifted into high alert. To his far right, down the street, another group was coming. He needed to escape. Now. He looked back at Tom, staring straight into his pleading gaze.
“I’m picky.” He stood up and tossed the paper cup--grains and all--into a nearby trash can. He pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket and threw a bill on the table.
“And I don’t like the internet.”
He strode out, shoving his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. Four steps out the door and they had reached the diner. Austin sped up his pace, ducking his head so that only his brown hair was visible over his jacket collar. Green bands flashed through his mind, reflecting in his eyes, warning him of their oncoming presence. He swerved to the left. Tall buildings lined the dirty sidewalks, closing in the throngs of city pedestrians. Gray skies, normal for November, cast muted light on the streets on New York. Austin glanced over his shoulder, sure that they were right behind. There. The bus was blocking them, but he could sense they were there. As he looked forward again, he slammed into someone rushing toward him.
“Watch it,” A voice grumbled.
Austin steadied himself and glanced up.
“Sorry--” He began. He froze. The other man was gone now, but Austin was sure he has seen a flicker of blue in those narrowed eyes...
He frowned. No. He was seeing things. He had to be seeing things. Austin shivered slightly, and it had nothing to do with the chilly air. He was getting paranoid. With a deep breath, he ducked into an office building that dominated the street corner. They were in sight now, and he hurried down a hallway, ignoring the confused receptionist. The hallway led to a door which opened to a bunch of cubicles. Austin scanned them, searching for an empty one. He nodded to a couple of the workers who glanced at him oddly, and walked over to an empty cubicle that would hide his face from the door.
“Excuse me, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.”
Austin turned to look at the owner of the accusing tone. She was standing to his right, arms folded, a suspicious look in her gray eyes.
“I’m picking something up for my friend who works here. It should be right over here..”
Austin brushed past the woman and sat down in the leather rolling chair. He opened a drawer and rifled through the contents, all too aware of the woman’s gaze boring into the back of his head. Suddenly the door flew open and they stormed in. Austin slipped off his jacket and slowly rolled his chair closer to the desk. He placed his fingers on the keyboard and began typing idly, not looking at them, just blending in with the dull thrum of regular office work. The woman had moved over to them and he saw her gesture emphatically toward the door out of the corner of his eye. Austin glanced at his watch. He really didn’t have time for this. The computer in front of him sprang to life, due to the idle typing. A picture of a woman filled the screen. Austin blinked. On second thought, he could make time.

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This article has 5 comments.

on Aug. 21 2015 at 7:51 pm
Kestrel135 PLATINUM, Waterford, Connecticut
43 articles 0 photos 256 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Respect existence or expect resistance"

You're welcome:) I'll definitely keep up on the continuuation of this piece if you decide to post it online!

on Aug. 20 2015 at 10:35 pm
WritinGirl PLATINUM, DeKalb, Illinois
20 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

First of all, thank you so much for your long comment. You have no idea how much I appreciate it! You're right, there is a typo in that sentence. It should be "off of an expensive, pressed, button-down." A lot of times people refer to a guy dress shirt as a "button-down", so I meant that as the noun, not an adjective, if that makes sense. And yes, I am planning on continuing this into a novel--in fact I have more written that I can post. So I will be incorporating the woman into the rest of the plot--it was just a teaser for now. Again, thank you so much. I am very encouraged by your comment and I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond!

on Aug. 18 2015 at 6:23 pm
Kestrel135 PLATINUM, Waterford, Connecticut
43 articles 0 photos 256 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Respect existence or expect resistance"

This had me hooked instantly! I loved how you introduced us to Austin with something everyone can relate to, then smoothly gave implicit hints as to who he is. You hid much of his character, spooning out doses of details for us to latch onto until we gradually built a vague idea of the character. I think this is a large part of what kept me enticed the whole time; it wasn't too vague that we didn't know what was going on, but it was vague enough that we had to keep reading to figure things out. Really well done here by telling us things about Austin implicitly instead of saying outright that he found people, that he didn't like Tom, that people were hunting him and might walk in the diner at any moment. Your writing was fluent, enticing, and exciting. Great character as well! It's hard to think of suggestions for this. Near the beginning, there was one phrase that was incomplete: "A stomach that threatened to pop the buttons of off an expensive, pressed button-down." I think you meant "off of"? Also, an expensive what? Hmm... The ending seemed a little blunt to me, that Austin would see the image of a woman on the screen and choose to stay. I want to know if he knows her - if so, maybe he has a moment of shock or vague remembrance? If he doesn't know her, why did he stay? Was she someone he felt something for just from an image? If you are planning to continue this as a longer story, these details might be something you incorporate later and don't need addressing at all here. As a reader, I just was too intrigued to be satisfied when this ended because I want to know why seeing her is so important to him. Other than those small little details, I loved stepping into Austin's world and learning who he was through such skillful writing. You did an amazing job, and I would love to read more if you are planning to expand this and continue with Austin as a protagonist! Very well done, and keep writing!

on Jul. 18 2015 at 10:25 pm
WritinGirl PLATINUM, DeKalb, Illinois
20 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

Thank you for your comments. I was hoping I portrayed the character I had in my mind correctly, and from your comment I have, so thanks! Original, hopefully, but well thought out--well, in all honesty I don't really have much--just a few thoughts--on where I'm going with it. This was more spur of the moment writing. Again, thank you so much!

on Jul. 15 2015 at 7:55 pm
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 104 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path

First off, great piece. I would love to read the longer version! I feel like I just got hints of a larger picture, but I could still that this story is very original and well-thought out. Your first sentence was very good and gained my attention immediately! (I always find this very impressive because young writers - myself included - have very boring, predictable first lines, but yours breaks that mold.) You're dialogue is engaging. You do a good job at showing and not telling. I love that the protagonist is grumpy and doesn't really care. At that note, you made him a really rounded character. You gave him a lot of life, so to speak, in just a short piece. Oh and so suspenseful! I would love to read more/see you continue! Happy writing!