From the editing room floor.
I originally wrote this scene to showcase Charlie’s job as a communications officer for my latest thriller CATCH ME. I heard so many great stories from dispatch operators, it was hard to pick just one type of call. Instead, I decided to highlight the multi-tasking involved, but also the irony of many of the situations—one person’s crisis being another person’s non-event. I really loved this scene, but in the way writing often works, felt it wasn’t quite right for the book as a whole. In the end, I replaced it with a much tenser scene, showing how important someone like Charlie is for her officers and their safety. To learn more about how Charlie uses her quick thinking to assist a fellow officer, read CATCH ME. To enjoy an evening on the job with Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant, Grovesnor PD communications officer, read below.
I also wrote two endings for CATCH ME. Obviously one made it into the finished novel, and the other stayed on my computer. But I want to share with you the alternate ending. You can decide which ending you enjoy most. Click HERE for the chapter.
Deleted Scene from Catch Me
“This is nine-one-one. Do you have an emergency?”
“Please hold.” Me, punching hold on line 1, picking up line 2, and watching my ANI ALI monitor shift magically to a whole new display of information. Line 1 had been a residential phone, meaning I’d received caller name and address. Line 2, big sigh, was a cell phone, meaning caller identification was blocked. “This is nine-one-one. Do you have an emergency?”
“And what is your emergency?”
“I locked the keys in my car.”
“Sir, that’s not an emergency.”
“It will be when my mom finds out. Call the police, call an ambulance, call somebody. I’m telling you, she’s gonna kill me!”
Another sigh. “Sir, you can’t tie up nine-one-one because you locked the keys in your mother’s car.”
“Umm…what if I told you she kind of doesn’t know I borrowed her car?”
I took a second to digest that. To judge by voice, not to mention situation, my current caller was a teenage boy. “Name?” I asked.
“Kenny, did you borrow your mother’s car or borrow her car?”
“It’s the second one. How, do you say that? The ladder one.”
I rolled my eyeballs, then glanced at my monitor. Line 1, my first caller, was still on hold, the seconds now adding up. “So Kenny, to recap, you stole your mother’s car, then locked the keys into it, and are now calling nine-one-one for assistance.”
“Yes ma’am. I figured you guys would be the best bet. After all, they don’t let triple A carry guns.”
Phone was ringing again. “Hang on, Kenny, I have to put you on hold.” A second later, “Nine-one-one. Do you have an emergency?”