Here’s another exercise from The Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich. The point is to utilize two different view points, and the setting, to create expectation and suspense. This is part 2.
She had to be some hipster trust-fund kid with a rich mommy and daddy, she had to be someone who’d never worked a day in her life. That’s what I keep telling myself, but my gut feels just as tense. I hurry to catch up to her, the gun digging into my lower back. I know the safety is on, I know there’s no other place to hide it—especially in the summer—but I always feel like I’m about to shoot my own ass off.
I know I shouldn’t be doing this. It’s one thing to talk about holding up some rich spoiled punk to get the money you need, but it’s another thing to actually try. If I get caught, if her parents are rich, they have a good lawyer and then I’m fucked. I mean, they might even add some shit to armed robbery, accuse me of attempted murder or something. I might rob someone of money, but I ain’t about to rob them of their life—not unless they’re trying to rob mine, or my little girl’s.
The hipster hugs herself. She’s probably lost. I run across the street and jog so I can go back in front of her. I see her trip from the other side of the street. She must be lost, walking on this side of town with the money she has. She probably is looking for one of those underground clubs or something, probably to meet some other rich asshole who treats her like crap.
I cross back so I can cut her off. She’s struggling with some branches. I pull out my gun, and then realize I’m an idiot. I’ve got no mask. She turns and she sees me. Her face pales, and I know I have to do this. It’s dark. She might be too scared to remember my face. I sound confident when I talk: “Give me your purse, bitch.”
Then she looks relieved, like all the danger’s gone. Like it’s a relief I just want money—well, she’s probably got plenty to spare.
“Sure thing,” she says. She slides off her purse and hands it to me. “’Fraid I don’t have much.”
Yeah, right. I grab her purse and run. I did it. I finally did it. We’re going to be okay now, at least for a little while. Finally, we’re going to be okay.