Miles' desk was tidy, so tidy that Michelle could have wondered if he ever worked, to sully it, if she had not already known the answer. He worked harder than anyone she had ever known. His desk was indeed, as a tidy desk is said to be, the sign of an ordered mind.
There was just one letter, lying dead centre. It was handwritten, in a looping old-fashioned hand, and although Michelle did not intend to read it, she found she'd become absorbed by the first sentence. "There is no easy way to say this."
There never was. Nowadays, you didn't write, not in pen, if there was an easier way to say it.
"Your father has been diagnosed with cancer. They say it is inoperable. Miles, if you are ever going to come back, come now."
Michelle meant to leave, truly she did, but she found herself instead sitting in his chair, mechanically twirling his propelling pencil, and wondering what it was like not to have been back for so long that your mother would ask the question in that way: 'If you are ever going to come back.' His mother wasn't certain her son would ever return. He was a stranger to her, a stranger to his family. Did anybody know him?Michelle found herself opening and shutting drawers, not sure what she was looking for. In the top drawer, she found the predictable array of stationery and correspondence. In the bottom drawer were two apples, a bag of pistachios, and a tennis ball signed in marker pen.
That's six paragraphs, as per the rules of Sneak Peek Sunday, of a very early draft of 'Desperate Measures.' The final version will almost certainly bear no resemblance to this at all! While I'm redrafting, why don't you hop over to the Sneak Peek Sunday site and see if any of the other teasers appeal?