Wednesday, 10 February 2010

5 - Journalism: The DCI's Diary


Write part of a story in the form of journal entries. Everything that happens in the story will most likely happen between the entries. Make sure your readers can see the events offstage, but also remember to present your journalist's blind spots - she/he will not present the whole story. Your journal writer may not even understand the significance of events until a few entries later (if ever). Keep the entries close together in time. Avoid completely self-obsessed narrators.

Diary 2010 Week To View

If found please return to DCI Swallow

25th January

The subject continues to keep to his usual routine. It’s difficult to tell whether he has any awareness of us – although we endeavour to be discrete, the rumour mill will work against us if neighbours become aware of our presence. Given the size of the flat and the thinness of the walls this seems inevitable, but we have several cover stories and counter-rumours to turn to if necessary.

Jones continues to insist that we refrain from mentioning the subject’s name or those of any of his associates even in our written communication. I’m monitoring that situation, too – Jones appears to have a strong case of paranoia where the subject is concerned, but this is understandable in light of his previous postings in the breakaway republics. The subjects links to the republics remain unproven, and all evidence points towards his being a local small time drug dealer who is trying to get a reputation as something more.

Sneyder, the police psychologist assigned to our unit, assures me that she thinks Jones is stable, and there is no doubt that he is an able officer, but all the same it troubles me that he attributes a good deal of power and influence to one petty criminal.

As the subject is well known and this case well documented, I have acquiesced to his wish that we refer only obliquely to the subject. In the long run it will not harm our case.

10th February

Jones’ behaviour continues to concern me. He has taken to muttering words which rhyme with the subject’s name, and were it not for his excellent work deciphering the coded messages we have picked up from our friend on the other side of the street I would request he be taken off the case. Unfortunately he is one of the few code breakers we have available, and as such is indispensible to us here.

After two weeks’ observation the subject still appears to have no intelligence of our presence. The messages we have intercepted have largely been of no consequence, but some of them have given us new leads to follow up. At the end of this month we should certainly have enough to move onto the next stage of the investigation, and I have no doubt that the records we are keeping will help lead to a conviction.

18th February

After some unusual activity from the subject, we have requested back up, which should be with us in a few days. Our suspicions grow that he has finally realised he is under surveillance, and although he will not make a move before the High Tide festival, which he will need as cover to launder the cash we believe is stored in his flat, we are concerned about our safety after that time.

Fortunately this unpleasant development has allowed us to shoot several dozen high resolution pictures of the subject and his associates with firearms which are certainly not legally owned, and can only add to the strength of our case.

25th February

The increased security has certainly given us all some measure of peace of mind, although I fear Jones will need transferring to another unit before the festival is finished. The strain of waiting for a possible attack has lead to increased paranoia, and his increased use of his asthma inhaler particularly concerns me. I am certain that his dependence on the drug is far beyond what is normal even in severe asthmatics, and he would not have been allowed to serve on this team if his health had been judged lacking.

I confess it will be a relief to leave this wretched flat and get back to the office to analyse the information we have collected.

29th February

Jones is dead. The flat is surrounded and we don’t know exactly what is happening outside. It looks like Jones was correct after all. If this record is retrieved, then let our deaths count for something; whoever is assigned to this case in future must be warned that the subject possesses powers that defy description and that the only chance to defeat him is

The diary extract reproduced above was recovered in early March when survivors and bodies were pulled from a destroyed building which was an apparent victim of a terrorist attack.

Mysteriously, police records give no reference to the case, or the officers involved, and even the unusual surname Sneyder gave us no link to any known police force either nationally or on Interpol.

The body from which the diary was retrieved was unrecognisable, having been badly burned in the fire, and no matches were found of any of the victims of the explosion in the dental records currently available to us. Only a small portion of the diary was unharmed, and tests reveal that the security lock had been breached several times before the time of the explosion, although the DCI makes no record of any attempt to break into it.

No other written material, recording equipment, or similar items and devices were recovered at the scene.

We respectfully suggest that the information contained in this report stays confidential until such a time as the subject is identified and neutralised.

- Bacon County Federal Coroner’s Office.


  1. Aw, you could have added on an extra ten thousand words or so. I wouldn't have minded.
    In other words, great short! :)
    Good for you keeping up with the challenges!

  2. Thanks Rigs, best compliment I could've received :D always nice to know someone wants more!

  3. PS please don't tempt me to chase any more plot bunnies...