This writing exercise was a somewhat free form practice for an opening scene for a story or chapter. The goal was to start in the middle of the action instead of with a descriptive paragraph or page. I may use this for a short story or novella.

“Lies, lies, and more damn lies,” said Agent Parker from the Bureau of Demon Affairs. “That’s all you’re going to get from these damn things. They don’t know anything else. You think you’re getting the truth, but no, another goddamned lie.” He paced a few steps as he finished his lecture to the five policemen standing nearby. He nearly tripped on my prone and shackled form, lying at his feet.

Agent Parker turned and glanced down at me with his cold, blue eyes. He stared at the jars of herbs on the shelves. “Look at these herbs and poisons, there’s no way the bastard is only making booze. Take it down.” He nodded to the policeman holding a sledgehammer.

Crack, crack, crack went the sledgehammer as it crushed my beautifully crafted distiller, bashing in the boiler I had spent weeks building. The loud sounds rang through the small, crowded outbuilding. Shit. I knew I should have hidden my distiller better. How did they know? And what was Anina going to do when her medicine ran out? What about the others? I wasn’t aware of the hissing groan I let out until everyone in the old shed stared at me.

I slowly, shakily gained my feet. Rather hard to do when your hands and feet are bound and you’ve been beaten up. Two policemen quickly pulled their guns out. I suddenly felt the urge to wrap myself in a comforting cocoon of dimensionality, fading from sight to a place where no one could reach me. Fortunately for me, the magnetic hand and ankle shackles prevented me from doing so and thus vastly complicating my life.

“Relax, everyone,” Parker said. “It’s in no shape to cause any trouble at all. Right, Azel?”

“Yes,” I answered slowly, warily. I had heard from others in the community that Agent Parker was a real bastard. The ass kicking I had received ten minutes ago showed Parker was not in the best of moods today. But, I knew how to play the game. After a few punches, I had given up my distiller. They would have found it anyway.

Unfortunately for the both of us, lies were all he was going to get from me today.

“Good.” Parker said. “You’re coming to the station to answer my questions. I want to know what the hell you’ve been making here. Eventually, you’ll tell me.” I suddenly felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in alarm. He grinned, seeing the flash of dread in my eyes.