Grace leaned back against the door to the coffee shop and smiled up into the sunshine, sipping her hot vanilla cream mocha. A day off after a long week pulling extra duty alone. Her partner was on vacation with his pregnant wife. He'd gotten married the year before. She smiled, remembering the ceremony. It had been a nice one, and he and his new wife had gotten more toasters and towels than they'd ever need. The best joke of the wedding presents was that her partner didn't even eat toast. She paused on the corner, debating how to spend her pleasant and well-deserved morning off.
The sound of hurried footsteps caught her attention and she turned to watch a boy run headlong across the traffic toward her, seemingly (seemingly is a very vague word. Do you want to be vague here or more specific? Just asking.) heedless of the danger he was throwing himself into. He couldn't be more than twelve, and looked something between frightened and determined. She heard a whisper (who?) in her ear and looked to her left. A sedan was pulling out into the street from the side road. The driver, too busy talking on his cellphone to pay attention to his driving, hadn't seen the boy. With no time to think, she stepped off the curb and threw her coffee cup at the windshield of the oncoming car. (I admit I was a little confused by where exactly Grace was standing and had to go back and read it through again. But that's just me.)The Styrofoam cup burst on contact and splashed the brown steamy liquid across the glass, catching the immediate and brake-squealing attention of the driver, who stared in shock through the vanilla mocha residue as Grace grabbed the startled boy by the lapels of his jacket and jerked him back to safety on the street corner. She looked into his face, holding him firmly by his jacket. He had brown eyes and a mass of curly hair. His cheeks were smudged with dirt and there was a scrape against one jaw.
“What's wrong with you? Why were you running across the street like that?”
“There's a lady! She's in danger! They're gonna kill her!” Love this! Makes me want to know more, like who's the lady and why does someone want to kill her?
Grace stared into his face and hesitated only long enough to mentally check whether she had brought her sidearm and badge with her when she left the house this morning. She had. Now I'm sensing there's a lot more to Grace than I first guessed. She's no pansy.
“Show me where.”
The boy nodded and turned back across the street, glancing back every few steps to make sure she was still following him. They sprinted down the street and took a right at Hawthorne, stopping halfway down the block at an alleyway. Good pacing.
“Down there?” The boy nodded and pointed to the back of the alley, where it turned at the end of the building and continued on into the between places, the area behind the stores that held the trashcans for collection, among other things. “Go call 911.”
Grace pulled her revolver and headed down the alley, slowing where it turned and the air grew darker, danker. The garbage that inhabited this back alley gave the air in it a permanent stain of mildew and rot. She stepped slowly down the alley, checking behind the large dumpsters as she reached them. She began to wish she had asked the boy how far down the alley she needed to go. Ahead she saw the break in the walls that signaled another entrance corridor like the one she had used to get back here. Love the atmosphere created in this last paragraph; the stink of the garbage, the closeness of it, the corners...where anything might be lurking/waiting.
Overall, not much to crit, really; I was pulled in by the end of this first page, wanted to know more about Grace, who carries a badge and a gun and likes vanilla mochas, and the boy who's worried about a un-named lady that's going to get killed (by whom?). Great beginning.
What do you think?