By: Allison Chen

Tick tock sounded the typewriter. The ticking stopped.

“Mr. Brown was found in the office at 10:52 pm, with a bullet embedded in his skull.”

The writer paused to sip stale coffee from his cracked mug, as he considered the stiff line of words. Glancing at the clock, he flicked the mug back onto the sticky table, hurrying to finish his quota for the Daily News. He hunched over his typewriter to speedily run his fingers across the keys.

“Mr. Brown had a wife and three kids and lived on 360 W Birmingham St.” The words appeared uniformly across the page, like a smooth parade of ink.

The streets became increasingly silent—no longer did the writer hear the constant woosh of racing cars, wheels turning as their occupants rushed to nowhere.

“Mr. Brown was well-loved by all his friends and colleagues.”

The writer tapped his foot impatiently—he wanted to get home to the delicious, home-cooked dinner waiting for him. The clock glowed in red letters, reading 10:47 pm.

He did not know what else to write.

The writer sat in his hard, uncomfortable chair, lounging in warm lethargy, opening and closing his top drawer in repeated, lazy motions.

Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close.

“Mr. Brown was a respected editor-in-chief of the Daily News. He will be missed.”

Envied, not respected, thought the writer, chuckling dryly.

The writer glanced at the clock again, now unsure of the glowing red letters, which read 10:50 pm.

Finally breaking the stillness of the room, the door creaked open.

“Hey, you can call it a night. You’ve worked so hard.” Mr. Brown stood at the door with an encouraging smile, his hand still on the silver handle.

The writer raised his arm, drawing the never-used pistol from his top drawer.

The clock read 10:52 pm.

Mr. Brown was found in the office at 10:52 pm, with a bullet embedded in his skull.


Allison Chen is a 17 year old student at Hamilton High School.