Bad news

Bad news

A Story by Haim Kadman

An excerpt of the thriller "The Bait" in which a young woman is asked by her country's authorities to seduce a certain middle aged scientist to fly to meet her and to defect after a short affair.


Bad news

Tje Bait

An excerpt

On coming home from work Dimitri Guromov found his wife sitting in their small living room with a bowed head, and with a worried expression on her pretty face.

What’s the matter Sonichka? He asked her as went straight to his young wife. He hugged her and covered her face with warm kisses trying his best to revive her spirits.

What’s wrong my dearest, did you’ve any trouble at the office today?’

She rose to her feet, turned to her young husband; embraced him in her arms, and raising her pretty face to his, kissed him and looked straight into his eyes.

No, but I came early and I didn’t prepare supper yet…’

What is it then, what bothers you my love?’ He barged into her last sentence nervously.

I’ll better give you something to eat first Dima, you must be hungry.’

No, you’d better tell me first what bothers you, what it’s all about! I’m not that hungry.’

Alright dearest let’s sit down and I’ll tell you what bothers me.’ She said and kissed him again, before detaching herself from his arms.

Leonid our department manager came up to my desk and asked me to follow him to his office.’ She opened up and kept watching her young husband’s stern features, expressing suspicion very clearly, and she regretted on the spot to have chosen that opening sentence.

He said that I’m expected at the company’s general manager’s office in the other building, and explained to me where the general manager’s office is. That was all he said, and it didn’t take more than a minute or so and I was on my way to the other building…’

I see,’ Dimitri said somewhat relieved. ‘The general manager! What could he want with you?’ He wondered aloud falling again into uneasiness.

I couldn’t know for Leonid didn’t tell me why I was summoned to the big boss office, and don’t cut me off please, just listen. I need your advice and its rather an important matter.’

Alright, alright,’ he mumbled, ‘so…?’

I was terribly frightened, I’ve never seen that man before, I’ve never set a foot in the other building up to this very morning.’ She added with an embarrassed smile.

I’ve told you many a time about the haughty airs those who work there have, didn’t I? Well I was stopped at the other building’s entrance, they’d to verify with his office whether I’m expected at all; and then in the elevator seeing my badge, the three women who had a lively chat till I entered it kept their mouth shut, up to the thirteenth floor where the general manager sits. It was so unpleasant…’

I’m sure how unpleasant that ride upward must have been my dearest, but go on I want to hear every detail of what happened there.’

As soon as I entered the ante room, his secretary said go right in, he expects you. I didn’t even knock on his office door, I went straight in like a robot.’ She made a short pause and uttered a short nervous laugh.

There were two men inside. One sat behind the broad desk, the other one stood beside it; and then the one who was standing said: ‘This is Sonia Guromova sir’ and left. I was shocked and petrified, as I was standing in front of the company general manager, and even in my confusion I could understand who was the one behind the desk

So why were you summoned to his office, are we in some trouble…?’

No, we aren’t don’t panic Dima dear… He was very polite, and asked me to sit down, offered me a cigarette, which I rejected of course; and then after a few preliminary questions of how I’m doing and you know…’

No I don’t know, and let’s skip that preliminary opening!’ He retorted angrily.

They were both silent for a few seconds, realizing that they have not experienced before such a tensed situation, which erupted so suddenly with hardly any sensible reason at all.

I’m sorry I’ve weaved such a yarn out of it dearest Dima, he offered me a job that’s all there was to it; a temporary one with all the secrecy needed of course.’

Does it mean that you’ll have to quit, and work for them…?’

Oh no, I’ll work six hours a day and get the same salary, they’ll cover it; and I’ll get an extra pay for the job I’ll do for them, at home.’

On our computer…?’

Yes no matter how much time I’ll spend at home, I’ll get for it the same pay as I get for my six hours at the office.’

Why didn’t you tell it to me straight away…? My God how you got on my nerves!’ He exclaimed releasing the caught air in his lungs.

But what is it, what kind of a job is it?’ He recalled what he missed in his young wife’s short explanation, and was on edge again.

I don’t know he didn’t tell me what it’s all about. He said he wants me to discuss the terms with you, and have our mutual consent first; and only then he would tell me what I’m supposed to do.’

Do we have any other choice but say yes thank you we agree, but for God’s sake how can we agree when we don’t have the slightest idea what it’s all about?’

But you do know dearest Dima as well as I do that if I’m fit for whatever job they’ve in store for me, we’ll have to comply and tell them that we agree, and that’s why I’m worried.’ And without waiting for her husband’s comment, she went to the kitchen to prepare their dinner.

© Haim Kadman 2019 - all rights .reserved.

© 2019 Haim Kadman

My Review

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This is 100% telling, and as such reads far too much like a report. It's WAY to general, and told in overview by a dispassionate outside observer, whose voice, and the emotion in it, can't be heard. That matters a LOT, because a story is lived, never talked about.

I wish I had better news, but if you were thinking of submitting this story, it will be rejected because it is all telling. And that is a professional analysis, not a personal opinion.

The thing we miss is that all professions are learned IN ADDITION to the skills we're given in school. So if fiction is your passion, and I hope it is, hit the local library's fiction writing section and add some professional skills to your current set.

Good News? No. Nor is it something you hoped to hear. But if you hope to succeed at writing it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Jay Greenstein

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

We all like our own writing. So what? It’s the reader you need to please.

And it�.. read more
Haim Kadman

1 Year Ago

Thank again Dr. Jay, I’m an autodidact and I don’t think of pleasing the reader while I’m writ.. read more

1 Year Ago

While you believe you're self taught, you spent twelve years of your life, or more being tau.. read more

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1 Review
Added on July 25, 2019
Last Updated on July 25, 2019
Tags: suspense, briefing, persuasion. fear, concern


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

Profile: A few words about myself: being a native of a small country whose waist is seventeen kilometers wide in a certain area; and in seven to eight hours drive one can cross its length, I was amaze.. more..