I write books with a splash of action to them. In my current work in progress, there’s a scene in which police officers converge on a location while my main character, Paula, is on a ride along with a sheriff’s deputy. She witnesses a crime in progress and gleans a key piece of information that could help law enforcement find the perpetrator.
Needless to say, it’s a harrowing experience for Paula, but until this morning I had little idea of just how much such an incident might result in a spike of adrenaline.
I’d been on the phone with my friend, Flo, most of the morning, discussing the above mentioned work in progress. When our call ended, I slapped on some makeup and headed into Tallahassee for lunch at my favorite place. I was running a bit later than usual today, and hoping my lunch destination wasn’t too busy.
Turning into the parking lot, I was startled by the sight of a plain white sedan headed straight for me. Half a second later, I realized the car was an unmarked police cruiser as its discreetly placed lights were activated.
I thought the car needed to get past me to head onto the street I’d just turned off of, but as I moved out of the way, the place was swarmed by additional cars from various law enforcement agencies. I navigated out of their way and back onto the street as smoothly as possible as officers emerged from their vehicles with guns drawn.
Y’all I was shaking.
My first thought was about the employees there who make me feel more like family than a customer. Was the cafe being robbed? Were they hostages?
My second thought was, well, essentially the same as the first.
I drove around the block and kept an eye on the situation from a nearby corner. When the police began dispersing, I got up the nerve to return, and was relieved to find all my “kids” safe and sound.
The details of the reasons behind the incident are still sketchy. I may never know why the officers converged on my favorite eatery, but now, I think I might need to rewrite Paula’s reaction to witnessing the robbery in my book. Her adrenaline levels need to go way, way up.