12 Jan 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 15 - Commentary

Brenna can't get away from the murders.  Welcome to the commentary for The Soul Blade Chapter 15.

Tricia's actions have pulled Brenna back into the investigation.  The police don't like coincidences, and Brenna's already been at the scene of one murder and the scene of an attempted murder.  Detective McCoy believes Brenna's involved in some way, but isn't sure how.  Brenna, though, is a recent addition to the serial killings.  Fortunately for her, Brenna has a good alibi for her whereabouts during the last murder.  The bit with Detective Kirk was a last minute thought that got tossed in.  The idea was a riff on Kirk's reputation on the original Star Trek, and him hitting on Grace added a few extra words.  The extra doesn't advance the story, but gives an off-stage character a bit more rounding.

Missy's shop is one she dreamt of having as a teenager, a small surf shop on the beach.  She keeps busy trying to keep the shop afloat, but it's hers.  The name is one I had to think about and verify that it didn't exist at the time of writing.  "Gnarly's Boards" sounds like it should be a real place.  Now, there is a business with that name, selling electric skateboards, but at the time, there wasn't anything a quick Google search could find.

Brenna doesn't have much of a description of Tricia.  From her view, the attack happened too fast.  She was getting into her van when her mother yelled at her to drop down, then some crazy woman tried to stab her.  The only time Brenna could focus on anything other than the knife was after she broke the blade.  Tricia has a witness who doesn't know who she is.  Missy will have to wait some more before finding out all the juicy details.

The police weren't able to get to the crime scene before the press this time around.  The fewer details that got out, the lower the chance of a copycat murder.  The forensics teams involved could find the killing wound and the postmortem cuts, allowing the police to release a notice about the past murders, including cause of death, but not what happened to the skeleton.  "No need to panic the public."  Tricia chose a very public place for her latest attack, throwing away all attempts at keeping the series of murders quiet.

Krista is part of the group Brenna hung with in high school.  If you look back at the excerpt of an early Brenna story in the commentary for Chapter 12, you'll find Sylvia.  I couldn't find that file at the time of writing, so gave Sylvia a new name.  I never expected to post the excerpt.  Krista and Missy are people Brenna can count on, not just to help her out, but give her a kick in the pants when she needs it.

It was a slower chapter, though the story is moving.  Next week's chapter gets Brenna back into investigating.  For now, she needed to recover a little, then get a kick in the pants.

Tomorrow, Brenna's pulled back in, in The Soul Blade Chapter 16.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, preparing an adaptation's audience.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.


  1. Your mention of "the lower the chance of a copycat murder" makes me think that's still a reason for the police to keep tabs on Brenna. She does have some details, after all - heck, for all they know, it's a two-woman team. And with the heat on Brenna, she went somewhere she was sure to have an alibi while her partner killed another person.

    Also, "From her view, the attack happened too fast. She was getting into her van when her mother yelled at her to drop down" -- so wouldn't her MOTHER be a witness as to Tricia's appearance?? Granted, we haven't seen her mom since shortly after the attack, but now that Brenna's thinking a bit more clearly, why can't she use that information? Good call on Brenna herself not really being able to recall, by the way, that's realistic.

    A couple more things about Ch 15: The "local man boneless" is new information to the public. One might say that's because it's new to the author, but there should also be a reason the news has that too. I'm guessing someone with a camera stumbled on the scene for the first time, as opposed to the other cases, where authorities got there faster? Second, why can't Brenna simply go down the beach to check the crime scene without Missy? If Missy heard about it, surely other people (ghosts?) are talking about it, and can point the way, or Missy can sketch a map. Worst comes to worst, look for the yellow police tape. Brenna's definitely shy about engaging with the plot.

    Fascinating little bit with the character renaming, by the way. Reminds me of how Carrie Waterson used to be Carrie Baker in my oldest text file.

    1. For all I know, McCoy is encouraging Matt to spend time with Brenna for just that. Brenna is also a recent twist to the investigation.

      Joni would be, but using her information would get awkward. "I thought you said you were ducking. How did you see the scar on her neck?" Brenna should, yes. IIRC, Craig had been hit on the head by a microwave in the months before and had mentioned not remembering what happened, so that got worked in.

      I thought I put that info out there. Someone did find the body and a crowd gathered before the police could arrive. And too many people took selfies, though that wasn't a thing in 2009, IIRC. Brenna could, but she prefers having someone around still looking at reality properly. And Brenna likes having Missy around.

      Ooh, that's a major change. I just forgot Krista's name. :)