Tim Christensen, a retired high school English teacher, is a guitarist,
songwriter, vocalist, photographer, and web designer. He started A Starry
Night Productions with his wife Donna Pacini-Christensen in 2004. In 2009
they began hosting acoustic music jams. Those jams transformed and are
now a popular open mic music showcase series at the Woodbridge Guild in
Prompt Option #3
Write a story that consists mostly of dialogue.
A Terrible Sunset
By Tim Christensen
A young attractive but disheveled woman sits pensively behind the glass alone in an interrogation
room. A young detective studies the woman through the one-way glass trying to decide what to make
Entering the interrogation room the detective takes a recorder out of his pocket, turns it on,
and sets it down on the table between them.
He says with a rhetorical tone, "My name is Detective Sergeant, Tom Hansen. I see your name is
Elizabeth Benton? Is that correct?"
"Yes sir, " she replies.
Then the detective scans a report as he sets it down on the table in front of him. "Well, Ms.
Benton, I see you are 25 years old, single, and you are currently a graduate student at San
Francisco State University, studying creative writing."
"Yes sir, that is all correct," she replies with a worried look in her eyes.
"Ms. Benton I must tell you I am puzzled as to how a young graduate student such as yourself
ended up arriving at a San Francisco Police station with two dead men in your car?"
The detective looked at the woman and noticed her eyes. She had beautiful green eyes, but they
were welling up with tears.
"Listen, Ms. Benton, I'm sure you have gone through a very difficult situation, and I am sorry
about that, but you must understand that we must get to the bottom of what happened here."
"Yes, I understand."
"Please, just tell me what happened from the beginning."
"Earlier this week a young man, George Hauser, asked me out to dinner for tonight. He knew of
a little dive bar close to the Chronicle building called the Tempest. So, we got some food, had
a beer, and decided to go find a place to park and watch the sunset behind the Golden Gate
Bridge. We finally found a place in the parking lot by Fort Mason."
Tears begin to drop from her eyes onto the table.
"The sunset was so beautiful."
"Ms. Benton, how long have you known Mr. Hauser?"
"About two months. Just since the beginning of this semester. He is –was in my writing seminar."
She begins to sob.
The detective reaches to the far side of the table where he retrieves a box of tissues and offers
the box to the young woman. She wipes her eyes and nose with the tissue.
"Please try to continue," says the detective softly.
"We were enjoying the sunset and talking, but as the sun began to go down, we realized we could
see it better if we got out of the car and walked closer to the water so we did."
"About what time was this?"
"Oh, I guess about 10:30 P.M."
"What happened next?"
"We found a bench close to the water; so we sat down to talk and watch the sunset. But after we'd
only been there about five minutes, suddenly, a man came up behind us and put a gun to my head.
I screamed, and the man slapped me and told me to shut up or he'd kill us both. He told George
that he better not try anything stupid if he wanted to stay alive."
"Am I correct in assuming the men in the car with you are George Hauser and the assailant who
"The man asked us where our car was parked. George pointed to our car and the man motioned for
us to lead the way. The man told George to open the car doors and directed George to get in the
driver seat and me to get into the front passenger seat. The man got in the back seat behind us
and put the gun to the back of my head. "
"Then he said, 'Do exactly as I tell you if you want to stay alive.'"
"He asked George if he knew how to get to the Legion of Honor, and George said that he did. So
we drove there. George asked the man what he wanted. He said to just shut up and drive. Once we
got to the Legion of Honor he told George to drive to the back of the parking lot. We pulled
into a parking spot at the back of the empty lot."
She began to cry uncontrollably.
Detective Hansen reached across the table and held her hand.
"Ms. Benton, I know this must be difficult. I am so sorry, but please I need you to continue.
"Ok, I'm sorry. George turned off the car, and started to turn around. As he turned around
the man just shot George in the head. It was horrible. There was blood all over the windshield.
George slumped over the steering wheel, dead. I started to scream and cry. The man grabbed me
by my hair and put the gun to my head.
He said to me, "If you want to live you'll shut your dammed mouth and do exactly as you're
"So I tried to stop crying. It wasn't easy. Still holding onto my hair he told me to crawl
into the back seat with him. So I did what he told me. Once, I got into the back seat, he told
me to take off all my clothes. Every time I started to cry, he got angry and told me to shut up.
Once I was undressed he looked me over. I was so afraid. He put the gun in a pocket on the back
of the front passenger seat and started to unbuckle his pants. I thought if I act like I'm
enjoying this, he might let his guard down, and I might be able to get the gun. As he started
to move inside of me his eyes began to roll back in his head. I reached carefully for the gun.
It was difficult with his arm in the way, but I got it, pointed it at his head, and pulled the
trigger. And…well now I'm here."