Three short character sketches for the crime fiction genre. Each of these was written as an exercise in creating a sketch in only 200 words. The images were all created in ChatGPT, using GPT4 and the embedded DALL-E AI art generator.
Senior Constable Lexie Lamond – Detective
Waking alone in her bed, Lexie was warm and comfortable. It was the same routine every day. Scratch the cat’s ears, then stretch her own long legs to wake the muscles, to break the strands that seemed to shrivel and tighten every night. Getting old sucked. At 60, Senior Constable Lexie Lamond was still pretty fit. She’d been around the block a few times, and she felt every mile under her belt, but she was alive and, for the most part, doing well. Her eyes were sharp and penetrating with a deep blue colour. She didn’t miss much of what was going on around her. At least, once she’d had her first of many coffees, something she often thought she should cut back on. Never one for sunscreen or makeup, Lex, as she preferred to be called, has a tough, weather-beaten face. There’s many a battle scar for those who care to look, although not many do. Standing 185 cm tall, Lex towered above most of her workmates. Age was starting to catch up with her, but she still cut a formidable figure with her short, greying hair. She didn’t always say a lot, but when she spoke, the words were calculated and meaningful. Idle chatter never appealed to her. She would rather watch, listen and learn.
Emily Lancaster – Photographer
Which bag? The rolling case or backpack? Em hated taking on assignments when she hadn’t been able to scope the location out. What shoes should she wear? Sneakers for hiking and schlepping her gear, or Cuban-heeled boots for a more sophisticated look? Emily Lancaster was a lifestyle portrait photographer. She was meticulous about everything. Camera bodies and lenses were all painstakingly arranged on shelves. Batteries charged and ready to go. Nothing was left to chance. God, she hated last-minute rush jobs, but she had bills to pay. Travelling to a new location and meeting an unknown client unnerved her. Perhaps it was a throwback to her earlier days, the days when she worked for the government, the days when she travelled the world at a moment’s notice to shoot people. It was a life she sometimes missed but was long out of. Killing people she didn’t know seemed so surreal now. When unexpected rush jobs came in, her senses were heightened. Her analytical brain started to work overtime, putting her on edge. Her piercing green eyes darted around her surroundings, taking everything in. Her mind worked overtime, and sometimes, she just couldn’t shake that feeling of dread.
John Smith – Serial Killer
Nondescript. That’s how John Smith liked to be. He liked that he could just blend in; even his name was unlikely to bring him unwanted attention. He stood 180 cm tall, thin and wiry, with straight brown hair that was almost, but not quite, a mullet. He was far from what most people considered normal, though. His eyes were dark and penetrating. He seemed to look through people like he was searching for their souls, and yet, he was always charming. People liked him. He had a disarming smile that put people at ease, but beneath that charming exterior, there was an insatiable appetite, a lust for death. He needed to kill. Finding, stalking and murdering his victims was a thrill that drove him on. Killing was an addiction. He looked around him at the used needles and wondered if this was what defined his life. He longed for the rush of pleasure he got from both his obsessions but hated the almost certain vomiting afterwards, followed by sleep. That was the only time he was really at peace. After he killed. He rested. Until the next time.