The saga of Tukwila and Dunnington.

March 20th, 2008

Yesterday I posted this frivolous tweet:

Someday I’m going to write a cop novel in which all the characters are named after Intel chips. Lead roles played by Tukwila and Dunnington.

Egged on by a couple of Twitter friends, I started composing the story, 140 characters or less at a time, in Twitter. Partway in, I started using “hashtags” to capture the tweets on the fly, but here’s the whole story in one place. Expect small but regular updates. Oh, you should also expect typos, abbreviations, and so on until I have a chance to clean it up.


Tukwila and Dunnington: Chapter 1

Tukwila sat on the porch at Taco Shack, sipping his coffee while he stared, puzzled, at the iPhone screen. Dunnington sat down next to him.

“What? Can’t get your new toy to work?” Tukwila cut him a glance; it was Dunnington who refused to keep up with the times.

“No, it works fine,” Tukwila said. “But my girlfriend signed me up for this thing, this messaging thing, and I can’t figure it out.”

Dunnington chewed his Burnet Road Burrito for a second, then said, “Even I know how to IM.”

Tukwila cranked his glare up to about an 8 out of 10. “Thanks, genius, I know how to send an IM, too. This is a group-messaging thing.”

“What’s it called?” Dunnington wiped his chin with a paper napkin, then took a sip from his coffee.

Tukwila looked back down at his phone and said “Twitter.” He said it in a soft voice.

“Twitter?” Dunnington was talking with his mouth full, and his eyebrows were halfway up his forehead. “Twitter-twitter, like a mockingbird?”

“Something like that.” Tukwila took another sip of his coffee, tossed the phone onto the table, and started unwrapping his tacos.

“So how do you like that phone?” Dunnington had a habit of talking with his mouth full. 8 years with the same partner will erode manners.

“The phone’s great. It’s more than I can even use.” Tukwila chewed thoughtfully. “It’s like a drug.”

“That might be *slightly* melodramatic, bro!” Dunnington took another huge bite; the burrito was already nearly gone. Tukwila shrugged, took another bite of his taco, and looked down at the phone. It rang.

“Tukwila.” He squinted at the flower beds next to the patio, not seeing them. “Right… Right… Got it.” He hung up the phone and turned to his partner. “Let’s go.”

They got into Dunnington’s black Suburban. It belonged to the P.D., but everyone thought of it as his, since he alone drove it. The tall, rawboned detective had driven HumVees in Kuwait & Somalia with the Tenth Mountain Div. He wasn’t the sort to argue with. Dunnington still kept his sandy hair cropped close, just shy of a buzz-cut, and he hadn’t lost the look of a soldier. Tukwila was most of a foot shorter and looked almost delicate — until you saw him handle a weapon or a rough customer. His looks were hard to place until you learned he was Native American, Korean, & what he called “American whitebread” all in one.

“Where are we headed?,” Dunnington said.

“The Four Seasons, downtown.” Tukwila was tapping away at his phone as Dunnington pulled into traffic on Spicewood Springs Road.

“We’re moving up in the world.” Dunnington chuckled at his own joke, but Tukwila wasn’t paying attention.


[To be continued . . .]

5 Responses to “The saga of Tukwila and Dunnington.”

  1. Rob L. Says:

    You know, I was considering complaining mildly about the sheer Twitter volume that this has pushed you to, or — gasp! — unfollowing you for a while, but now that I read this over again, I actually think you’re really onto something…

  2. Tim Walker Says:

    Thanks for sticking with me, Rob — and for the kind words!

  3. Meilee Says:

    How did you come up with naming your character Tukwila? And how interesting your working on this story via Twitter! I like the concept. Cheers,

  4. Tim Walker Says:

    Meilee — Tukwila is a town in Washington; its name has been used by Intel for one of its microprocessors. That’s how this all started: naming characters in a cop novel after Intel chips. (Inside joke b/c I used to cover the chip industry as a journalist/analyst.)

  5. Voices of Shanghai: IDF 2008 | Says:

    […] We heard a lot more about Nehalem, about visual computing, about multithreaded CPUs (And just for fun, compare this detailed look at Intel’s sometimes-inscrutable codenames with a detailed look at those same codenames, from a slightly different perspective). Keynotes from Gelsinger and Chandrasekher, along with Software and Solutions Group General Manager and Intel Vice President Renee James and Intel’s Andrew Chien helped to clarify just how much more mobile our technology will allow us to be. […]

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