Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Every morning I wake up in the armpit of this alien world and wonder if today is the day something different happens. I always climb out of bed and pray that the wind isn’t blowing from the east and that today is the day I catch some lead, some break that will help me get out of here. And preferably not in the hold of a slaving ship.
Hougon is a trading world; with little of its own resources being considered valuable to the galaxy at large, the native inhabitants opened their skies and their stations and their very planet to traders from all over the galaxy – on the condition that Hougon remained neutral in all galactic conflicts. The flip side is that any law enforced by anyone other than Hougon, did not apply here – and Hougon laws were surprisingly few. Basically, don’t steal someone else’s wares, don’t mess with the locals and don’t eat their Jumlas. This meant that basically anything went – especially if you were not a native of Hougon – which I was not. You’re probably wondering what a Jumla is, aren’t you? Well they’re a sacred animal and it wanders around here happily munching on whatever it likes- even your tunic if you’re not careful – but if you should shoo it off or kill one, you’re also basically dead. It looks to me like a cross between a kangaroo, a sloth and some kind of reptile. It’s an herbivore – I think – and it as large sad eyes, but I wouldn’t dare anyone to get anywhere near those massive claws or the scaled spines down it’s back and tail. The Jumla are why I always hope that the wind is not blowing from the east.
Below this city, which is called Rim, sits a deep caldera. In that caldera the Hougon mine their only valuable resource – a metal used in star drives of all kinds for its resistance to the atomic decay that can happen in faster than light engines. In that caldera also is a nesting site for the Jumla. Both of these things produce an odour akin to a mixture of rotting vegetation and burning hair.
This morning, the wind is blowing from the east, so when I scramble out of my little bunk in the back of the tavern on Givka street, I pull a scarf over my nose and mouth to dull the stink. Every day I loop around the slavers district, and the gamblers district and down to the market. The gamblers district often pay debts by having the debtors sold into slavery and since that kind of destiny is not one that I look forward to, I do my best to escape their notice since being a human female here is both rare and entirely too tempting for many slavers.
The Terran Alliance is a small empire in this galaxy and even though many of our adventurers range to the farthest reaches, most of the other species regard us with a level of suspicion, and/or contempt that makes it hard for me, a female pilot of excellent skill, to find work. I was marooned here when my then-captain fell into some trouble while drinking in the gambling district. Needless to say, when he could not pay, the den-owner sold him to some Serellians, along with this first mate and two of the crew to settle the dept. I only managed to escape that fate because I had decided to visit the silk bazaar instead. I may be a spacer pilot, but I like a few pretty things. By the time I found out what had happened they were all long gone and the ship had been sold by the enterprising Gorn who owned the repair bay we’d taken her to the week before for a routine overhaul.
And that is how I came to be shipless and creditless on this stinking armpit of a planet. Even the Hougon stink; a strange wet-dog kind of smell they seem to find attractive and so cultivate. The market as usual is already filled with people. I head to the cantina at the end of the plaza and join the crowd of pilots for hire. One or two of them are sort of friendly, one is a real pig of a being – literally – and the rest tend to ignore me. A young Hougon by the name of Jeed bounded up to me with a grin on his face – it takes a while to understand that the teeth-baring is a smile. He likes me because I rescued him from a Serellian bully on my first week here. I also pay him in sweets for information. I hope I get a good tip soon, my finances, and my candies, are running out.
“Miss!” he hisses, “Miss!” he takes my hand in his and pulls me forward and I follow. I have only my freedom to lose but I’m more than certain that Jeed’s intentions are pure as he leads me to a table near the back of the cantina.
“Is this the pilot you were talking about?” a voice says as Jeed approaches with me in tow. I almost feel weak in the knees at hearing a human accent come out from under the hat. The man tilts his face up to look at me and I nearly jump up and down with glee.
“Pilot! Yes!” says Jeed and holds his hand out to me. I hand him a candy automatically and the man in the hat laughs. Jeed scurries way to lick his prize into oblivion and I seat myself across from the spacer.
“So, I hear you need a pilot.”
“A good one too. Little guy seems to think you fit the bill.”
“So what are you doing in this shit hole?”
“Captain got a case of the gambles and got himself and the rest of them slaved up. I just happened to miss out on the party.”
“Ah,” he nodded and beckoned the waitress over. Her mane was decorated with tiny beads that clicked as she moved. The spacer ordered some drinks and a share plate and I felt my stomach rumble.
“What’s the job?” I asked, trying not to sound too desperate, even though I was.
“Here to Moloch station. My regular pilot is laid up with a serious case of what looks like measles, but what the doc assures me is some non-contagious fungal issue. Makes his depth perception and his personality all backwards. By the time we get to Moloch we should know if he’s done with the piloting business or not.”
Moloch, while not in the best part of the galaxy, was a damn site better for me than the armpit of the galaxy.
“That seems like a decent run for me. What kind of pay are we talking?”
“Standard for the first three months, then we talk about raising it. Berth and board included of course. 6% on trades we make and 15% danger pay on top.”
“More than fair.”
“Any questions for me?”
“What’s your cargo?”
“Whatever we can get. Most of it’s legal, some of it’s not. Is that a problem?”
“No,” I said. Whatever misgivings I had could be dealt with once I was out of this hellhole.
“Name’s Brannigan,” he said and leaned forward to shake my hand.
“Zara,” I said, using my spacer name. It did no good to use my real name – even as far out in the boondocks as this.
“Nice to meet you, Zara,” he said and tipped the waitress generously when the food arrived “Let’s eat and drink on it.”
“To a profitable voyage,” I replied and took a drink from the blue bubbling concoction he’d ordered. In spite of the stink in the air, I felt better than I had in months. We ate and chatted until the food was gone and then stood to part ways.
“We’re finished loading at nine hundred tomorrow. Be there an hour before,”
“Deal,” I said and walked into the crowds. Now that I had the name of the ship, I was going to go have a look at what I’d be flying for the eighteen month trip to Moloch. I found the berth easily enough and felt a moment of confusion when I saw the ship. This was not your average run of the mill pirate ship the way Brannigan had made it sound. No way. This was pretty darn new in comparison to all the other ships at port, for one and for two, looked like an Alliance battlecruiser that had been converted for cargo. In fact the new name “Gillian” on the hull was painted over the old designation numbers. I could barely make them out, but they were legible enough for me to let out a tiny whistle.
TASS77017 which, if I was not mistaken, had been the designation of the Terran Alliance flagship, which had vanished into thin air with all her crew 20 years ago. If this was that ship, how had Brannigan come by it and if he hadn’t, did that mean he was one of the vanished crew? So many questions rushed through my head. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going back to my rented bunk in the tavern. I was staying here to observe my new ship. If I was going to be flying with a ghost crew I wanted to make sure they didn’t leave without me.
Word Count: 1587
Reading: The Illustrated man – Ray Bradbury
Drinking: Okanagan Spring Berry Cider
Eating: Nacho Tortillas
Fourteen years doesn’t seem to make the memory any less indelible. I remember that I was at work. At the time work consisted of retail – a ladies clothing store that catered to the 50+. I was perhaps 128lbs and thus was too tiny for the store’s extra small. I managed to spend my earned clothing credits on accessories and the odd item that did fit so that I could conform to the company’s request that employees model their fashions. I was a good employee – I genuinely liked to help the ladies find something to wear for whatever the occasion – or to feel good about themselves in clothes. Sadly, self esteem is something in short supply among my fellow females. I certainly didn’t have much but that’s something for another post.
Anyway, I was at work. M and I had been going through a rough patch. He had objected to my dying my hair black in an intense and humiliating way and had also somehow managed to bend the frame of this beloved Hyundai Tiburon one night after deciding to see if he could drive faster than a police car. I was already anxious and had been hoping for a phone call at some point since I had not heard from him since early the day before. I was folding shirts for the front display; cursing the slippery fabric as I aligned them around the folded tissue paper to keep them square and neat, when the phone rang.
“Hello Tan Jay, Susan speaking,” I said in my best cheerful and professional voice.
“Susan,” he said and I knew something was wrong even before he spoke his next words. “I’m sorry, I’ve ruined everything…” my stomach completed its fall to the floor.
“Martin? What is it? What happened?” but he had already hung up and the dial tone seemed to scream in my ear. I stared dumbly at the receiver. I must have gone pale because my boss was suddenly there.
“Is everything all right? You’re white as a sheet,” she said, putting a hand on my arm.
I shook my head because I couldn’t talk. Cell phones were for rich people then so I couldn’t even call him back. I had no idea where he was and no idea what to do next. Panic gripped me instead of tears. And fear. There was that. What had happened? Had he tried to race a police car again and killed someone? A million scenarios raced through my head. Catherine tried to get me to sit down, but I couldn’t and she suggested instead I take a few laps around the mall to see if I could calm the jitters down enough to either speak or formulate some kind of plan. By then I had managed to tell her what M had said to me during that brief call.
By the time I got back to the store I had calmed down enough to decide to call his parents. Surely someone had to know something and they had more clout – and more mobility than I did. But no one was home. I left a message. Whether it was English or not, I still have no idea. Catherine thought I should go home, but I shook my head. As much as I wanted to, all I’d end up doing is pacing and I knew no one else would be home. Somehow I managed another couple of hours. Somehow I made it home. I don’t remember these details. I got in the door of the apartment I shared with Amber – and recently M. I left another message on his parents machine telling them I was home now and if they heard anything could they please call as soon as they could.
I don’t know what time his mother called, but she said they would come pick me up. She said she had received a similar message from M, but nothing else. She said we could all three wait for news together. I remember getting into the back seat of the green Prelude. She was in the passenger seat and his step-dad was driving. He was an affable sort, and she was defined to me by her cigarettes and cocktails.
They offered me one as we all three sat on bar stools in the kitchen while Peggy chain smoked and Paul paced. We had nothing to talk about even when I inspected the books in their bookshelf. I tried to make small talk because the silence was almost worse, but everything fell short. I froze when the phone finally rang. I don’t remember the words that Peggy said into the phone, but she did not seem surprised to learn that he was at the police station. What she did get was angry that they would not tell her what had happened.
“They won’t tell me, they just want us to go there.”
Paul took the receiver and got not more info than he had. In the end we all got into the car in silence and went to the police station. Never once did they ask if I wanted to come. They knew. But none of us were prepared for what came out of the officer’s mouth when we finally arrived. The walk from the car to the station is vivid in my mind. The escort to the detective’s office and the stupid chairs we sat in. He asked if I was sure I wanted to be there, if his parents wanted me there in light of the things he had to tell us. We all insisted I stay because we had no idea what was to come next. At least I didn’t. I’m certain that at least Peggy had some inkling. Or should have.
“Your son has confessed to some very serious things,” he said to Peggy and she just clutched her back tighter. And then he told us what had happened that day. The panic I’d felt until then, held barely in check, turned to shock. My boyfriend, as mercurial as he was, had tried to… it wasn’t possible. But the detective kept talking and I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was sitting in this close, neutral-shade office with it’s dying ficus plant listening to a man of the law in a white button down shirt with sleeves rolled up; badge clipped to his belt, tell us that Martin had attempted to kidnap a girl. Not just any girl either, the nine year old who lived in the apartment next to mine. At that point, I didn’t know thier names, but I had seen them – she was one of three kids, two parents and a grandmother, all with coffee with cream colour skin and dark hair. I wanted to throw up.
“Do you want to see the video of his confession? It’s quite long.”
There’s a video of this? There’s a video? As if it weren’t bad enough, my mind scrambled about in my head and I don’t remember what happened after that – my brain switched off. A few days later, though a counsellor came to my apartment and sat me on the couch and asked me if I wanted to stick with Martin through this. He told me that not many people do, even when they start off wanting to be supportive. But I said I wanted to visit him. I said I’d stick with him because I loved him because that was the only way I could answer at the time. I was too stricken, too numb, to think about any of it with any clarity at all. All I knew at that moment was the man who had given me a diamond promise ring, who loved me and who I loved, was behind bars and I had an obligation to stick with him. And I did, for a while. For a while I was able to push the reality of it away – even with the endless middle of the night drunken phone calls from Peggy and the mess his incarceration left me to live in. I compartmentalised everything until I fell apart. It was after that that I made my decision. I don’t regret it now, but it took years to get there. Martin represented two seperate men to me and it wasn’t until much later I accepted that they were facets of the same one. I loved the one and not the other and that was not fair to either of us. I wished him the ability to let go and move on from this mistake. Still do.
But this day still makes my heart ache, just a little, even after all this time.
Listening to: Smoked Glass and Chrome – Ott
Reading – The White Lioness – Henning Mankell
Eating: Cucumber Sandwhich
Drinking: spiced rum
Word count: 2236
I did some more outlining and character building for my NaNoWriMo project. I’m not sure I will be able to wait until November 1st to start writing because I’m actually liking this idea. I actually have an idea where it’s going, how it starts and even some of the things that happen in the middle. I’ve always wanted to write a quest story, ever since I read the Prince of the Godborn series (Seven Citadels by Geraldine Harris) and Mary Brown’s The Unlikely Ones – both of which I should re-read and review since I haven’t read them since I was at least nine. I suppose you could call most fiction quest stories, since the protagonists invariably want something or need something, but I’m talking about the epic journey across unknown and perilous lands type quest stories: Hobbit style. The Seven Citadels made a huge impression on me, because it was different than anything I’d read before, partly because the most epic thing I’d read before that Swallows and Amazons. It was later the same year Mom and I read the Hobbit together. Thus began my love of complex fantasy, like Game of Thrones, Black Sun Rising, The Dragonbone Chair, The Dragon Prince and Kushiel’s Dart to name but a few. This idea I have won’t be nearly as epic, but I feel like I’m going to have a lot of fun with it and that is precisely what I need right now.
Reading: The Wolves of the Calla – Steven King
Listening to: Atlas Air – Massive Attack
Drinking: Black Sheep Spiced Rum and Coke
Word Count: 1196
[Reality being what it is, I’m going to write one a week, rather than one a day. As Ray Bradbury apparently said: “write a short story a week, you can’ possibly have 52 terrible stories.” I’m sure it was Bradbury in his Zen of writing book. I know he also said to write four pages a day. Another teacher said that one would find the time – could find the time in any day. However, I’m fighting with a lot of things right now, not the least of which is my own self. So I’m starting with one thing a week – which I may or may not post here depending on their horridness. I know I can do that. I have a goal!]
Prompt from Writing Prompts that Don’t Suck.
Write about a door-to-door salesman who sells souls to demons in hell. (As opposed to demons who live in Hawaii.)
Frank closed his laptop with a sigh. His numbers were really down and he couldn’t put his finger on why. It wasn’t like his product was crap. Far from it, in fact he had gained notoriety for having the purest product ten years running. Thing was, his sales were still down. Way down. This time last year he had a third again what he had now. He needed to pick it up or he’d never be able to afford his trip to Nunavut this year. (When you worked a large portion of your time in hell, you liked to get away to a chiller climate.)
Frank tossed back the last of his drink and prepared for his evening’s work. Today he was in Undervegas, which was usually the best place to sell his product. Pristine souls like the ones he collected were hard to come by in a shifty place like this. He exited the motel, looking dapper in his lime green leisure suit. Gold winked at throat and on his fingers. He headed down main and into one of the hotels that oozed glitterati and demonic funk. At the concierge he smiled at the stick thin hostess behind the counter, who smiled at him with rows of filed teeth.
“Evening Frank, Zel told me he was expecting you. You can go on up. He’s in the penthouse this time.”
“Thanks, Roz,” Frank said an tossed a glittery little rock towards her. She caught it in a taloned hand. “On the house.”
“Thanks, doll,” he heard as he stepped into the elevator.
Strictly speaking, Frank was not a demon. However, being the enterprising soul he was, he was as close as a human could ever get. His extended stays in the underworld had altered his perception of heat, so he did no perspire too much in his lime green suit. However, his client might make him sweat a little. He knocked on the door of the penthouse and entered when he heard Zel bellow for him to do so.
“Frank! My man, how are you doing in this fetid armpit of a city?”
“You know me, Zel. I’m always fantastic.”
“Drink?” The creature before him asked, raising a glass in one tentacle. At Frank’s nod, two more tentacles picked up the decanter and another glass. There was no ice, but Frank welcomed the wetness in his parched mouth.
“So how are things, Zel?”
“Not as fabulous as you might think. Please tell me you have something for me to cheer an old demon up, eh?”
“Only the best!” Frank said and laid his briefcase on the smoked glass coffee table. He forced himself to not look at the faces trapped inside the glass. Inside his briefcase were eight little packages, each filled with a handful of many faceted crystals; concentrated souls of the freshly damned. The demon bent over the briefcase and took a deep breath.
“However do you find such tasty little morsels?” Frank shrugged. It was no accident that he moonlighted as a “movie producer’ on the side.
“How much for the whole lot?” Frank was surprised.
“Seriously? Zel, that’s got to be at least four weeks worth. It ain’t gonna be cheap!”
“Seriously. All my cronies have been complaining that the fresh souls are getting harder and harder to find. It’s like there’s a drought,” Zel said. “You sell all of these to me, I’ll see you get a cut of my profit.”
“You know the standard per soul Zel, you take em all I’ll give you a 5% discount.”
“You drive a hard bargain,” Zel said and offered his one human hand for Frank to shake. Frank closed the briefcase. Zel rang a bell and Frank heard the clatter of insectoid feet on the hardwood floor as the accountant entered, the tie looking ridiculous on the segmented neck. Frank eyeballed the neatly bundled banknotes, initialled the transfer paper and nodded to the accountant who scuttled off.
“So have you heard any rumours about this drought?” Frank asked, getting to his feet.
“Indeed I have,” Zel said, slamming his tumbler down. “It seems the man upstairs has sent one of those meddling winged things to curb our business. Frank nearly choked on his bourbon and coughed for a few moments before he could regain his composure. Zel nodded all of his heads. This explained everything and this would also mark the end of what had been a lucrative business for Frank. If he were ever to hope to miss out on eternity in Zel’s home domain that meant he had to use this opportunity.
“That’s terrible news. This is going to effect my supply.”
“And demand. Most critters around here are afraid to make a purchase else they get caught in the act.”
“Thanks for the info Zel, I owe you one. But right now, I think you’ll agree, I had better get going. If I’m going to keep the channels open I’ve got to do some rearranging.”
“You do that,” Zel said.
Frank didn’t bother to say anything to Roz on his exit. He was sweating in earnest now. If the angel; be it seraphim or nephilim, found him first, he was a goner. He could forget eternity anywhere and he intended to live. But how best to do that? How best to thwart them both? Confess.
Yes, that was it. If he confessed, if he sold out Zel and the others he could trade the info for an afterlife. He didn’t even care where at this point. Oblivion was no choice at all. His palms sweated all over the steering wheel of the trans am as he drove and as he pulled into the driveway of his little bungalow he felt his heart plummet into his feet. He hadn’t left his lights on and light was now spilling from every window and across the shadowed lawn. The Messenger had found him already.
He trudged up the steps. Inside, the angel was seated in his favourite recliner. Honey Boo Boo was on the screen and the creature was chucking to itself.
“Humans are such odd creatures, are they not?”
Frank swallowed as the angel turned his gaze towards him. The angel’s entire body glowed and Frank’s eyes watered. He undid the button on his shirt and waited.
“You’re nervous,” the angel observed. “You must know why I am here.”
Frank gave a little nod.
“I will give you a choice.”
Again Frank nodded.
“You will give up all your connections and schemes. If you do this, I will put in a recommendation with the almighty provided that you change your ways. If you do not, then I will have no choice but to offer the nether regions of hell for your eternity.”
“Oblivion. It is the best I can do, under the circumstances. Most would prefer that over eternity in torment.”
“I’d prefer hell I think, to non existence.”
The angel stared at the little man in the lime green suit.
“Pity,” it said and suddenly the light brightened and then went out. The house was empty except for Frank and the TV. He took a shaky breath and then stepped forward and fell.
“Morning, Frank,” a familiar voice said and Frank cracked his eyes open to see the many heads of Zel all peering at him. All he could smell was sulphur and char. He sat up. Iron bars blocked he and Zel off from other cells full of other creatures.
“What is this place?”
“Central processing. Looks like we all lost our surface permits.”
“Yeah, don’tcha know? The man downstairs gave you full demonship when you didn’t sell me out. Course, now you need the proper paperwork to be upside, but we can work all that out in a few centuries, eh?”
Frank looked down only to realise he wasn’t wearing his suit anymore. But he was still lime green. He sighed and damned his fashion sense. Zel only laughed.
Prompt from Writing Prompts that don’t Suck
Write a story using these three things: a paper clip, a hospital, an exotic dancer
Laynie was pissed. The last thing she wanted to be doing late on a Saturday night was sitting in the emergency room of the busiest hospital in the city. Not only that, she didn’t want to be here because a customer thought he had more coming to him than he did. It was embarrassing, really. How did you explain to a doctor how you came by your wounds in a way they’d believe when the real story was as bizarre as it got?
You see, Laynie had started Saturday night the way she had for three years now; in the dressing room of the Katty Klub, one of the city’s more classy strip joints – if only because the girls never got completely naked. One of the other dancers, Janina called the place a burlesque theatre, a term which made Laynie snort a little with laughter. Janina always scowled at her when she did this, but to Laynie it was like calling a stripper an exotic dancer. Dressing things up to be what they weren’t. Regardless, ‘exotic dancer’ was what it said on Laynie’s resume but she never had to take her rhinestone panties off on stage – just everything else. Those were the rules at Katty Klub: you didn’t cater to sleaze, you danced to tease.
And Laynie was good at it. She earned some pretty good money from the regular patrons and came home early in the morning covered in glitter and smelling of liquor to the apartment she shared with another dancer and a black cat named Charles. Her roommate, an Amazonian woman called Carlotta with skin the colour of bitter dark chocolate, didn’t dance at the Katty Klub, instead serving the tastes of a more eclectic nature at an underground club a few blocks farther away.
This Saturday, Laynie had had to leave the Katty Klub’s stage early, when one of the newer patrons to the establishment got exceedingly drunk and obnoxious. After demanding that Laynie disrobe completely and shouting obscenities he clambered up onto the stage and had to be tackled by a couple of the other patrons to prevent him from grabbing Laynie, who had dashed off stage as fast as she could in hot pink stilettos. The man was escorted firmly from the Klub by Kevin, a strapping bouncer from Mumbai who spoke English better than some of the people born to it, even with his lilting accent.
Laynie hadn’t thought anything of the incident, because things like that happened now and then. Some guys just didn’t understand the allure of the Katty Klub and they rarely returned. This Saturday, Laynie had been excused from her later set in spite of her protests. Emilio batted his mascara’d eyelashes at her.
“Sweetheart, you have been traumatized. It would be horrible of me to make you dance again after that animal nearly savaged you on stage!”
“Alright, alright. I’ll just head on home then. Me and Charles will catch up on our shows or something,” she replied. Secretly she was glad of the night off. School during the week was draining when you spent your weekends shaking your hiney for horny men.
“Do you want Kevin to walk with you?” Emilio asked, pointing his manicured finger at the bearded man by the door. His muscular arms were folded across an equally muscular chest. Laynie thought about the bourbon-soaked customer and shook her head.
“Nah, dude’s probably gone off and passed out somewhere, or ended up in La Parisienne,” she replied, referencing Carlotta’s workplace. Emilio wrinkled his nose.
Laynie let herself into her apartment with a sense of relief. She hadn’t realized that she has actually been scared to walk home alone, but she had. Charles greeted her enthusiastically, purring madly as he rubbed his sleek body against her legs. She kicked off her shoes and placed them next to Carlotta’s favourite boots and turned on lights. She opened the window in the kitchen to let out the muggy air of the day and made herself a drink, settled herself and Charlie on the couch and turned on the TV. She was absorbed in the show when she heard a sound in the kitchen.
“Hello?” she called out, wondering if Carlotta had snuck in without her noticing. She turned on the couch just in time to see someone rushing at her. She sprang out of the couch, spilling Charlie onto the floor. A sharp pain flared across her upper arm and she cried out. It was the man from the Klub.
But he didn’t have a knife.
He had a paperclip. It was one of the oversized ones bent so its ends were pointing out at her and with this he slashed at her again. She dodged but she didn’t escape his backswing and got another slash on her other arm. It amazed her how they bled.
“You little slut!” he raged. “I paid good money-“ Charlie launched himself at the man’s face and whatever else he had been about to say, was choked off in a scream as Charlie dug all four sets of claws, and his teeth into his face. Charlie leaped away before he was swatted, and landed, fur on end and back arched, hissing not too far away.
Laynie fumbled for her phone,
“You better leave,” she said. Charlie charged the man again but he bolted before the cat could claw him again. He charged out the front door.
“Hello 911,” said a voice from the phone.
“Hi,” Laynie said too stunned to form a sentence right away.
“What is the nature of your emergency,” the voice asked.
“Someone just attacked me in my own house,” she said.
A couple of hours later, Carlotta arrived home to a police cruiser outside and a mascara smeared Laynie sitting on the couch clutching towels to her arm. Carlotta convinced Laynie to let her take her to the hospital to at least get a tetanus shot after she heard the story.
Across the waiting room Carlotta chuckled again, making Laynie frown even more. The more she should about it the stupider the whole thing seemed and that just made Laynie feel even more idiotic than upset.
“Well the only thing that we can say or sure,” Carlotta said. “Is that Charlie’s a hero.”
Laynie started to laugh.
Word Count: 1051
drinking: iced tea
eating: far too much pasta
reading: Dare – Philip Jose Farmer
listening to: birds and the wind
all that is glorious about Portugal
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