7 Sep

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 The thick cloud of confusion occupying my thoughts lifted and was instantly replaced by paralyzing fear.  My body stiffened as my mind raced uncontrollably with realization; this harsh, sterile environment was unfamiliar.  I tried desperately to speak, to scream out, to connect to something concrete.


They say you can’t go home again, but then they’ve never been down to their last hundred bucks when home called demanding their return. Which was how Evie Bell found herself driving back into town in her ancient Civic with one suitcase full of clothes and a big box of adult toys her best friend had given her as a going away present.

“I don’t have any shops in Tennessee,” Benny Silver, owner of Goody’s Goodies, the fastest-growing chain of sex-toy shops in the country, had said when he’d loaded the carton into her hatchback.


There are two rooms my mom and I don’t rent folks at our motel: No. 3 has all kinds of problems with the plumbing and the wiring never works right, but the main problem is No. 13… it eats people. No blood, guts, or gore… if they go in they just won’t come out and that means we’d have to hide another car.

It’s not a secret that’s easy to live with, turns my stomach most every day, but the night that policeman showed up I nearly lost my dinner all over my shoes.


My first memory of James is what keeps me here, smoothing hair out of a boy’s blood-spattered face. The sirens screaming in the distance are too late.

They’re always too late.


When the phone call came from a man identifying himself as an attorney in Ohio, Rowena’s first thought was, who’s in jail this time? She’d had her fill of phone calls from attorneys. The past six months had been a non-stop parade of rescheduled court dates and press conferences, each one splattered across the front page of every rag mag in the country. 


 “So, the aliens gave you a list of people they want.” Larry King sat back in his chair and regarded the White House Press Secretary. “Did they say why?”


“Carey Breen is MIA.”

His lips and tongue measure, weighing each word to cause the most pain.

I lean my hips against my desk until the pine bites into my backbone.


There were a lot of hot girls at F—town—Bucktown—High, but the one I really took notice of was the cute little Asian girl with tawny-brown hair and blue-gray eyes. And even though she had damn-she’s-fine good looks, I was more drawn to the constant softness in her eyes that really got me thinking that maybe she could understand me when no one else could.

Her name was Maira Kita, and the only thing preventing me from approaching her was the reason I needed someone’s sincere sympathy in the first place—my borderline personality disorder.


 Somewhere between dessert and my second glass of chardonnay, I realized my date was a male prostitute. I sipped my wine and tried not to choke on the realization that my so called best friend had set me up. I would deal with Lanie later, but for now dumping Gigolo Boy was my main priority.


 After waking, I sit upright in bed with my head held in my hands, the after-image of the dream burned into my retinas like the too-close flash of a camera. At first I was afraid that my screams would bring the orderlies running, but only the soft cadence of casual speech emanates from the hall. I wonder if the screaming was only in my dream.


 I never saw the truck coming. It’s the story of my life, I get blindsided by something that’s obvious to everyone else. My memory is a bit hazy, not that I want a vivid recollection of being flattened by a garbage truck.


 You would think that waking up in a coffin, buried six feet under would be the lowest moment of my day—but you would be wrong. Oh sure, it wasn’t exactly a highlight either but you see, I wasn’t dead and in my dirt smudged notebook of The Rules, that meant I had a chance. It wasn’t every day a girl found herself buried with the skeleton of a long dead drug dealer, but I suppose if I had to admit anything, I did have it coming.


 Lady Phoebe Howard had been in and out of trouble all her life; but kidnapping was new ground, even for her. She grunted as her knees hit cold wet earth. Cursing the ancient tree roots that conspired against her escape, she scrambled to her feet.


Lucy shoved the door to the laundry room open with her fanny, struggling to keep hold of the basket, detergent, and the baggie of quarters clenched in her teeth.

“Hello there, need some help?” A cute bearded stranger jumped off the vinyl couch and hurried to the door, scooping up a sock and two black lacy thongs that fell out of her basket.


The night after the biggest promotion of my life, I woke up with a monster hangover and my bra on backwards. I tried to recall how I’d reached the back seat of my Honda Accord, but everything from the previous night blurred into memories my mind refused to hold.

I leaned forward and found my dirt-covered cellphone on the floor.


If this alien doesn’t die soon, I’m gonna be late for cheerleading practice. Somehow I don’t think Coach Harbinger will take Sorry, I had to save the world from an alien invasion as a legit excuse. She’d not only make me run laps, but send me to the school shrink and I’d rather take an electron ray to the eyeball than talk to another therapist. 


 Miss Marcia Elizabeth Drummond snatched the ivory invitation from the salver and perused the elegant handwriting. Dashing away a tear that clung stubbornly to her lashes, she wished six years of accumulated shame could be brushed away as easily. Her hand trembled as she crossed the room and flung the horrid thing into the fireplace.


 I stood at the crime scene with police tape tangled in my trembling hands and the taste of blood in my mouth. I couldn’t remember how I got there and that scared me more than the murders. I prayed that I wasn‘t going crazy again.


“On behalf of Historic Philadelphia Alive, I’d like to welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love.”

I smile at the small group waiting for me inside the Independence Visitor Center as I take their tickets, relieved that my last tour of the long Fourth of July day consists of only four elderly couples, three generic tourists, two Jersey Shore cast wannabes, and a mom pushing a little boy in a stroller.

This will be the easiest 75 minutes of my life.


4 Responses to “SYTYCW – Week 3 VOTE!”

  1. Allison Kelsey September 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I shared the link on Facebook. Proof appears on your FB wall, if you don’t want to hunt for it on your news feed. 🙂

  2. Rita September 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I want more!

  3. Rita September 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    Looking for more they are all so great! Vote vote vote!

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