SYTYCW – Voting Week 4

14 Sep

Welcome to ROUND 4! You know the drill -we have 2 things going on:

1. Vote for your favorite line at the bottom of the post

2. Link here announcing the vote on your blog/facebook/site and comment here to be entered to win this weeks book drawing – still 6 books to choose from!

Without further ado, here they are:


“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?”

In the video, the camera zoomed in for a tight shot of the Press Secretary’s face.


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. “I know you told me the people in Fairview were prudes and all, but maybe they’ve changed.


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.

Forehead pressed to his, I choke on the burnt stench of gun powder and try to hum the lullaby James used to sing to me.


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.

He handed me a photo of a man in a prison uniform and somewhere under the beard and long hair I recognized him, even though it had been a couple of years since I’d seen my father.


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. Seriously, a garbage truck, I didn’t even get dignity in death.


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.

“Wow, not awkward at all,” she nodded in thanks and tried to nonchalantly jam them into the mound of clothes as he propped himself up onto a washer.


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. The unfamiliar terrain of the Scottish Highlands played tricks on her senses, as the threat of being caught again by the brutes who kidnapped her terriffied her.


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. She didn’t need any bad press about her family compounding the media circus.


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. Oh God, I’d likely done fifty freaky things my friends would joke about for the next six months.


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. The barren, cold walls began closing in around me, suffocating my senses.


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.

Then, with her arms wrapped tight about her, she encouraged the grasping flames while reflecting on how the Avery’s annual masquerade never failed to transform her into a watering pot.


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 the soft cadence of casual speech is the only sound that emanates from the hall. I wonder if the screaming was only in my dream.
My roommate snores softly and rolls over, tearing attention away from my kick drum heartbeat and sweat slicked skin.


“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.

“I’m Lauren Franklin, no relation to Ben,” I lie.


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.

It had always been there in the back of my mind, lingering like the sort of bad taste that gets stuck in your throat.


 “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. My right hand cradles the Nikon to my belly.


 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.

“What did you say you do for a living, Ken?”


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. I’d forgotten that first and foremost important rule: stay away from the Johnson garage. 


It gets harder every week – last week we lost one of my favorite lines! I’m sure everyone is starting to feel the voting stress.

6 Responses to “SYTYCW – Voting Week 4”

  1. dyromance September 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Post will be up in a couple of minutes:

  2. Raye September 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

  3. Allison Kelsey September 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Did Facebook again:

  4. Rene September 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm #


  5. Jenn September 15, 2010 at 8:39 am #


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