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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Curse/Or: Chapter 5 cont'd

Teresa cradled Tommy against her chest, holding him close as his pudgy little body pressed hotly against hers. Each wracking gasp of air she pulled in made her ears ring with his cries for love and nourishment, and she longed for the rich, sweet smoke that would rescue them both.

Except that the noise she kept hearing didn't sound like a child at all, and when she snapped out of the half-dream (although Tommy was still there, he was always there), it seemed to be coming from outside of her hotel room door. It was more like the plaintive wailing of a cat left outside in the rain, scratching to be let in.

Rolling onto her stomach, Teresa could see that an envelope had been pushed underneath the door and sat, pale and ghostly, in the dim light of her room. Inside, written on hotel stationery in block letters, was a message:

Netty is lying.
Come to the parking lot to hear more.
We have cigarettes.

*** *** ***

The parking lot smelled of oily rain over hot asphalt, like the entire surface was an enormous pan for sautéing car tires in their own juices. Teresa tried to act casual as she waited for her unknown benefactor outside the hotel lobby, clenching and relaxing her hands within the pockets of her thin windbreaker as she shifted restlessly. More than once a car had cruised by, slowing as it passed to allow the driver a longer look at her.

“I ain't a goddamn whore!” she screamed, whipping the largest rock she could find at the rear window of the last person who did this. It bounced off the rapidly receding taillights with a sharp crack. She muttered obscenities under her breath as she crouched down, looking for something better to throw, like a broken spark plug or a piece of brick.

A car, large and black and expensive, rolled to a stop beside her as she tried to pry up the decorative paving. A power window hushed down into its housing. “Ms. Reyes?”

“About goddamn time,” she groused, climbing into a stranger's car for the second time that day.

*** *** ***


  1. I feel that the 'she groused' is a little redundant; 'groused' is a good word but it's fairly obvious who's speaking and in what tone they're doing so.  You could possibly lose 'she screamed' as well.  You craft your dialogue and situations well and they do the work that's needed without the need for egregious alternative verbs.  When you're economical, you turn out such lyrical miracles as "the rich, sweet smoke that would rescue them both" - and that's brilliant.

  2. C'nor (Outermost Toe)July 23, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    I'm betting that that spark plug wouldn't exactly stay broken, would it?

  3.  Broken ceramic from spark plugs is fantastic for shattering glass, as it has a higher specific density than brick or rocks.

  4. I was wondering when the shadowy other side was going to come into play, with this much power bouncing about there was no way Netty's collective was going to remain unopposed.
    Really excited to see the next phase setting up to kick into action :-)


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