Strawberry – what my Daddy taught me

Continued from 12th and 13th December.
I am already halfway to my feet before I catch myself. This is none of my business. I sit down again. The trucker looks straight at me with icy eyes and cocks his head back; a challenge.
I hold his gaze for a moment, then look down at the menu. Its words swirl meaninglessly.
My Daddy taught me that to back down is cowardly. But my Daddy isn’t here. And he can’t remember how many times I saw, from the back seat of his car, his lights punched out in the parking lots of bars. Back then I’d started to plan how I would’ve handled those situations differently. This is one of those situations.
“Here we go,” she says sliding a cup of steaming coffee onto the table. “You having anything else?”
“A piece of that chocolate cake I saw when I came in?” I point towards the door.
Her space fills with stillness. I glance up. Her pen is aimed at a little white writing block she holds in front of her face. I can see her eyes looking over the top of the writing block. Looking right at me. I get that sense of being strangled again, of my blood heating up and running so fast through my brain that my mind feels light and dizzy.
“Sure,” she says putting the pen and paper into the opening of her apron. “Would you like some cream with that?”

Strawberry – trucker trouble

Continued from yesterday…
“Good morning, Sir. Have you been helped yet?” the drawl of her smoky voice has a history of poverty.
I shake my head, unwilling to trust my own voice. It feels like someone is strangling me. I am faint. My blood is boiling in my head.
“Hang on a sec for a menu, okay?” she says, then walks toward the till.
I am weakened and thrilled by the sight of her pert ass jiggle from side to side underneath her skirt. The backs of her nude, white legs, formless as pencils and so confident in their youthful stride, captivate me.
She whisks a menu from behind the counter and starts back. I avoid her eyes by looking elsewhere, only to see the trucker lick chocolate covered fingers with salacious delight as she passes by him. I bite my lip.
“Here we go,” she says placing the menu in front of me with a graceful sweep that brings with it a waft of her deodorant tainted sweat. “Can I get you a coffee?”
“Yes.” It’s my voice. Sounds so foreign. Still, I avoid looking at her.
She walks off again. I peek.
“Hey, Honey,” the trucker grumbles, stopping her with a hand as she is just about past his booth.
She gasps. Even the kids in the background fall silent at the sound.
“How ‘bout another one just like that,” the trucker says and stabs his empty plate with a blunt, fat finger.
I am already halfway to my feet before I catch myself. This is none of my business. I sit down again. The trucker looks straight at me with icy eyes and cocks his head back; a challenge.

Strawberry – entering the diner

When I enter the diner that’s the first thing I take in. The space. How it’s filled. How it exists.
The most dramatic and immediate change from the space I’ve just left behind is the assault of cooking oil and ammonia on my nose. Do people still clean with ammonia?
Then the colors. Red leather benches. White tabletops. Pink uniforms.
A toddler three tables to the right of the entranceway pitches a spoon into the air. It forms an impressive arc before it comes to a ping and skittle on the cream tiled floor. His brother laughs. His mother scolds.
I head left. I pass an enormous trucker wolfing a chocolate and syrup waffle. An old man stares at his reflection in a mirror behind the counter as he waits for his change. The waitress, whose rings under her eyes match her charcoal hair, scratches in the till with her fingers, and the flesh of her underarms flaps gently.
I take my seat in the last booth before the bathrooms. My back is against the wall. I sense someone behind me. She exits the corridor wiping her hands on her apron.
Her skin is like snow right before sunset; her hair the sun about to set. Her lips are a strawberry, her eyes are two invigorating pools reflecting the sky on a mountaintop.
“Good morning, Sir. Have you been helped yet?” the drawl of her smoky voice has a history of poverty.

Coming Soon…

Spent some time this weekend having a blast with my colleagues filming a one minute ‘trailer’ for a non-existent television show. I’ll let you know once it’s edited and up on YouTube.

Bus Ride – Inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday: stronger than fate is the theme over at BeKindReWrite this week. I chose the prompt Why is she smiling?. Be sure to check out the amazing writers over there and join in once you feel inspired.

Bus Ride
Why is she smiling? What does she know that I don’t?
Why is she smiling? There is that unspoken rule that you don’t look other people in the eye when you’re on public transportation, yet whenever each fluctuation of golden orange light cast from the streetlamps overhead peaks, I see her obstinate gaze remains steadfast on me. Why is she smiling? We’re riding the last bus out to the suburbs, though I live on the opposite side of town. There are only four stops left and six people remain on board. She will get out at the last stop. So will I, so why is she smiling? Is that even a smile? Or is it a sneer? The rolling cascades of dark hair framing her face must be the envy of every woman she meets. Her eyes are dark chocolate, full of bitter sweetness. Blue jeans and a sweatshirt two sizes too large, black and emblazoned with a large white A, make it impossible to tell with any certainty what the precise symmetry of her stature is.
The bus stops. She is washed in light. She gets up and walks towards me. Why is she smiling? Her laptop bumps the side of my face as she passes. Purposeful? I don’t know. Is she forcing my hand? I don’t know. This is not her stop. I dare not turn to look at her. I take a breath. I rise from my seat and make for the open door on the side of the vehicle. In the moment I turn onto the steps, I realise she is seated to my left. I glance at her on the way out of the bus and readjust my handbag. Why is she smiling?

Endocrime – excerpt

Kay Camden, a regular reader of my blog asked yesterday if I’d post an excerpt from my NaNo piece. Because it was Kay who who asked, I’ll do it! Here is a short paragraph from Endocrime, the story of a man who may be going mad.

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Though I want to pour another coffee, I decide to transcribe one more recording from the Doc. That way I can appease my conscience when I take a break. I reach for the computer’s mouse, guide the arrow on the screen to its target, then click on the file.
A woman’s voice comes through the speakers this time. I adjust the volume before restarting the recording, fingers hovering above the keyboard.

I don’t think I’ll be seeing you anymore, Doc. I don’t think you can help me. See, it’s all a lie. A conspiracy. You’re part of it. I know you’re going to deny it, so don’t even say anything. I prefer you don’t lie to me right now. That’ll just make me angrier. I’m not alone, Doc – if you even are a doctor – I’m not alone. There are thousands just like me out there. I’ve found them. They can help me. I’m not going to disclose any more about how I found them or where they are. I don’t trust you. But I trust them. We’ve been talking. They understand everything about me. They know. They’ve told me so many things that make sense of my so-called problem. They’ve told me about the master plan. Oh, yeah. Look at you. Poker face and all. Like you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. You fucking asshole. You’re not here to help me. You’re here to regain control. I’ve slipped through your little net and it’s time you reeled me in again. I know about you and the pharmacies and the government and your plans. Well guess what? You’re not going to control me. It’s a free country. I don’t have to see you or take those tablets you give me. Oh, you think I don’t know about those tablets? How they are designed to stop me from thinking? To stop me from seeing the truth? How they block the most important psychic functions of my brain? Well, fuck you and your little tablets. I’m not going to take them no more. No more, you hear me?