Nathan sat in the corner, in the lone chair of the hotel room, facing the door. An open pack of Marlboro Reds along with his cell phone sat on the end table beside him. Smoke drifted from a cigarette held loosely between his fingers. The ash had grown long and drooped down from the red cherry.
I got up from the floor and glanced at the frozen lake. In the morning, the sunlight streaked across it like bright scribbles of yellow crayon. I saw yellow spots all over the cabin.
“You got a little too mcskunk last night,” Wiley laughed, pressing empty beer cans to his chest. Wiley was big. His body was shaped like a bulb baster.
B was small and just flushed the toilet. “Mcskunkess is up. How ya feelin’, bitch,” he smiled as he walked toward me. B had a patch of frizzy hair that looked glued to the top of his head.
“Um,” I said.
Another change for week 110 so I’ll get on with the reviews and then explain myself.
We had a mix of horror, markets, a ‘legal’ killing, a fishing technique and a town’s history.
Only one new person this week. As usual, our initial comments follow.
Vernon looked at the menu. He saw
in a box in the lower left-hand corner. That included orange juice, eggs, grits, coffee and a pastry. But he was in the mood for a proper chowdown. A matronly waitress came over and said, “What’ll it be, sweetie?” Vernon said, “I’ll have the pancakes, then the eggs and sausages. Fried eggs. What kind of pie you got?” The waitress said, “Apple, cherry, blueberry, pecan, lemon meringue.” Vernon said, “Yeah, give me blueberry – no, no, make that lemon meringue.” The waitress poured his coffee and brought him the pancakes with a small pitcher of maple syrup and a few pats of butter in a dish.
In the kitchen of a cottage nestled among oak trees they waited – for neighbour, for colleague; for broken doors and strangers with zip-lock bags. Jay was long gone, whipping across fields, toward the blockhouse he’d carved with nails and fire. He crawled into peace and wished he could stay, wished he could curl up on the soft, wet earth and sleep. But if he did they would find him, find him without looking and he wasn’t ready for that medicine, for any medicine – just now his liberty was a sickness he refused to cure. He dug up his plane ticket, kicked things quiet and headed toward the airport.
“Hey, nigger, you about ready to die now, or you want to put that shit off until the sun look you in the eye?”
Big Smoke’s loomin over me sweatin and hackin open coconuts with his keen machete. He stoops to hand me a half a coconut full of milk. I lean back against the palm tree and try to accept the natural bowl but my hands start shakin, and the shakin ripples up my arms, across my shoulders, and my whole frame’s throbbin and bobbin.
“…you can actually taste the friction Dimitri.”
Stu shook his head and stared, unnoticed at his iPad surfing wife. “Did you hear that Jen? They can actually taste the friction.”
“Hmm…that’s nice love.”
“I suppose they’d know that sort of thing what with it being a cooking show and all, but actually tasting friction? I can’t even begin to contemplate what friction would taste like. OK that’s not true, I imagine it tastes pretty similar to sticking one of those nine volt Duracells on your tongue when you were nine and stupid but that isn’t the point.”
“I expect so love.”
“You’re not even listening to me are you? I could say whatever I wanted right now and you wouldn’t hear a word of…come to think of it it’s probably more like sucking on wet wool.”