Nessy Nickerson slid in to Grump’s Tank quietly unannounced. As always it took fellow bar patrons a few moments to notice him. His quiet walk, quick movements, and predatory tendencies made his presence unknown and unnerving. Most of all like him, it was unmistakable.
Category: Work in progress pieces
Sitting down on the edge of his bed he opened the drawer of the his nightstand. He had two books to choose from. One was a school book, the other had been sent to him by his pen pal. He hadn’t been sure about it when she first told him about it and then sent it over. It seemed to be a book for girls. But she swore line after line that it was just a really good book. Not for girls, or for boys, just for anyone who had feelings and more for anyone who had trouble dealing with them. Chuck picked it up and held it under his nose. It smelled like a regular book, but with something else. He imagined it was what his pen pal smelled like. It wasn’t sweet, but it smelled good. Almost as good as when his mama baked her special desserts for his pop. There was something almost nutty about the smell. Whatever it was blended in so well with the book smell he couldn’t be certain, but it thought it could be cinnamon. Maybe nutmeg. He’d have to ask his mama what type of things she used in her baking to know for sure. Chuck liked to think it was because his pen pal also baked. His pop always said there was nothing better in this world than a woman who could bake.
Not for Hank though. Hank was very familiar with the bodies of young women. As a medical assistant who used to work at a clinic he had seen thousands of them. As a once-predator he had seen maybe seen dozens. Even for him the splayed opened body of the young woman was revolting. Her body clearly dismembered and on display in the middle of the street was horrifying.
Looking up at him, Carmella could see Nick processing her proposal. That or he was really enjoying the Piping Plover, Carmella wasn’t sure. She nuzzled her head against his hand. Nick tossed the bird into the trash can under Carmella’s desk and his knife on top. Suddenly he grabbed his sister, pulling her up, spinning her around and putting down her on top of his lap. Carmella wiggled across his lap until she sat comfortably and upright looking into her brother’s stonewall face.
Nick looked at his baby sister as she ran out of the house toward the car. At a whopping 5 feet 5 inches she was nearly a full foot shorter than he. Her body had filled out and from certain angles Nick saw a hot upperclassmen instead of his sister. While Carmella took after her mother, she had something that her mother did not – she had a twin. She probably could have skipped a grade or two, but Carmella’s focus was always divided between her own school work and Nick’s.
ma Lynn had first met Ryan in the public library. He had signed up for a tutoring session with her through the library. They were three years apart. Ryan had repeated a grade from when his family moved up. Emma Lynn had graduated high school and college early. Ryan was a part-time athlete and a part-time trouble-maker. The rest of the time he spent much to himself. Working on a bike he was putting together for after his birthday. Not that that stopped him from driving abandon cars around town or the bikes of some of his more rough and tough friends. Emma Lynn was working on her Doctorate. Her boyfriend was a college professor where she was attending classes. He was 20 years her senior, but intellectually they were on the same page. Timothy and Emma Lynn often spent evenings at his home in the living room, television off, papers being graded or worked on; dinners on the table Timothy’s ex-wife had picked out, glasses of red wine being poured over conversations about environmental issues, political debates, and planning for the future. Emma Lynn thought of Timothy in stark contrast to Ryan, who she wasn’t entirely if it was his ambivalence or brain that made him seemingly illiterate. Everything about Timothy was smart – the way he dressed, the way he spoke, the fun they had, the love they made that was passionate and a little methodical, like one writing a very interesting and tough literary criticism. Emma Lynn was sure that there was very little that Ryan did which was smart. But she had a feeling there might be one or two things that he did better than Timothy.