Hands as raised as she could get them, as Sheila dropped to her knees she woke from her nightmare.
There was a grave chill in the air. It ran down Bonnie’s dress wrapping itself around everyone of the little, invisible blonde hairs that covered her body. It was easy to forget that the human body was covered, or supposed to be, with little fine hairs to provide sensory context and feels. It didn’t help that women especially were trained to not have body hair, causing most of them to suppress the fact all together. As Bonnie made her way through the graveyard toward the church, there was no way should could forget about her body hairs as they all stood at attention brushing against her clothing. If she hadn’t been witnessing the events her eyes were locked onto, she wouldn’t believe it was happening.
Sheda looked around the airport, trying to remember exactly how she got here. How they had gotten here. Hours ago she was looking at Tony, standing in front of their ocean-view window. They were getting ready to go out to dinner. The hotel phone had rung. The front desk said she had a call from her mother. Instantly Sheda thought of her younger sister, Amiella. Her mother’s voice sounded different, strained and far off. She could barely make out the words she was saying except for, “I’m sorry.” Her mother’s voice was replaced by a man’s – a deep voice, void of emotion. Something about Amiella and her baby. They needed to come home as soon as possible. Tony was at her side when she hung up the phone. Sheda remembered telling him that he needed to book a flight back. Immediately. “I think there is something wrong with our baby,” she had told him. “Amiella’s dead.”
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.
Deb had finally gotten her life back to almost normal after years of a permanently uphill both ways kind of trek. Theo had been dead for three years. The investigation had been closed for two years and six months. The media coverage had been over for two year years. Deb’s grief had subsided drastically over the past year. She had finished her MBA and had started her new job, in her new town, with some new work clothes and even some new workout clothes for her new hobby, running. Deb had just been getting into the swing of things at work and with her running when she was hit with the flu.
I almost feel bad. I opened this email to compose my thoughts to you, and instead I’ve done nothing but talk about this bitch from the coffee shop who has desecrated the integrity of a true writer and certain percentages of humanity. Not that I’m a true writer. Having a slew of published short stories and a free online blog, does not make someone a true writer. However, it does make my judging her a little more appropriate, and adds a whole new level of humor to her private phone conversation being loudly spoken in the middle of a coffee shop. By no means am I being hypocritical either, I like to do my writing at the library or at your house, which is where I’m supposed to be headed, but I stopped here to get a cup of coffee and potentially a brownie – I heard one of my favorite baristas was working. She always under cooks a brownie and sets it aside for me when she works the morning shifts.
Sometimes Lucile could ask for, or just, accept help. Most of the time Lucile wanted to scream and put her fist through a wall. But that would mean she was able to do something perfectly right, so naturally at best Lucile would end up with a broken hand and not a broken wall. Unfortunately for Lucile’s left hand she learned this in her early twenties. She felt if she didn’t take a step back she was going to have to relearn how less than perfect she was at the cost of her right hand.