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chapter 1

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Johnny Slipknot

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 39
Location: The Burned City
chapter 1  Reply with quote  



Seth didn’t realize he was asleep until she spoke.

“Excuse me.” Her face swam into view. He could smell perfume along with the permeating aroma of coffee. No. Not perfume, shampoo. Aveda Black Malva shampoo. The same kind his ex in New York used to use. Before she became a lesbian.

“Excuse me.” He must have looked awake because she smiled and touched his arm and said, “What did you get for seven down?”

“What?” A gorgeous woman was asking him to add something or…something. He had to wake up.

“Seven down? Mountain lake? What did you get?” She was pointing to his copy of the morning puzzle, finished except for two; a Latin phrase and a Greek patio. His coffee cup, long gone cold, was covering the allusive seven down. She reached to move it.

“Tarn!” he blurted. Her eyes widened as she pulled her hand back. Great. He had scared her. Always a good first impression.

“That’s the answer. A mountain lake is a ‘tarn’.”

“Oh! I thought you were swearing at me in Israeli or something.”
She gently pushed his half-full cup aside and laid out her puzzle on his own. When she leaned over to fill it in, her hair fell inches from his face. Seth could see her bra strap, white; beneath her blouse that hung slightly, maddeningly open.
Four letters. An absurdly short word for something as grandiose as a glacial work a nature that’s-

“Thanks. I would have never gotten that one. Sorry if I woke you.”

She was leaving. Seth struggled, dug deep, and came up with the best his sleep soaked mind could find.
“You smell like my lesbian.”

Seth was sure that the coffee shop and everything in a six-mile radius around it had come to a screeching halt. He waited for the sound of cars slamming into poles. None came. Just the of the hiss of the cappuccino machine and the bewildered look in her eyes.

“No! I mean…you smell like...Your hair smells like my girlfriend-I MEAN, my EX-girl-….”
He stopped. He breathed.
“I have an ex-girlfriend in New York who is now a lesbian. She used Black Malva shampoo, too. As far as I know, she still does.”

She smiled. Thank GOD she smiled.

“What I was trying to say is, you smell nice.”

Her blue eyes held his for a moment as her smile went from one of relief to something that reminded him of being eleven years old and finding his uncle’s Playboy. Miss September 1977 had given him that same smile.

“Thank you.”

Then she turned to go, proving to Seth that that side was every bit as well made as the one he had been dealing with. When he finally tore his eyes off her Levi’s she was almost out the door.

“My name’s Seth,” but his voice got lost in an order of decaf- mochachinos.

He told himself that falling asleep in coffee shop was not necessarily uncool. It was actually rather ironic. Irony was always cool. Right? Right. Then it was settled.

Seth Slocum, age thirty-two, stood in the Mean Bean coffeehouse resigned that he was still cool and wondering what the hell time it was. His answer was two tables over.

Seth had come to think of her as ‘the Troglodyte’. She was always here at the same time he was, 10:30 till around noon. He always sat at the table by the window, she at the one by the fireplace.
They were about twelve feet apart and every inch was filled with animosity. Seth gave up some time ago trying to figure out why. They had never spoken in all the time he had been coming here. It had taken him awhile to notice it. At first he thought she was just squinting because of the light from the window behind him, but the next week it had rained and the look was the same. Seth was so non-plussed, he actually considered going over to apologize. For what? Wasn’t important. The most important thing was to make that awful look go away.
Then, curiosity set in and he racked his brain to recall any occasion when they might have known each other. High school, college, the bar scene in the Carolinas where the band had run the circuit…nothing. Curiosity became annoyance, which turned to anger, and finally gave way to tradition. He decided that the dark haired girl from across the way had been sent here to make his after-work ritual a small trial.

His cellphone rang.

“What?” Only a handful off people knew his cell number and they all knew what a crank he was after work.

“Seth.” It was Jay.

“What up Jay?”

“You still at the coffee shop?” They had been friends since they were ten years old and Jay possessed the singular ability to annoy him in one question.

“Yes, Jay, I’m at the coffee shop. Why you calling?”

Seth could hear him lighting up a Marlboro. The wait only annoyed him more.

“What time you got, Seth?”

“What? I don’t know, man. MY time. We’re on my time now.”

Jay snickered and coughed smoke into the phone. Seth found himself wanting a cigarette, something he didn’t indulge in until after dark.

“Are you there with a girl or something?”

“No. Well, the Troglodyte, but other than that, no. Why the hell do you…” he sat up. “Hey, you remember Stacy? The girl we met in Chapel Hill?”

“The one with the insane breasts?”

“Exactly. Man, I just met her twin.” The Trog was now looking at him with the stink-eye. Seth lowered his voice. “It was weird, I fell asleep and a heard this voice-..”

“You fell asleep.”Jay asked.

“Yes. I looked up into this face-”

“You fell asleep in a coffee house?”

“Yes, you prick! Now listen, she asked what I-”

“Well that explains it. You’re asleep in at the Mean Bean while I’m trying to preserve what little professional integrity we have.” Jay could never master an angry tone. The best he could do was sardonic and to his credit, he had perfected it.

“What are you talking abou--Fuck! Aww fuck me! What time is it?” he had leapt to his feet nearly knocking over the table. The Trog was clearly amused. Seth quickly wished her an unclean death and fumbled into his jacket.

“You know, we busted our asses to make this interview happen. If you didn’t want to-”

“Screw you. I’m on my way”

“If it’s not-” Click.

Seth cursed when he couldn’t find his keys in his jacket. He cursed some more when he realized his jacket was on inside out. He found his keys, grabbed his Simpsons mug and pen, opting to leave the paper. Figuring he was as together as he was gonna get, he headed for the door. He was almost out when the most astonishing thing happened.... spoke.

“Hey Slick,” Her voice was deeper than he would have imagined. At least he would have imagined it if he had gotten past the discovery that she had a tongue. “Quite a day you’re having, huh Slick?”

Probably a forked tongue.

She had blueprints unrolled in front of her and a look on her face that told Seth she was taking time out of important work to speak to him.

“Before you go, the Boob-job? She wrote her number on your paper.”

He looked back to the table. Sure enough, it was right there. Eileen 404-867-1807 Top corner, above twelve across; AGOG, the four letter word for dumbstruck. He took the paper and looked back to the Trog with its smoky voice. He felt very twelve across.

“I think you were too busy smelling her hair to notice. But, you had just woken up.” She took a slow slip from her Mattise mug and favored him with a slow smile, “If you hurry you, you can catch her before her one o’clock Tae Bo class.” She went back to her renderings, leaving him and his inside-out jacket speechless.

She looked up, “Bye Slick.”

Seth pointed at her with the paper and was about to tear in when the phone rang.

“If it’s not important to you-”

“Fuck you, Jay!” Seth hit the door running.



Post Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:05 am   View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Posts: 22
Location: Casper, Wyoming
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"You smell like my lesbian."

Laughed my ass off!
*If only I was more creative*

Post Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
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