“There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Lacy looked over to her purse sitting in the front passenger seat of her Wrangler. She heard its’ incessant ringing and debated taking the call, but she wasn’t in the mood for conversation today. She just wanted to make it back to New York before dinner. She knew she needed to put distance between herself and Littlefield. She needed space to think, to decide what to do next.
She turned on the radio. Sounds from Stone Temple Pilots filled the Jeep. I cannot believe this, she thought, while lyrics from Dead and Bloated pounded a rhythm in her head. She opened her center console, pushing aside candy wrappers and hair bands. Pulling out the first CD her fingers found, Pearl Jam’s Riot Act, she scrambled to shove it in the CD player, pressing the volume button until Love Boat Captain replaced the sound of her ringing phone and her pestering thoughts.
Lacy sped through Massachusetts a full fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit. It made little difference since every car on the road seemed to be racing for a spot in Nascar. The second time the little Dodge Neon with the peeling red paint cut her off, Lacy let her Maine out. “Jees’ Ma’ Crow! These Mass people are trying to kill me.” She yelled above the sound of the radio. “Alls I wanna do is get home in one piece.”
By the time Lacy finally reached the Terrace View Apartments, she was exhausted and hungry. She hoped Jayne had food in the fridge. She’d eat just about anything at this point. Pulling into her reserved parking spot, she sighed a big, ‘I’m home and nothing else better happen’ sigh. She through her keys into her bag and walked around to the trunk. Lacy never left her camera equipment in the car, not in New York. Doesn’t matter how good a neighborhood, New Yorker’s are thieves; at least that’s what Lacy learned after only two weeks in her new State. A couple of kids cleaning house on every car in her neighborhood, swiped her brand new iPod. No more. She empties, locks, and alarms her car every evening. Lessons learned the hard way must be remembered.
“Lace!” Jane exclaimed, throwing open the front door and grabbing a bag from Lacy’s hand. “I can’t believe you’re home already. I thought you were staying longer. Are you ok? Get in here and sit down. You look terrible.”
Jane fired questions faster than Lacy could think of responses. “I’m ok, Jane. I just need something to eat and do we have any Diet Coke?”
Lacy started to get up despite Jane’s protests.
“I can’t sit anymore. I just drove for seven and half hours and my butt is sore.”
Lacy grabbed a can of diet soda from the refrigerator. “Anything happen while I was gone?”
“Not compared to what happened in Maine! Everything is just the same here, except Dave Rosenblatt took me to dinner on Saturday. Can you believe it? Gosh, he’s such a good kisser. But, forget about my date. What happened to your grandmother?” Jane pulled out a kitchen chair and took a seat. “Lace, did somebody really kill her?” Jane asked in shaky whisper.
“I don’t want to talk about it, but I can’t stop thinking about it. It was terrible. Even though I hated Mimi for what she let Hiram do to me, I never thought she’d end up like this.”
Lacy took a seat across from Jane. “I took the pictures. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did. I just kept thinking that I had to help Mimi more than she helped me. You know? I just can’t let people down anymore. I have to do my part.”
“You took pictures!” Jane said, incredulous. “I can’t believe you did that. Isn’t that against the law or something?”
“My brother, Mason is the Chief of Police in Littlefield. They do things different up there, the way they want. Anyway, I felt like I had to do it.”
“No wonder you can’t stop thinking about it. You probably have the pictures burned in your brain. How are you gonna forget?”
“I’m not going to forget, Jayne. I’m going to remember. I need to remember. Everybody’s gone – my parents, Hiram, and now Mimi. Memories are all I have left. I just wish some memories never happened.”
“What about your brother?”
Putting her head in hands, Lacy asked, “You got anything to eat? I’m so hungry I’m getting a headache.”
“Chinese ok? I brought home leftovers from lunch.” Jayne got up and went to the refrigerator, pulling out two boxes and a bag. “I’ve got some sweet and sour chicken and an egg roll I couldn’t finish.”
“Sounds great. Thanks.”
Jayne dumped some sticky white rice on a paper plate, added a few pieces of chicken and the egg roll. Then she smothered it all in tangy pink sauce. While the microwave glowed red, turning the plate of food, Jayne pressed, “So, what about your brother? You still have him and the girls. Right?”
“Mason lives in a made-up world. You should see them. His girls are so innocent and happy and Julie doesn’t even know how we grew-up. She thinks Mimi was the sweetest old woman on earth. I mean, she was kind, she just could protect us. You know? She couldn’t ever stand up to Hiram, not in a way that would stop him. Now Mason pretends like everyone in our family was so wonderful, like a Leave-it-to-Beaver episode or something. He doesn’t let himself realize the truth. I just don’t think he can handle it.”
“But you said he’s in charge of your grandmother’s investigation? How’s he dealing with that?”
“I don’t really know. I’m afraid this isn’t going to be good for him.”
“Well, I’m afraid it’s not going to be good for you!” With that the microwave dinged and Jane pulled out the steaming MSG laced food. “Here, you better eat. I have a few papers to grade, but I’ll be done in about an hour. We can talk then.”
Lacy inhaled the leftover Chinese and walked into the living room. I could unpack or I could just lay down for a few minutes, Lacy thought. Before her sense of duty could distract her, she stretched out on the couch, pulling the blue and white snowman fleece throw down on top of her. She was asleep before her memories could keep her awake.
Lacy swam through the fog of unconsciousness. She could swear she heard a knocking, but was she on Mimi’s gold couch? She swam harder, wanting to surface.
“Yes. Can I help you?” Jayne asked opening the door a crack. There stood a gorgeous blue-eyed man with black messy curls falling on his forehead and biceps that could…
“Hi. I’m Tony, a friend of Lacy’s. This is Lacy’s apartment, isn’t it?”
Jayne nearly melted at the rich sound of his voice and the funny way he left out the ‘r’ in apartment, making it sound like apahtment.
“You ahh?” Tony dropped his ‘r’ again.
“Jayne. Uh, sorry.” She shook stars from her eyes. “I just, we weren’t expecting anyone tonight. I didn’t know Lacy had man friend coming. “Well, I’m Jayne, Lacy’s roomate.” Thrusting a hand through the crack, she said, “Come in.”
Tony pumped Jayne’s hand a few times while stepping into the apartment. He immediately saw Lacy spread on the couch, rubbing at her eyes. Walking over to stand above her, he said, “I keep waking you up. You always sleep on the couch?”
Sure she must be dreaming, she squinted through eyes puffy with the deep sleep of exhaustion. “T-Tony?”
“Sure, Flower. It’s me.” Tony dropped, kneeling beside her.
“How’d you get here?”
“I’d go to the ends of earth to find you.” Tony answered, his lopsided grin finding a comfortable place on his face. “You think New York is too far for me to drive?”
“But, how’d you know where?” Lacy sat up on her elbows, letting the snowman fleece drop into her lap.
“One of Mason’s boys gave me the address. Since you wouldn’t answer your phone, I had to come tell you the news in person, and it wasn’t easy. The traffic on the Whitestone Bridge cost me nearly two hours and a quarter tank of gas.”
“What news?” She asked, pulling herself to a sitting position. The thought of more bad news sent the Chinese food into a tummy tumble.
Taking one of her soft hands in his rough, fire beaten hand, he looked into her eyes. “They found the murder weapon.”
Ya, so I gave you a lot this week. I guess I’m trying to make up for last week. This is a very rough draft version, like I’m lucky I had a chance to run spell check. I realize it needs lots of work, but that’s life. My expectations aren’t too high right now.
I hope someone else has something to share for Fiction Friday. Please link up if you wrote something.
Welcome to the 8th Edition of Fiction Friday!
So glad you’re here. It is my hope that many of you will join us by linking your fiction post. Please read many of the links and be generous in your comments.
I cannot be responsible for the writing linked. Fiction Friday is open to anyone and I’m not policing links, just encouraging writers.
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Fiction Friday with The Domestic Fringe
The rules are as follows:
- Write fiction.
- Provide a link back to my Fiction Friday post right here on The Domestic Fringe.
- Add your specific URL to the green Mr. Linky
- Read other blogger’s fiction and give some comment love.
- Throw caution to the wind and take a chance.
Remember: Each of the linked works of fiction are original (Including my own!). They are not to be borrowed, copied, or reprinted in any way. Thank you for respecting each author’s original writing.
Now it’s your turn. Link up your fiction and we’ll come read!