Note: I found this in my popcorn file this morning. All of my novels start like this, a few pages just to see if I like the characters. My latest novel, A One-way Cruise to Africa (finished but not yet published), started like this. I’m posting this kernel for your entertainment–even though it has nothing to do with my new novel–in case you need a break and your coffee is still drinkable. I’ll let you know when A One-way Cruise to Africa is available!
Aubrey dumped her parcels in an empty chair at the table and looked at the old friend she’d run into at the mall. “I can’t believe it! You divorced Stephen? When did this happen?”
“Over two years ago. I think you were in Kansas taking care of your mother.”
“He stopped dancing.” When she saw her friend waiting for the rest of the story she added, “Well, at least he stopped dancing with me. I have no idea what he may have done on someone else’s dance floor.”
“So he was fooling around?”
“I don’t know. I was speaking literally. He stopped dancing. That was the first clue. Then he stopped doing other things. One at a time like when your favorite CD gets a scratch. First it’s just one song. Then another .Then another. Until, finally, the whole CD is ruined.”
“Where is he now?”
“On the other side of town in a fancy townhouse.”
“Who’s he with?”
“I must never speak her name. You know her.”
“Augh! No way! That oinker?!”
“My mother thanks you, my lawyer thanks you, but most of all, I thank you. I found her panties in the laundry once…eee-uuu.” With that, she spread her arms as wide as she could without hitting the man at the next table”.
“Oh, yeah. And they were old and dingy…and cheap.”
The barista brought the coffees they’d ordered when they came though the door .
Shasta loaded up her latte with sugar. When she noticed her friend gasping she said,
“Leave me alone. Sugar is just about all I have left nowadays.”
“I’m not surprised. In college you were so shy you went to the library every time we had movie night.”
“Can we change the subject? How’s your job?”
“When the housing market collapsed, I moved over to the commercial side of the business. It’s been even worse, but at least, I’m having more fun. Contractors give great parties. You’ll have to go with me sometime.”
“Sure. Just let me know. I don’t get out much—too many deadlines now that I’ve kicked my writing into high gear.”
Shasta lingered over her coffee when Aubrey gathered up her shopping bags and went home. She was in no rush to get back to her computer. The latest blog she was going to post needed to cool off a few hours. For her, posting in haste was never a good idea. Too often, her fingers were quicker—and sharper—than her brain.
Visit my site to see my books and plays!
*Janelle Meraz Hooper is an indie writer living in the middle of berry country
(raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, oh my!)
40 miles south of Seattle.
But wait! There’s more! If you enjoyed this kernel, check out
The Art in His bed The Art in His Bed
(Click on the blue text)