Saturday, August 30, 2008
A friend observed that the insects were going silent and the birds were gathering, talking in their little groups of leaving the mountains. It's early for this yet and I wonder if it has anything to do with the coming storm.
My story, Collectors, was accepted today by Up the Staircase. It's a newer publication but I've been following them from the start and have been really impressed. Go have a look at them--they have some gorgeous photos of Savannah and Bonaventure Cemetery. Bonaventure is where my family's burial plot is--and the cemetery made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I think it was pretty famous before.
When I was little, we would drive through there on Sundays and just drive around. We'd visit Gracie Watson's tomb. I grew up on tales on long-dead children. I never thought it particularly peculiar, though in hindsight, the fact that my mother and I haunted graveyards as often as we did--thoroughly enjoying the company of these ghosts, does seem odd.
Collectors is about another activity my mother and I sometimes enjoyed. You'll be able to read it on October 1st.
Back to Porn and Donuts!
Officer Jack Hensley washed the sugar from his hands in the men’s room of the Kingston Pike Krispy-Kreme Doughnut shop. He was burning an ever-shorter candle at both ends to supplement his low cop’s pay. Despite several attempts at the detective’s exam, he had not yet passed. He stopped at the doughnut shop for a sugar and caffeine fix each night before going to his night job. Jack had turned sideways and sucked his gut in when Lucius locked eyes with him.
They looked at each other with equal discomfort before obeying the unspoken rule forbidding eye contact. Jack slid his utility belt back and forth as if adjusting it. Lucius fled into a stall and tried to lock the door behind him. He settled on sitting on the toilet with one hand propping the door closed. Jack cleared his throat and left the restroom.
Lucius sat on the commode feeling panicked. He stared at the broken latch on the door. His fingers tugged then twisted the lacy fabric hanging from his shirtfront. Sweat beaded on his forehead while he wondered what to do. The cherry scented deodorizer made him nauseous. The teddy broke free, taking a shirt button with it. He balled the scrap of fabric in his fist and shoved it in the wastebasket.
Lucius washed his face at the sink, tidying himself. He stuck his head under the faucet to rinse off the frosting still gluing his hair together. He dried off with paper towels then ran his fingers through his wet hair. The simple tasks calmed him a bit.
He took some comfort he had not heard any sort of disturbance from the shop. He took several deep breaths before leaving the safety of the men’s room and looked over to the service bar where Kellie sat.
The cop was leaning one hip against the counter talking to Kellie. She laughed at something he said and playfully touched his arm. Lucius thought she lingered a bit when she did so. Kellie leaned forward letting Jack get a good look down her shirt. Lucius forgot any fear he had been feeling about the cop.
He stomped over to his stool and sat down. He kept sullen eyes on his doughnuts then started dumping sugar packets into his coffee. He picked up one of the glazed and took a savage bite. The warm pastry stuck to the roof of his mouth like white bread.
“So who’s your friend?” Lucius growled through a mouthful of doughnut.