Monthly Archives: July 2013

THE OLD LADY

Darin could not be more late as he trudged in the elevator. This morning was off to a horrible start.

His alarm did not go off (Stupid phone.); the toaster burned his bagel (Are you serious?); he spilt orange juice on his neatly pressed white shirt (Fuck!); Sherman, his rat-terrier, decided to have his way in the back corner of the bedroom (Great, more shit.); and shall we not forget the bumper to bumper traffic on the 409 that caused a fantastic mishap with Darin and an older lady.

“That lady. God, had she gotten under my skin,” Darin thought as he squeezed between the people in the elevator.

She just stood there, after the fender-bender, shaking her head. Her white curls bouncing about.

“Always in a hurry, you young folks. One of the many failures of your generation.” She bit her bottom lip and narrowed her eyes at Darin. A sigh quickly left her mouth.

Darin let his eyes meet her little, beady black ones. Drops of perspiration were forming on his forehead as he leaned against his old red Crown Victoria. The summer sun was on the rise.

He gave her an apprehensive smile. “You know, if you would just fill out your contact information on that little paper I gave you there, I could get on with my speedy ways.”

The old woman rolled her eyes. “Ha! Like I trust you to get this filed and settled properly. You’d just take this paper and throw it out the window. Pretend it never happened. And I would be out the money for my car.” She started with the head shaking again. “That’s another problem; your generation has no idea about responsibility. You’re also greedy, is what you are. Oh no, we will wait for the proper authorities.” She raised her eyebrows.

Darin heaved and looked around in bewilderment. He was getting nowhere with this old broad. He loosened his tie and stared back at the mess of wrinkles and dentures. He could feel her muggy hatred surrounding him. At the least, maybe his stare would do the same to her.

“Ding!” the elevator’s charming sound brought Darin back to the present. He swiftly moved to the back side of the office and into his cubicle. He laid back in his chair while the computer booted; perhaps the rest of the day would bring better tidings.

Advertisements

JUST FINISHED: The Secret Keeper

Author: Kate Morton

Genre: Historical Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Secret Keeper started a little slow for me but began picking up the pace towards the middle of the book. I think one of the issues I was having was a general understanding of why the main character would wait till her mother was on her deathbed to ask hard questions.  I realize she experienced a traumatic event but, personally, I could never wait that long (it would always be fogging up my mind).

Morton did a great job at piecing the puzzle together using three different major timelines: present day, 1960s, and WWII (1940s). The narrative floated seamlessly to each character from era to era. The characters in this novel are very complex; they are never what they initially seem to be on the surface. I really enjoyed that aspect considering people in reality are the same way. There is always more to the story.

This book is enthralled in love and mystery. A fantastic summer read.

THE SERPENT’S DOOR

I can’t explain what I felt at that moment. All I knew was that I felt.

My heart was beating, pumping blood through my ears.

My insides were turning and a tremor was running up and down my spine.

This was it. This was what we had waited for.

Fifty-seven days and fifty-six nights and what was before us was the end. The end to a very long journey and a mysterious beginning. I think each of us didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t want to move a step further. One more step meant it was all over. This great adventure of ours.

I observed the huge, golden door that stood in front of us. It was inlaid with intricate carvings of serpents tangled with ancient verse. The door itself gave a soft glow to the cavernous room. There was beauty in the door. Such beauty would not exist in the things which lay beyond it.

The torches surrounding the room flickered. I gave a quick look behind us to make sure none had followed.  Only shadows crawled on the rocky walls.

Sweat was pouring down my brow. I looked over at Sonny. He stared back with those ghostly eyes but there was hint of glimmer in them. His curiosity had led us here and we surely weren’t turning back. Not with those eyes.

He pulled out the mystic’s key and stepped towards the door.

“This is it, Jack.” He turned back to me. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

I nodded. “I don’t think I could ever live my life normally after this. Not without facing what’s behind those doors.”

He slightly bowed his head and then put his focus back on the masterful door. He pushed the key directly into the mouth of the largest serpent. He paused for a second, closing his eyes. I could see slight movement from his mouth. This was his prayers.

He lifted his eyes back to the key and settled his hand on the end. He turned it easily.

Immediately, heavy mechanisms could be heard. They creaked and moaned as hundreds of years of dust and age shed off of them.

My eyes widened as the massive gold doors began to move. Slowly they hinged into the space beyond, releasing a musty smell of death and decay. My heart started pounding on my chest.

Sonny turned to me as the doors slid into their new resting place. For the first time, I saw fear in his face.

I could feel his eyes upon me as I walked shakily past him and into the darkness. It was in this place that I would take the lead.

THE ARGUMENT

“What is it, Sherry?”

“I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I just…I just.” I was at a loss of words; it hurt horribly inside. How do I say this? A pain was ripping through my heart. My body cowered from the feelings.  “I just don’t think this can work out.” Eyes down. I waited for a response.

“Oh.”

Just an oh. A one syllable, round word. Oh. A quiet oh, a lonely oh.

“It’s me then?” he said more lively. Looking up in mid sentence, I caught his eyes. They had just become so distant. Those baby blues that I had loved so much were disappearing in a fog of water. As he stood before me he looked ragged, torn, a skeleton of a man. Not the man that I had met months ago. The total opposite. Yes, maybe it was him.

“No,” I said it quickly, wrenching my head back down.

“Then what is it!” he snapped back at me. He started pacing. “You can’t just start something like this and expect me to play this game with you!  I’m so sick of this Sherry! You’re always going back and forth. Do you love me or not?”

He was yelling now.  Was this how it was supposed to end? Being yelled at to answer a question that takes some people years to answer? I closed my eyes to make the sight of him vanish for a moment. My heart was throbbing in my chest. Why couldn’t I just turn back time? Go back to seven months before this and make it all stop. Not letting him buy me a drink. Not letting him make me laugh. Not letting him make me feel wanted. It hurt.

I shook my head. “That’s not the question you should be asking me, Sam. Not now.” I looked up at him, eyes pleading to break from this subject.

He looked out the window, staring into the darkness that had fallen over the hills. Those beautiful rolling hills; the reason we moved here. He looked so drained. He turned back to me. Cold.

“Okay, Sherry.” His voice was so quite, restricted. He nodded slightly. “When you finally decide the questions that I should be asking, please don’t expect me to ask them. Because, for one, I won’t even be here.”

With that he grabbed his coat off of the chair setting next to me and walked sternly out the front door. The room seemed to dim as he walked out.  I closed my eyes.  I wanted to escape from this place but had forgotten the way out.