Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~ Stephen King

Friday, May 14, 2010

Marnie's Rung

Fiction Friday

This is the next chapter of the novel (or project, as I continue to insist on calling it) that I wrote for NaNoWriMo. It's sat dormant long enough - time for me to take another look at it - and to give you a peek at it as well.

In case you missed something:

Chapter 1: Josh's Table
Chapter 2: The Vista
Chapter 3: Transition

Chapter 4: Brunch
Chapter 5: Ted's Farm

Chapter 6.
Helmet Reflections

As they headed away from the farm, off the gravely side road to the relatively smooth terrain of the main road, Marnie found herself lost in her own thoughts. This helmet was private all right. The perfect place for contemplation – and she had a lot to think about.

She had known Cal for years. She had liked Cal for years. Nice guy. Salt of the earth. God knew she had liked looking at Cal for years. Theirs had always been more of a casual acquaintance, though. They saw each other at Josh’s place, and sometimes at the bars. They were friendly, but barely even friends. Last night was the first time they’d really spent without the usual cast of characters at Josh’s place.

Josh’s place. How were they going to handle that? Were they going to maintain a fa├žade of friendly acquaintance? Were they going to arrive and leave together? Was she going to do her lines off of his taut, ripped, abs from now on? Her body gave a little involuntary shiver at this point. Cal sensed it. Pat, pat, pat. Was this going to change everything?

And what about her family? They’d like him, for sure, what’s not to like? Marnie rubbed her hand along Josh’s chest at this point. He reached back and patted her thigh. Pat, pat, pat. She smiled. What’s not to like? Well, perhaps they would find it less than thrilling that he was unemployed. They might be less than pleased with the fact that he had two relatively small children out there somewhere being raised by another man and having no contact with him. It was just possible, Marnie reasoned, that they would not consider him to be a reasonable prospect for their middle daughter.

Reasonable prospect? Where the hell had that come from? He’d kissed her once, he hadn’t asked her to marry him or anything. She was crossing bridges before she came to them again. That was a silly exercise. Oh, but what a kiss it had been! She smiled thinking about it and gave Cal a little squeeze. Pat, pat, pat was her reply. Seriously! First kisses were always amazing – everyone knew that. Maybe she was making more of it than she should. Oh, but even in a field of amazing, that kiss stood out. She thought things like ‘taking your breath away’ or ‘going weak in the knees’ were merely the stuff of romance novels and the dreams of silly little girls. But damn! Cal’s kiss had left her light-headed. It had changed her. Well, maybe that was a little dramatic.

Then again, maybe it wasn’t. Who didn’t want to live in a world where a kiss could be transformative? It was the stuff of the fairy tales she and many generations of little girls before her had been raised on. A frog transforming into a prince; a dead princess being restored to life; a witch’s spell broken…

Seriously Marnie? Seriously? She had never been a ‘helpless princess in distress’ kind of girl, and now she was having an internal debate about the relative merits of transformative kisses? Seriously? That was one helluva kiss, no doubt.

They were back at her place long before she’d noodled it all out.

She jumped off the bike and handed her helmet to Cal. He walked her to her door and put his arms around her. “Thank you for coming with me. I had a really nice time.”

“Oh, seriously! Thank you for taking me! It was – amazing.”

“Can I see you this week?”

“You better.”

The kiss in front of Marnie’s door was not transformative. But it was awfully nice.

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