Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~ Stephen King

Friday, May 28, 2010

Marnie's Rung

Fiction Fridays

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
Chapter 7: The Real World

Chapter 8.

The four women had just been seated and their drinks had arrived at the table, courtesy of a slightly overenthusiastic waiter. Vodka martini’s all around.


“First of the day!”

“Marnie?” came a man’s voice from a couple tables away, “I thought that was you!”

Josh. What were the odds. She watched the eyebrows of all three of her companions rise in unison. Well, except Brittany’s. She couldn’t see Brittany’s eyebrows with all that hair covering her pretty face. But they were rising, all right. She could feel them.

Marnie half rose and gave Josh a hug. “Josh? This is my mom, my sister Corrine and my sister Brittany. This is Josh.”

The three women acknowledged him and he looked them over. “I just wanted to say hi. See you Wednesday, Marn?”

“Probably. I’ll let you know.”

“Ok. Nice meeting you. See ya!”

“Is that your young gentleman?” Corrine asked.

“He is rather devastatingly handsome”, Brittany added, leaning over a bit to watch him walk away.

“If you like that type...” Corrine threw in. The way her lips pursed implied that she did not, but the way she followed Brittany’s gaze said something else entirely.

Marnie laughed. “Josh? No, God. No. Josh is just a friend of mine. Josh is… a bunch of us hang out. Josh? Just, no.”

“You just have a whole” – her mother made a circular gesture with both hands – “thing going on, don’t you?”

“If you’re implying that you don’t know every detail of my life, you’re right. I highly doubt I know every detail of yours, either. Cheers!” she added, lifting her glass and trying to change the course of the conversation. She had never really meant for those two worlds to collide. Who could’ve guessed Josh would be having a beer at the very same place she had asked her family to meet her for lunch. Well, on the upside, maybe the topic of Cal would be an easier transition. She wondered if Josh was holding. A little toot might make this conversation easier, too. She didn’t risk asking. If her mom and sisters saw an exchange being made, she’d never hear the end of it. And they’d see. They didn’t miss a thing. Her martini would have to do. She took a swig, squared her shoulders, and relayed the events of the last couple days. She left out the part about starting at Josh’s and said she just ran into Cal at The Vista.

Something crossed her mother’s face as she waxed rhapsodic about the farm. Was it regret? Was it nostalgia? Marnie wasn’t sure, but she knew she’d somehow struck a chord.

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