Monday, September 5, 2011

The Art of War. Friends and enemies make interesting bedfellows on the road to Spokane.

It seems it's becoming increasingly difficult to move these ladies along. I keep finding interesting characters that require so much more time than I'm currently allowing this summer fiction project.

Because, despite this freaking HOT Labor Day, fall is right around the corner.

I can hardly wait.

I've mentioned before that I'd like to wrap up this summer fiction project. Because I'd like to get back to writing about topical stuff.

But I love what I've started here, and I can keep it going with an audience of one. And like the season, I'll move on.

This project has come to represent my summer. And this summer has been like a good friend who visits and goes away before you want them to. It's been like an abrupt end to a new romance. It's seemed like a reluctant goodbye.

Like anything that has no discernible end point, this summer fiction is hard to shake.

Who says it has to?

We're so close to the coast. This Feast may be digested by the time we have our first frost.

"How's about you ladies follow me," Bob said as he sauntered to the Impala. "I know exactly where we're going."

"We wanted to get freshened up, so how's about we meet you there, Bob?" Stella was feeling a bit ambivalent about the Carrie Wilder memorial.

"Ain't no skin off my nose."

Bob was curling himself into the Impala when he paused, then squinted at the women.

"So how's it that you know Carrie? I was married to her for a whole long time, and I never heard her mention no Stella or Maisie."

Timing is important. And there was a pause, long enough to be noticed, between Bob's question and Maisie's answer.

"We're on our way to the coast. We bought a Spokane Review to pass the time in the car, and I noticed Carrie's name," Maisie said it all a bit too quickly. "Carrie's passing came as quite a shock. I recognized the name right away."

Maisie thought Bob looked to be close in age to her children, who lived on the coast. She quickly came up with a story.

First, she manufactured a tear. "I was Carrie's babysitter way back in the day. She was such a precious child."

Bob snickered as he lit a Marlboro. "You must not have known Carrie."

This was disconcerting, because both Maisie and Stella caught wind that Bob was a bit more intuitive than they may have first thought.

Sometimes the best response is no response.

And other times, nothing is the last thing you want to say.

Bob noticed the missed beat, and he could sense that something wasn't quite right. He might be dumb, he thought as he revved the engine, but he wasn't stupid.

And he knew Carrie.

She lived up to her name, straight out of the gate.

Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. Bob understood the Art of War.

"Follow me," Bob said.

It seemed almost like an order.

Neither Stella nor Maisie felt they had a choice.

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