Location Tw0 – A Novel Excerpt

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Roland sat up in bed, not sure what had awakened him.  Had it been a noise or just a sense that something was wrong?  He tried chiding himself, but his heart continued to pound, and his dog whimpered in her sleep.  It was quiet enough in his bedroom to hear the whirring of his laptop on the desk across from his bed.  But the quiet didn’t reassure him; it actually made him more skittish.  Swearing to himself, Roland left the bed and went to his closet to retrieve the 9mm.

His mouth went dry when he discovered the empty box; it was missing.  The gun was missing – not his issued weapon.  That one was locked in its case beside his bed.  This was the unregistered gun he had confiscated from a crime scene years before.  He thought he might need it someday.  And now it was gone.

She had to be in the house somewhere.  The IP address of her last email had been one of his neighbors’.  That was what had sent him riding home on two wheels two days before with sirens blaring until he reached his own block.  He could feel his ear drums reverberating in time to the thudding of his heart.  The hair on his arms raised as a bead of sweat rolled from him armpit to his elbow.  She hadn’t appeared, however, so Roland had finally allowed himself to sleep.

“Tsk, tsk officer.  Doesn’t this gun belong in an evidence locker somewhere?”

He turned, and though he had seen her picture numerous times, she was unrecognizable.  The laughing brown eyes that had stared from snapshots were now icy steel.  Her hair was dark instead of the strawberry blond he was used to seeing.  And she was thinner, much thinner.  He watched her hands around the gun for some hint of shaking; shaking would indicate uncertainty.  Her hands were as steady as his had been trained to be.

“I thought it might come in handy one day,” he replied, unmoving.

“And so it has.  Did you bend the rules and beat the drug addict or rapist you confiscated this from?”

Roland nodded quietly.  “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Why not?” she asked, tilting her head slightly.  “He did do something wrong.  That means it was okay for you to do something wrong, correct?”

“Jane…”

“Shut up.  Nobody wants to hear you moralize.  Turn around.”

He didn’t move except to move his gaze from her hands to her face.

“Turn around, officer, and put your hands behind your head.”  She cocked the gun.  “Or don’t.”

Roland shakily turned and did as she asked, bile burning his tongue.

“Good boy.  Don’t worry. I know you were blinded by your own hurt, so I’ll be quicker.  And you don’t claim to believe in God, so I cannot hold you accountable for breaking the very morals you claim to believe.  Besides, you are not very smart.  You probably didn’t have a choice.”

Roland flinched at that last part.  He heard her footsteps, and then the end of the barrel pressed coldly against the base of his neck, where his brain stem felt as if it was pulsing.  “Please…..” He heard himself whisper.

“I’m not sorry,” she whispered back.

A loud, smoky explosion filled the room.  Then it was silent.

 

Anatomy of a Thunderstorm – A Metaphor

Heavy, humid air

The weight of the impending storm

Pressing down, drawing out

The sky yearning for relief

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Darkened, thick clouds approaching

Rich and deep, with the promise of rain

Rumbling in anticipation

Bearing down in preparation

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And then…

The first flash

The initial burst that opens the sky

Electrifying the laden atmosphere

And lighting the way for what is to come

Fork lightning striking down during summer storm

Drop

By tentative drop

Sliding slowly down a window

Hesitant at first, each patter creating ripples

That flow into one another

Gradually increasing in tempo

raindrop

Until the comforting steadiness

Begins to pick up speed

Constant, bouncing off each surface

Soaking the thirsty ground with increasing intensity

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Until the lightning

Banging thunder

Pounding rain

Assault the senses and threaten to flood over

Pressing on and on, louder and louder, stronger and stronger

With blinding flashes and earth-shaking explosions

Overwhelming the earth

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And then…the light

Breathing through the receding rain

Edging away the softening thunder

Quieting the rioting sky

Slowly, softly, gently

Peace

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That Kind of Girl

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That Kind of Girl

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who loves the color pink and twirly skirts, even if it’s cliché

Who Has a set of hot curlers in the cabinet under her bathroom sink…and still uses them from time to time

Who is waiting for hats to come back into fashion

Who still looks around when she puts on white after Labor Day to see if her mom is watching

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who likes her jeans comfy, faded, and sitting just below the waist

Who has too many beloved t-shirts, but she can’t bear to get rid of them

Who takes off her shoes the minute she gets home

Who likes her Auburn sweatshirts too big

 

She’s the kind of girl

Whose favorite book is Jane Eyre

Who knows when Mozart was born and died

Who wishes for a chance to use her antique teacup collection

Who would love to dress up and see a musical on Broadway

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who still cries every time she watched Steele Magnolias

Who forgets everything her voice teacher taught her when she belts Carrie Underwood

Whose grammar gets worse the more riled up she gets

Who likes calloused hands better than smooth ones

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who practices ladylike grace in public

But who likes to be loud with her friends

Who loves a good long hug when she sees an old friend

And who won’t tell who she is when the doors close…because most people probably wouldn’t believe her (smile)

 

Yeah…. she that kind of girl

 

So Many Blessings

Feeling a little more pensive today…

Smile-through-tears

At times I sail through golden days

Soaking in the joyful ways

Music flowing out of me

And smiling over what could be

 

An easy laugh, a clever word

Flitting like a hummingbird

Creative and connected and heart-free

 

But the lonely night, they always come

And reminders of where grief comes from

The aching arms, the empty soul

And the fear I’ll never become whole

 

Then as tears fall, I reach for what I know

And in sorrow, reminders start to grow

And though I may not have the what or who I think I need

I can count so many blessings till my heavy heart is freed

So many blessings

 

Sometimes the memories are dark

And I can’t find a single spark

Invisible I take each breath

At times it seems a living death

 

But when I look beyond the veil

I realize even when I fail

My life is worth to be lived

And there is love that’s left to give

 

Then as tears fall, I reach for what I know

And in sorrow, reminders start to grow

And though I may not have the what or who I think I need

I can count so many blessings till my heavy heart is freed

So many blessings

Simple Fantasy

More music from this new side of my brain…

Playful woman with lollipop

Like marrying a superstar or learning how to fly

Like winning Miss America or having skinny thigs

Though it’ll never happen, no it’ll never be

There’s nothing wrong with having just a simple fantasy

 

So if you figured what I’m thinking, baby don’t you fret

Cause a good imagination hasn’t killed nobody yet

And though I know I’m never gonna win your lottery

Just look the other way, it’s just a simple fantasy

 

Every woman I know has a simple fantasy

A little secret dream that she knows will never be

A wicked little notion that nobody ever sees

No need to worry ‘bout a simple fantasy

 

Now life gets lonely when your living on your own

And the years are passing and the oats have all been sown

And the path that you followed wasn’t everything it seemed

So you let your mind wander and you have a little dream

 

Now maybe it surprises you to have a secret fan

But baby it shouldn’t cause, damn, you’re such a man

And don’t worry, I know that you don’t belong to me

Just look the other way from my simple fantasy

 

Every woman I know has a simple fantasy

A little secret dream that she knows will never be

A wicked little notion that nobody ever sees

No need to worry ‘bout a simple fantasy

 

 

Let’s Make a Memory Again

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Dancing through wildflowers, bare feet on the sand

Sitting in front of the fire holding hands

These are the dreams that I dream when the world has grown cold.

 

Watching bad movies and singing real loud

Hugging my children when they make me proud

These are the moments I’ll cherish when I have grown old.

 

And the days and the moments stretch out into tears

And we use all our memories to cover our fears

So that when we look back we can say we were fearless and bold

 

So let’s make a memory, dear

Now that we both are here.

Let’s take this moment slow and drink it all in.

 

If you’ll just hold me tight

And whisper all through the night

Then we can both face the morning and smile at the places we’ve been.

 

Let’s make a memory again.

 

One of these days when our living is done

And we look back on the race we have won

All of the moments will comfort us and keep us strong

 

Riches and power, they won’t be enough

All that will matter is how we have loved

And how many lifetimes we fit into one lifetime long

 

So let’s make a memory, dear

Now that we both are here.

Let’s take this moment slow and drink it all in.

 

If you’ll just hold me tight

And whisper all through the night

Then we can both face the morning and smile at the places we’ve been.

 

Let’s make a memory again.