Tag Archives: chapter two part two

Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter two, part two

“Rather strange coincidence, isn’t it?”  Antoinette interjected, cutting her eyes to me.  “The day you two switch costumes, Lydia is murdered.”  Although she was purportedly speaking only to me, her voice carries clearly across the crowd.  I flushed, but didn’t answer.  I figured it was better to save my words for the police than to waste them trying to defend myself.

“What the hell is going on here,” Eddie asked, huffing and puffing.  “What is Trixie doing lying on the ground like that?  Get up, girl.  It’s bad for business.”  Even though I was only a few yards away, Eddie didn’t bother to look my way.  He nudged Lydia’s body with his toe, drawing gasps from the crowd.  “What are you drunk?  I swear to God, Trixie, if you’re playing some kind of trick on me.”

“Eddie, that’s Lydia, and she’s dead,” Antoinette said in hushed tones.  It’s unbelievable to me that Eddie didn’t see the bullet wounds, but he’s not the most observant guy in the world.  “That’s Bea.”  She pointed to me.  It took a minute for it to register with Eddie what Antoinette had said.  When it did, he turned to me, a look of dismay on his face.

“Didn’t I tell you girls not to switch costumes?  Didn’t I, huh?  What did Eddie tell you the first day of work?  No switching costumes.”  Uh oh.  When Eddie started talking about himself in the third person, it meant he was losing his temper.  Granted, it’s a short way to go, but still, I didn’t need the aggravation.  Besides, the man needed to get his priorities straight.  Lydia and me switching costumes was the least of his worries.

“Eddie, Lydia’s dead.”  My voice was fierce as I tried to stem the litany I knew was forthcoming.  “This isn’t the time to worry about costume switches.  Did someone call the police?”

“I did,” Tommy said, flashing his cell phone in his hand.  “They should be here any minute.”

“Police?”  Eddie bellowed, turning white.  “What do we need the police for?”  No one was this stupid—no one.  It seemed as if our Eddie was, though.  Disbelieving looks passed between the members of the crowd.  “Let’s let our security take care of it.  Most of them are cops moonlighting, anyway.”

“It’s not that easy,” I said impatiently, not wanting to deal with this moron.  I was distracted by what he had said, however.  Where was security?  I didn’t see any.  In the distance, there was the sound of sirens roaring.

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Rainbow Connection; chapter two, part two

“I like him, too, but I’m not tagging along on your date.”  I interject a teasing note into my voice.  “One of us should be getting laid, and it’s not me.  Just remember, though, no glove, no love.”

“Girl, you know you don’t gotta worry about that with me,” Paris says with spirit.  He is the poster boy for safer sex; I wish all queer men would follow his lead.  I’m tired of losing so many of them to AIDS.  “Guess who emailed me last week?  Jenna.”

“No way!  I thought she gave up.”  Jenna was Paris’s last girlfriend—the one he broke up with just before meeting Lyle.  Paris had been dating her a month when she wanted to take it to the next level.  Problem is, the shine had already come off the relationship for him.  She did not take it well when he broke up with her.  His ex-lovers rarely did, but hers was the worst reaction in a long time.  He considered having her served with a restraining order, but she backed off just enough to make it a non-issue.

“I thought so, too.  Apparently she heard about the break-in and was concerned that I might be hurt.  She won’t be satisfied until she sees me with her own eyes that I’m ok.”  Paris’s lip twitched as he relays the information.  I struggle to keep my face solemn as well, but can’t.  We both know it’s just an excuse to see him again.  Paris has the misfortune of being utterly captivating to the people he dates, making it difficult for them to let go when he dumps them.  Make no mistake about it, he’s always the dumper not the dumpee.  The only time he didn’t dump his lover was when Brett died of AIDs.  Other than that, he’s batting a thousand.  I, on the other hand, am much more likely to be the dumped than the dumper.  By the gods of karma, it’s my right to dump the next five people I date.

“You going to see her?”  I know the answer before Paris even opens his mouth.  Any attention would only encourage her.  In some ways, I’m surprised.  She was such a drab mouse when he dated her.  He tends to be attracted to people who don’t shine as brightly as he does because he likes to be the one in the limelight.  Not physically, necessarily, as he likes beautiful people, but personality-wise.  Unfortunately for him—and for his lovers—then he gets bored because the other person can’t keep up.  This has been his pattern since I’ve known him.  Only Brett and now Lyle have been anomalies which is one reason I have high hopes for Lyle.  Another is that he’s just as good-looking as Paris is with his thick, dark curls and intense blue eyes.  He lifts weights religiously as does Paris; in fact, that’s how they met.  At Paris’s gym.  One look and it was instant lust.

“Hell, no!”  Paris says emphatically.  “I haven’t even answered the email, and I don’t intend to.”  He knows it’s better to be firm than to waffle.  “I’m hoping she’ll go away peacefully this time.”  I have my doubts, but I keep them to myself.  I don’t want to harsh on his high over Lyle.  “Hey, you said you were going over to Lisa’s tomorrow?”  He watches as I mix the batter and start shaping the cookies into little balls.  “Is Vashti going to be there?”  He doesn’t offer to help for the same reason I never offer to help him—each of us is fiercely territorial when cooking.  It’s hands-off for the other person.

“Yes.”  I nod my head, my eyes dimming.  I’m not sure I can face her.  I unconsciously finger the bridge of my nose where there is a bump from being pistol-whipped and broken.  Of course, I get dough on my nose and Paris wipes it off for me.  My right knee twinges as if it senses my thoughts.  That’s where I got sapped with the same gun that night.  My injuries are mostly healed, but they like to remind me now and then of what happened.

“You ready for that?”  Paris rubs my back sympathetically as I continue dropping cookie dough balls onto the cookie sheet.

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Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter two, part two

 “I’m telling you, she’s the best art teacher there is.  She knows everything!”  A young woman in her early twenties with ratted dyed black hair and heavy raccoon eyes gushes to her friend who is so nondescript, I barely notice her.  “If Moira says it’s true, then it is.”

“That’s bullshit, Brenda,” the other woman says heatedly, her face flushing.  Her shoulder-length mousy brown hair falls in her eyes no matter how many times she brushes it back.  She finally gives up and peers at her friend from behind a veil of hair.  “She’s a charlatan who gives good mouth.  Her stuff is crap, and her advice is crap.”  Her hands are clenched into fists, and her receding chin is thrust out as far as she can.  “The bitch thinks she’s all that.”

“You’re so wrong, Tansy,” Brenda says earnestly, touching her friend on the arm.  Tansy?  I have never heard a more inappropriate name.  Dorcas, maybe.  Or perhaps Zelda, but not Tansy.  “Moira really cares about people’s talent.  She talked to me for fifteen minutes about my charcoal sketches in the caf one day.  She didn’t have to do that.”

“She probably just wants to shag you,” Tansy says cruelly, her face a dark red.  I watch in fascination at the scene developing.  “You know her reputation, right?  She likes them young and stupid.”

“Is that why you slept with her?”  Brenda shoots back, her own face pinking.  “You certainly fit the stupid part, though you’re no longer young.”  The two of them glare at each other, and I’m wondering if I should step in.

“Here you go,” Emil smiles, holding out a glass.  “Rum and coke, just as you ordered.”  I accept it from him and take a sip, choking as I do.  It is definitely not as I would order, being heavy on the run and nonexistent on the coke.  “Oh dear, what are those two young women arguing about?”

“Moira,” I say simply.  I’m beginning to think that everyone has a Moira story to tell.  I recall the sway of her hips as she saunters around the room.  I think about the curve of her lips as she smiles, dreaming about kissing those lips.  I stop.  Where have I seen her before?  For the life of me, I can’t remember.

“—Don’t you think?”  Emil is looking at me, but I haven’t the slightest idea of what he has said.  Noticing my befuddled look, he repeats himself.  “I said, Moira is going to get herself in trouble one of these days, don’t you think?”  He’s shaking his head, but he can’t keep the gleam out of his eyes.  He is looking forward to the day Moira gets in trouble.  He is hoping that he’ll be there to witness it.  Slightly sickened, I drain half my drink.

“There you are, hon!”  Paris exclaims as he breezes up to me and Emil.  “Emil!  How the hell are you?  How’s academic life?”

“Tedious, Paris,” Emil says with a smile.  “I am taking a sabbatical next year, and not a moment too soon.  Nobody cares about true learning any more.  The students only want to know what’s ‘relevant’ to life.”  He twists his lips in distaste before smoothing them out again.

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Parental Deception; chapter two, part two

When I get home, I feed the cats some treats and make a ham sandwich for myself. The emails from that man are weighing heavily on my mind. I suppose I should respond because I’m starting to feel rude in ignoring him. I send him a brief email saying I can’t meet with him before Thanksgiving and leave it at that. He immediately emails back and asks if we can meet on Friday instead. I have hunch I’ll be spending Thursday night at Rembrandt’s as well as Wednesday night—our first two-nighter!—and I don’t want a time constraint on Friday. Then again, it’s a good excuse if I need one to skedaddle from Rembrandt’s place if I start feeling claustrophobic. I write back to that man and say we can meet Friday afternoon and suggest Diamonds Coffee Shoppe on Central any time after one. I’m a late riser if I don’t have to get up for work, and I don’t make appointments in the morning if I can help it. He agrees and says he can’t wait to see me on Thanksgiving. I don’t answer because I’m done with the conversation.

I eat my sandwich and check my social media. There’s not much that interests me because I’m in denial about our new president. I’m keeping myself abreast of all his insanity, of course, because it’s my civic duty, but I don’t see the point of hyperventilating over every idiotic tweet he makes. It’s something that’s always frustrated me about liberals—they’re addicted to the poutrage. There are several people on my Twitter feed who watch Morning Joe every morning and gripe about how awful he is. I always want to tell them, “No shit, he’s awful. That’s his shtick. Tell me if he says something reasonable—that would be news.” I decide it’s time to write a post, but not about Trump. My topic is going to be holidays and family. I’m still not sure I want to write about my current situation, but I have to write something.

The last month has been the worst month of my life, bar none. First, my best friend gets murdered by a crazy stalker woman who thought she was in love with me. She decided the way to get me to notice her was to get rid of the perceived competition. No, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s how she saw the situation. Then, after I started dating someone, she went after him as well with the intent to kill. Fortunately, he was able to fight her off, but unfortunately, she gouged out one of his eyes prior to being foiled.

A few weeks later, my brother-in-law was kidnapped by a delusional woman who thought they were meant to be together. She thought if she held him captive, she would be able to get him to see her point of view. Once again, it makes no sense, but she was a seriously disturbed woman.

Now, we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, and normally, I’m not a big fan of tradition and all that shit, but I’m feeling a bit wistful this year. Losing someone so close to me has made me realize that I don’t want to take my loved ones for granted. Yes, I can theoretically get together with them any time of the year, but it’s easier to do over the holidays.

I see my older sister on a semi-regular basis, but I haven’t seen my younger sister in years. She’s flying in on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and staying for a week. I’m excited to have all three Liang sisters in the same place at the same time. I love my older sister who’s been like a second mom to me, but we are polar opposites in terms of our beliefs and our temperaments. Our younger sister is somewhere in between us, and she’s an efficient mediator when my older sister and I lock horns.

I write in this vein for another half hour without mentioning my current predicament. I’m not being coy for that man’s sake, but because I don’t want to air my family business in public. Yes, I blog about my life on a daily basis, but I try not to write about other people without their permission. I have made a tacit agreement with myself that my life will be an open book—to a limited extent—to my readers, but my loved ones have not made that same agreement. This isn’t my best post, but I publish it, anyway. I’d rather have something up that is pretty good than hold it back until it’s perfect because then it’ll never get published.

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Trip on This: Chapter Two (Part Two)

Chapter Two (Part Two)

It’s almost dusk, which is my favorite time of day.  I love the changeover from light into dark for all the promises the night holds.  I am outside Gina’s apartment complex which, of course, has a security system.  It is two days after my nightmarish experience with aerobics, and I spent yesterday recovering.  This is the first time I’ve been able to walk without limping.  I’m still not a hundred percent, but I’m not expecting any difficulties.  I’m wearing all black which is the norm for San Francisco, and I’m carrying my workout bag.  Gina is yet again at the club, and if she follows her pattern, she’ll be going out with ‘the girls’ afterwards.  Probably go to some fucking bar in the Mission, perhaps even the Lex—slumming it.  Would be just like the bitch.  I press the button to her apartment to make sure she’s not there, wait a full minute, then press a button at random.  I bullshit my way in by reciting a garbled message about my being worried about my mother who lives in the building.  I make my voice as soft and weak as possible, and I’m in.  It continually astounds me that even in high-class areas such as this, it’s easy to get into a secured building with a well-crafted lie and a feminine voice.  I trot up the stairs to the third floor where Gina resides, use my handy-dandy set of lock picks from my workout bag, and I’m in.  It takes me a grand total of thirty seconds.

I stand for a minute, soaking up the atmosphere.  I love standing just inside the door of an apartment I’ve broken in for no other purpose than to remind everyone else that I am, indeed, the woman.  When I’ve had my fill of gloating, I flip on a light.  The hallway is short and a lemony-yellow.  It leads to the living room which is a sunshine yellow with abstract paintings on the wall.  I can tell from the signature that they were done by Gina herself, and some are quite good.  Most are shit, of course, but I wouldn’t mind one or two of them.  Momentarily, I consider boosting the one resembling the Golden Gate Bridge, but that wouldn’t be professional.  Besides, chances are she’s not going to the cops if I just take what I’m after.  I lift her painting, and all bets are off.  Artists are hell on wheels when protecting their creative property.

The room is beginning to depress me with its unrelenting cheerfulness, so I cross over to the kitchen which is the size of a postage stamp.  I can tell from the pots and pans and the condition of her stove that Ms. Gina is not one to cook.  I open the freezer and there in plain sight is what I’ve come for.  Four test tubes.  I slip them into my bag and substitute the four test tubes nestled in my bag.  I shut the door quickly and head for the door.  One of my strengths is that I have no interest in anything other than finishing my job, so I’m not going to steal any other valuables.  Clients trust that I will go in, get what they need, then get out.  Since I get most of my clients by word of mouth, I have to be trustworthy.  It’s not worth it to me to slip a little something extra in my pocket because then I have an unhappy client if he finds out about it.  I take what I come for and not a penny more.

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