So, I’m working on a a sequel to a novel I just finished in December. Which might be coming out soon, I never know these days. How’s that for vague?? I have about twenty five thousand words for Alice. No idea where it’s going. But it seems to want to go and drag me along behind it. Hurry up hurry up! So that’s either a good sign or I’m going insane in the membrane. And then I look up and notice my country [the United States of Pre-Civil War II A’Brewin] seems to be exploding in all directions as hard and fast as possible, so I dive back into my scribbling foray and head off, again, to the shining city on the hill Eighties of Herr Reagan, Dirty Dancing and small town politics. Oh and ghosts, because I’m supposed to be writing about scary things but can’t seem to write anything scarier than the rapid decline of Not-Canada.
[This is from a protest against the ‘temporary’, did we get a time limit on this ‘temporary’? ban on people coming from several Middle Eastern countries. Here’s the New York Times article on that: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/us/refugees-detained-at-us-airports-prompting-legal-challenges-to-trumps-immigration-order.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0 ]
See what I mean? And you wonder why other people are defending this who had relatives who came here or who themselves are refugees or recent immigrants or…and then you realize people can justify anything if they try hard enough and want it to be true. Which gives you a case of the cold dead shivers. And makes you want to watch Pixar movies and just wait for the end of it all. So!! Ahem.
I’ll put a bit of Alice in Oregonlandia here, because I’m a shameless huckster now of my own writing, bwha ha ha, ahem, and you can judge me on a first draft effort. Yah?
“Because. Mr. Blue is visiting again.”
My stomach dropped, my skin went cold, I bit my lower lip so hard I nearly severed it. I tasted blood. “Are you shitting me? Why? He always loses when he takes on my mom. Always.” I knew he was about again, but it hadn’t yet been confirmed. That’s why I’d wanted to go to the house and see for myself. Maybe I should call off our Saturday Night Adventure.
“Maybe he wants his slick girlhog.” Mr. Peepers actually said to me. “Maybe he’s sitting there like a patient toad for a particular slick girlhog.” Those obsidian eyes regarded me moistly. The little gross thing actually did actually love me. And, I was not going to let Mr. Blue scare me. My mom had kicked his ass to the curb, twice now. Didn’t he know to stay away?
“Oh please, ” I replied, shooing him off my bed so I could sit. He went reluctantly, those little strange feet slapping down, slapping down. Lysette curled up into a little ball of arms and legs. “I’ve seen the horror movies, you freak. Don’t go in the house! And then they go into the house! This is real life, fruitcake. Real life. He’s afraid of girls. I’m supposed to ignore that, Peepers, old friend, ole pal?” I tried to sound tough, to sound smooth and tough and fearless. Because I did not want to go visit that burned down childhood home of mine now. At all. But pride. Pride, man, it’s a bitchkitty.
Mr. Peepers went to our closet. Lysette and I shared everything, after all. He gave me a look from those awful black eyes of his. Sometimes they had little orange dots in them, as if his eyes were on fire. “That’s what he wants, Missie Alice. He’ll come sniffing out the holes in this house now…JUST YOU WAIT.” The traveler laughed and laughed, slapped his droopy little potbelly and then stalked off into the closet. He had a nest in that house on Clark Boulevard. Where he kept a deck of cards, some socks and other things I made myself forget as soon as he told me. I just like cards, they’re small and slick and pretty, he had admitted one night. I’d wait until mom and my dad were well and truly asleep, not fighting or anything else…and then get up out of bed or off the couch. And play Old Maid with Mr. Peepers or hear stories from the little girls. Rosiecheeks had one story she told–a version of Little Red Riding Hood, where the little girl doesn’t win. The other little girl in that house liked to talk about her doll and the doll’s tongue would come out and try to touch my face. It became a game to not let that tongue touch me. Dirt, what she called herself as she didn’t remember her name at all, would just smile and smile as her doll’s head tried to lick my cheek. It’s not much fun over here, she would complain. It’s not much fun at all. Sometimes the little boys would show themselves, if they weren’t too busy stomping from the back door to mom’s room, over and over. They thought that so funny. Especially if they could get her to wake up and check on the noise.
But where do you go? I asked Rosiecheeks that once or twice. She didn’t know. Or she didn’t want to tell me. Or she couldn’t tell me. Then, to distract me, she’d go into her version of Little Red Riding Hood, where the little girl dies and no one comes to save her. The wolf licked her blood off the walls and Little Red Riding Hood watched this as she died. That’s where it ended. Every time. The story always started with: A bad little girl in a bright red cloak walked into the forest.
Why didn’t that little cloaked brat save herself? I never thought to ask that. A wolf is just a big dog. Pick up a stick, fight back.