Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Snippet 46

Apparition of the Face of Aphrodite
by Salvador Dali
print for sale at

It's late but at least I didn't have to put up a shell sans snippet this week.

And now I have a whole weekend without it hanging over my head and I could use the time I've been using to write the late snippets to get started on next week's and maybe finally catch that tail I've been chasing around the hindquarters of the week for two months now.

Or I could catch up on everybody else's snippets!

You can catch up or review via the links to the first eight parts available below.

The entire thing is closing in on 12K. So much for it being a short story. Based on the scenes yet to be written which I know about, I estimate I'm 1/3 to 1/2 way there. That won't be long enough for a novel either. sigh.

But then I hadn't planned on it being a novel. I have enough novels in progress in this story world!

One of them is even set in this same motel. And someone you've already encountered in this story is a POV character in it. You'll learn her name when Crystal does in this snippet. She was the protagonist of my first NaNo novel,
Majoring in Marine Biology.

Home Is Where the Horror Is
by Joy Renee

(part one; part two; part three; part four; part five; part six; part seven; part eight; part nine; part ten; part eleven;)

Crystal let herself be led from the room even as she threw one last frantic glance around it. The sound of the baby burble coming from the housekeeper's pocket had as strong a grip on her as the hand that tugged her out the door and along the walkway in front of the rooms. She had to squint against the sudden bright glint of sunlight off the water of the pool in the fenced courtyard between the two arms of the horseshoe shape created by the three buildings that comprised the motel. There were two overhead walkways connecting the buildings on either side of the pool. One at each end of the pool. They were crossing under the first one almost immediately. Crystal noticed that it approximately bisected the length of the buildings providing convenient access to the pool for the upstairs guests. Between the pool and the street was a parking lot.

At the far end of the pool there was a second enclosed area with a higher and more tightly slatted fence and roofed with a trellis covered with a dense growth of a flowering vine. Most likely wisteria, Crystal thought but could not be sure while moving this fast. The woman whose apron was now saying "Mamamamamamama." pulled her along to the end of the courtyard and into a room whose entrance was under the far walkway between a soda machine and ice dispenser on one side and a large rack full of towels on the other. Next to the rack of towels were signs listing rules for the pool and jacuzzi. The jacuzzi must be inside that enclosure, Crystal realized

Inside was nearly as bright as outside though with much less glare. The large room was lit by banks of florescent lights. The far wall was lined with two rows of front loading commercial dryers all churning loads of milky-white cloth. The wall they were passing to the right was floor to ceiling shelves about half full of stacks of folded sheets and towels. The center of the room held a large flat table piled with a froth of white that seemed brilliant against the various hues of dark skin on the hands and arms of the four women busily folding the linens--two working together to fold sheets while the other two tackled the pile of towels, washcloths, and bathmats. The wall opposite the shelves was a bank of commercial front-loading washing machines full of agitated suds. The women worked in silence which did not surprise Crystal as it would be hard to converse casually over the sound of the machines.

Just before she was pulled through yet another doorway she glanced back toward the entrance and saw that wall held a row of a dozen or more regular sized coin-operated washers and dryers. The dryers atop the washers. Three men with high and tight hair cuts sat on a row of chairs bolted to the floor in front of these machines. One with headphones on leaning back with eyes closed and head bobbing; another lost in a book and the third lost in a clench with the barelegged, halter-topped woman straddling his lap. At the far end a woman was ironing creases into a pair of khaki pants on one of several ironing boards that folded down from the wall.

As soon as Crystal had cleared the doorway the woman let go of her hand and closed the door. In the sudden quiet, she spoke for the first time since they left the room where Crystal and woken into this nightmare within a nightmare no more than an hour ago. "My name is Brook." she said, holding out her right hand for Crystal to shake.

"Crystal." Brook held Crystal's eyes with her own for several beats before nodding and releasing her hand again.

"Do you know your way around babies, Crystal?"

Crystal grinned big. "I'm the oldest of five." *

Brook raised her brows high. "Well then. If they gave college degrees for baby knowhow you'd have a Master's to my Associates. And your mother would have a Doctorate." She was opening a small refrigerator next to a desk strewn with papers. As she bent to pull a bottle out, she suddenly gasped and grabbed her stomach, kneading it just below her ribs. "Now, that's enough of that little Missy." she said to her belly.

"You're after your Bachelor's I see."

"His name is Garrison. Not this one, that one." Brook smiled wryly as she first patted her stomach and then waved at the door opposite the door to the laundry room. Crystal took the bottle of amber juice from her. "He's nine months, crawling and pulling himself up. So watch him around the rocker and anything else that wouldn't support him when he tries that. It'll be better if I don't go in with you since he won't like me having to leave again. He's used to me taking him with me to where I'm working.

"There's not much time so listen quick. There's more juice bottles, yogurt, applesauce, Jello, and pudding cups in the fridge. Popsicles in the freezer compartment. After you change him, bring him out to choose his treat. Help yourself to whatever. I bet you're hungry. There's grownup's drinks in there too. Iced coffee, tea, sodas, juices etc. Now, in there," she nodded at the door behind which the baby babble was now loud enough to hear, a muffled duet with the baby monitor. "There's soda crackers and graham crackers and toasted oats. There's a diaper bag on the couch which I've set up as the changing table with a plastic sheet under the sheet so don't let him play or sleep on there. The rest will be easy to figure out for anyone whose been around babies. The baby monitor is on top of the TV so if you need me holler and I'll call you on this phone here." she pointed to the phone on the desk.

"Now, I better head on back to that room. I left it wide open and if I'm going to rescue your stuff.. Can you describe your bag and shoes and your 'friends'?"

"The bag is a purple duffel with black wheels and pull handle and straps for wearing as a backpack. The sandals are kinda like flip-flops but with bands around the heel and over the top of the ankle too so you can walk in the surf without loosing them." Crystal looked down at her hand still holding the shaming Polaroid pictures. Closing her eyes she sighed and then handed them to Brook, feeling a hot blush rise in her cheeks. "This will be quicker than describing them."

Brook took the pictures. "I know these two. They're good tippers. It'll be a shame to loose their custom."** She handed the pictures back. "Honey, you do realize they're both men?"

Crystal shook her head, eyes widened in shock.

"You can just make out the Adam's apple if you know what you're looking for. I might have been fooled if I hadn't seen these guys in person and been cleaning up after them occasionally for over a year. Two years ago, I would have been as clueless as you apparently are."

The babble over the baby monitor was becoming strident and interspersed with whines and whimpers. "You better get in there before he has a melt down."

*or seven, if I write the twins between Winston and Jade back in on a rewrite. I mentioned them in part four and then forgot to include them in the following scenes. I had plans for them later in the THEN strand and I'm not feeling content at the thought of dropping those plans so don't be surprised if they seem to drop in out of nowhere when I return to the THEN strand. I will lessen the confusion with another reminder when/if the time comes.

**custom is not the right word help me out here

2 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  6/09/2008 9:30 PM  

You could just say "It'll be a shame to lose that money" and I think you convey the meaning you want without having to search for an esoteric word.

Elizabeth Bauterfly 7/27/2008 11:08 PM  

I wasn't expecting that wholie cow there both men, dude you know how to mess with a girl. I'm glad brook is helping though, it make's sence how she got into contact with fay then.

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