Friday, January 06, 2006

Caroline, Part 1 (Fiction)

       David nestled the last of his clothes in the drawer, then slid it shut. He stepped back. Perfect. His presence barely showed on the suite.
       He pulled a chair at the sitting table in the next room and hunkered under a lamp. It doused the walls with rich light. Orange light. The entire inn glowed with the same toasted hues. Mission style architecture had that quality: rugged brown oak and straight lines, leaded glass lamps with canyon colors. Every ember of atmosphere crackled with warm firelight. It soothed the spirit and slipped a leather book in your hands. David gladly succumbed.
       Spreading his papers, he began practicing for his presentation. Rows of statistics. Pie charts with too many slices. Ridiculous. He flipped to the raw data. More ridiculous. Making money or losing money, that's all they cared about. Anyway, he hadn't treated himself to a historic inn to spend his evening on work crap. He salivated when he saw the library and the sitting rooms a short time before. A few of those secluded corners might've escaped the last century.
       A little company might be nice too.
       Rising, he retrieved his sports coat, passed the dark television, then slipped out into the halls and sharp staircases. Just outside his door, he bumped a rocking chair. Curious. Placed as if someone awaited him.
       David didn't bother to stop it. He walked on. And the sleepy motion swayed long after his footsteps had sunk into silence.

On to Part 2


25 comments:

M. G. Tarquini said...

I do the same thing in a hotel room. I make everybody unpack and try to keep it all looking like it did when we first stepped in.

Bedbugs?

R.J. Baker said...

I think I've traveled too much. I never unpack. I've lived out of a suitcase for years. I've traveled the world.

What is it with lawyers? 70 hour weeks? Billable hours?

The is a tranquility of the road that very quicky becomes devestating loneliness.

What's up with that?

Jess Riley said...

I can almost hear Jim Fleming's smooth radio voice as he reads this on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Chapter a Day!" :-)

(Also, the opening reminded me of a kid I knew in grade school; after he saw a real-life expose on bedbugs on Sixty Minutes, he slept in his sleeping bag for weeks.)

Happy writing!

anne said...

Will I ever bump into a chair blissfully unaware again...?

Sandra Ruttan said...

You have such a great way of selecting words to get right to the meaning, to create the strong image.

I want to start taking notes when I read your stuff!

Autumn Storm said...

Jason, very enjoyable as per usual!

beadinggalinMS said...

Now I am scared to go bed. LOL :)

Very nice Jason I love reading what your write. You leave me with the feeling of wanting more and more.

jason evans said...

M.G., yes, bedbugs. Flat little demons. They hide during day, like in electrical outlets, then cruise at night. People can get hundreds of bites a night in infested places. BTW-I'm not obsessed with them or anything. ;)

R.J., once when I was interviewing, a partner told me: "Lawyers are dreadful people." I'm sure you'd concur that a good number are.

Jess, thank you for the visit! I enjoyed your site. I'll definitely be back. (BTW-the sleeping bag won't save that kid.)

Anne, you know me too well. You're a fun reader to write for.

Sandra, I'm blushing! What a nice compliment to greet me this morning. Thanks!

Autumn storm, :) What's up in Demark these days?

BeadinggalinMS, thank you! You guys really make it a pleasure to write.

Robin Caroll said...

Good job! Very interesting read! :)

Bernita said...

Excellent beginning.
"a sitting table"
?? What is that?
Don't all tables "sit?" on the floor?
A little uncertainty over the presentation and then calls his own work crap.
Maybe it's just me - had a moment of confusion - is it the backup to his notes that are crap? (Neat way to indicate his susceptable mood.The psychology, first of wife and then about the business world is ideal.)
Perhaps you're being a little abrupt/condensed here? Same with "over the edge" She's panicky, I assume, about his bringing home bedbugs and has issued all sorts of don'ts and orders, but she is not insane? But it's a good item to economically define character conflicts/dissimilarities.
Very good description of the light as toasty/mellow and the ambience of the inn.
The rocking chair is a very sweet( as in neat) hint and follows the construct of the decor nicely.
Excellent beginning.

jason evans said...

Robin, :)

Bernita, by "sitting table" I meant a small, round table around which two or three chairs can fit. A place for talking, doing a bit of work, etc. My term may not be a generally known/used, though, given your reaction.

My bias is showing on the work-is-crap bit. That's my definition of work! It's all crap. He's just saying that sitting and doing work in that place is a waste of time. I'll see about dropping in a little touch to make it clear. Thanks! =D

Oh my, my word verification is "iycgulps." Is that the next generation Slurpy?

Terri said...

I wouldn't worry about the 'crap' part - I exactly 'got' what you meant there.
Love the way you describe the place. It reminds me of a small hotel we stayed at in Northern Ireland once called Bushmills Inn. Warm, cosy, old creaky furniture, dark wooden bookshelves and little nooks & crannies with tables & comfy chairs.
Look forward to reading more!

jason evans said...

Terri, in fairness to Bernita, I think you read the "touched up" language. Thanks for letting me know it worked, though!! I would love to see Ireland some day. A branch of my melting pot family tree came from there.

R.J. Baker said...

"Within the breast of every lawyer, beats the heart of a poet"
Clarance Darrow

I'm trying to find that heart.

R.J. Baker said...

PS: On a recent true crime story forensic show, in the course of a murder investigation, the crime lab detected and typed 150 different semen stains on the coverlet.

Watch where you sit or.......

Yikes!

Forgive me. I'm a mystery writer these things intrigue me.

jason evans said...

R.J., that is a nice sentiment. It's true for you and me, at least.

I hear you on the matter of the coverlet. Don't body fluids show up in a blacklight? Probably most hotel guests would rip a skull-splattering shriek if they saw their rooms under a blacklight.

Sarah said...

Great description of his room! And of course the whole library/leather book thing appeals to me. Just don't let him salivate to the point of drooling on some priceless tome...

mermaid said...

David understands the greater world around him, and that his job is but a small part. The pie has too many slices, but no one to really eat it. The empty chair keeps rocking.

This is simply my observation. I like to read fiction where characters experience things that help them gain clarity in life. Does that make any sense?

jason evans said...

Sarah, too funny! I'll try to keep him under control

jason evans said...

Mermaid, you are trying to put into words things that I channel from the characters subconsciously. Each detail I give is there for a reason, even if I'm not precisely sure what it is myself. You have good insights!

Kelly Parra said...

Jason, nicely done. You set us up with a normal scene then add just that subtle mystery at the end. =D Great!

jason evans said...

Kelly, taking a break from the festivities? =D For anyone who doesn't know, Kelly was just offered a two book deal with a major imprint. Stop by Words of a Writer or Static (links to the right) to join the party.

Bernita said...

Tweaks worked, Jason.

Autumn Storm said...

What's up in Denmark? Certainly not the temperature or the quotient of fun :). Your side?
Nice poem up above!

jason evans said...

Bernita, thanks. Keep pointing out my short circuits, please!

Autumn Storm, I imagine it would be cold in Denmark. Here in the mid-Atlantic U.S., we're having an odd warm spell. Not usual at all for the dead of winter.