Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Rage and a Glass of Orange Juice
For the third time since she sat down for breakfast, Nami felt a flash of vertigo, the kind where your brain (or inner ear) screams that you’re falling, but your feet are planted firmly on the ground. Her hand slapped the table in a phantom reflex.
Her husband Sury raised an eyebrow.
Well, she didn’t see it rise, not exactly, but she knew what he was doing by the way his shoulders stiffened in her peripheral vision.
“Are you alright?” he said. His voice was accusatory, not kind.
“I don’t know,” she said.
Truth was, ever since she awoke, she had a fleeting sense that the Earth was wobbly. Like a log rolling out from under her feet. Earlier, she managed to knock into the wall and drop her toothbrush into the trash can.
She had depositions today with a name-partner in her law firm. Stacks of documents sat tabbed and arranged all over the table. Her take home work tended to annoy the shit out of Sury. Actually, everything up to and including her breathing tended to annoy Sury. It wasn’t her fault that his job was less important.
Some nausea welled up. More Earth tilting.
She took a big gulp of tea and absolutely refused to acknowledge it.
“Can you….” He motioned to her paperwork.
“No!” Nami said. “I can’t move it! You have plenty of room to sit!”
“Well, don’t blame me if I spill something on it.”
She waved his attitude away. Time was running out for her to cram. Time was always running out.
He chattered the chair over to a corner and shook his newspaper open much more loudly than he had to.
Her glare caught one of the headlines. Two missing ships in the Arctic Ocean. Disappeared without a trace.
She stood and began assembling her documents. If she didn’t seriously get moving, she would miss her train.
She caught Sury’s juice with the edge of one of her stacks. His glass sloshed over and shot a wave of orange toward her notes.
“No!” Nami screamed.
The panic and rage that flashed out of her was answered by a loud, sizzling pop.
A hot orange cloud hovered over the table. It smelled like hot laundry.
Sury’s newspaper tipped down. He gaped at the smoky haze.
The juice was gone. More than evaporated. Not even a drop remained on the table.
She couldn’t stop to contemplate what had happened or form the words to speak. As the weird mist of what had been juice tickled her cheeks, she stormed off hugging the papers.
For the first time that morning, the Earth seemed solid beneath her feet.
(Despite being super busy with my career, I've been feeling a little wistful about working on my novel. This excerpt is a scene near the beginning of EARTHTIDE that I decided to write today to dip my toes back in the water. Thanks for indulging me!)