Work continues on the piece that I began sharing last week, and I've got to say that it's been a weird process. This is the longest thing I've written in a while, in that it felt like it was going to be long from the get-go (as opposed to something that grows longer in the telling), and that's been intimidating me. I've been trying to be patient and give the story room to breathe and develop, but every night that I return to it I find myself wondering if this is the night that I'm finally going to reach the turning point. It's been a lot of build-up and the flash fiction devotee in me has grown impatient with it more often than I'd care to admit.
At any rate, I think it's going better now, and I hope you enjoy this next little excerpt.
It is not until we have made our way back to my car and stowed his bags in the trunk that Michael asks me about the script. We have, the two of us, been collaborating on a limited series about the seven wives of our great-grandfather. And it has been six months since I sent him the penultimate chapter.
As we stand behind my car, Michael hunched into the ratty black pea coat I know he only has occasion to wear when he flies back here, home, to the bosom of his family — as we stand there in the cold, in an airport, talking about words that I owe him, the line falls out of my skull like a book tumbling from a too-high shelf. The line. The excuse. The lie.
“It’s fine,” I tell him, stumbling over my words on purpose, hoping my performance is convincing. “It’s done,” I say in a mumble. “Well, basically. I got a little tinkering I’ve still gotta do.”
I stare at a stain on one lapel of Michael’s coat, a Rorschach of discoloration haloing his middle button, waiting for him to respond, hoping he’ll play along. But when he doesn’t, I look him in the eye again, sheepish behind unkempt locks in desperate need of a trim. He is squinting at me, nibbling on his lower lip.
“What?” I say.
“You’re quoting something.”
I gesture with my keys toward the front of the car, but he doesn’t move.
All of a sudden, he pulls his right hand from his pocket, snaps, and then waves an accusatory finger at me. “Was the silver-hair my Miss Sloviak?” he asks.
I smile, loving that he’s finally picked up what I was putting down. “I don’t know,” I say. “You tell me. You’re the one who had your hand down her pants.”
Let me know what you think. And, as always, if you'd like to read more, throw a buck into my tip jar at Patreon.