SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 1.02 – Fly

Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.

Chapter 1 – Fly (continued)
I studied the corpse in shock and surprise. It was ugly … that mostly due to its size. It was as large as an ironing board … lying there in the middle of the road, its feet crossed and thrust toward the night sky … with what? I paused and actually chuckled as I thought of my brother, Peter. “With Xs on
its eyes,” he would have said. The legs and snout were actually furry … and disgusting. The eyes reflected iridescent blues and greens in the lights of the headlamps. Its wings lay as so much cellophane against the surface of the road. It didn’t look dead, but it didn’t move … thank God!

Suddenly, I felt sick. The size of it nauseated me. Turning to my left, I spewed forth all I had eaten in the last few hours: the Big Mac I had scarfed before rehearsal, the two beers during the evening, the shot of Sambucca which Will, my assistant director, had insisted upon before calling it “a night.”

When I turned back to the road, the apparition had not departed. It lay there, its multifaceted eyes unseeing, its legs awkward and crossed, it large, hairy body still. It would never buzz again. I gave a strangled laugh and threw up again in front of me. Some of the vomit splashed and clung to the
hairy body. Suddenly, I had the strongest urge to urinate, but I would not allow myself that freedom. I would be too vulnerable. What if it awakened?

In sudden panic, I turned and ran toward the car. Slamming the door, I locked it and reached over to do the same with the passenger side. The car’s warmth enveloped me, and the music tried its best to soothe my fears. It didn’t work.

I gunned the engine and swung the car to the right onto the shoulder. As I skirted the abomination, I closed my eyes. The Kingsmens’ lyric became garbled by my tortured mind. Louie, Loueye …oh, oh, … what a big black fly. Guiding the car back onto the roadway, I pressed the accelerator and shot ahead. When I looked in the mirror, I could see only blackness and the weak reflection of the tail lights.

A quarter mile brought me to the main road. Barely hesitating at the stop sign, I turned left and headed home. Another quarter mile, and the big white farmhouse reared out of the darkness. The outside light was on, but that was all I needed. I was home! Without slowing, I swung the big car
through the tall, white gates and stopped next to the side terrace. No way was I going to brave the darkness to reach the car park behind the house. The light from the kitchen spilled through the French doors onto the flagstone terrace. I allowed myself a minute to regroup and lit a cigarette as The Temptations crooned about their Earth angel. I closed my eyes and lay back against the seat. The smoke tasted good against my raw throat. I wished I had another shot of Sambucca.

What was I to do now? I couldn’t go back … I wouldn’t go back … not for a million bucks! I exhaled forcefully and filled the interior of the car with smoke. Crushing out the cigarette, I killed the engine and opened the door. I ran across the terrace, fumbled with my keys and finally opened the
door. Inside, it was warm. My eyes closed as I leaned back against the door savoring the warmth of the wood stove but most of all the feeling of security. I was home. Thank God!

With a sigh, I opened my eyes and looked around the room. Nothing had changed. That surprised me. My life had changed, but this room was still the same. The dried herbs still hung from the exposed beams, the ship models still sailed in search of a sea, and the Tiffany lamp still bathed the
whole in soft, jewel tones. Behind the eisenglass doors of the stove, the fire burned cheerfully, and our vicious Rottweiler, Fred, lounged sleepily on the sofa. Nothing had changed.

Divesting myself of my coat, I tossed it across one of the six bar stools no one ever used. I was right. The house was quiet. Both Chris and Marty were already in bed. Remembering the Sambucca, I crossed to the liquor cabinet. We didn’t have Sambucca, but there would be something equally relaxing. Drambuie, perhaps … but no, I didn’t feel like sipping. Grasping a wine goblet from the rack, I poured a full measure of port. With a smile, I savored its thick, warm sweetness. Yes, this would do the trick.

Sitting on the edge of the sofa, I rubbed Fred’s thick head and soft, velvet ears. He simply stretched and yawned. Nothing like a good guard dog. I extracted and lit another cigarette. Come morning, Chris would rail against the smell of stale smoke, but this was not a normal evening.

NEXT: SCARED continues.

SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 1.01 – Fly

This week begins the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 1 – Fly
Nationally, I have no idea when the fear actually started. For me, it started on the night of October 10, 1999. There was nothing unusual about this particular October except that I was facing my fortieth birthday, and I was not happy about it. Other than this, 1999 had shown us a typical fall season.
The leaves were exceptionally beautiful, and there was a pleasant chill in the air. The unusually violent thunderstorms of the summer were behind us, and, surprisingly, the remainder of the hurricane season promised to be a dud. It seemed as if Mother Nature had blown her wad over the last few years and had simply sat back to watch. No one was complaining. We had had enough of her vengeance to last us many years. Even the millennium doomsayers had fallen into silence since August. Life almost
seemed normal again.
On this particular night, the tenth of October, I was hurrying home. I was directing a show at our local theater which was fifteen miles away, and I was tired. The rehearsal had gone well, but I couldn’t wait to get home. It was late … almost eleven o’clock, and I knew that everyone at home was
probably already in bed. It was a Sunday night, and Chris, my wife, would have to be up early on Monday. Our son, Marty, also had classes the next morning. Still, feeling all of my forty years, I pushed my old convertible to the limit, the radio blaring sixties rock music.
The roads between the theater and our home are narrow, winding and forest shrouded. I loved the drive. The big, heavy convertible hugged the corners and ate up the straightaways. I actually began to feel young again.
As I rounded one of the sharp curves, I punched the accelerator and watched the speedometer jump to sixty. The big, V-8 roared as the Beach Boys sang about driving down the same old strip while looking for a place where the chicks were hip. I negotiated another curve with only minor
squealing of tires. Then another straight stretch. I really gunned her this time sending an airborne sea of leaves in my wake. The needle raced to eighty and then dropped suddenly as I braked for the next curve.
In the back of my mind, I heard Chris’s voice. “Be careful, Steve … there are a lot of deer through here.”
I took the next straight shot at meager sixty. The car’s bright lights flooded the road ahead.
Not a deer to be seen.
I braked again for the upcoming “S” curve. For an instant, the light illuminated the decimated cornfield and then swung back to the road. I slammed on the brakes and felt the big car begin to slide.
My first thought was, “My God, someone’s lost an ironing board!” The convertible slid to a stop.
For a moment I sat looking. Then, slowly, I opened the door and stepped out. The sound of the radio seeped into the cold, dark night as the Capris crooned about the moon and the girl on their arm.
I stood looking at the road in front of me. What appeared, at first, to be an ironing board laying on its back wasn’t an ironing board. The legs angling above the road surface were not those of an ironing board … but they were legs.
Cautiously, I took a step forward. Chris’s voice echoed in my mind. “Be careful, Steve. There are a lot of deer through here.” This wasn’t a deer.
I took another step, trying, in my mind, to make sense of what I was seeing.
Beside me, the big V-8 rumbled, anxious to be gone from this place. Inside the car, where it was warm, the radio continued, muted now by the open door and the sound of the motor … the white leather interior now pale green in the glow of the instrument panel.
I took two steps this time, skirting the edge of the headlights’ beam. I couldn’t block the light.
I couldn’t trust my own eyes. I had to see what lay on the road in front of me, and I had to see it clearly.
The strange object wasn’t an ironing board, though its legs, thrust above its huge body did remind me of that. I wasn’t a deer either … it was a enormous fly.

NEXT: SCARED continues.