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.