1.13.2007

HH Com Rd 2 - #35 (614)

(hook here)

...Hey Magic-man...

I turn the fan down soon as I hear him, but all I catch is my name.

Great. Just fricking great. If I turn the fan off with all this wet snow coming down, the car'll fog up in ten seconds; if I leave it on, sure as shit he'll say something important.

I turn it up, and he comes in loud and clear:

...her hair sweeps across my face and I smell it: cinnamon. She smells like cinnamon right there, under her heavy hair, at the nape of her neck...

"Je-sus...!" I groan. "Give it a rest, will you?"

But no, he just keeps going and going and going, like the Ever-ready fucking bunny:

...can't go by a tray of cinnamon rolls at the bakery without thinking of her. God, I love her more than life itself. I know, I know, it's a hopeless cliché, that's what she always says, laughing at me, but deep down I know she loves it when I say those romantic, teenage death-song things...

A big yawn catches me, and I look at my watch. Christ, only ten after? How did Burnsie ever stick it out in Surveillance all those years? I've never been so bored in my life. Doing this day in, day out? I'd rather stay on Patrol. Using an old napkin I pull out of the garbage bag, I wipe the fog off the front window, searching the sky for lights. Nothing but snow, coming down like it's the dead of January, not mid-April. Just last weekend, I was fertilizing the lawn--but in the past hour, we must've got two, maybe three inches. Driving home is going to be a bitch. Then it hits me: the goddamn storm probably delayed the plane. I could be stuck here for hours.

...love to make her laugh, like wind chimes...

"Wind chimes?" I hoot. "Give me a break! You sound like a fucking Hallmark card!"

...so shy, Magic-man, you wouldn't believe it. When she blushes, she hides her face behind her hand, like a fan...

"Speaking of fans...!" I turn it on full blast and punch the cigarette lighter.

Where the hell are my cigarettes? I know I chucked the pack on the dash after lighting my drive-home smoke, but the only thing up there besides gum wrappers and a pack of Dentyne is my wallet. Then I remember: after I got off shift, Laurie borrowed my car to go get milk. She must've taken them, the bitch. Because I forgot the milk. My hands tighten on the steering wheel. She's damn lucky I'm stuck out here and not back there at home.

The drone in my ear pulls me back. I strain for a second, but it's just blahblahblah, nothing I can make out. I know it's more of the same crap, but after a couple of minutes, I gave in. Just in case.

...Forget thinking, forget everything but her...

"Boy, I'd sure like to forget her...!" The craving for a cigarette's so strong I drum the steering wheel in frustration, teeth clenched. I turn the fan back to low, look at my watch for the twentieth time, wipe the window again. Only a couple more minutes. Maybe I can run in, buy some smokes before we leave.

I dig out a piece of gum and stick it in my mouth. Ten seconds later, I buzz down the window and spit it into the snow. Fucking sugarless crap.

...Whoa--it's here. This is it, Magic-Man. Showtime...

I whip the fan off, holding my breath. There's a hiss in my ear like a kettle coming to the boil, and

Oh please, please, God, DON'T--!

the blast rocks me backwards and I claw at my ears oh shit oh Christ it feels like someone's taking a fucking chainsaw to my head--! Somebody's screaming, everything grinding together, razor-edged and hideous and oh fuck it hurts it hurts--

"He's coming around-- Sir! Sir, can you hear me?"

"--sleeve's jammed in the seatbelt. Gimme the shears--"

"--ETA in five repeat five. Pupils uneven, breathing rapid, paralysis on left side, suspect cerebral accident. Have that crash cart standing by, he coded once already--"

The voices bleed away to static, nothing left but the voice in my head saying over and over

...cinnamon cinnamon Magic remember got to cinnamon remember...

till the black squeezes out everything else.



the hook didn't give us much to go on. I liked the writing. I like this writing. I'm willing to hang in there for five pages without knowing much about what I'm reading, but a good cover letter will REALLY help.

8 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

I never figured out if there was a person in the car with him, if he was listening to someone via a wire/listening device, or if he was on a phone call with someone who just wouldn't shut up. Then, at the end, I thought maybe he had an alien in his head.

That said, I did like the writing, it flowed well and it was intriguing. But you have to give me the reader something to go on here. Just tweak this a little bit so we know what going on.

Because I wouldn't hang this far in a real book. I'd have put it down.

Bella Stander said...

I'm with writtenwyrdd; I want to know WTF is really going on.

Fuchsia Groan said...

I would keep reading this, because I love weirdness and the author's style, and the narrator's ornery-bastard voice is convincing.

From the hook, I'm guessing it'll start making sense soon, though I'm a little confused even with both hook and pages... He's got a dead guy's voice/memories in his head, that I understand. The dead guy with the cinnamon-necked girlfriend died in a car crash (?). The narrator just had his own car accident, and when he wakes up he won't remember the last couple of weeks before it happened, but he'll still have Dead Guy's memories. Will he also have the voice? Why'd he have the voice in the first place? Did it make some kind of sense to him before the amnesia?

I don't know, but seriously, I'm intrigued. I want to know if this ever gets published...

Sherryl said...

I thought he was on surveillance, listening in to someone who then set off a bomb or explosion that included the car the narrator was in.
But I could be wrong ...
I found it intriguing, but I would have liked a few more clues.

McKoala said...

Confusing in places, but I liked it. Again I liked that I wasn't being beaten over the head with constant explanation. I could work most things out and would trust the author to reveal the rest in good time. I'd keep reading.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I didn't remember the hook for this one, but I picked up right away that somebody was talking to him through the white noise of the fan. I understood that it was in his head and that the noise facilitated the talk, rather than drown it out. I got lost with the explosion. The italics went away and I didn't know if what was happening was happening to the voice in his head, or happening to the protag.

So, yes, I'd read on, but I'd want to get oriented really fast.

nir said...

The explosion kind of threw me. Was it in real life, or in the life of the voice?

Other than that, I like it so far.

thraesja said...

I'm just plain confused.

Note: It's the Energizer Bunny. Eveready batteries are produced by the same company, but the rabbit is for Energizer.