Tuesday, June 27, 2017



"Jordan! Did you pick the cat up from the vet ?" he looked startled, then guilty, then pushed the door shut with his foot. Sounded like she was in the kitchen. That meant it had been a hard day for her, which was always bad news.

"Uh, no. I forgot. I'll do it tomorrow." He rolled his eyes, then headed for the kitchen.

"Tomorrow is Saturday. They're closed on the weekend. You can't get her till Monday, which is a holiday. So you can't get her till Tuesday. That's 75 bucks room and board. I'm getting just a little tired of this." She was wearing her "get out!" apron and holding a spatula. Batter dripped onto the floor.

"In fact," she continued, "I am tired of it." Donna picked Jordan up and dropped him in her purse, which stood open on the table.

Inside, Jordan fell a considerable distance, landing heavily on a red compact. He sat up, rubbing the back of his head. There was a sizable amount of room, far more than he had expected. In the dim light he saw keys, lipstick, a pencil stub, crumpled pieces of paper, and other things not immediately identifiable. Then he noticed the people. A couple of Jehovah's Witnesses, their starched shirts looking a bit rumpled; someone who might have been a repair man or meter reader; a cop; a couple of teenage boys; a well-built young woman with a head full of red ringlets. No wonder he hadn't been able to get her on the phone.

"Oh wow, Gloria! How long have you been in here?"

"Since the day you cheated on Donna, but told me you weren't seeing anyone."

Jordan reached for her shoulder, but she stepped back "Get your hands off me. I think you've done enough already. I just thank God we used a condom."

Jordan let his arm fall to his side and looked away to avoid Gloria's glare. He noticed four guys slumped around a card table in the shadows. "Who are they?"

"Other former boyfriends. She sure can pick 'em."

"What do you--? Oh." Jordan closed his mouth, and they stared at each other.

Darkness fell with a snap.

"What's going on?" Jordan cried, unable to keep panic entirely out of his voice.

"Brace yourself."

Publ. Daily Cabal, 2009

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