Interlude (or Alternate Chapter One?) Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe Confrontation: I. Scheherazade confront the Killer.
Interlude (or Alternate Chapter One maybe?) Wherein I (Isabel Scheherazade) Confront the Killer in Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe. (My hands are white-knuckled while I write this.) It’s scary, what just happened, very scary.
The guy takes his head out of his hands and looks at me, blinking, like I’d blown smoke in his eyes. He picks up his coffee. Yes? he asks. Can I help you?
I take a big breath. You killed my Mom and Dad.
Ever wonder if your words have an impact? Mine punched him. His hands trembled. His coffee splashed onto the checkered tablecloth.
I wonder if he’s scalded his fingers. I hope yes, but then I think ouch.
His eyes dart back and forth like he’s hunting for an escape route.
And see those kids there? I point back at my table without looking. Those are my brothers. You killed their Mom and Dad, too.
I stop. I don’t know what else to say.
We stare at each other. His face collapses, tears spill over his bleary eyes and into his whiskers. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, he says in a whisper. Sorry. He pushes away from the table, up-ends the chair, rushes Into the innocent outside, and leaves his coffee.
I watch the door ease shut after him, the bird and viney window curtains whiffing carelessly. (Makes sense: how many “cares” could cheerful gauzey curtains in a cute coffee shop have?)
I’m in shock. I didn’t know I had BOLD in me. Like a robot, I pick up his chair, push it back to the table, blot the coffee spills with my sleeve, place the coffee cup in the wash bin, and walk back to my table.
Mimi skewers me over the heads of the twins. She’s horrified.
Not me. I’m hate-i-fied.
(sketches by my friend Ryan, BTW)
PS Is this a cliff hanger? Maybe not quite; but I was thinking I should start with the elephant in the room that nobody (meaning Pop and Mimi, my grandparents) is talking about.
Back to the nature of cliff hangers, just to get off vile and evil for a minute:
I can tolerate cliff hangers just so long as I can keep reading, or know that the next book in the series is within my reach. I just finished Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” When I started with the first book, all the rest of the series had been written and was either in paperback or in the library; so, as soon as I finished “The Lightning Thief,” I could start on “The Sea of Monsters!” Then the library had “The Titan’s Curse” lined up and waiting for me as soon as I finished Monsters.
Otherwise I don’t think I could have stood it…you know, all that hopping from foot to foot to see what was going to happen. Get it? Stood it? Hopping from foot to foot? I love puns; Mom said the two of us have the pun “gene.” She was a scientist with a sense of humor. Every time I build a pun I think of her; so, that’s good, at least.
Come to think of it, my life right now is a series of cliff hangers. I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT THIS WAY UNTIL THIS VERY SECOND. Writing brought the idea up. It’s like the idea was swimming in a lagoon and the writing was the hook that reeled it in.
end of PS