Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sample Saturday- Chapter Two - part four

For those just joining the story - chapter one can be read in its entirety on the October 21st entry and the first part of chapter two on the October 28th entry, the next segments on November 4th and Novewmber 11th

Bella let out the breath she’d been holding. Carl pulled away from the reception with the decorum of a deacon leading a processional. Miraculously, the clubhouse disappeared behind them with no sign of Derrick.

Irrational disappointment settled like a wet winter coat over Bella’s shoulders.

Ten minutes later, with minimal directions from her, Carl and Mimi dropped Bella at her front door. They sat like two comfortable bumps in the sedan waiting for her as she fished out the spare key from under the first step. She let herself in and then flashed the porch light to signal she was safe.

Inside the house, Bella leaned against the front door. She was where she wanted to be – home alone. She patted the doorframe with its notches Nana carved to record her height on each birthday. She loved the small house. She loved the shop. She loved her tidy life. She pressed a finger to her lips – shushing an unnamed longing for more.

Her stomach rumbled – an audible reminder she’d missed two meals. The refrigerator held a pitiful selection. There were half a dozen low fat yogurts. She scooped up the blended peach in front and snagged a spoon. So tired she almost missed the paper fluttering to the floor.
Bella picked up the note from where it had landed in front of her dyed-to-match peach sandals. Her hand shook so much it was hard to read.

The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids. If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.

All thought of sleep disappeared. Her heart thumped into double time. Ice trickled down her spine. The assumption of being safe at home, which she’d relied on more than she ever realized, shattered. Her life shredded by holy words used as weapons of personal destruction.

“What’s the nature of your emergency?” The calm voice of the 911 operator soothed the blunt edges of her fear.

“Someone left a note in on top of my yogurt, but the house was locked.” Saying it out loud made it sound like a harmless prank. She prayed the operator wouldn’t laugh.

“Please confirm your name and address for me ma’am.”

Again, the normalcy of the woman’s voice helped calm her. “Isabella Williams 4540 California Lane SW.”

“Thank you. Now tell me about this note – what did it say?”

“Just a minute, I have it here.” Bella read off the words that made her throat close.

“Do you know who left the note?”

“No. It’s on plain white paper, generic computer printing.”

“Have there been any other notes?”

“Yes, this is the third.” Bella’s voice sank along with her stomach.

“Did you report the others?”

The woman’s tone was neutral, but she still felt guilty. “No, I thought –”

“Is there any sign of forced entry?”

“No . . . nothing.”

“Have you checked the house?”

“Checked the house?” Bella echoed feeling stupid.

“Yes, have you checked the house?”

“Noooo.” Checked the house for what?

“Do you have a cell phone available?”


“Good. I want you to call me on the cell phone right now. Don’t hang up. We’ll keep both lines open.”

Bella redialed 911. The call was smoothly transferred back to the same operator.

“Good.” The woman’s voice soothed her again. “You can hang up your land line now. I want you to leave the house and wait outside for the officers. Do you have a safe place to go?”

Up until five minutes ago, the house was her safe place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great teaser. High tension. I want to read on and find out what happens. Only one thing to point out...Instead of thoughts of sleep vanished, would thoughts of eating or hunger vanish make more sense? Just a thought. Other than that, it's perfect and very interesting.

1:21 PM  

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