Gotta keep on writin',
Keep them stories writin',
And as such, I don't feel like fiddling with thoughts on the blog. Instead, here's a bit more of "The Lyons' Den".
So I piped down and got to pondering the possibilities, peculiarities and just plain persnickitiness of the project at hand (told you I liked to alliterate). I’d decided to wear the latest in cool-detective trench coats over your basic casual travel attire and felt really cool, calm and collected -- especially since Carmen didn’t even join us on the trip. She said she’d be around if we needed her, but I kinda think she was irritated at how she’d been made over and just wanted to be the bitch someplace else, for a while. Which made me wonder if she was off sweet-talkin’ some other writer to put her in HIS book. Meaning, yes -- we characters can be very fickle, and if we feel we’re being dissed, then we’ll just go get pissed, and so some will insist on finding a new -- uh -- damn, what’s a word for writer that rhymes with insist? I’m drawin’ a blank here. “Lyricist?” Naw, too weird.
ANYway...what made the trip truly enjoyable was, it started to snow. Nothing heavy, at first, just little flurries that got flurrier and flurrier till it looked like a serious Nor’easter. I’d wondered if Dan-o was being too anal when he asked for an SUV and four-wheel drive (the weather report said cold with scattered clouds) but now I was glad. Traffic got light and speed got slowed down once we were off the 85, with the road twisting and turning and next to no cars coming in either direction, but we finally made it to Bradleyville...and lemme tell you, it was long after they rolled up the sidewalks. Seriously, this is that kind of place the chamber of commerce calls quaint while kids that live there refer to it as “the hell I wanna get the hell away from.” And in the winter snow, for some reason I was thinking of that town in “It’s A Wonderful Life” -- all dark, snow-drifty and smothering in its Saccharine sweetness. I actually started looking around for a guy in a wheelchair named Potter...him being of that name, not the chair.
Somehow Dan-o...naw, better call him Daniel, from now on, and you’ll understand why as we go along...anyway, Daniel found this late-night diner and walked in to enjoy the blast of warm air and think seriously about a slice of pie and some hot tea or coffee as he waited for the caretaker to come over for him, but before he could even get his gloves off this screech of a voice hollered, “You the fool friend of Mr. Bentley’s, come up here?”
He jumped around to see this five-foot tall gnome dressed in a massive parka, thick gloves and a muffler atop two of the spindliest legs ever shoved into ski-pants that ever was, that then vanished into a pair of the biggest snow boots ever seen (perportional...un, proportiony...uh, generally speaking). All you could see of the person inside were two beady eyes that looked like they were about a hundred years old.
My guy nodded and asked, “Are you Mr. Serff?”
“Do I look like Mr. Serff?” the voice snapped. Well, yes, in that get-up, but...“He’s in Boston. I’m the Missus.”
“Uh, it's nice to meet you. I'm Daniel Bettancourt.”
I couldn’t resist adding, “Lord and master of the great and powerful Ace Shostakovich!” To which Daniel rolled his eyes, not in the snotty way Tad does but like he just plain can’t believe I said that.
The old bat just glared at him, obviously noticing his rolling of said eyes and thinking he meant her. “And who else might ya be?” she snapped. “Up here, this time of year at this time of night? All the best skiin’s to the east. C’mon, let’s get this done with.” And she headed out the door, muttering, “Little fool.”
Daniel blinked and followed her. “So...I take it Tad got hold of you and explained -- ?”
"Tad?” she snapped. “That what he goes by, now? I knew him when he was just ‘Master’ Theodore James Bentley, the third, an’ made me use every fool bit of that fool name.” Wow...looked like he’d always been a dick. “An’ yes, he did call. Right ‘round an hour ago. Asked...no, ‘told’ me to get the place ready for ya. Got pretty high-handed with it, too, like I’s his employee. Like I can't remember when his poppa was treatin’ me all right and proper. Like I'm a fool. I'd of told him where he could go, but ya were already comin’ an’ t’ain’t my way to let people die from exposure. Not ‘round my parcel of the woods, anyhow. T’ain’t polite.” (And I swear, she really DID say “t’ain’t” -- twice!)
We headed straight back out to the snow and she eyed Daniel’s rental and snorted. “Best park that here. Won’t make it where we’re goin’.”
“It’s got four-wheel -- ,” Daniel said.
“I got mine. Toss your things in the back.” Then she climbed into this four-by-four with a snowplow as its front bumper, and the damn thing would’ve looked perfect as the car-crusher at a monster truck rally. Seriously, it even had fold-out steps going up to the sideboards of it so she could reach the cab.
“Will the car be okay here?” Daniel asked, eyeing the truck with what did NOT amount to certainty.
“Prob’ly,” said the old bat as she settled in behind the wheel. “No charge at a meter over the weekend. Now let’s get goin’!”
Daniel got his satchel, laptop and a bag of groceries he’d bought at a deli by the car rental office and climbed aboard. And away we went, spitting snow the whole way down the main street. And I gotta say, if I’d thought my guy was gettin’ into something bad before, I was damn sure of it, now.