(Read part two)
(Read part three)
Today I have the last part of OUT OF TOUCH from Robin at Your Daily Dose.
"What?" In contrast to her whisper, my what sounded like a sonic boom. "He left you for Mr. Krueger?"
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"You. Gary. Mr. Krueger."
"What does Gary have to do with Mr. Krueger?"
This felt like a round of Who's On First.(not everyone will get this reference but I do - lol) "Nothing. I thought you were telling me something about Gary and Mr. Krueger."
She laughed."That is ridiculous." She leaned in closer and whispered, "Klein & Klein does Mr. Krueger's taxes." Franny worked for her uncle and his son, Jimmy, since she graduated.
"Mr. Krueger of Krueger's Deli."
She nodded and scooted her chair closer to mine. "Among other things. He also owns a coin laundry over on Piedmont, Suds & Fluff, and that hole in the wall bar on Main Street, known as The Joint to the regulars. The sign fell off the door years ago and it was never replaced. He has a few rental properties, too, and that pay by the hour no-tell motel, The Flamingo." Franny curled her lip at that last bit of information, as did I.
Unfortunately, Franny and I already had the displeasure of seeing what amenities The Flamingo does not possess. Two years ago, Franny fancied herself in love with Douglas Finn. It was love at first sight for Douglas and Franny. Everyone thought Douglas was "the one" until his two-timing days came to an end thanks to one of my visions after he dropped his car keys. I scooped them up and saw Rhoda Carlisle and Douglas at The Flamingo, accompanied by a feeling of lust that made my stomach queasy. Franny and I staked out The Flamingo for two days before we caught Douglas and Rhoda in the act.
From the look on Franny's face I could tell she was reliving the Douglas escapade, too. "You have to admit it was a little bit fun zapping Rhoda with the stun gun," I said.
She hooted with laughter. Then she cleared her throat and lowered her voice. "I spent all afternoon trying to reconcile his taxes. I added each line item for every one of those businesses to find the error. Would you believe it took me all afternoon and I am still---"
"You two want your usual?" Bev, the waitress who was working our side of the room, finally made it to our table. Bev went to school with Franny's sister, Mary Margaret. Bev always looked like she'd worked back to back doubles and was on the verge of passing out, but she had a knack for remembering everyone's order and never carried a notepad. Franny gave a nod to Bev and she was off.
"Where are you, Gigi? You look like you're a million miles away." Franny asked.
"I saw Leo today."
"Leo." She dragged out the "o" and then sighed. "Was that weird for you?"
"Eight years and he is still the same."
"It sucks that he broke your heart."
The back of my neck tingled at my hairline. I looked up into the mirror hanging over the bar and my eyes locked with a pair of intense blue ones under black hair. Leo. Oh crack. I sank slightly lower in my seat.
"Hello ladies," Leo said. Franny became a smiling temptress while I pressed my back hard into my chair and focused on breathing.
"Hey sis. Gigi," Sean said.
"Hi Sean," I called out enthusiastically."Leo," I said in a strangled voice.
Franny oozed charm. I sensed a smirk on Leo's face and snuck a peek in his direction. Yep. Smirking.
"Sean, Mom is getting real tired of you missing her Sunday night dinners. I am even more tired of hearing about you missing Sunday night dinners." She paused for a breath. "Leo, you are also invited to Sunday night dinner."
I couldn't believe Franny invited Leo to Sunday night dinner. Panic swallowed me whole. My face flamed scarlet. I go to Sunday night dinner. Leo's mouth turned up at the corners.
"Gigi, are you sick?" Sean asked.
I numbly said, "Sunday night dinner."
The wattage in Leo's smile went up.
Franny continued. "Leo, will you be there?"
"Wouldn't miss it," he said.
"Great," Franny said. "Look forward to seeing you then." I was choking, but refused to make a noise until Sean and Leo were out of range.
Franny waited until I was done hacking like a cat coughing up a fur ball."Why didn't you tell me that Leo still has a thing for you?"
"Because he doesn't still have a thing for me."
"I can tell you still have a thing for him. Didn't you notice the way he looked at you tonight even though you're wearing Mickey Mouse. That has to mean something."
I picked at a hangnail.
She followed it up with, "You have to admit he is still hot."
Hot was Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Hot was the sand in West Palm Beach as you hopped one foot to the other for the water. Hot were the knock off purses sold in Washington Square Park. Leo was the sun. I like this.
I nodded reluctantly.
"So, you will give it a chance?" she asked.
People who yearned for the sun inevitably were burned. I shook my head.
"Why not?" She looked like a bulldog intent on its favorite bone.
"If I ask you to give up on this No Questions Asked, will you?" I'm not sure I get this reference.
She didn't answer, so I started to wonder what I was going to do about Sunday night dinner. I wanted to bail, but couldn't stand for anyone to think I was chicken.
I would be there.
My thoughts: My first thought is that there's too much description. Does Franny really need to tell Gigi all that stuff about Mr. Kreuger? Could it be said in less words? And the whole Douglas escapade. I wonder if this could go somewhere else. I like it because it's a good example of Gigi's talent but I think the pacing could be improved by cutting it. Same with Bev. Unless she's an important player I'd just give her one or two attributes, enough to form an image in the reader's mind.
My last thought is that by the end of chapter one, I want some idea of what Gigi is facing. Is it simply to be at peace with her ability and resolve her feelings for Leo (either by falling back in love or letting him go for good)? Or is there something bigger at stake. I'm hoping there is and that it has something to do with Gigi's talent and if that's the case then I want at least a hint by the end of this chapter. I'm more invested in Gigi and her ability than in her romance - past or present - with Leo.
Now, readers, what did you think? Any suggestions or comments for Robin?