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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Out of Touch - part three


(Read part one)
(Read part two)

Today I have the second part of OUT OF TOUCH from Robin at Your Daily Dose.




Lying on my bed, I stared at my ceiling. Images of Roger Brown and Bambi assaulted me. You're fired. I imagine Mr. Brown just told you the good news. Smack. My stomach rolled over.
Why was it so hard for me to just roll with it? People have secrets. Always. If I had better self-control, I would have pretended I hadn't seen it. I pounded my fist into the mattress and remembered the first vision that started me on this debilitating rollercoaster ride. I think this transition to Gigi's memory could be improved. For example: "If I had better self-control, I would have pretended I hadn't seen it. But I had no more control over what I saw than I did the first time xx years ago." Then the next paragraph follows logically and naturally.
It was the Saturday after my sixth birthday. My father just died and I spent more and more time with The Fitzgeralds. My best friend, Franny, her mom, and I set out for a morning of garage sales. Our first stop was Pattersons. We chose it for two reasons: the merchandise and the gossip were known to be in abundance. (Better: We chose it because the merchandise and the gossip were known to be in abundance.) Mr. Patterson left Mrs. Patterson a month ago and tongues were wagging. Mrs. Fitzgerald's eyes opened round as wagon wheels when she saw the contents on the lawn. 
Franny asked, "Do you think there is anything left in the house?"
Mrs. Fitzgerald hustled out and we bounded out after her. It seemed that the house had vomited up the sum of its contents all over the yard.
When I picked up the ivy trimmed teacup my life changed forever - and I can't say it was for the better. 
A feeling of panic engulfed me. Mr. Patterson drank from that teacup, clutched his throat, while his face turned a mean red, and then he pitched face forward into the table and looked...dead.
The cup slipped from my hands, I started screaming, and I tripped and fell into a wheelbarrow that was parked on the grass and marked with a "For Sale" sticker. Then it happened again...
This time the feeling was satisfaction. But not the good kind. It felt black and mean. Mrs. Patterson wheeled Mr. Patterson in the wheelbarrow across the backyard to the garage. She took a shovel, dug a grave, put his body in it, and parked her Oldsmobile right on top. Her car, right this minute, was sitting on top of Mr. Patterson. 
That was when it sunk in that  I was sprawled where his dead body used to be. I couldn't get out fast enough. However, my brain and muscles no longer worked in tandem, so I just flailed around like a beached fish. Mrs. Fitzgerald hauled me out and we all made a beeline to the car.
I told Franny and her mom what I saw and felt when I touched the teacup and wheelbarrow. Mrs. Fitzgerald (and Mrs. Fitzgerald instantly believes her? Why? Just asking...) called in the tip on Mr. Patterson anonymously. The next day the headline in the local newspaper read, 'WIFE BURIES HUSBAND UNDER CAR."  
After my first vision, Mrs. Fitzgerald  made me promise not to tell anyone, not even my mom, (again, why? I want to know!) so she, Franny, and I are the only ones who know my secret. I have spent my life trying to avoid objects that might have an emotional fingerprint attached to them. It has created friction between me and my grandma, who wants me to take over the family antique business, and has cost me friends, boyfriends, and jobs. Franny calls it a gift, but she isn't afraid to touch.
"God, do you hear me? These visions are the worst. Please take them away. They are ruining my life!"
I needed a pep talk. The clock on my nightstand indicated it was 5:30. I picked up the phone and dialed Franny's apartment, which is about five minutes away. Franny Fitzgerald, best friend, trouble maker, partner in crime, and Certified Public Accountant would transform this day from a thunderstorm into a rainbow.
"Hey Franny."
"I am so glad you called." There was a hitch in her voice. "Gary left me. He said that the relationship wasn't going anywhere and he couldn't take it anymore. He also said something about not loving me like he should. Can you believe that? And then Sean called to tell me about you. I hate this day. I need pizza."
I nixed the rainbow. It remained cloudy with a probability of pepperoni.
"Franny, I am so sorry about Gary. Yes to the pizza."
"Okay.  Girabelli's in an hour," she said. Girabelli's was the premier pizza place, inexpensive and delicious. It lacked atmosphere, but no one seemed to care. By the time we got there it would be packed.
***
Franny was surrounded by several admirers when I arrived. Apparently, word of her single status spread like wildfire through New Dub.(here's a spot where you could add in that description from earlier)  When we were in grade school Franny was all arms, legs, and red hair. Beside the definition of "gawky" in the dictionary was a photo of Franny. That changed when she turned fifteen. Her brothers, who used to tease her mercilessly, weren't having nearly so much fun now. Sean was rethinking his career in law enforcement before Franny met Gary. His job just took a turn for the worse. 
Tonight Franny dressed to dazzle. She was a firework in sequins mounted on four inch heels. I stepped behind her and whispered in her ear, "Shame on you. I picked up an eyeball on my way in here."
She laughed on a tinkling breath that I knew she'd been practicing and excused herself from her admirers."Thanks for the save," she said. "I was afraid you were never going to get here."
"I can tell you were miserable." She batted her eyes in innocence and elbowed her way to an empty table. "You never know when Mr. Right might show up and I want to make sure that he notices me. "
"Couldn't miss you wearing that."
"You are never going to meet anyone dressed like that."
I looked down at myself. Blue jeans, my favorite Nike sneakers, and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. Everything was clean. "What?"
"You don't see it?"
"No stains."
She reached across the table and slapped me on the side of the head.
 "Ouch What was that for?"
"You are such a dope." She enunciated each word slowly. "Forget it," she said. "Very bad day. I am sorry you lost your job. Want to talk about it?"
I leaned across the table. "Bambi slept with my boss to beat me out of a promotion. Can you believe that?"
"I heard you decked her."
"After she smacked me."
She lifted her eyebrows.
"After I called her out on sleeping with a man twice her age," I said.
"Vision?" she asked.
"What else? One misplaced cufflink and my life unravels." I was tired of rehashing this already. "Your turn."
I prepped myself for thirty minutes of non-stop Gary.
"You can't tell anybody this because it's supposed to be confidential." I made a sign of the cross over my heart. She nodded and continued in a stage whisper. "It's Mr. Krueger."
***

My thoughts: Aside from my blue pen, I don't have much else to add. I'm still interested in Gigi and what's going to happen next.

Readers, your thoughts?

Tomorrow, I'll have part four...

3 comments:

Huntress said...

Excellent dialogue! Good attributes. You know when less is more :D

IMHO this foreshadowing needs cut: "...my life changed forever - and I can't say it was for the better..."

Let the story flow. Don't 'tell' us that her life changed, continue 'showing' us.

Robin said...

I read over this and fully comprehend how much better this story is now that I moved that "first vision" to the middle of the story. It is now dialogue (with Grandma) and works so much better.

As you say, it was a tough transition into that scene and it really didn't work well at all.

Your comments confirm that this change was a very good one. Thanks!

Patchi said...

I don't get why she hasn't told her mother. I think it would make more sense if she tried at 6, got rebuffed because of dead father, and never confided in her mother again because Franny's mom is so much more understanding.

My only problem with the dialogue are when the action beats don't match the speaker (or I think they don't) Is Franny saying all of this:
"I can tell you were miserable." She batted her eyes in innocence and elbowed her way to an empty table. "You never know when Mr. Right might show up and I want to make sure that he notices me. "