Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vintage Furniture and Oddities

NOTE: I'm making a foray into fiction here. I've never posted any fiction here before because...well I just didn't. I thought that today, just for fun, I would write something up quickly and post it without much editing. The result is spotty, I think, but it's the beginning of a story that I think might be fun to write. I just might keep it going.

Esther Mayo didn't even have time to put on her shoes before Sam the Rook pulled his black and yellow Grand Am into her driveway. Her hands shot in and out of drawers, transferring essentials from their particleboard homes and into her bag. Esther wished Lucy had given her more warning than this. The call had only arrived a half-minute before the giant yellow jacket in the driveway, and now all she knew was that she needed to grab Oliver's Flag and climb in a car with a man she knew only by name.

And what was so great about the stupid flag anyway? It wasn't even a real flag; just a yellow patch of cloth with a grasshopper embroidered in the middle. And it was barely bigger than her palm. She crumpled Oliver's Flag in her hand and ran out the door. Her bag bounced on her shoulder as she rushed to the car and jumped in. Esther hadn't noticed the heat of the pavement until she sat down in the Grand Am's passenger seat. She turned the reddened soles of her feet toward her mouth and cooled them with her breath as Sam the Rook tore out of the driveway. Dust and pebbles from the disintegrating pavement outside her house fell from her feet onto the clean automobile carpet. The Rook didn't take his eyes off the road.

"Lucy never mentioned you before," Esther said as she stared at Sam. His eyes scanned the road repeatedly. He did not reply. Of course, Esther could see why Lucy wouldn't mention him. His stringy black hair fell in his face like Shemp Howard's, he had a beaky nose and his adam's apple poked out too far. On the other hand, his arms were long, lean and muscular, and his hands moved confidently across the steering wheel. Combining that with his focused eyes, Esther began to feel safe with him. Still, he didn't seem like the type of guy Lucy would be interested in. She looked a little older than him, but she was stunning and he was most assuredly not.

After around two minutes the Grand Am was off of Esther's residential road and onto the state highway. Sam sat back in his seat a bit and let his eyes follow a passing truck.

"Corundum Antique Market and Appraisers," Esther said, reading the words stenciled on the truck's side.

Sam the Rook glanced at her and applied his foot to the gas.

Ten more minutes passed and Sam the Rook spoke.

"Can I assume you got the flag, Mayo?" His voice was high and raspy.

Esther was startled by the broken silence. She quickly produced the yellow cloth and shook it beside his head.

"Right here."

"Put it away."

"Why?" she asked as she stuffed the Flag in her pocket.

"If Lucy wants you to know, she'll tell you."

Sam the Rook pulled off the highway and down a side road. Soon he parked his Grand AM in front of a medium sized store in the middle of a blank stretch of road. A few other cars rested in the parking lot, and Sam, surveying them, walked briskly toward the building, pulling on his jacket as he went. Esther followed him, fixing her eyes on the large chess piece stitched on the back of his jacket.

Sam the Rook.

As she followed him inside she read a hand painted A-frame sign that said, "Vintage Furniture and Oddities."


Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Glad to see you back on the web. Keep the posts coming.

rex queems said...

Good stuff. I like your fiction.

Joshua Duncan said...

Thanks, 'Rex.' I'll keep at it. Hope all is well with Church...

Scott said...

Rex Queems is a fake!
I knew Rex Queems and he's no Rex Queems!

Hey Josh
ALWAYS IN HIS GRACE is back as well!

Joshua Duncan said...

Oh no! We have a Rex Queems mystery on our hands! I suppose it might be that other guy we know...

I look forward to reading your new stuff on Always in His Grace! Of course, that means you have to read everything I've posted recently.