Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 3

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.

  Sharon’s confusion and Hexom’s obtuseness were interrupted by a commotion at the front door of the restaurant. They glanced asunder and spied a man writhing on the lobby floor, with bits of paperwork splashed about. He clearly needed some type of assistance, but the nearby hostess and two servers couldn’t be bothered because they were discussing something Snoop Dogg had advised them to do on his latest album.

  “Oh, God,” muttered Sharon, instinctively reaching for another lukewarm mini-taco. She proceeded to smack and lick her fingers.

  Hexom, uncertain if it was wise to simply ignore the fallen man, reluctantly turned to Sharon for further information concerning her brief outburst. Had she just spied the Lord at the salad bar? Had she climaxed? “Pray tell of thee utterance,” he queried, thinking himself rather clever for doing so in such a manner.

  Sharon spit a bit of taco detritus into a napkin and then hurled the wadded object at the nearest server. “Go ask the wretched cook what the hell THAT is!” Then Sharon snatched up her purse and began fumbling within for something of apparent importance. “I know that man,” she stated, brow furrowed in concentration.

  Hexom was perplexed. “You know the cook?”

  Sharon sighed, as if dealing with ignorance was simply beyond her strength at this time. “No,” she said, finally locating the holy grail and pulling out a tube of lip gloss. “The man at the door. He’s the accountant I was supposed to meet.” Then she began to apply vigorously.

  Hexom glanced at the front door sprawler again. Still down, still writhing, still being ignored by Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod as they feebly attempted to have a conversation with any redeeming value whatsoever. The man nearly got to his feet, but then tripped over a pocket of air and went down again, one foot destabilizing a previously-unnoticed coat rack and sending it crashing toward the wannabe rappers. They simply moved out of the way and continued grunting.

  Hexom turned back to Sharon. “Shouldn’t you go help him? Or perhaps I could, if you’d like.”

  Sharon, still applying, “No, leave him be. For two reasons. One, he’s always doing that, with the clumsiness. It’s his thing. Completely annoys me, but I let him live because it might just be a genetic condition. I’ve been to his house and there were people tumbling about like walruses on crack.”

  “And second,” she paused, slipping the lip gloss tube back in her satchel and giving it a little pat. “He was late for our meeting. At the moment, I’m talking to you and I don’t need him. It’s going to take him time to recover, it always does, and by the time he gets to that point, I just might allow him to speak with me.”

  She gazed with curiosity at Hexom. “Now, tell me all about my involvement with Sunset High and people trying to kill you.”

  Hexom stared in wonderment. “How are you able to talk THAT much and put on lipstick at the same time?”

  “Lip gloss, sweetie, and I can successfully apply during animalistic sex and not miss a thing. I’ve won awards. Now. Sunset? Let’s start there. Why me? Why Sunset?”

  Hexom fiddled with his notebook again. “Well, as I mentioned, this all started some time ago.”

  Sharon nodded. “Yes, strange man in park, three years ago. Go on.”

  “And that I can’t tell you certain things.”

  Sharon sighed again. “I don’t really understand that, but got it. I’m starting to get bored with the repetition. Entice me.”

  Hexom smiled. “Everything that happens from this point forward entirely depends on your emotional reaction to carefully-planned stimuli.”

  Sharon studied him for a moment, then “Are you serious with this?”

  “Completely. The path you choose to follow can save my life.”

  Sharon briefly tapped one lacquered fingernail on the table, then suddenly lunged for her purse again, rummaging instantly. She pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, tossing the purse away. She lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.

  Two seconds later the restaurant manager, unseen by anyone for the past two weeks, suddenly appeared at the table. He glared at Sharon. “M’am, you can’t smoke in here.”

  Sharon blew her smoke at him. “Yes, you can. I’ve done it before.”

  “Only in the bar.”

  “Then make this the bar.”

  This startled the manager. “I’m sorry?”

  Sharon took another drag. “Make this the bar. Get some coasters and some peanuts and make people leave if they don’t like it.”

  The manager rolled his eyes, because he was once again dealing with a psychotic customer with focus issues. “It’s not a simple as that.”

  Sharon grabbed her purse, which apparently contained any possible need she might ever have, and then threw a wad of bills at the irritating man, who proved quite agile when it came to professionally capturing thrown currency. “Everything is simple when you have money. Make it happen.”

  The manager quickly counted the bills, his eyes brightened, he raced into the bar, raced back to the table, plunked down a shiny ashtray, and smiled. “Enjoy.” Then he strolled away. When an elderly woman tried to stop him and complain about the smoke, he slapped her.

  Sharon plinked her ash into the glass receptacle, then grinned at Hexom. “I must say, you’re really starting to get my interest with this. I don’t quite believe everything just yet, especially the business about my actions changing how things-”

  A phone started ringing.

  Sharon turned to her purse with exasperation. “Can’t people just leave me alone and let me live my life? GOD!” She whipped out some kind of bejeweled flip phone and got right to the point. “What is it?”

  She listened to someone babble, her expression slowly changing from bitter annoyance to confusion and then surprise. She suddenly barked an order. “Have someone bring it to me right now…. Applebee’s…. yes.” She slammed the phone shut, pondering.

  Then she looked at Hexom. “A package was delivered to the house.”


  She hesitated. “The return name on the package….” Her eyes briefly gazed off into the distance.

  Hexom leaned forward. “The person who sent the package. This person is no longer alive, are they?”

  Sharon leaned back in her seat. “No. No, they are not. Not for a long time.”

  Hexom smiled. “Then it’s started. Welcome to the game.”

Click Here to Read the Next Chapter.

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