Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 28

  Sharon wondered if she would ever get away from the constant reminders that she had once done questionable things with a giant zucchini. Why couldn’t people just move on?

  “Did you hear me?” asked Ruby. “Still there? Need to get back to work. You comin’ down tonight or no?”

  Sharon shook off the memory of leg warmers, torn sweatshirts and Duran Duran music. “I’m sorry, Ruby. Having a bit of a flashback. Um, give me just two seconds and I’ll be right back with you, I know you’re busy.” Sharon lowered the phone and surveyed the scene.

  April was now wearing just her panties, and riding on Alejandro’s back as he crawled around on all fours and snarled at Raz and Theresa, who were pretending to be prehistoric handmaidens cowering in a cave and dealing with unwelcome beasts attracted by their campfire. This was really getting out of control. “Excuse me,” said Sharon. “Could we focus for a minute?”

  Alejandro leapt to his feet, apparently forgetting his clothing-optional occupant, and April once again flew through the air, ricocheting off a sturdy console table and slamming into the wall. “My bad,” said Alejandro to Sharon. “Got a little carried away. I’m all yours now, as always.”

  Sharon just looked at him. “This is probably a stupid question, but are you in any condition to drive?”

  Alejandro nodded vigorously. “I’m totally good. Never been better. Where do you want to go? Brazil?”

  Sharon sighed (I forget the total number of sighs at this point, just go with it). “That pretty much answers my question. You’re looped. Okay, keep playing your reindeer games and we’ll figure out how to get home later.”

  From her crumpled position up against the wall, April had her own question. “Allie, if you’re done talking to Tight Ass over there, can you help me out? My damn leg’s in the wrong place again. Probably should see somebody about that.”

  Sharon raised the phone again. “Ruby? Thanks for waiting. Looks like we won’t make it tonight. Maybe tomorrow? Will you be there?”

  Another ding of the spittoon. “Yep. Always am. Ya gotta do things to make money. But you know, tomorrow’s better anyway. Them Wiccans will be up in here. Maybe you can talk to them and figure out whatever the hell it is you’re trying to figure out.”

  “Oh?” considered Sharon. “Are they having a meeting? What time?”

  Sounds of shuffling paper. “Party of nineteen. Back room. Eight o’clock. Vegetarian. Say, that sister of mine still eatin’ that vegan crap?”

  Sharon glanced through the doorway into the kitchen, empty bags from the Spiral Diner tossed about. “Well, you could say that. We had some tonight. It was very good, though.”

  “Figures,” muttered Ruby. “That girl never does anything half-ass. She gives up meat, she gives it up all the way around. Anyhoo, I think something’s on fire behind me, probly oughta check that out. See ya tomorrow. Eight sharp.” Before the line went dead, Sharon heard Ruby asking Bessie if she had a stick up her ass or what.

  Sharon closed her phone.

  Alejandro was still standing there, expectant.

  Sharon waved her hand. “Go put Humpty back together again. We are now officially here for the beer and nothing else.”

  Alejandro scurried to assist April, who was now talking to a new batch of dust bunnies located under a china hutch.

  Sharon glanced at Theresa, who was clearly engaged in a passionate lip-lock with Raz. Apparently reenacting the exploits of primitive mankind was somehow arousing. Sharon waited patiently until they came up for air.

  Once they did, Theresa, wiping saliva off her face, turned to Sharon. “Oh. You’re still here. We thought you were going to the diner. Sorry.”

  “No problem at all,” said Sharon, even though it sort of was. No one likes to see that other people have compatible sexual partners. It’s irritating. Anyway. “Can we talk about the first fire at the soda shoppe? Or would you prefer that we leave, so that one of you can successfully locate the other’s tonsils?”

  Theresa laughed. “Oh, please. We have sex all the time. No big. Now. What’s up?”

  Sharon took another swig of her happy lemonade. “Well, why does that building keep burning? Ruby said it’s happened a bunch of times. Apparently I don’t watch the news, because I didn’t know this, but still.”

  Raz cleared her throat, which was probably clogged with Theresa backwash. “Yeah, it is kind of weird. All those fires. And people end up selling. But hey, it means I got a good deal when Ruby and I bought it. Cheap.” Then she glanced at Theresa, and both of their eyes lit up with frenzied lust over the mention of the word “fire”. And maybe “cheap”.

  Sharon held up her hand. “No, please, enough with the tonguing. Theresa, Ruby also said that some waitress named Delta Jo said that-”

  “We LOVE Delta Jo!” exclaimed Theresa. “She is so sweet. A little simple, but who wouldn’t be after standing on their feet for 60 years? She does this one thing where-”

  Sharon interrupted. “I don’t care about Delta Jo’s talents, whatever they may be. This is about me. All eyes on me. Delta Jo said that the first fire was in 1985. Right at the time of the Zucchini Festival. I don’t remember that. Why would I not remember that?”

  Theresa suddenly seemed to be a bit nervous. “What DO you remember about that night?”

  Sharon pondered. “Well, I remember going to the festival, with Trainsley. And I was still mad that YOU had flirted with him that afternoon.”

  Theresa turned to Raz. “That was a long time ago, sweetie. I haven't wanted steak in a long time. I know you worry about that.”

  Raz, obviously still worrying, chose to study one of her sandals and not make an immediate comment. There would be discussions later. And probably accusations. These things happen. Theresa turned back to Sharon. “And you remember what happened to my pig? Brian?”

  Sharon nodded, her heart suddenly pounding. “Yes, I remember that.”

  Theresa nodded as well. “I always blamed you. You know that, right? Just being honest.”

  Sharon shook her head. “But it wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. I spent the whole time with Trainsley. I couldn’t possibly have… Oh my God, you blamed me?”

  Theresa nodded again. “Why wouldn’t I? You were so mad, thinking I wanted your boyfriend, when I was just trying to get your attention. And you didn’t spend the whole time with Trainsley. Remember? Because you walked up on us when he was flirting with me. And you got even madder.”

  Sharon’s head was spinning. Why didn’t she remember this part? How do you forget something major that apparently happened? And how major was it? Sharon felt sweat break out on her forehead. She looked at Alejandro. “Honey, go get Momma’s pills. We might be having an anxiety attack. Now!”

  Alejandro sped out the door.

  April and her perky breasts hobbled around the corner of the sofa, eyeing Sharon suspiciously. “I know that look. You done something bad. And from the way you’re about to snap the arm off that chair, it was pretty serious.” April plopped down on the sofa. “So spill.”

  All eyes turned toward Sharon.

Click Here to Read the Next Chapter.

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment