Monday, September 6, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 30

  Hexom smiled. “I’m not Hexom,” said Hexom.

  April stepped forward to get a better look in the window. “Nope, that’s not Hexom. I know I didn’t cut that hair. It’s a mess.”

  Sharon leaned down as well. “Alistair?”

  Not-Hexom’s smile vanished. “Please don’t use that name. If you must address me with something, call me Allie.”

  Alejandro stiffened, in a non-sexual way. “We already have an Allie in our group, thank you.”

  Not-Hexom glanced at Alejandro, his eyes briefly dropping down to Alejandro’s chest and then back up to his face. “Had to find a shorter name for yourself, did you? That long one too much to remember, muscle boy?”

  “I say we kill him,” suggested April. “Whatever his name is.”

  Alejandro stepped forward, possibly to carry out this harsh retribution, and April’s eyes brightened at the thought. But instead of dismembering anything, Alejandro simply opened the car door and stood back. “Get out.”

  Not-Hexom did not. “I would think you’d be a little more appreciative, considering.”

  “Considering what?” asked Sharon harshly. “You stole my damn car! And you want me to thank you for that? Really?

  Not-Hexom sighed and finally stepped out, his resemblance to Hexom even more striking when you got the full package. “Why would I steal your car? I have plenty of my own. I haven’t even seen some of them in years.” He pulled out a pack of expensive-looking cigarettes, a bizarre and lengthy cigarette holder with a small jewel near the business end, and a lighter with a nice art deco finish. He briefly busied himself with these components.

  “So you’re gay as well?” asked April, possibly realizing a client-recruiting opportunity for her salon.

  Not-Hexom blew out smoke. “Of course not. Just my brother. The rest of us obviously didn’t watch ‘The Wizard of Oz’ enough times for it to take.”

  (The writer of this series, sitting at his desk and giggling at his own cleverness, was startled to hear a knock at the front door. Hitting “save” on his current file and then marching forth to open said door, he was even more surprised to find a prim-looking woman that he did not recognize, standing there with a clipboard and a severe expression.

  “Can I help you?” asked the writer, having no desire to really do so.

  “Greetings,” said the woman, in a tone that clearly showed that meeting people was not something that she particularly relished. “I trust that you are the managing editor of ‘Oak Cliff Confidential’?”

  The writer, despite being partially alarmed by a stranger appearing at his door, because this was rarely a good thing, found himself slightly flattered by such a fancy-sounding title. He drew his shoulders back and stood proudly. “Why, yes, that I would be.”

  The woman made a notation on her clipboard, then turned it around for the writer’s review, holding out her pen. “Please sign near the ‘X’ which I have just indicated.”

  The writer took the clipboard but didn’t really look at it. “What is this all about? What am I signing?”

  The woman’s expression changed to one of utter disappointment that she had encountered yet another lesser human being who refused to simply do what she asked them to do. “It’s an acknowledgement form.”

  “But I haven’t acknowledged anything.”

  “Of course you haven’t” said the woman. “You haven’t signed it yet. You sign, you acknowledge. Do you see how that works?”

  “But WHAT am I acknowledging? And can we use a different word? That one takes too long to say, and I’m very tired.”

  The woman’s expression changed again, now showing outrage that exact protocol was not being followed. “Sir, this is not one of your posts wherein you can manipulate reality. Although, obviously, it’s those various manipulated posts that have led to my appearance. Especially the one that you are working on now.”

  “My blog posts? What’s wrong with those? And how do you know what I’m working on right-”

  The woman made a very demonstrative sigh, which did nothing to better her already limited standing in the writer’s perception. “If you would just READ the acknowledgement, all will be clear. Your violation is listed in Box 4. I had assumed that since you could write, you could also read. Was I mistaken in that assumption?”

  The writer, tamping down the somewhat exhilarating bloodlust he felt toward this evil woman, looked at the clipboard again, locating Box 4. Three words were contained within. “Too much smoking.”

  He looked at Cruella. “Are you kidding me? Too much smoking? In a fictional story about people that don’t exist?”

  “Impressionable minds could be influenced by your glamorization of nicotine. Studies have proven such.”

  The writer was not impressed. “Who ARE you? Why are you here? Go away.”

  “Please sign the form. It’s the right thing to do.”

  He handed the clipboard back to Short and Mean. “I’m not signing this. If people are bothered by smoking, they shouldn’t read the blog. And I don’t glamorize it. I don’t even know what you mean by that.”

  “Oh?” asked Tokyo Rose. “Did you or did you not just have one of your characters fussing over a jewel-encrusted cigarette holder? That’s glamorization, having people think that smoking will make them movie stars that wear turbans and bark at servants.”

  “It wasn’t jewel-encrusted, it was one small stone at the very tip…. Wait, you know what, I’m done. Get off my porch.”

  The woman looked affronted, which was obviously a very easy thing for her to do. “There’s no need to become threatening. I’m simply trying to make the planet a better place to live.”

  “Then go plug up a hole in the ozone with your ASS. Go! Away!”

  The writer turned to head back into the house, but the Hag kept babbling. “Very well, then. At least I tried. Carry on with your sordid tale.” Then her tone became a little lighter, almost girlish. “And despite all the people smoking themselves to an early grave, I am rather enjoying the story. And Alejandro is my favorite character.”

  The writer turned back. “Alejandro? He’s the most stereotypical in the batch.”

  She nodded her head. “I understand that. But I think he’s hot.” She actually blushed slightly. “I may be a virgin, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what one has to do to resolve that situation. Good day.” She turned and trounced off the stairs, crossing the lawn.

  The writer reentered his dwelling, closing and locking the front door, then leaning his head against the wood. Really? Geez. He went back to his laptop.)

  “So,” Sharon said to Not-Hexom, “if you weren’t stealing my car, what the hell were you doing?”

  Not-Hexom paused in his smoking, waving the holder about in an obnoxious manner just to irritate a certain reader. “I was actually trying to keep Alejandro out of jail.”

  Alejandro was startled. “Who said I was going to jail?” Then his eyes narrowed. “What did I do this time?”

  Not-Hexom sighed, then tapped the curb they were standing on with his foot. “This is a no parking zone. See the sign?” He pointed. It was three feet away and very clear. “Not sure how you missed that. Anyway, a squad car pulled up and was about to run the license plate, while you were inside doing who knows what with the skinny trollop.” He glanced at April, who, oddly, seemed rather pleased with the trollop label, then back at Alejandro. “After all, I trust that you still do not want the attention of the authorities, what with those tickets for nude driving. Something about one more citation and off to jail we go. Hmmm?”

  Alejandro nodded his head sheepishly, then lowered it, glancing sideways at Sharon.

  She remained focused on Not-Hexom. “How do you know so much? Seriously”

  Not-Hexom smiled. “I know everything, Sharon. The sooner you realize that, the more enjoyable this whole thing will be.”

  Sharon wasn’t done. “And why are you helping us? Don’t you want things to happen so that we can’t find the stones?”

  Not-Hexom’s grin broaded as he manipulated another cigarette into his high-drama holder. “It seems that Hexom’s depiction of me, to you, has been a bit biased. We ALL want you to find the stones, Sharon. But for very, very different reasons.” He turned and started to walk down the sidewalk.

  “Wait,” called Sharon. “I have more questions.”

  “Can’t answer them,” Not-Hexom yelled over his shoulder. “You’re on restriction for three more stones. The rules, Sharon, always the rules. Now get some sleep. Tomorrow’s a big day.” His footsteps faded into the night.

  April piped up. “Screw sleep. We need more alcohol.”

Click Here to Read the Next Chapter.

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment