Smitty & The Sister
Petula stared down the barrel of the gun. It was aimed right for her heart.
The champagne made her dizzy. It was only when the glass slipped from her hand and fell noiselessly to the floor did she realize it was because her hands were shaking. Across from her, the gun shook too. Like looking in a mirror.
In more ways than one. Petula stared at the red-haired woman who matched her in every physical way. Same pert nose. Same light blue eyes. “Rose,” she croaked out and she grasped at her slender throat as if it betrayed her, revealing her fear. “What are you- how did you find me?” She stepped back, tripped over the glass and fell to the floor with a gasp.
Her twin stood over her, the gun now steady in one hand. Petula pushed past the champagne haze and ordered herself to focus, to take in the details and to keep her eyes glassy and blank, just as she was taught. Her sister wore dark jeans and boots and a sweatshirt. Her eyes were cold and calm. She studied Petula with disdain. All of this was typical.
What was not typical was the gun she carried. It wasn’t the 9mm Rose Mathers used in her day job as a big city cop. It was smaller and had a pearled handle, almost delicate. There was a deep scratch on the barrel. It was the kind of gun you wiped clean and tossed down a drain. Petula knew it because she had one just like it. Several, in fact.
Rose nudged Petula’s leg with her boot and gestured with the gun. “In the chair.”
“Are you going to shoot me?” Petula scrambled back like a spider and found the chair. She made her voice tremble even as she turned to steel on the inside. She’d pounce on her sister if she needed to, no way she was dying. Not like this. Not in the old bat’s house.
Rose didn’t answer. Petula’s way was to wheedle and charm. Rose’s was more straightforward. She moved fast and clocked her sister on the head with the butt of the gun. Petula slumped out of the chair and onto the floor, the world suddenly a much darker place.
I’m struggling over here.
There’s a lot of push-and-pull happening in my life right now. Part of me feels settled and content (schedule is back to normal, novel writing is back on track, work is good, friends are happy, the week’s menu includes pancakes for dinner) and the other part is in complete flux- I have to move out of my apartment in a few months (unexpectedly) and the fact that the shape of my life will change again, that my landscape will shift and look and be different, in just a few weeks, largely out of my control, is… strange. I could still be in shock, truly. Sometimes I stop and look around my house and feel as if it’s happening to someone else.
February is my least favorite month, as a whole. It’s gray with a slash of red right in the middle. The whole month feels, to me, like a Tuesday and Tuesday is the worst day of the week, this is a known fact (Mondays are a clean slate but Tuesdays feel like drudgery, always). At least chocolate is mandatory. Thank God chocolate is mandatory. I’ll take it, in spades.
Onward then. With change. And chocolate… and Craigslist.
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