With National Novel Writing Month now in its fourth day, I thought I’d take a break and share an excerpt from my story, Escaping Orchid Pointe. The concept of this contest is write to 50,O00 words in 30 days. It still feels like an insurmountable task at this point but I’m over 7,000 so far and my tank isn’t quite empty yet. I’ll periodically post an excerpt from my story on my blog. Maybe a year from now, you’ll realize that you read an excerpt from a best selling author. Or maybe you’ll realize a year from now that you read an excerpt from a 50,000 word pile of garbage. Either way, its a win win situation for you the reader. Sorta.
When the shift ended, the mass of people walked at a brisk pace to the time clock. A long line of people who couldn’t escape Orchid Pointe for various reasons, waiting like a horde of zombies, itching to get the hell out of this factory of gloom.
A smack to the back of my head jars me out of my trance. Tommy again, the smacker and his co-conspirator, Lester. At six and a half feet tall and weighing no more than a hundred and thirty pounds, the running joke was that under his flannel covered arm, Lester had an an IV hooked into his vein, just to keep the dude upright.
“A few of us are heading over to The Sparrow Friday night for some cheap suds, Nick, you’re more than welcome to join us.” Tommy offers.
I give it a quick thought. “No, thanks. That place is too crowded on Fridays, man. I never feel comfortable in there, too many cool people.”
Lester rolls his eyes and heads off to grab a coke for the drive home.
Tommy says “I know you love staying in that apartment of yours, dreaming about tube steak but seriously Nick, you need to get out more. It ain’t healthy, dude.”
He’s right. I never go anywhere besides work and the grocery. “I gotta decline, Tommy. I appreciate the offer but I’m just not in the mood to socialize.”
He stares at me for beat, smiles mischievously and states mysteriously “What if I up the ante?”
“I’m just not interested. There’s really nothing you cou…”
“Isabel Duncan” He says.
Isabel Duncan. Damn it. The unobtainable girl that works in Human Resources. I’ve been in lust with her since my first day here back in 2007. She went over sexual harrasment during my orientation and my eyes never left hers, except when they drifted to her protruding chest. Isabel was the kind of woman that even Chuck and his weird sexual attraction to machinery, noticed. I remember her telling us something about no means no and I wondered if she had read my mind.
Tommy has that confident, dopey look on his face that only happens when he knows he’s got me.
“Isabel is going?” I almost beg.
“Ahh, having second thoughts, Nick? Funny how that works. Word around the plant is that a few of the office chicks will be there, Isabel included.”
Damn. ” I’ll meet you there Friday at 8:00″
“Cool” Tommy says. “Go easy on the Drakkar, man. Don’t want to creep her out, stud.” He chuckles and moves toward the time clock.
I step in behind him, wondering what I should wear, wondering if she’ll even notice me.
I pull into the Sparrow parking lot at 7:45. I choose Beethoven’s Fur Elise on the CD player and light a cigarette. The beautiful sounds from a master pianist pour out of the speakers. If Tommy or Lester knew I listened to classical music, they would ridicule me relentlessly. They can have their Garth Brooks or Metallica, I needed something more calming, my nerves were sparking with a white light tonight. I check my hair in the mirror, a glob of dark brown hair forced into place by a dollar store gel. I stare at my eyes in the reflection, blue on blue, and hope nobody sees the loneliness buried deep in my retinas. I exit my black Impala and head for the entrance.
“Well, well, well, the prince of steel town has graced this lowly establishment with his presence.” Tommy trumpets. They all do a mock bow at me, Tommy, Lester and Jake, the guy from the maintenance crew.
Lester, in his usual black and red flannel and a truckers cap, says “Whatcha drinking handsome, I ve got the first round.”
“Coors light will work, thanks, Les.”
“Not a problem Saint Nick, next round is on you.”
Tommy points to a group people by the jukebox. “Fucking Chuck, man. What’s he doing here? Shouldn’t he be humping the Niagara press, or something.”
We all laugh, even robot Jake.
“Is that his wife in the mustard blouse?” I ask.
The only way to describe her would be that she’s a large woman. Rolls of fat on her arms like a can of biscuits. Her stomach flops out under that mustard shirt, seeking freedom from the cloth prison. She’s wearing black stretch pants that reveal the pock marked cellulite on her ass. She ain’t a pretty sight.
“That be her” Lester answers.”Can you imagine fucking that beast? Dear God.”
“Fat chicks give good head though” Tommy says. “Its a scientific fact, ain’t that right robot Jake?” He knows Jake loves the plump girls.
“I guess” is all Jake offers and he shrugs his shoulders.
I buy the next round of drinks, still no sign of Isabel yet.