Nightmares are inevitable, as are random and not-so-random day-to-day happenings that could derail our lives. It could happen with two seconds of inattention at 70 mph; or with an email you weren’t supposed to find; or because of that shortcut you took through that brightly lit alley that didn’t look quite right. Read them here on my blog.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
We don’t belong here.
That was my first thought as I opened my eyes to the sight of this turquoise bedspread and these mirrored walls and remembered – gradually – just where it is we are. It’s a shabbily furnished one bedroom apartment without books or toys on the eastern edge of Hollywood, California, in a neighborhood where there are a lot of people who look healthy and tanned and a little stoned at the same time.
I slowly sit up. The other side of the bed is empty, but I hear the sound of cartoons playing on the TV just outside the door. I look toward the dresser at the photo of my son Noah from last year at preschool, then step out to the tiny living room to find him sitting on the couch and munching on Oreos. I don’t know if he pulled them from the cabinet thinking I’d let him have cookies first thing in the morning, or if that’s the kind of breakfast he’s become accustomed to.
Seconds after stepping off the Metro, under a flickering streetlight, Alexandra feels the skin prickling at the back of her neck.
Ignore it. She stiffens her spine. Keep moving. Walk with purpose.
The very thought makes her smirk as she approaches the corner guarded by two teenage boys and pauses, her eyes scanning the street for a passing car, knowing that neither a change in her gait nor her attitude will make a difference if she gets in the way of a drive-by in the battles over drug turf that rage day and night.
For now the neighborhood seems eerily quiet, but she keeps her distance as she passes them, purposefully imagining a future when the Victorian wrecks that line the block will be transformed and the rising tide of property values comes within selling distance of her own home. [Read more]
Lucas feels a phantom pain beneath the scars on his cheek and nearly winces from memories of the flash fire and the burning meth and the concrete jail cell as he meets Chase Raythorne’s eyes across the room.
“You should consider yourself lucky,” Chase tells him. “You could’ve been locked up a lot longer.”
He hesitates for what he knows is an instant too long before answering. “Yeah well it was plenty long enough.”
“You get any extra sympathy for those burns?”
Chase’s tone is taunting, and there’s a smirk on his darkly handsome face. He’s wearing a fancy blue sweater and is deeply tanned following a late October golf weekend down south – clear evidence of the kind of money you make practicing law, the kind that also pays for what Chase has promised is “pure as the driven snow” coke in the vial that he’s holding between his thumb and forefinger. [Read more]