Welcome back to Tuesday Tales!
Today we're kicking off Wind in White Birch. As I said last week, this serial that wraps up Dana and Jonah`s story is one of my favorites for many, many reasons. Each issue is between one thousand and fifteen hundred words, so they`re fast little reads. There is some rather ribald language in this issue just so you know.
Our word prompt this week is 'Stuffed.' Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
Wind in White Birch
Tomes A ‘Plenty Bookstore
“Here I thought you were tidying up the erotica section, not taking notes.”
I spun around, the incendiary copy of Delta of Venus nearly flipping from my sweaty palms. Katie, my boss and the owner of the book store I work in, caught Ms. Nin`s erotic masterpiece before it hit the hardwood floor.
“I thought I saw a spider crawl into it,” I lied neatly, tugging the book from her I then slid it back into its place on the bowing shelf. I continued to stare at the spines of tomes hoping her damned red eyebrow would go back down. When I peeked to the left the ginger-haired woman was the poster child for the disbelieving.
“Right. A spider. Well, lunch is here,” she said, patting my shoulder then weaving past an older woman perusing the erotica section. I smiled guiltily then hurried in the opposite direction, hoping a slow stroll through non-fiction would ease my scarlet cheeks.
I really hadn`t meant to read it. I just thought since it was slow and Katie was off grabbing pizza, I`d skim the book just to ensure I had a good grasp of the content in case a customer asked. That`s my story and I`m sticking to it. Planning on a peek, I somehow ended reading and having lurid images of slowly undressing Jonah Big Deer filling my mind and making my breathing shaky. In my mind, I could still hear the sound of the zipper on his jeans going down tooth by tantalizing tooth.
Shit. I paused by the frosty window then laid my cheek to the frigid glass. That helped. I needed to strip naked and plaster my body to the icy window. I bet the pedestrians hurrying down 22nd Street would be impressed. I was out of control, plain and simple.
Trailing my fingers over the books as I passed I felt the calming reassurance books always bestow settling into my soul. Katie, and the small pepperoni with extra cheese, was waiting for me behind the counter. I shoved a stack of advanced readers copies aside then pulled over a stool. Our store was tiny yet homey with every square inch filled with books.
“Remind me to take down the Christmas lights,” Katie said, placing a gooey slice on a foam plate.
“You could leave them there and call them Valentine`s lights,” I offered, waving a slice at the front windows. I took a bite and sighed. Food was a damned poor substitute for a tall Seneca man but it would have to do. I stuffed in two more bites. My cheeks stretched and chewing was somewhat difficult.
“Substituting dough and mozzarella for dick won`t help,” my boss said. After I stopped choking, I gaped at her openly. I love Katie, I do. I love her kinky red hair, her freckles, and her wardrobe which never stepped out of the sixties although she`s only fifteen years older than me. Hell, I even love her cranky tuxedo cat Bongo Drum, the store feline. However, her propensity for frank speech leaves me slack-jawed at times. That`s why I deal with the customers and Katie deals with everything else.
“FYI, Madame Sex Fiend, I am not substituting dough and mozzarella for whatever you said.”
“She said dick,” the old lady from the erotica section interceded, laying her copy of Erica Jong`s Seducing the Demon down beside a sleeping Bongo cat. Katie snorted then pulled a circle of pepperoni from her slice. The cheese was being stubborn.
“Can I get you anything else?” I asked. The grey-haired darling shook her head. I rung her up, bagged up her book and wished her a happy Thursday. Once the little thing shoved her way into the bitter cold of a Pittsburgh January, I turned to the woman in a long denim skirt and a frothy tie-dyed shirt. “You are incorrigible,” I told her flatly.
“I know, but the truth is the truth. When are you planning on calling that stud from the Finger Lakes?” Katie asked, placing her pizza aside to twist open a bottle of spring water. The store was empty now. The heater was pushing the red and green lights around in the front windows. The smell of warm books and pizza blew throughout the store. I shook my head and slung a leg over my stool.
“I`m not calling him,” I told her, laying a paper towel over my black slacks, “Do you know how desperate that would sound? ‘Hi Jonah, it`s me, Dana. Listen, I`m such a loser I have nothing in my life besides my son and work. Can you drive down and make me feel loved?’”
“Don`t say that, you`ll scare the young buck to death. Just call him, tell him you`re horny and invite him down for a good screw. I guarantee you he`ll break land speed records to get here, you`ll get laid, and my erotica section will be less drool speckled.”
“Oh my God, you are so sick,” I said, absently pawing for my cell in my pants pocket as I stared at my employer in shock. Katie shrugged and muttered something only she and Bongo could understand. Glancing at my incoming, I grimaced.
“Hey Grandma, what`s up?” I said.
The rather taut voice of my grandmother exploded into my ear. “Dana, is there a parking slot in front of your store?”
I stood up and squinted at the street. It was on the tip of my tongue to say no but I knew the Clairton Corp were already near. I sighed and told her that yes there was a spot open. No sooner had the words left my mouth did my grandmother`s silver Cadillac ran over the curb outside. Not bothering to drive back off the curb, five old women exited the Caddy. My grandmother and my four great-aunts, out for their weekly Thursday shopping run in the city.
I crossed myself as the bells over the door jingled.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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