Posts Tagged parents

Excerpt 113

She flexed and clenched her entire body, trying to wiggle out of the hands that were holding under her armpits and another set holding her feet.  It did no good.  The hands squeezed tighter, making her tired.  She wanted so badly to rest but needed to keep fighting.  No one was helping her.  No one was out, most likely, because it was still so early in the morning.  She thrashed her head back and forth, trying to see through the impenetrable cloth.

Both bodies that were carrying her halted. A fleeting moment allowed her to think that they had realized they had the wrong girl and that this was all a mistake. Sweat dripped into her eyes and the sack made her skin crawl with its itchy fibers. She heard metal sliding against metal, like a door was opening.

It was a vehicle door.  She thought of the rules she was taught in the self-defense class she and Gertrude had taken at the library; never let them take you to a second location.  She sprung with all her might and managed to kick one foot out of the fierce grip.  Just then, a hard object smacked her across the face. She had never experienced such a dull pain that exploded into all of her senses. Her ears rung lowly and she wondered if her nose was misaligned, as she tasted blood running into the corners of her mouth. Whatever hit her was very heavy and she thought it might be a gun.

She felt rope wrapping around her ankles and hands at the same time. There were more than two people involved.  The hands swung and heaved her body onto a hard metal floor.  She landed on one knee and the agony made her fall face first.  The door closed.  Some strident notes rang out from what must have been the car radio. She couldn’t recognize the song but it sounded of Middle Eastern origin.

An engine started and rattled as they left the beach.  She struggled to roll herself onto her back, but hand no success.  The sharp turns made her slide face first into the corners under the seats. It took a lot of concentration not to scream.  She knew it would waste her energy and worse, that no one would hear her. She wondered where they were going.  They could have passed her parent’s house.  Her parents, post coital from their block party, had no idea their daughter had been abducted.

She heard the familiar ringing of her phone.  Her bag must have made it into the car.  It must be Danno calling, saying that he had finished breakfast with Rainbow.  It was time to talk about where they could run off to together. He would think that she was ignoring his phone call.

She flayed about the compartment, trying to get the sack off of her head again to be able to identify who was responsible.  She felt the rope rub against the skin on her wrists, savagely scratching.  She decided it was too soon to cry and, making that very decision meant that shock had set in.  Still though, crying would make her more helpless.

“Please make the car stop,” she whispered. “Please let this be a mistake.”

“Shut up back there,” a low, crackling voice roared. She felt tiny hairs all over her body spring straight up. “I’ll cut off that pretty pink tongue and stuff it down your throat.”


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Excerpt 112

There was an inexplicable quiet among them.  She considered dialing the police, but wasn’t sure what to tell them. She couldn’t register what she was seeing or who was even in the room.  She knew, without directly recognizing them, that her parents were involved and tracked a few more familiar faces.  No noticed her.  No one stopped.  She became angry that there were no precautions taken to make sure she did not walk into this.  She was still a member of the household, even though she did not pay any of the expenses.

The condition of the room was jarring.  All of the curtains were closed tightly. Her parents eight hundred thread count sheets were twisted and balled up across the bed. There were pieces of costumes from different time periods flung everywhere.  Someone moaned, forcing Ala to quickly turn around and made her way downstairs to the living room, where she sat in an armchair, her arms wrapped around her legs and rocked slowly back and forth. She thought of a Fendi painting she had stumbled upon in college.  All of the round, open bodies, different shades of peach, in the water each taking to one another.  The lines were so smooth and the bodies were depicted as so approachable, because the eye had a difficult time deciphering where one began and one ended.  She tried to think of the naturalness of the act and could not find a way.

She awoke to the sound of a loud engine rumbling down the street and looked out the window.  A truck was backing up into Emmanuel’s driveway.  She watched a wiry man hop out of the passenger side and motion for the driver to keep easing back, making sure not to run over any of the plants.  It must be all of the artwork and cash being returned.  She felt her upper back droop slightly with relief as the driver turned off the ignition and the wiry guy opened the back door.

She heard laughter upstairs and remembered the horrific scene that she for sure had seen, and had not dreamt.  A group descended the staircase.  Two of them were the Neely’s, with Mrs. straightening her wrap-around skirt as Mr. zipped up his pants, smiling. She saw Jeanne and Peter, faces red and smeared with one of her false eyelashes dangling from her eyelid.  There were others she was sure she had either seen at the library, or the grocer or the drycleaners or any other mundane errand mecca.  Was the whole village involved?

Her parents were the last to come down, both wearing robes, they stopped at the front door to hug the last couple to leave and her mother whispered something Ala could not make out.  The door closed and Ala cleared her throat.

“Ala,” her mother gasped and held the robe closed across her chest.  She was not aware that Ala had most likely seen her breasts and some man, other than her father, attached to them.

“What are you doing home?” Her father said.

She stood and felt tears falling out of the corners of her eyes.

“What the Hell was that?”

“What do you mean?” Her mother asked.

“This is what you do now!” She screamed.  It was too much.  The haze from pills and sex had lifted and she was very alert and terrified of the situation.  “I saw both of you!  Upstairs in my own house.”

“Ala, you’re not supposed to be staying here,” her mother said.  “You’ve been coming and going all week as you please.  You can’t expect us to not live our lives.”

“Since when is this your life?”

“Let me try to explain this to you, Ala,” he father said very calmly.  “Let’s go outside.”

“Coffee?” Her mother said.

“Yes, please,” he said and opened the door.  Ala followed him onto the porch and sat a distance away; eyeing the truck outside of Emmanuel’s to make sure she had not imagined it.

Her father crossed his ankles and sat straight up on the porch swing.

“I can understand how this may be strange for you, but your mother and I have enjoyed swinging for most of our adult lives.” Her mouth opened.  She had thought, or hoped, that this was a one-time experience having to do with major mid-life crises from all parties involved.

“What do you mean?”

“We met at an event for swingers about forty years ago,” he said plainly.


“It’s true.  We were both had other partners at the time.”

She was certain she would be sick if he kept talking, but also that there was too much she did not know.

“You might not even be my father,” she said.  He chuckled and shook his end, as if addressing an idiotic child.

“Ala, of course I’m your father.  Once your mother and I married, we decided to put the lifestyle on hold to have a family. We bought this house for you, of course, and have been inactive ever since you were born.”

“I can’t believe this.  I don’t know either of you at all.”

“Of course you do.  This isn’t everything we are, you know. We’ve just happened to find people in the community who have the same interests we do.” She couldn’t let herself imagine how the conversation even came up with the neighbors.  “I know you may not want to believe it, but these practices have been going on since the very beginning of mankind.”

“I have to go,” Ala said, rushing down the steps.

“I don’t want you leaving upset. We’re here if there’s anything you want to discuss.”

“I’ve heard enough,” she said, as she rushed toward Emmanuel’s house.

She was sweating heavily and had cold chills racing throughout her body.  She closed her eyes and tried to clear the imagery, but could not.  She did not want to go back to the house without Danno, and did not want to be anywhere near her parents or anyone else who lived on the block.  She began to run and hoped the men unloading the truck would not see her.

Her shoes began to hurt and squeeze her feet, but she kept going.  That was the reason her mother did not want her to work for Emmanuel.  She did not want her to find out that they all participated in these parties.  This explained the strange clothing and toys.  How long had this been happening?  She assumed since she had left for Boston.  Her parents seemed so traditional, but that must have come with the money they had acquired and status over the years.

She thought of how she had gone to bed with Danno without even knowing his name.  It was possible she could inherit the same sexual appetite as her parents.  The water up ahead was enticing, but she did not want to walk home wet, and hopped onto the wide cement slab that ran along the shoreline instead.  She was huffing and panting, but did not stop.  She didn’t know how long Danno would be with Rainbow, but needed to speak with him as soon as possible to tell him that she would go with him no matter where that was.

After determining that all of the art was in the right place and that the cash was replenished, she would leave Emmanuel a long letter apologizing for having to break their arrangement and telling him he did not have to pay her for any of her time.  She would leave a key for Bruno so that he could look after the house, since he was so concerned and nosy.

She felt a tug on her ankle, which sent her falling to the ground face down.  Scrapes on her knees, elbows and face immediately began to sting as she felt herself being pulled from the cement down below to the sand.  Her vision went blurry as her hair was pulled, and she screamed before a black wooly hand clasped over her mouth.  A scratchy sack was forced over her writhing head and she tried to twist and turn while being picked up and carried away.

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Excerpt 111

Ala instinctively crouched down, planting her hand on the railing in order to peek up.  Had the gardener seen Danno leave?  Perhaps he knew she was alone.  There was no reason for him to be back after she told him his things were not in the house.  Fear curdled deep in her stomach.  His figure enlarged as he walked toward the window, closer to her.  She crawled on her hands and knees under the sill, trying to get to the back of the sofa.  She could not remember where she had left her phone.  Most likely on the kitchen counter.  If she got up now, he would see her going to the kitchen.

The house phone began to ring.  She looked up to see if the gardener was calling, and he was gone.  She crawled toward the kitchen and plastered herself against the back door before slowly inching up to look out of the kitchen windows.

She did not see him in the backyard, but saw that all of the dishes had been left out from the early morning breakfast.  She would have to wait to clear the table because Bruno could be lurking.  What did he want from her?  Perhaps she should call Emmanuel to let him know that a member of his staff was harassing her.  He would probably inquire about how everything else was going, and she wasn’t sure that she could adequately lie over the phone.  

Her stomach began to spin and she did not feel safe in the house any longer, at least not by herself.  She tiptoed to Emmanuel’s room and found a pair of her shoes, that did not require she wear socks, and slipped them on.  She retrieved her purse and phone and slowly made her way toward the front door.  There were no cars in front of the house, not to say Bruno hasn’t parked far away to throw her off.  She positioned the house key firmly in her hand and stepped outside, quickly locking up, then bolted down the porch steps.  She jogged, looking behind her frequently, to her parent’s house.  The porch light was turned on, welcoming her and she had never been so relieved to be going back to this house.

She let herself in and locked the door behind her, peering out to see if she had been followed.  The street was clear.  She sunk down on the bottom step to catch her breath and ran her hands through her hair.  The air was stiff and she fanned herself with a magazine from the end table.  The house has not been this hot the last time she was there.  She heard a whack, a quick high-pitched whip, coming from upstairs.

Her parents were surely still at this hour.  She heard a thump and then laughter.  She stepped carefully, not wanting to disturb the noise, or let her parents know that she was home.  Her parent’s bedroom door was open slightly, and purple light spilled out onto the carpet.  She approached and looked inside of the room, then stepped back quickly.  

A dozen naked bodies, all moving and squirming, were coiled together in a heap in the middle of the bedroom floor.  

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Excerpt 110

She put her hand on top of his.

“No,” she said. “This isn’t about me.  Go.”

He kissed her mouth. “Everything will be fine.”

“I know,” she said.  Going to a business breakfast at dawn, where she would have nothing to say, was not something she was interested in.  Danno was right in saying that not everything was always going to be perfect, in her opinion, all of the time.  Jase was so aggressive and quick to be mean. And she would fall apart whenever they disagreed or wanted two different things.  Danno was confident because he knew that he would not always be able to make her happy. Because it was not his job.  “I’ll see you when you get back.”

“What are you going to do?” He said.

“I’ll straighten up around here and sort through my things.”

“Sort through how?”

“Fold clothes, make sure everything is organized.”

“How many things do you still keep at your parent’s house?”

“Quite a few. It hasn’t been that long since I came back from Boston.” She thought of  the piles of boxes and stacks of books that were flooding the basement.  “Why do you ask?”

“We may want to come up with a plan to get everything out of there soon.”

“But I live there.”

“Maybe not for long.”

She would live with him if he asked, even though she had no idea where he lived.  She hoped she would not get so desperate that she would actually ask if she could live with him. She couldn’t bare the thought of not being able to indulge in their every whim when she had to leave Emmanuel’s house.

She returned his smile.  He left through the front door and she could hear Rainbow’s car running in the driveway.  She walked through each room, gingerly folding clean clothes and laying them in her suitcase.  She gathered up wadded, dirty garments and began a load of laundry.  She had not done anything normal in days and it felt nice to be caring for a home.

The doorbell rang.  She flocked to the foyer; sure that Danno had forgotten something and was locked out.  She stopped short of the bay window and in the lower corner could see Bruno, the gardener, on the front porch.

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Excerpt 105

Her wet fingertips touched the screen in order to accept the call.  She didn’t hear anyone on the line after answering, and hung up.  She called back and waited. He did not answer.  She dried off and let the towel fall to the floor.  Her hands shook and she tried to steady them, even when realizing that Emmanuel’s art and cash were still missing.  The whole nightmare had actually happened. She had not slept it off.  

Her skin felt sticky in crooks between her joints, from being in the same position for a long time.  She didn’t want to go into her mother’s closet because she was terrified to find anything else that she could never have imagined her prudish parents owning.  Her clothes were a foul smelling, stiff mess that she didn’t feel could be pulled onto her body without cracking.  She picked up the towel and wrapped it around her body, tucking the loose edge toward her chest.  It hung above her upper thigh and revealed more than any dress she owned.  She left her hair in the awkward half-wet knots that had developed and swung her purse over her shoulder.  Her brain nipped at her to drain the tub, and she swatted at the air to kill a fly she imagined to be buzzing in her ear.

She left the front door open and made her way toward Emmanuel’s house.  Her bare foot scarped against the warm pavement before she realized she did not wear shoes out.  She could smell charcoal burning in a neighbor’s yard and assumed her parents were close by, so decided to not risk going back inside the house.

Her pace was even, keeping the towel in place and allowing her time to think about what she would do when returning to Emmanuel’s house.  Piercing light struck her view very suddenly as a car pulled up in front of the house and stopped.  Danno got out and, seeing Ala, let the door close slowly on it’s own.  He approached, looking her up and down and seized both of her shoulders.

“Where are you coming from?  Why aren’t you dressed?”

The way he shook her made her brain tighten.  He pulled himself away to examine her.

“I took a bath. At my parent’s house.”

“Why haven’t you answered my calls?”

“I fell asleep in the tub.”

She could tell he was resisting screaming in her face.  She shrugged.

He grabbed her by the elbow. 

“Let’s go.”

She pulled back.

“No.” He shook his head and lifted her over his shoulder.  She let the towel fall and he clasped it over her bottom. “I can walk. Put me down.”

He ignored her and carried her into the house.  She could hear a car pull up in front as he slammed the door behind them.

“What are you thinking walking around that way?”

She let her body slouch down to the ground. Her chest was exposed and she sloppily tried to cover herself below the waist with the towel.

“I have more on my mind than that. The house was robbed.”

“It wasn’t robbed,” he said, turning on the foyer light.  “I took everything.”


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Excerpt 87

She could see the top of the rock wall, the swirly blue up far ahead and the sun exposing the surface.  She planted her palm  and lifted her other hand to push down with everything she had.  She felt his hand under her foot, giving her a boost up.  She got her knee up, with only a slight scrape, and collapsed once three quarters of her trembling body was safe on top. She did not have the strength to turn and offer him her hand.

He was right behind her and when reaching the top, did not collapse, but instead took several deep breaths.  He helped her up to her feet. While his scent made her blush and his hand on her waist made her feel weepy with love, she couldn’t stop the spinning behind her eyes.

“Hey,” she said, short spurts of air coming through her dry mouth, “What’s your name?”


“Your name is Danno?”


She was sure she hadn’t heard right.

“What kind of name is Danno?”

He laughed.

“We’re not playing this game again, are we?”

She laughed too, and quickly felt her knees start to give in.

“I’m going to faint.”

“No, don’t do that. Just breathe. That was a bit of a workout.”

She nodded and sucked in and out. But this was different discomfort from the over exertion that came with strenuous activity.  The pain was in her abdomen as well.  If she had not had her appendix removed three winters ago, she would have thought it was bursting inside of her.

“I really–I really am going to.”

His grip tightened on her arm and her waist.

“Here, let’s have you rest here.”There was a clearing with some moss strewn across the damp caramel colored dirt.  He took off his jacket and lied it smooth before easing her down.  “We should have brought water,” he said.

She nodded and turned on her side out of habit.  The throbbing intensified.  She held on to his hand.

“This isn’t right.  Something isn’t right.”

“I shouldn’t have pushed, Ala. I feel like a jerk.”

“I’ll be okay, I just need dome rest.” His face blurred as she closed her eyes.  She felt his body curve to fit hers and his hand pushed the sweaty matted hair off of her forehead.

“I can call someone if you’d like.”

“No,” she said, thinking of her parents.  She would not ruin this time with him. Her parents would make her go to the hospital.  They would make her end the best summer of her life.  “I’ll be fine. Just stay.”

She heard his chuckle.

“Where else would I go?”

“I don’t know, Danno” she whispered and then chuckled too.  She had to be in and out of sleep. No one’s name was Danno.  No one she had met, or even heard of.  No one drove Aston Martin’s either though.  And no one made her love them in less than one day.

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segment 54

She backed away slowly and pulled the stopper in the tub.  The water rushed out and she sat of the edge, trying to put together how to react the next time she saw her parents.

She wouldn’t confront them, but was insulted that they would risk outing her in this position.  There was a chance that they thought she would never use their bathtub, but the other in the house was being glazed and no one could use it for three days.  And, her seeing this wasn’t the issue.  The issue was that it existed in the house.  It was in her parent’s personal space—there was no getting around it.

She toweled off and dressed, thinking about how for the first time, this did not feel like her home.  She felt like she was sleeping in an erotic hotel.  She didn’t know what to expect next.


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