The Trials of Lucinda, Part 3
This is becoming something. We’ll have to see just what as it progresses. As you can see, I haven’t even zeroed in on a title. But Lucinda sounds to me like an Allman Brothers song. If you need to catch up, Part 1 is here and Part 2 is there.
It wasn’t long until Lucinda came to learn the truth in “be careful what you ask for – you just might get it.” She had been home for six days and was pretty sure she the world as she knew it would end on the seventh. Her father looked at her with one skewed eye. A stream of advice coupled with invective spewed from her mother’s mouth nonstop.
She hadn’t seen her little brother Roderick since she left home when he was, what? Five? Six? Now doubled in age and in size, he was forever splayed on the sofa, its worn leatherette upholstery distressed with pimples, boils and wrinkles; its springs boinked when someone sat on it. That is if you ever could with A-Rod (as her dad called him) plunked in front of the 75” curved-panel OLED TV, watching old black-and-white reruns of “The Twilight Zone.”
Unable to get his attention she pulled his headphones from his ears, expecting to hear the TV show soundtrack, but instead it was Golden Earring singing their anthem song. She gave him her Lucinda Staredown. He glared back. “This what yer always listening to? Jeez, Roddiekins (her name for him when he was little), that song’s about shootin’ heroin!” But he had grabbed his Boses back, sandwiched them on his head, and swiveled back toward Rod Serling, who was smiling and smoking a cigarette.
Lucinda looked around at her family – her comatose brother in front of her, pouting mother stirring a GI-sized metal pot of spaghetti in the kitchen, father slipping out the front door for a clandestine nip of Jack Daniel’s – and thought to herself, These people are three utter strangers to me. And to themselves. She stalked up the carpetless staircase to her room and flopped on the bed, versification from “Twilight Zone” leaking into her brain cells whether wanted or not. She looked at the hundreds of movie posters Scotch-taped to the walls around her, surreptitiously collected while working all through high school as the ticket-taker at the Bijou Movie Palace. Harry Potter. Drowning Mona. Spidey. Freddy Got Fingered. Part of her wanted to get up and tear them to pieces, pile the pieces on the rug and set them and the house on fire.
Lucie’s eyelids fluttered closed over sad blue eyes. Golden Earring still owned her conscious (and likely her unconscious) mind. What did they mean about the beacon and the moon and stars? And when do I know if I’ve gone too far? She flipped over on her belly just as the tears started streaming down her cheeks, those great big chunks of emotion muffled by her pillow.
When she awoke, an elementally black night had fallen. She got up and padded barefoot across the shivered wood planks to the window, searching in vain for the moon and stars. Nope, not tonight, she thought, wondering if there would ever be another dawn – or even another twilight.
She grabbed at the window casement and yanked it up. Cold air flooded the room, hitting her like a boxer’s fist. She took it, because she could. Because she knew she had to buck up and take everything this cruel existence had designed for her journey. Journey? Oh, jeez, did I just use that freakin’ cliché? Lucie shivered violently and closed the window. Only one way journeys end, she said to herself.
She started pulling her clothes off – the flannel shirt (no bra), pajama pants, L.L. Bean sheepskin slippers, and skittered through the darkened room to take a shower. Toweled down, she brushed and brushed her hair into an effervescent pony tail, dabbed on a little mascara, blue eye shadow, and black lipstick before pulling on her Levi’s, a Red Sox sweatshirt, and her handmade-in-Texas cowboy boots.
Lucie looked at herself up and down in the mirror on the back of her door for a while. Finally decided she approved of herself. She would have put a Ruger in her waistband at her back, but decided against it. Besides, she didn’t own one. Anyway, she felt girded enough to go out.
She found a parking space across the street from The Rock, the only local gin mill in Killearnyville. It wasn’t hard to find; raw-boned rock of the heavy-metal ilk poured out of the doors and windows into the frigid night. Lucie paused. Took a deep breath and exhaled two plumes of frosty air from her nostrils. Grabbed the waistband of her jeans and pulled up until she’d given herself a wedgie.
She gave the door a shove and went inside.
To be continued, I suppose.