Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I snatched a can of beans from the shelf and flung it hard at his face. I heard the crack of bone as he grabbed at his nose with his free hand. I sprang to my feet and lifted my leg and kicked him hard in the face and then smashed my fists down on the back of his head. The knife clattered to the stone floor. I swept it up and slipped it beneath my shirt and scuttled out of the pantry and back into the crowded bar. I spun around and caught his bloodied face through the crowd, one hand holding his dripping nose and the other, pointing at me as I escaped out the door. My feet pounded against the cobble-stoned path as I bolted along the lane. I turned down another lane that led down to the dock. A ferry sat at the wharf and passengers crowded the gangplank, shoving their way on board. I ran as hard as I could and sprang up the gangplank. I was the last one on. The deck hand hauled in the plank and the boat sounded three blasts of its horn as it slowly reversed from the wharf. I leaned against the cabin, sucking in air. I saw him running down to the wharf, still holding his bleeding face. I was safe for the moment but hadn't a clue where I was headed.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
“Marshall, there’s been an accident,”
Penny’s voice waded through the quietness. My eyebrows sagged from the weight of a frown and panic seeped up into my belly. It continued to rise and it settled somewhere in my chest. I pushed myself to the edge of my seat.
“Is my mum OK?”
I could feel my heart pounding through fear.
Penny said nothing for a moment, then placed a hand on my shoulder. The smell of fresh lemons drifted past me.
“ The police found some of your mother’s belongings...at the ferry terminal…”
I wanted to speak but my throat felt like it had twisted shut.
“What things…’ I finally croaked. The room seemed suddenly darker even though the curtains were open.
“Her handbag, actually. It seems she was about to get on the ferry. She was holding something that… exploded. Marshall, we think your mum fell into the water - from the force of the blast. We haven’t been able to find her. We believe that the force of the blast…it…it was an enormous explosion, Marshall. It seems highly unlikely anyone could survive being that close…”
Her voice was barely audible by the end of the sentence. Despite the details, I couldn’t make out what she was saying.
“I don’t understand…” I said to her.
“We think your mother might have been killed in the blast,”
I felt hot and sick and needed air. I pushed myself from the couch and staggered. Penny grabbed me and sat me down again.
“You’re joking, right?” I asked, half laughing, half crying, searching her face for the punch-line.
Her expression didn't change.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Penny reefed open the curtains, flooding the room with afternoon light. I winced from the brightness and looked down. In front of me, on the coffee table was my mother’s favourite vase. A fine pale crack snaked from one end of the vase to the other. I knocked the vase over when I was five years old and my mother had spent hours painstakingly fixing it, telling me that if you loved something enough, it was worth all the time in the world to put it back together again. The vase stood brimming with blood red roses she had picked yesterday. Petals were scattered around the base of the vase. At some point during the day, the roses had wilted and died.
Detective Bletcher walked back into the room, his mobile still stuck to his ear. He finished the conversation and snapped the phone shut.
“I’ve got to go,” he announced, nodding toward Penny, and then toward me. He left without saying another word.
Penny crossed the room and sat next to me. I leaned in to her as her weight sunk down into the cushions. I edged away and stared straight ahead, wondering when someone was going to say something. Her partner perched himself on the edge of the seat of an armchair, his head instinctively cocking to one side as a siren wailed somewhere off in the distance. The room grew uncomfortably quiet, filled only with the rhythmic ticking of the clock above the mantle.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
I slowed as I approached the driveway. One officer sat in the car, the radio crackling staccato bursts of a nasally voice that told him to “stand by and await further instructions…” A female officer appeared from beside the house, speaking into a handset.
“House is secured…the kid’s not here…over…”
I hated being called kid. I thought about running but didn’t need the extra attention, and it was too late to dump the book. I just kept walking, pretending not to notice them.
I glanced backward, in case Mum was on her way down the street. The man in the jacket was behind me.
“You're Marshall Kincade?” he asked.
I stopped and slowly turned to him, his question sounding more like he was stating a fact. It was only his rising eyebrows that told me otherwise. His shadow stretched toward me, his head shading my feet. I stood motionless, recalling Nellie's advice about strangers.
I hesitated in answering him as he fumbled inside his jacket. I comforted myself with the fact that if he were going to shoot me, he probably wouldn’t do it in front of two cops. From his jacket he produced a wallet. My shoulders sagged with relief to see it wasn’t a gun. He flipped the wallet open and held it up. An impressive looking police badge stared back at me. He lifted his empty hand, palm facing toward me, as though he meant me no harm, as though he knew I might run. I edged backward, out of his shadow before I answered him.