Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friction Fiction

And, no...I don't mean that in the dirtiest of ways,
like in the old days.
I just like the sound of it.
And I feel like writing a story...
And if you see yourself between the lines, don't be too flattered--
there are pieces of everyone I meet, scattered through my writing like chunks of flesh mixed with rich, dark earth...human compost!! Haha!!

Julia didn't so much step into a room as rush into a room--not because she was in a hurry, but in the manner of a river rushing through a suddenly opened dam. The wildness of her once-natural-now-bleached blonde mane was the outward projection of the inner friction between her serious, inquisitive nature and her rampant desire to constantly be pushing her physical limits. She wrangled horses, castrated pigs, shot and cleaned deer, elk, moose; she shoed horses and ran dogsleds. She was a woman in a man's world and the fire in her pale green eyes was half laughter half stubborn determination. But none of that even entered the awareness of the patrons of that dingy, small town bar as her presence gushed through the creaking wooden door. Whether smiling or scowling, she lit up a room and all eyes naturally found their way to her.

"Hey, Willy. Gimme an herbal tea, wouldja? Fucking fence." She tossed a pair of well worn leather gloves onto the bar and took off her heavy sheepskin jacket, dropping it over the chair back on the bar stool. She yanked the clip from her hair and tousseled it, then tucked part of it back again.

Sitting quietly at the bar, at ease with the world and with himself, was Eric. He was the son of a Senator and had grown up in DC. He had never really had to make his own way in life, caught in the steady flow of money and priveleg, but with college a couple graduation a few years past his rearview mirror, he was starting to feel the need to push beyond the trust funds and private school life and become a part of the raw, often painful "real world." He chatted amiably with the bartender, and alternated between watching the football games on the various TVs and reading chunks of text from a book on the history of economics in America.

She hadn't yet noticed him, and of all the people in the bar, he had probably taken the least notice of her. And then...

"Football? Aw, fuck football, Willy. Can we change one of these to something a little less...ya know, caveman-esque?" She sort of rolled her eyes, and laughed--just a hint of the room-filling laugh she was famous for.

"I'm watching that." A quiet, steady voice; not arguing, just stating a fact.

She almost didn't hear him, then turned, with a serious look on her face to investigate the source of the voice. What she saw was a man of wiry build, not too tall, with blue eyes nearly as big as the Montana sky she had just stepped away from. He had lashes like a girl, and a mop of almost-curls, joined by a fresh-looking beard.

"You're watching all 4 games?" She was suddenly aggressive, and took a step nearer to him.

He was startled, but not intimidated. "I am. And reading this book."

"Impressive." She flopped down in the stool that stood between them and put her feet in his lap. "Whatcha readin?"

Her heavy, mud-clad work boots left a smudge across his leg and dropped suspiciously manure-like chunks of mud all over his lap and the floor.

He smiled at her--not just any smile, a warm, genuine smile--and said, "Get the fuck off me." He paused a beat, then added, "Please."

She laughed, this time the full, hearty laugh of hers that everyone who's ever met her could pick out of a crowd, even after many years: a whooping, guffawing laugh that makes even mourners chuckle. She drew back her feet, brushed off his lap and stood, planting her hands on his shoulders and bringing her face so close they were almost touching. His heart skipped a beat…and a half. She smelled like rain and wind and fire—not smoke, fire. He felt himself being sucked into her and he leaned into it.

Their noses bumped and she laughed again. "Pardonez moi.” With a smooth, sleight of hand type motion, she slid the book from the bar behind her up against her back and stepped away from him. She tossed him a taunting smile before she plunked down beside him again, this time with her feet on the stool on the other side of her, so her back was facing him.

Eric sat stunned for a moment. Who was this girl? This woman? She was a ball of energy—fully controlled, but sizzling under the surface like a raw electric current.

His heart was racing now, and he knew he was engaged in some sort of game, but he didn't know the rules or the strategy or even, really who the players were. Because, obviously, he didn't know her, and in this context he suddenly felt unfamiliar with even himself.

*******

Dammit, Ok, I know I've done this before: This feels like the start of something, but now I'm distracted, done for the moment. I always promise to come back, to write more, but it usually doesn't happen. And when it does...somehow the story never really feels the same, or goes anywhere. Fuckin fuck.

3 comments:

E. said...

Just finish! If it ends up not going anywhere, so be it. But it might! It's a mighty interesting start.

Domestic Recluse said...

"I always promise to come back, to write more, but it usually doesn't happen. And when it does...somehow the story never really feels the same, or goes anywhere."

I know what you mean! Do you have a phone or something that you can at least do a quick blog post from? Maybe if you post as soon as you've gone through the thought/event or whatever, you'll feel different about it...? I usually start my posts in my Blacberry while its' all fresh, and then I proofread & post via the PC once I get home.

Jason R. Johnston said...

...so, you're awesome. You're sexy and I'm suddenly a fan.