2.249. Sneak Peak

This is raw unedited writing. 10 minutes of a conversation that may or may not appear in a piece I am presently working on. 10 minutes of a writer at work… well, 9 now…


Chevy eased the door shut with both hands, careful to brace himself and avoid any hint of sound. His mother tracked noise the way dogs track game, and if she was in the same condition he’d left her this morning, he wanted know part of a conversation with her.

But it came anyway.

She was at the top of the stairs, a bit of shadow hunched and staring. She said, “Why were you out?”

He said, “I didn’t expect you to be up this late. I figured I would be quiet and just let you about your business.”

“Your business is my business, boy. Now answer the damn question.”

“I was out. I was with friends. It was fine.”

She shuffled half way down the stairs, shadow giving way to a floral print robe, stringy black hair and a face caked with old makeup. “You don’t get to tell me what is fine. You tell me what you do and I tell you. Fine is you getting a job. Fine is you showing up at a reasonable hour and not storming my house at all hours of the damn night! You better not have been out with that man again–the one you told me about.”

“Have you been drinking?”

She paused mid descent. The way her face moved when she stared at him made him think of holovids of extinct bird species, the way they almost wobbled when they stared you down. Even now, years past the last time she’d beaten him, there wasn’t much that scared him more than that look did. He apololgized for his question, but it was already too late. She flew down the stairs at him, all pretense of age and late night fatigue vanishing in a growing torrent of rage. He took a step back, tried to apologize again, and then she was on him.