Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 12: The Call

     "Why you think I would know of such things?" Katie asked, after several pregnant seconds of pause.
     "Well," Seth replied, "because you're from Russia. Isn't the government pretty much always surveilling everyone there?"
     "Is not always way things seem in American media."
     "How do you mean?"
     "You are thinking of Soviet Union," she said. "And not even under communists was it as bad as Americans always think. Or so my parents tell me. I was born in Soviet Union, but grew up with glasnost and under Gorbachev and Yeltsin."
     "But what about Putin? I hear he's a control freak."
     "Putin cares for power," Katie responded. " He does not concern about peasant goings-on and the like." They sat for a moment, sipping their coffees, before Katie asked. "Why do you ask this?"
     "Oh, no reason."
     "I think you have reason, but do not wish to be sharing." She pouted.
     "Oh, all right," Seth said. "I suppose I can tell you." He paused and looked around the cafĂ© as though he were expecting someone to be listening in on them. He nodded to where Nita was sitting and whispered, "I think she might be listening to us."
     Katie turned to look. Nita was busy looking busy. "I do no think she has been paying us any mind."
     "Someone has been watching me. It's the government, I think."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 11: The Thief

     "You know, I used to be a kleptomaniac," said Mary in the most matter-of-fact voice of which she was capable after five or six glasses of Scotch.
     "Wait," Lewis replied, "Serssously? 'Cause … because, that just does … that just doesn't seem like you. Like, at all. I mean, you're so … a … such a … so such …" Despite his usual reluctance to drink alcohol, Lewis had tried to keep pace with her drink by drink.
     "An uptight bitch?" Mary finished for him.
     "Well, no. I wasn't gonna say that!"
     "Of course you weren't," said Mary. "You're too nice for that. And, I think, you're too timid."
     "I'm not timid."
     "Yes, you are. You're a big ol' 'fraidy-cat, you are." Mary added, "You're afraid of everything."
      "I am not!" Lewis was indignant. "I'm just … don't like … I just don't like to make decisions, is all."
     "But isn't that just because you're afraid?"
     "Yeah," he replied. "But I'm … not … not scared of everything. It's just that … that one thing. Just … limiting my choices. I'm … not a coward, or anything."
     "Then prove it," insisted Mary. "Call me a bitch."
     "Because you wanted to say it, but didn't have the stones."
     "No, I—"
     "Yes," she interrupted him. "Yes, you did. Admit it."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Grand Romantic Delusions Chapter 10: The Contact

     The late-September sun shone through a break in the trees, nearly blinding Katie as she sat in her car watching a group of young men playing disc golf. They were laughing and drinking beer, which was, she was fairly certain, illegal in the park—the beer, that is, not the laughing. Or the disc golf—though watching the way these men behaved gave her the idea that maybe it should be. Or perhaps that was just the effect the beer was having on them that made the whole lot seem so intolerable.
     A black convertible roadster wound its way slowly down the gravel drive. She flashed her lights just as it crossed her line of sight. The car pulled up next to hers, facing the other way and the driver rolled down the window.
     Katie rolled her own window down and, without looking at the man in the other car, sent a text to the number she's been given by Gavrilo. It read, "That you, Fritz?" She could hear a tone go off from the other car.
     The man sent her back a message reading simply, "Miss Cavell." Katie turned in her seat to face him.
     "Thanks for meeting me here, DuQuesne," she began. "I believe you have something for me from Gavrilo."
     "Yes, Miss Cavell," the man replied. He was a man of very dark complexion and slight build with a close-cropped hair-cut. He was dressed in a dark coat, black shirt and hot pink tie. He turned to Katie and regarded her through his reflective cop shades. "And I believe you have something for us, as well."