Not as silly as some, but I really want to work on two stories at once, one in a completely different vein than Knight Moves (pun intended, of course). So each week I’ll present a new segment of Return to Eden, another work in progress. This stuff is so very first draft, but I think it might go somewhere interesting. It will be presented here in bite-size chunks, not even chapters, and when I’m done there should be a book in it.
So here’s the beginnings of a new project, because I just don’t have enough to do, right? All feedback is welcomed!
Return to Eden
The day the world ended started off just like every other Thursday. Christin Kinsey got up after the alarm went off for the third time, staggered to the bathroom in her t-shirt and pajama bottoms, went about her morning business, took a shower, brushed her teeth, yelled at her brother Matt to drag his sorry butt out of bed because she wasn’t going to be late on account of him again this week, went back into her room, got dressed in a pair of jean shorts and a Kings of Leon T-shirt she’d borrowed from her boyfriend Kent a week or two ago, and beat on Matt’s door a couple more times before heading downstairs for breakfast.
While Christin was settling in behind a bowl of Lucky Charms and a Coke, her mom was in the kitchen in dress slacks and a bra, ironing a shirt that had obviously spent the night in the dryer and mainlining coffee with CNN on in the background. There was some other big fuss going on somewhere in the world with people that hated Americans shooting Americans, and Americans going in to stop them from shooting too many other people, and some talking heads with French accents whining about the overbearing American policies.
“Mom,” Christin asked between mouthfuls of cereal and marshmallows, “why don’t French people like us?”
“Because all frogs are douchebags” answered Matt, clumping down the stairs in baggy cargo shorts and Doc Marten boots, the uniform of his whole bunch of loser friends.
“Matthew!” Shrieked their mother, putting on her shirt and zipping up her slacks while simultaneously trying to butter a bagel and put away the iron. “We do not use terms like ‘douchebags’ or ‘frogs’ in this house! There are some French people who would rather eat Brie and smoke stinky cigarettes than do what needs to be done in the world, but that’s no reason to condemn the whole country. The French contributed some wonderful things to society,”
“Yeah,” Matt interrupted, “like eating snails and the guillotine.”
“I can think of some times when the guillotine would be useful, muttered Christin.
“Alright you two comedians, get your butts out of here or you’re going to be late. Again.” Their mother hustled them out of the kitchen and thrust some cash into Christin’s hand. “This should get you some gas and cover lunch for both of you. There’s frozen pizza in the fridge for tonight, I’ve got to go to Charlotte for a meeting with the B of A people about the loan.” She had been negotiating with the mortgage demons at Bank of America for months about refinancing their home, and it was, in her words, time for someone to “shit or get off the pot.” Sandra Kinsey didn’t swear often, but more and more often lately when she did, it involved someone with the mortgage company.
Things had been okay when Christin and Matt’s dad had been around, but Jacob Kinsey had died of lung cancer three years ago, and things had gotten tight with all his medical bills. Sandra had mortgaged the house to the hilt to pay off all the doctors and hospitals, but when the housing market in Asheville, NC went into the toilet like it did all over the country, they owed a lot more on the house than it was worth. President Obama’s plans to help American homeowners sounded good on TV, but didn’t always work out so well when reality hit the fan, as Sandra had become increasingly fond of saying. So today she was headed down to Charlotte, and she was determined to come home with some answers, or at least with a pound of flesh from some useless paper-pusher to make her feel better.
Sandra followed her kids out the front door and watched as they piled in Jacob’s old F-100 pickup truck and headed off to school. She’d kept the truck around until Christin had been old enough to drive, then given it to the girl for her sixteenth birthday. Big, blocky and decidedly un-sexy, the truck was nevertheless dependable and certainly better built than anything that had come out of Detroit in the past 30 years. It was a 1965 model, the year Jacob was born, and he had restored it to working order, if not much more than that. So it was a big rolling hunk of steel that Sandra didn’t mind sending her kids off to school in while she headed down the mountains in her Nissan Murano to do battle with the evildoers at the great corporate headquarters.