Friday, May 25, 2007
New Beginning 282
Everyone who can fix my life is in this phone book. The pages are buttermilk yellow and written in code. But I know the code and all I have to do is punch in seven digits listed in the ads and instantly I’m connected with people who can help, professionals in home improvement and remodeling, mold mildew and moisture control, traumatic stress counseling, laser surgery, and welding. It’s so easy it almost seems like a miracle, and if not a miracle, at least some sort of high-octane grace. Exterminator. That’s who I was looking for when I came across Escort Services. Abalienes Escorts—For an evening of indulgence. Beautiful ladies within an hour. Always selective hiring. We gladly accept all major credit cards. The ad was an inch high and bounded by a thin ruled line. Nothing ostentatious or hungry and it could have just as well been an ad for legal advice, artificial fingernails, or midwives, even though there were only two listings for midwives and neither ad was as attractive as Abalienes. There were only two other listings for escort services, and both were nothing more than 800 numbers for long distance companionship. Actually, I was surprised to find any escort listings in a town as small as Waynesville. After all, everyone knows everyone or knows someone who knows you and most folks are related somewhere down the tree, so it would be a difficult date to keep discreet. But I was half tempted to call anyway, even though carpenter ants were eating through the beam in my basement.
Then I thought, Why not? and dialed.
Forty minutes later, a sultry blonde rang my doorbell. "Good evening, Martin." She gazed up at me through lowered lashes as I led her into the living room.
Something about her made me pause, hand on her elbow. "Don't I know you from some place?"
She laughed. "This is Waynesville, love. Everyone knows everyone. Don't you recognize me?" She adjusted the neckline of her dress. "I'm Wilbur's little sister -- I was two years behind you in school."
She laughed again, a provocative, throaty chuckle.
"So, um, how is Wilbur these days?"
"I'm guessing you didn't bring me here to talk about Wilbur," she murmured, stroking my cheek. She settled onto the couch, crossing her legs in a way that got my full attention.
With a loud creak, the living room floor gave way, dumping the couch into the basement amid a pile of rubble.
With a sigh, I picked up the phone to make the call I should have made in the first place.
"Best Pest Control, Wilbur speaking."
Crap. How was I going to explain this?
Opening: AB.....Continuation: foggidawn