::: the novel written in seven hours :::
First, from the start, it is best to acknowledge that this is a different author then either of those in the previous two chapters. The author in the first chapter was rambling, unconnected, and male. The author of the second chapter was female, perhaps Susan, perhaps someone else. The author of this chapter has now read both of the previous two chapters and is therefore entitled to be either authors, any of the characters; or someone entirely new. For the time being, however, the author will only make a few remarks and then fade into the background, watching, with you, to see how this unfolds.
Second, we must find a setting. Any one will do, but I (the author) would prefer one in which all the characters can be brought together and interact. For this reason, we will choose Susan's apartment. You see where this is leading? Well, neither do I.
Third, I (the author, again, and for the last time) need to give you a little bit of narrative. Susan and Bob have decided on Chinese carryout; and will take it back to her apartment. Bob has agreed come along because he believes that he is over half way into her bed and that from there his conquest and satisfaction will be guaranteed. Susan, knowing that Bob thinks this, has agreed, nevertheless, to let him come to her apartment, because she is lonely and believes that Bob is wrong, about a great many things. This is true, but not in the way that Susan thinks. The character called "I" in the first chapter is Allen. He is coming over to Susan's house because he believes that she is there, is alone, will be glad to see him, and will want to hear is poetry. He also is wrong about a great many things. Susan has her own plans, but she is wrong also. The only person who is right, about anything, is the redhead, Charel. She does not appear in this chapter.
Susan's apartment looks like this: spacious, clean, organized. The laundry, clean or dirty, is not laying about. The dishes are not draining in the drying stand; they have been dried and put away. The window shades are open, showing the dark drizzle outside. She will close them as soon as she walks in. The sofa, covered an a light flowery print, sits at an angle to the window and divides the kitchen area from the living area. If you sat in it, you would face the TV in the corner and your back would be to the kitchen area. Down the hallway, which takes off from the living area just next to the apartment door, is first the bathroom and then the bedroom. There are a couple of posters on the wall beside the TV: prints of impressionistic paintings. The lamp shade and the pillows on the sofa are new. The shade still has its plastic cover on it.
When Susan walks through the door, she will momentarily review the appearance of the frontroom and kitchen. She will also check out the bedroom, not because she believes that Bob will make it into her bed, but because she knows that he will find an excuse to see her bedroom. She will be relieved that she hung her nightgown in the closet before she went out. Nothing will be out of place. But she will pretend to pick something up never the less. She will not worry about the bathroom, because she always cleans it up after she has taken a shower.
The lights in the apartment are off, only the light from the street lamp shows in through the rain covered window. A key clicks in the lock.
"You wait here," Susan says. "I want to check and make sure the apartment is straightened up." She enters the apartment, turns on the light over the doorway, walks across the living area, and pulls the shades closed. Takes off her raincoat and hangs it on the hook by the door. She takes off her rain scarf and hangs it over the coat. Her hair is in a tight bun on the top of her head. She thinks she looks older this way. She wears a pastel colored blouse and a denim jumper with roses embroidered on the pockets. She has on rose colored tights.
Bob follows her in. He is wearing a worn black leather jacket, which is soaked, and a black leather cap. He is dressed in black designer jeans with a black leather buckle that says 'Killer Boy' in an horseshoe shaped arch entwined with a rose and a snake. He is holding the two bags of Chinese carryout.
He looks around. She turns on the lamp beside the sofa and leans over to fluff up the pillows on the sofa. Bob admires her ass and feels his genitals stir. He smiles to himself. She stands up and turns on the light over the sink and the one over the stove. And turns to go down the hall.
"Oh," she says, as she almost bumps into Bob, standing there. "You startled me, I though you were still in the hall." She is close enough that he can feel the warmth of her breasts. Bob looks around for some place to set the Chinese carryout bag so that he can touch her. She steps around him, and goes down the hall, stopping to turn on the light in the bathroom. "Just set that stuff on the counter, by the stove. You'll find bowls in the cupboard above the sink, and chopsticks in the drawer by the stove." She leans over again, her head out of sight in her bedroom, her dress pulled tight across her ass, in full view. Bob stands still, watching.
"What?" He says and grins, inwardly, because he knows how she hates to repeat herself.
"I said," she says, standing up, as Bob moves towards her, "put the food on the counter and get out some bowls and the chopsticks."
"Oh," he says, remembering, suddenly, that he has his hands full and that to try to embrace her with the a bag of Chinese carryout in each hand would look foolish, so he turns and goes to the kitchen. Susan stands up, watches him, and smiles a little smile. I can, she thinks, be wicked when I want to be. She closes the door and she comes back into the living area.
While Bob is getting out the bowls, Susan sets up the card table in the middle of the living room space.
"Put everything in serving bowls," she says, when Bob makes a motion to put the Styrofoam containers on the table. He narrows his eyebrows at her, but does as he is told. Susan stops to watch him going through the drawers and cupboards. "You know," she says, "you would actually look handsome, in an apron, working in the kitchen."
"Hey," he decides to ignore that remark, "where do you keep the big bowls."
Once all the food is set out on the table, it looks like a huge feast.
Susan, has set two chairs, one across from the other, one by the window, one by the door, at the table. Bob, moves his chair to the side by the kitchen and sits down with the back of the chair facing the table, Susan gives a little shrug and sits down beside him. There is a knock on the door. They look at each other. There is another knock.
Susan gets up and answers the door. "Allen!" she steps out into the hall and closes the door. Bob can not quite make out the conversation in the hall, but it sounds way too friendly for his taste. Susan opens the door and walks back in, following her is this short, sophomore-looking guy with dusty brown hair and a rumpled corduroy jacket that was probably gold in color when it was cleaner. It has a torn pocket and the cuffs are badly worn. He is clutching a brown leather briefcase to his chest.
"Bob, this is Allen. Allen, Bob." She closes the door. "I invited Allen in to have some food. He also has some poems to read. I thought we could have a little poetry reading session. Doesn't that sound neat?"
"Oh, sure." Bob says, watching Allen closely.
Allen appears to be looking all around the apartment. Every now and then, he stops and stares at something. He is staring at the curtains when Susan takes his elbow and pulls him gently to the table. "Here, sit down. I'll get you something to eat with. Bob and I had too much food for just the two of us anyhow." She puts Allen in the chair that she had been sitting in, moves her bowl and chopsticks so that she is sitting across from Bob once more, and sets up a new chair, and goes to the kitchen area to get him a bowl. Allen is now watching Susan with the same intensity that he was devoting to the curtains just a minute ago.
"So, you write poetry," says Bob, looking for a way to distract Allen.
"What?" abstractly, "Oh, yes; yes, I write poetry." He is still staring at Susan. Bob follows his eyes to the kitchen. Susan is leaning over to get out a bowl.
"Not that 'new expression' crap, I hope." Desperate times, desperate measures.
"Bob!" Susan stands straight with a junk.
There is a moment of silence. Allen is looking from Susan to Bob and back. He feels like someone just told a bad joke and he did not get the punch line. "Well, yes, in fact, that is the type of poetry I write. But, you see I have a new approach. It is much fresher and more connected to reality." He is leaning over to get his briefcase, eagerness spreading over his face.
"We can hear it later, dear." Susan puts her arm on his, "You eat now."
This, thinks Bob, is getting out of hand. He has visions of the hall getting longer as the bedroom seems to be floating away. Time to do something drastic. "No, he says, let's hear it now."
Susan smiles at him. A tight, thin, smile. Not warm at all. "Really, Bob, there is no need to rush into this. After all, we have all night." Standoff.
Bob backs down.
"Oh, yea, sure. I was just getting excited at the idea of hearing some new poetry." He smiles at Allen. It's a warm smile, a friendly smile, a smile that exudes trustworthiness. Allen smiles in return. A tentative smile: guileless, open, and accepting.
Susan starts eating. And the phone rings. She get up to answer it, and after a few minutes of talking she hangs up. When she returns to the table Allen and Bob are talking about poetry, Allen is staring at Bob with that same intensity. Bob looks up. Susan looks at Allen with a quizzical look on her face. "That was Charel," she says. "She seemed upset, but she would not say why." Allen turned to look at her. "She's coming over. Right now."
...on to Chapter Fifteen...
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