Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just a taste

Since I've barely been posting for the last couple of months, I figured I'd do something different. I'm not going to lie and say that none of the blog neglect was due to laziness. About 50% of it was. But, the other 50% was more noble. Grad school apps are due this month and next and they all require a writing sample. I've never posted my fiction on my blog for many reasons (paranoia about plagarism and idea theft being high on the list), but I figured it can't hurt too much to post a smidge of what I've been working on. I really do appreciate everyone who reads my blog, especially now that I'm so disengaged from the blogosphere.
So here's a bit of my short story entitled "Captive." Hope you enjoy it.

Special thanks to my editors: Chesty LaRue, Jailbait, and BP. You guys brought out the best in me.
The combined stench of stale cigarettes, urine, and body odor assaulted me as I stepped through the thick steel door. The long, narrow room stretched more than 50 feet ahead of me, dead ending into a gray brick wall. There were no windows to offer any proof that the outside world existed. Noticing the dirt caked into the linoleum floor, I immediately bent over and fashioned a large cuff at the hem of the jeans that billowed over my sneakers. The steel door slamming shut behind me jarred me upright and I could feel the goose bumps rise on my skin. I ran my hands up and down my arms with vigorous strokes in a vain attempt to create the heat the room lacked.

Under the hazy fluorescent light, I studied the slip of paper they had given me. Window fifteen – at the far end. Careful not to look at anyone, I trudged to where the number 15 was stenciled on the floor in faded black paint. Pulling a wad of tissue from my purse, I wiped down the seat to remove any remnants of the previous occupant and sat down hesitantly.

A series of short buzzes pierced the air, and a heavy metal door swung open. I watched through bullet proof glass as an officer escorted her toward the chair across from me. Her steps were deliberate and she kept her eyes trained on the floor. She was losing weight. The drab blue uniform swallowed her once curvaceous 5’7” frame.

In the narrow walkway she passed another inmate, their shoulders colliding. She gave the woman a hard shove that sent her staggering backward. Before the confrontation could escalate, the officer stepped between them, saying something inaudible. He positioned his face inches from hers and jabbed his finger against her chest as she stared at the ceiling, her chin up and face turned from his lecture. Seconds later she gave him a perfunctory nod then sauntered to her chair.

I pulled the sleeve of my sweater over my hand and picked up the receiver.

“Samara, what the hell was that about?” I asked.

“What was what about?”

“Don’t play dumb. I saw what happened.”

She flashed an innocent smile, but offered no explanation.

“Forget it. Anyways, how are you?”

“How do you think I am?”

“I don’t know. You look good.”

She shot me a weary glance and sighed.

I wasn’t lying. Her butterscotch skin was clear, and she still managed to maintain her perfectly arched eyebrows. The dark brown eyes that illuminated her face were wide and alert. She obviously wasn’t spending her commissary on cigarettes because her teeth gleamed white. Only the dark circles under her eyes marred her appearance.

She studied me for a few seconds then said, “Have you been to the gym lately?”

“Why?” I gave her a quizzical look.

“You look like you might be gaining a few pounds. I’d hate to see you put the weight back on.”

Looking down at the pooch that hung over my belt, I wrapped my arm around my body and hugged myself close. “It’s not enough that I have to hear this stuff from Mommy? Now you’ve gotta start with me, too?”

“How is Mom?”

“Not bad. She’s hanging in there.”

“And Auntie?” She ran down the list of family and friends and I assured her that everyone was okay.

“Do you need anything? How’s your commissary?” It didn’t matter how much she asked for, I was ready to give it to her.

She laughed, short and bitter. “Fuck the commissary. I want my life back.”

Unfortunately that was the one thing I couldn’t give; not since the judge sentenced her to 25 years to life.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Miracle of Hanukkah 2006

I just experienced my first Hanukkah miracle! NYU extended the application deadline by two days! Praise God!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Final Countdown

My first grad school application is due in less than 2 days. The writing sample is only 3/4 finished, the personal essay is 0% to target, and one of my recommenders is nowhere to be found. Sweet!