Chapter 3 - Price
Gulls were laughing and the sun was on her face as she lay on my deck surrounded by tiki torches burning citronella to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I thought she looked like a heroine in a movie about Rome in its heyday. As I watched, she snorted herself awake from a dream. She told me much later that the dream had been about parachuting out of a World War II era plane. She sat up sharply. It was obvious that she had no idea where she was. A pelican sat on a railing a few feet from her, sunning its wings in the morning light. Chairs were placed, willy-nilly around my deck, and I had soft jazz music playing in the background. She tossed off the blanket I’d wrapped around her when she passed out and rubbed her eyes. My head throbbed, and my mouth tasted like bitter cotton. I figured hers was worse, since I’d had time to brush my teeth. I could tell when the memory of the previous night came back. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly as if she wanted to will it away.
“Please don’t let this be real,” she said. A gull flying by laughed. She put her head in her hands and moaned. I decided to make my appearance and made sure the screen door sounded as I walked out of the house and headed her way with a glass in my hand.
“Morning, sleepy head. It’s about time you woke up. Here,” I held the glass out to her. She squinted up into my face.
“It’s a bloody Mary. Hair of the dog and all that,” I said. I set the glass on a table beside her l...