As I’m plowing my way through my first draft, I occasionally like to take a moment to share snippets of the story that I’m writing. Why is this chapter titled “Lorraine”? Well… You can’t know at this point. It comes later in the chapter. For now, enjoy what little I’m providing. =)
I put Dodger’s food and water in his crate with him, along with what was left of Mr. Cuddles, and made a mental note to pick up an actual chew toy for him while we were in town. I grabbed the keys to the rental car off of the counter, then walked out to the car. It was a white Camry, about as non-descript of a car as one might find on a lot. I started the car up, then drove towards the Huddleston’s home.
As I passed the cupcakery, I saw River standing in front of her shop, taking a long drag off of a cigarette.
I slammed on the brakes, unsure of what had just happened. The engine went from a methodical hum to an irregular thumping, and a black cloud billowed out from under the hood. I shut the engine off, pulled the hood release, and jumped out of the car. I opened the hood and looked at the engine, unsure of what I was actually looking for. I was keenly aware I had exhibited the most innate of male reactions: looking under the hood of a broken down car, regardless of having any actual clue as to what was broken.
“Are you aware you’re smoking?” River called, approaching from up the street. The cigarette smoldered in her left hand.
“You’re one to talk,” I retorted. I thought I may have come across too harsh, but River didn’t appear to notice.
“May I?” she asked, dropping the cigarette to the curb and stamping it out with her sequined ballet flat. With her apron, she fanned away some of the smoke, then leaned over the engine. She felt around with a tattooed hand, finally tugging out a loose wiring harness.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Looks like your spark plug blew out,” she replied. She squinted, looking into the boot. “Looks like it broke off, you’ll need a mechanic with an extractor to fix it.” She turned and smiled at me, and must have noticed a raised eyebrow and mouth agape. “I worked part time at a Toyota service shop during college. My small hands made me pretty useful around the shop, I picked up a few things.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, is there anything you haven’t done for work?”
“Investment banking,” she said flatly. “A girl must have her moral standards.”