‘Welcome to Betelgeuse’ part 1

‘Welcome to Betelgeuse’ part 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Welcome to Betelgeuse

I’m spending most of November pounding away at the keyboard for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Meanwhile, I thought I’d share the first chapter of my 2018 NaNoWriMo attempt, “Welcome to Betelgeuse,” in installments. This is Part 1. Thanks for reading; feel free to comment below.

Viv — trying to remain anonymous, she thought of herself by just one name now — pulled her little Vespa up short by the side of the road and stared ahead down the dark pavement. As far as she could see — barely a hundred feet by the dim headlight — a dozen tiny blue dots shone back at her, unmoving. For now, anyway.

Eyes were watching her from the black woods of late October in the Adirondacks.

She did not want to think of the eyes. She’d had enough of midnight watchers more than two weeks before, when those two horrible men — one was even called Horror, she remembered — had trapped and tormented her at the vacant motel outside Lake George. She didn’t like those eyes. She saw cruelty in them.

She saw cruelty, too, in the eyes of the mysterious stranger who responded to her desperate Vacancy sign signal and interrupted their plan. But there was kindness and courage, too — and, she later found, love, or lust, or both. No matter. She had been safe in his arms for that all-too-fleeting night. The next morning he was gone, leaving nothing but his impression in her mind and in her bed, and a brief note telling her that he’d alerted the authorities, that she was likely entitled to a reward, that she should try a new brand of soap, and that her tire pressures were too high for her trip to the American south.

She’d followed his advice about everything — the soap, the authorities, the tire pressure — although now she regretted that last one. He knew she was planning to buzz south, through Washington — he’d be long gone by then — through the Carolinas and Georgia and into the promised land of Florida. There a girl could find a job and a beach, not necessarily in that order, for the winter.

Not that she’d needed the job; the reward money had more than seen to that. But a young woman — even a mystery woman with a single three-letter name — needs a purpose, and a job at a luxury resort would give her the chance, however slim, that she might see him again someday. He’d told her about his recent assignment in Miami. Perhaps she’d start there. The trail would not yet be cold.

To be continued…

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