Thursday, September 15, 2011

from Jellies

This is from "Jellies." I don't suppose I'm posting any spoilers ;-)
 Full book is here: Jellies

 Just then, the phone rang. For a moment, he hesitated. Did he really want to talk to anyone? No. But, he supposed he should. He wished someone would invent some sort of machine that would answer phones for you and take a message so that you didn't have to speak to people you didn't like.

He sighed and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"


He recognized her voice with a start. "Judice Hargon?"


"Uh, what can I do for you?"

"I'd like to talk to you again."

"Ah, sure." He fumbled for his calendar. "Someday this week?"

"No. Not like that. Now."


He heard her laugh. "Yes. This very evening. Can you come?"

"I…I guess so. Where should I come? At the Palace of Justice again?"

"No," …another soft chuckle…"I'll send a car." And then the line went dead.

What in the world? He thought. But a few minutes later, he heard a landcar come to a stop outside his apartment building. He glanced out a window. It was the same limo. And the same driver was standing at the door.

He went outside. This time the driver didn't speak but only held the door open for him. Valter sat in the back and they headed off into the evening. The driver weaved in and out of traffic. Soon, a mammoth building appeared before them…one of the exclusive flat complexes down near the financial district…and the car stopped. Once again, the silent driver opened his door, and Valter stumbled out onto the sidewalk.

He turned to the driver. "But where…?"

"Penthouse," the man said, simply.

Mystified, Valter entered the building's lobby. The doorman inside glanced at him, then looked away again, carefully avoiding his eyes.

He crossed the tile floor to the elevator. The door swung open and the operator, a woman in a gray "house" uniform, smiled at him. He entered it uneasily. Before he could say what floor he wanted, she had pulled a handle on a wheel and they were upward bound. When the little arrow over the door came to "P," they halted and she silently opened the cage for him.

He stepped out and found himself in a kind of little entryway, almost a small room in itself.  There was a mirror on the wall and a place to hang his coat. Beyond it was an ornate door. Before he could knock, it swung open silently and he found himself confronting a maid. "She's expecting you," the woman said.

She held the door for him and, once he was past, stepped outside and closed it behind her. He heard her footsteps as she walked toward the elevator. She said something he couldn't quite make out to the elevator operator, there was a burst of disconcerting giggles, and the lift descended again.

He edged into the room behind the door. It was luxuriously furnished, even crowded. There were paintings on all the walls, fresh flowers on tables, chairs, a massive glass hookah, a chaise lounge…

And then he saw her. Or, rather, he realized what he was seeing. She was in the lounge. Reclining and watching him with a slight smile on her face.

She was nude.

He gasped.

She laughed at him now. "I thought this would be the easiest way," she explained. "Eliminate all uncertainty, as it were."

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