10 months ago

Book 1 Website Chapters 1-2

Neiman’s window, tug

Neiman’s window, tug it down to my knees, secretly studying odd details in the cockroaches. A giggle rises. The leader lunges. Time starts. I whip left onto Ohio Street. The arctic tundra of Lake Michigan glistens a perilous road. Irritated, I swat at the labial palps nipping my neck as the glass lobby of the high-rise office building on the left bursts onto the street. Pompous tetras and horrified snails rush out, muck and slime coating the street. I plummet, screaming my slide into the tail fin of a giant rubber shark. I hold up my hand and stop time again. Head cocked, I narrow in on the shark’s plate-size pearl earrings and square heeled shoes, then down to my sodden, teacup Nike’s. The shark bares its teeth. Time starts. Heart pounding, I clamor to my feet, narrowly missing a fiendish roach’s clasp as the spear-wielding rubber shark and the mob leader close in. Leaping over Lakeshore Drive, I pump a victory fist to the air. But I’m sucked up, splat down onto a vacant and roofless convenience store. I search wildly for an escape. My ears perk at the Divine. I look up to the cloud speakers above. I’m Gonna Crawl from In Through the Out Door. I fall to my knees and bolt awake. Shielding my eyes, I reach for the lamp, open my journal and write cockroaches and I’m Gonna Crawl, Lake Michigan. Jung might need a new book for this one. I drop to my feet and dress for my run. City lights speck a musty pre-dawn sky. I run down State Street, thinking and counting. 1,2,1,2, life should be exuberantly joyful. 1,2, 1,2, we all are the Chosen One, 1,2, 1,2. A delivery truck roars past. I crinkle my nose, force out the fumes. The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: 615-669-5643 6

1,2, 1,2, The Creative Voice inside knows the answer. 1,2, I have to change before it changes me. 1,2,1,2, I wonder if there’s a volume dial? 1,2, God I hope this isn’t some delusional pursuit. 1,2, 1,2, I hate my job. I issue a psychic apology. 1,2, Sorry God.1,2, maybe it’s just showing me what I don’t want. The green light waits. I stop; look both ways and cross. 1,2, 1,2 there may be millions but we’re all the Chosen Ones; 1,2, God, I’m so tired of this search. What is my Creative Gift, my purpose and penance for the gift of life that guarantees a life of exuberant joy and freedom?1,2, 1,2, I need to earn at least $50K a year. Okay, $100,000 but there are others who may need it more than me. I halt and plug my ears as the ambulance rushes past. But a more powerful force approaches from behind. I whip around, pushed back by the energy of the runner who whizzes past. I shake my head and start to run, 1,2, 1,2, jock. Sorry. Psychic apology. 1,2, 1,2, Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow, 1,2, I need to quit chasing the answer. 1,2, How can I be 22 and not know? Pacing in circles outside, I cool down while thinking. Lightning fast, it happens again, and the runner forces me out of my space. I roll my eyes, offer the psychic apology and press the buzzer. Still thinking, I float past my apartment security desk. Frank nods his Irish smile, “It’s 5:30 Miss Winslow.” “Oh shoot!” I bolt to the stairwell and dart up to the 12 th floor. Lungs stinging, I force the key in and plug my nose with the assault of the remnants of her Lean Cuisine Lasagna from last night. Hurling my keys, I race to the annoying beep. The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: 615-669-5643 7

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