The bedroom is all painted. The furniture has been reassembled and put back in place. Our company is headed for Nevada. It was fun seeing them again. We went out to dinner a couple of times. It’s the least I could do, since they did all the work while I was at the paycheck job.
We hit one nice restaurant Friday night. Last night we went to a brewpub called The Ram. We got seated just as the Boise State game was looking grim. My brother in law decided to cheer for New Mexico. He really doesn’t care, but likes annoying people. We managed to eat and escape with our lives. Truth is, he’s a Nevada Wolfpack fan. (BSU won)
I managed to coil up and store the hoses, but still need to change the furnace filter.
I headed for the writing cabin. I’m not going to get a thing done with fiction, but I have a lot of correspondence and bills to catch up on. I grabbed coffee and slipped into my office unnoticed.
I made a pile of paid bills on the floor when Iris*, the fairy rode in. She was mounted upon one of the enchanted beer horns. The other one ran behind waiting for its turn. They skidded to a stop in a flurry of torn receipts and invoices.
“What’s going on here?” I asked.
“Still can’t fly. I’d head for home, but I’ve got a bad wing. It’s easy enough to avoid your carnivorous plants now that I know where they are. Those things are catching mice like crazy.”
“Good. You can’t leave anyway. We got The Cock of the South published, but I have more projects you can help me with.”
“Alright, help me up to the desk and we’ll get started.” I lifted her up to the working surface.
“Not just yet. We have to get some publicity stuff ready, but we can wait until next weekend to start.”
The slow clacking of heels made its way down the hall. The beer horns stood either side of the door at attention. Lisa** sauntered in and the horns trumpeted her arrival. She wore a white miniskirt with a polka dot top and matching polka dot pumps. She had on a pair of those big sunglasses, and cradled Bunny in her left arm like Hollywood starlets carry around a little dog. She strolled up to one of my chairs, sat down, put her heels on my desk, and steepled her fingers.
My jaw dropped open and I brilliantly said, “Um, Hi Lisa. What’s up?”
She coolly removed her sunglasses and hung them between her breasts, flipping her hair as she turned toward me. “So, are you ready to start my sequel now?”
“You saw that blog post, didn’t you?”
“Yup. A major book reviewer called me the most impressive character of 2014.”
“You earned it too, but I told you I’m not writing any sequels unless my sales justify them. Sales are slow in coming. Remember, I published my first story in February, 2014. That hasn’t been very long. Give it time. I expect all the books to sell better once I have a few more titles out. People seem to read more in the Winter too. It’s just starting to get cold in the Northern hemisphere.”
She pointed at me. Even her nails were polka dotted. Her head tilted to the side as she said, “I think that’s bullshit. You need to be ready ahead of time.”
“I have more stuff nearly ready. Remember Will ‘O the Wisp? Besides, maybe it’ll be the story Iris appears in that takes off big time.”
“God! You’re so hard headed. I work like a dog around here and what thanks do I get. I’m not a machine, you know.”
“Actually, you are a machine, and I love that about you. That’s part of what makes you the most interesting character. I’m working hard too. Remember, you get free room and board, plus scenes in my blog. There’s even paid vacation, remember Vegas?”
“Maybe it’s time to use a bit more of that vacation.”
“The time’s available whenever you want it. Besides, you might not survive a sequel. Maybe I’ll write a tragedy.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“You never know. Tragedies can be really good stories.”
“I don’t want to be in a tragedy. I want to be a heroine again. I want to solve something, help someone, overcome something.”
“Maybe you should appear in one of my micro fiction pieces. I’ll probably have more Macabre Macaroni next year.”
“That’s a year away. That’s longer than I’ve been living at the cabin. Maybe there should be a Lisa Burton Christmas story.”
“Maybe, or maybe we should do another promotional event. Your giveaway worked out really well. We cracked the top 100 for a little bit. The story Iris appears in, The Cock of the South, is somewhere in the mid seventies for its genre. That kind of thing helps.”
She crossed her arms over Bunny, and he snuggled deeper into her lap. Her eyes glanced toward the ceiling. “Fine.”
“Alright, we’ll brainstorm something together. Let’s head for the kitchen and fill up these beer horns. Iris, do you have your drinking acorn cap?”
Iris made a fist and saluted by thumping it over her heart. She whistled and the beer horns came running; honking all the way.
*Iris is a fairy. She has a supporting role in The Cock of the South
**Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She is a robot and helps me around the cabin these days. Bunny is her pet rabbit.