01 August 2010

Locked in Freedom

The lock covers Amanda's mind. It stares at her everywhere she goes, her own private eye. Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Excuse me, Miss, uh--your bag." Cheezums, Amanda almost walked right through the airport scanner. She hands it to security and smiles, "Sorry about that. My mind is a million miles away." He smiles back, like everyone does when she flashes her perfect row of braces free teeth. Everyone except Billy. "Uh, Miss...the lock?" Confused, the lock in her head closes. She looks at security, holding up her bag. Amanda pulls the chain from her neck and hands it to security. "The red one," she says. Security opens her bag, rifles through it, hands it back. "Have a nice flight, Miss."

With an hour to kill before boarding Amanda buys the latest gossip rag, and finds a chair in a corner, away from the throngs of people passing through the terminal on their way away, like her. She wonders if all locks look like eyes...if there's a reason this lock looked like an eye...if she'd be haunted every day she breathed. Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Is that this week's Go Gossip Go?" A voice brought her back. Amanda looks up at a girl, about 12 dressed to the nines.

"There a party I don't know about?" Amanda says, looking her up and down, trying not to laugh.

"Enough with the wisecracks, smartass, I'm going from one rich parent to the other. A bizarre war wages between them. Who can dress me better? My mother actually hired me a dresser. A dresser! I am THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, I CAN DRESS MYSELF. Bet you're glad you said anything now, huh....Is that this week's Go Gossip GO? Or do you want to hear more about my enthralling life running from parent to parent in the richest of circumstance"

"Uh here...sorry for the wisecrack." Amanda sits back, tries to meditate, but can't shake the image of the lock. If she watches the girl read, maybe the eye will disappear. The girl lifts her head and laughs, looks at Amanda, "This is some good shit. People are sure stupid, listen to this one. She starts to read. 'Living on his boat The Hornet, American playwright Jonathon Henchion…" Amanda wonders if her face will grace the cover of Go, Gossip, Go...but no, she is small potatoes in a world of Henchions “…If the world finds out, may my boat explode.' Can you believe it? He says that, then his boat explodes, with him on it. Do you think it was a set-up?" Amanda sits there, quiet. "Well I know what my friend Gravy Train Jones always says." Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it. "Don't YOU want to know what my friend Gravy Train Jones always says."

"Huh?" Amanda turns to the girl, "I want to know who in their right mind would name a kid Gravy Train." She has no idea what the girl is talking about.

"That's not the point, it's his nickname. What he always says is,” she slows down and tries to sound mysterious. “Words once spoken take on a power of their own. You be careful Shania, he says to me, any word you say has power, it can make you, or it can break you."

"How old is this Gravy Train Jones?"

"32. He's gay. He's my dresser."

Amanda laughs. "He's right, you know. Gravy Train. That's why I prefer to sit in silence, so nothing life changing can come out."

"Can I ask you something?" Shania says.


"When you were sitting there, before I walked over. You looked so sad, or worried, or angry, or I don't know, I thought maybe, ...uh...haunted? Anyway, I was just gonna walk on by, when I got a glimpse of something, above your head? It was hovering there, like a ghost or something."

Amanda's heart is racing, it's beat is deafening her.  Billy deserved it, he deserved it, he deserved it.  "What was it? What did you see?"

"It looked like an eye, or maybe a lock or something, I couldn't tell for sure."

Groggy, Amanda opens her eyes. The room starts swirling. "You passed out Miss. This is the airport holding area for sick passengers."

She sits up, "I'm not sick, I need to be on that plane, I need..."

"Miss, the plane is gone." He put his hand on hers to comfort her. "The police are waiting outside to speak with you. I'll get them now."

The police ascertain her identity and show Amanda a picture. "Do you know what this is?"

"It looks like a trunk," she says.

"Have you seen it before?"


"Do you know what it contains?"

"Yes, I do. I do know."


“That box contains my freedom, or I thought it did, until its eyeball lock started hovering above my head. Can you see it there?”

Shout out to Willow over at Magpie Tales for the picture prompt.


Helen said...

From first word to last ... totally captivating!

kathew said...

Well done!

Lyn said...

What a movie..let's cast it right now..a riot!

RA said...

Great, great story! :)

AngelMay said...

The tell-tale lock. :)

willow said...

That last line is terrific!

Jingle said...

love it,
I never thought of locking away freedom, but it is a reality for some cases.

excellent magpie!

Anonymous said...

OMG. This was so good. I hung on every word. I really liked how you set things up - quite tense. Brilliant!

Jennifer said...

A real "page turner" - great pacing and tension!

Tumblewords: said...

There's a bit of vengeance and karma rolled into this fine tale! Very nice!

RNSANE said...

I couldn't put the story down.

Dina Spice said...

I have no idea how you do that....so impressive, Brenda, seriously. I was there, at the airport. I usually skip the prose, as I'm already overwhelmed with the poetry. But, for you, and all your great writing, I read. This piece was wonderful - totally captivating from line one 'til the end.

- Dina