Mid-term Story

17 01 2011

I was taking a semester abroad in London with my friends. When we arrived it was raining. Thick drops pounded the ground. Inside our cab it wa damp but Belle’s heat radiated next to me. The driver asked us where we wanted to go and we told him that we wanted to go to Parker Street. We knew there were available apartments there. The first one we looked at was the one we decided to live in. It wasn’t clean or nice-looking. I don’t even think I would casify it as sanitary, but it was dry. The landowner was a woman named Eve. She stayed below us. In the evenings Marie would lean out the window and smoke her cigarettes and she would see a blue light illuminating the air outside of Eve’s window below. We concluded that it was a tanning machine. Eve had a unatural orange tan that looked like you could peel it off.
One evening I came home from school and found Eve talking on the phone in our kitchen. She had disapeared for a month or a month now. We knew she was gone when we didn’t see the blue light two nights in a row. I paused to listened. “What did you do with the bodies?” asked Eve to the person on the phone. When I took a step forward she whipped her head around and stared at me for a moment, her jaw just kind of hung as if weighted down. She then turned back around and quickly said goodbye to whoever she was talking to. “Sorry,” she grumbled as she looked down at my feet, “I. Uh. My tele was out downstairs. Hope you don’t mind.” Then she left.
I told Belle and Marie. They laughed and said that “she should hide that body in her tanning machine!” they would cackle like hiyennas at this, thinking they were so clever. But soon it was time for all of us to leave for Christmas vacation. While I was only studying business in England for a semester, Belle and Marie would stay the whole year.
A week after Christmas I got a call from Marie and Belle. When they had returned they found that all of their things had been stolen. They were livid and kept saying that Eve needs to have better building security.
About a year later I sat in my Boston apartment watching America’s Most Wanted with my boyfriend. A story came on about a murder and robbery in California that had happened a little over a year earlier. John Walsh’s voice trailed in at out of my attention. They kept describing the woman as “very tan,” probably saying it maybe three or four times. Finally at the end of the story they showed a sketching of the “most wanted person.” I swear to God that it was Eve.




2 responses

18 01 2011
Mister Fischer

It’s hard for me to read this version after reading your O’Brien version, which has more going on with it. This version actually clears up some of the confusion I had with that earlier story (see my comments on your new draft), but the ending seems abrupt. In the last paragraph, you have two jumps in time, and this makes the story feel rushed. Any way around this?

In the O’B version, you make us think that the narrator could well be wrong, and that’s missing here too (and I miss it!). By emphasizing the tan detail at the end so heavily, you make it seem likely that it IS Eve–that there’s no real question about it. That’s fine…but it takes something away from the story for me. It makes the story less complex and clears up any confusion there might be…but it also makes the story less of a story about storytelling and more a story about a criminal.

Give it some thought.

19 01 2011
Jackie P

I think this story is really good, but maybe you want to add a little bit more detail because i was confused in some spots. but other then that is story kept me engaged and i liked it

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