It’s Tuesday, so it must be…

NanoWriMo Update Day!

I’m quite certain there is at least one person out there who has been hitting refresh for the past six days and wondering, “Oh, lord, how is Otis doing? Is he going to make it?”

Perhaps not.

The question, of course, remains. Am I going to make it? Will I make it to 50,000 words in the next nine days? Well, if I am, I’m going to have to step up my pace a little bit. After a very good run on Friday, I found myself taking Saturday and Sunday off. Saturday was a family day and Sunday, though I didn’t expect it to, turned into a bit of a poker marathon.

This will be the final update. I’m diving headlong into the rest of the project. As we won’t be speaking again until it’s over, I thought I’d offer one humble and final excerpt. A warning, though…this particular part ain’t necessarily for the kids.

He conjured up an image of Pebbles in a pair of cowboy chaps and nothing else. He used his left hand to pinch his right nipple. He imagined his new therapist sitting in the audience at the City Council meeting and staring at him as he pushed through the vote for the new Farris Park. Mary hadn’t been to a meeting since his first term as a councilman. Now, even if no one in the room could know it, he would again have feminine support in the room. Although his disdain for Mary had grown in recent years, he still felt a twinge of loss whenever he looked out over the sea of city leaders, citizen complainers, and nosy reporters and didn’t see one person who was there for him.

Farris closed his eyes and pictured Pebbles face, her red lipstick, and her manicured fingernails. He worked his right hand around the Little Councilman and tried to relax. With another pinch of his nipple, he was underway.

The sound of his cell phone cut though the mood.

“Mother fuck,” he muttered and grabbed for the phone with his left hand. He looked at the caller ID and recognized Coombes’ number. “Not today, Bob,” he said and let the phone ring into the voicemail box.

He tried to remember the first time he’d seen Pebbles. His memory cooperated and offered a flash-frame of the dark-skinned girl with dark hair hanging down her back. He’d peeked at her through the VIP room’s velvet curtain and he swore she looked directly at him and winked. Without another thought, he’d turned to Shep and said, “Her.”

The memory was working. Farris pulled a pillow over his eyes and relaxed. “Pebbles,” he muttered into the pillow and imagined her hair on his neck.

The phone rang again. “Mother fuck, fuck.”

Farris threw the pillow to the foot of the bed and looked at the caller ID again. It was a City Hall number. “Just ignore it,” he told himself. And he did, retrieving the pillow and dragging his jagged fingernails across his soft stomach. Nothing was going to stop this mental treat.

Farris’s ears played along, blocking out the dying rings of his cell phone, and creating a reasonable facsimile of AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long.” He remembered that she had danced to that song for him. That was the first night he’d had the courage to ask her to pinch him. She’d obliged without question and Farris hadn’t made it to the second chorus. These days, Farris couldn’t listen to the local classic rock station without getting aroused.

He quickly retrieved the pillow and put it back over his eyes. He was close. He felt it. God bless that little strip-teaser. She was so much more. She was his little strip-teaser. She could make him do what he wanted and he didn’t have to worry about a thing but himself when she was there. In the background, he heard a phone ring, but he wasn’t going to look. A more reasonable part of his brain told him he should, but he was in the middle of a negotiation that he couldn’t stop.

The phone stopped ringing and Farris smiled, doing his best to ignore that the ring sounded odd for some reason. “Come here, Pebbles,” he said into the pillowcase. “Come here and ask me what I want.” Farris felt himself bucking in the bed and forgot himself. He could hear her voice. Just on the edge of perception, he could hear her. She was saying…

“Jesus, Farris. What the hell?”

What? Farris stopped and pulled the pillow off his eyes.

Mary was standing the bedroom door with the phone in her hand.

Farris grabbed for the covers and pulled them up to his waist. Mary stared at the pup tent that formed below her husband’s navel.

“Stanley Cummins is on the phone. He says it’s important.”

She tossed the phone on the bed, shook her head, and walked out without closing the door.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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