Friday, April 29, 2011

My Shadow and the Snake

easter2011 007copyright Caroline Gerardo April 2011

Excerpt from "LUCKY" my next novel. The first draft is ninety- nine percent complete. Tomorrow I will post more on bookcountry.

I am off to the Los Angeles Book Festival.


Amy got into her car butt first after the amniocenteses.

“The baby is fifty-three weeks. I know you do not want to know the sex. I will find screen shots on the ultrasound that do not show the genitalia.” The Doctor said.

“Thank you.”

“Your weight gain is a little below target. At your advanced age, well excuse me, I meant to say this as a complement. You are taking excellent care of yourself.”

“I’m walking and swimming a little.”

“Just take it easy. Your blood pressure is high.”

“Is there anything else I should do?”

“There are no miracles Amy.”

“I pray.” She moves her hair behind her ears. She unties the gown, then pulls up her jeans with the stretch waist.

“Have you told the father we matched the hair follicle with the last amnio?”

“I told Seth months ago, he claims it is impossible because of his vasectomy. He abandoned us.”

“Just making sure you have someone to see you through this.”

“My Mother is going to be there for the delivery.”

“That is good. Keep taking your vitamins. We will see you next week.”

Amy smiled at the receptionist. The woman has the telephone hand set in between her shoulder and her ear. She looks up, nodding a thank you for the muffin from Starbucks. The linoleum squares in the office neatly lead past the magazines in the lobby. Amy opens the door and holds it gently. She keeps the door from slamming to avoid disturbing the other patients who wait to have their urine sample, weigh in and routine checks.

She starts the car. The seat belt feels rough over her stomach. She thinks of events of the past month. She has not heard from him for five weeks. The last time he disguised aggressive justification in an email. He is too busy to think. He chatted about how at this point in his life he appreciates what is beautiful in his daily new life: a new girlfriend, his glorious appointment and the fawning press. He does not understand the ramifications of his actions and does not care. Closed in an eggshell, the cover is made of Plexiglass, the world is inside his head. She now knows why his ears ring.

“It is best for both of us if you don’t contact me.” Seth never responds well to emotion.

She stops at the light. The car in front of her is a Maserati in a big hurry to jump the crosswalk. It lurches ahead and then back. She does not understand why.

When the light turns green, she pulls forward to see the snake. She gets out of her vehicle. She remembers there is a baseball bat in the trunk. With the bat in her hand, she examines the serpent. It is a gopher snake. It will never again meander in the mustard weeds. She moves it to the curbside with the bat.

Another car sounds a horn. An older man rolls down the window.

"Did you club it with the bat?"

"No. Roadkill."

She starts to tear up.

"The important thing was to love rather than to be loved."
W Somerset Maugham  Of Human Bondage
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