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Retroflix Advent Calendar Door #14

Behind the Fourteenth Door is… A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is the darkest, meanest, most mean spirited review I have ever done. You were warned. #retroflixadventcalendar

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-Eight)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Forty-Eight: Changing Faces

Alice Liddell’s Diary

 

            The strange thing about giving an interview to someone who writes books is that you’re not just done in a few hours. You’ve got to have meetings for days, and you’ve got to keep talking. You talk and talk and talk and when you run out of things to say, the guy prompts you with another question or two and you’re expected to then take up the story for another half an hour before the next question.

 

            The TV interviews are easier, for the most part. Jack’s true crime buddy makes the interviews feel like we’re friends, like he’s on my side. He’s got three hundred pages to fill, he wants as much of the story as he can get his hands on. The TV people are trying to get a reaction for their viewing audience, they make things a little harder. I managed though, I must have done alright because they kept asking me to come and talk about things on some show or other.

 

            Fortunately, Jack was right about gaining attention. It did help a lot when people started pestering the right people that maybe I was really a good girl who faced extraordinary circumstances. It didn’t make facing the review board anything like a walk in the park, but knowing that a fair few important people liked having a face for law and order that people might want to look at helped.

 

            I’m glad to say that I was cleared of any wrong doing, was told that some of my methods were naughty but that was about all. I even got Jim to sign off on some of the more recent documents from the Thinkonomics/King file. I wish to point something out though, I’m not a national figure. I’ve been on CNN three times, total. I’ve been interviewed for Time and two small industry magazines. I’m not even the flavor of the month, I’m just a flavor for the day.

 

            I’m actually being looked at for promotion now. Even when someone in the news decided to take what I still think of as an unnatural interest in my private life, it doesn’t seem to have hurt any. I’m still not happy to have to explain that I don’t feel possessive and what my boyfriend does is only between me, him and the other ladies involved, but it hasn’t done as much damage as I thought it might. If anything, I’ve got a few people who are more interested in getting me higher now. Being outted by some news paper twerp who wanted to try and make a scandal out of a polyamorus bisexual being considered for high position in the agency actually worked against him since it caused a lot of people who wouldn’t have cared one way or another decide that I was worth protecting and elevating.

 

            And that’s, sort of the other problem. Two problems. The first is that I don’t want to be anyone’s poster child or test case. I’ve always wanted to just do my job and go home to whoever it was who was waiting for me to get home. And that is the second problem. The person I want to go home to is in Michigan, and he’s not going to leave Debbie to come here. I wouldn’t want him to either. Nothing has happened between us, but I think that I if I were going to buy Jack I would want to make sure Debbie came as part of the package. I’m pretty sure that Debbie doesn’t want to leave the area Karen is in, and I don’t want to make either of them move but I need to be here if I’m looking at promotion. So I can’t even be with the people I want to be with, except for trips and vacations.

 

            And, I’m going to say it, Jack has got to decide what he thinks he wants to do. He’s still just sitting around, being indecisive and waiting for someone else to make the decision for him. I’m guessing one of us is going to have to tell him to make a decision or it’ll get made for him. Which brings me to the call I got this morning…

 

            “Alice Liddell?” I said as I answered my phone.

 

            “Hi Alice.” Debbie’s voice came across the line.

 

            “Hi Debs.” I said, I think must have I caught that from Jack, because I would have never called a grown woman ‘Debs’ in the past. “What’s going on?”

 

            “Can you come up for a week, or maybe just a weekend?”

 

            “I think I can.” I said. “Why?”

 

            “I think it’s time we have a talk with him.” She said. “I would rather all four of us confronted him at once and demanded some kind of word out of him.”

 

            “Tell him he’s either got to say yes or no?” I asked.

 

            “I think we’ve just got to tell him to say yes.” She said. “He wants to say yes, it’s in him to say yes, but he’s got some sort of mental block or something. He’s never been really comfortable with stability and this feels stable.”

 

            “Maybe if we told him you and I were sleeping together he could mentally tell himself he was doing each of us behind the other’s back.”

 

            She laughed at that. It was a nice laugh. I liked hearing her laugh. That’s a stupid path to start down. I shouldn’t be talking like that, I shouldn’t even be thinking it really. You start at the laugh, then you think about her lips, then the way her shoulders move when she walks, and it’s just nothing but trouble from there.

 

            “That would be dishonest.” She said.

           

            “Not if we started.” I said, which was sort of going into a little game we’d been playing with each other. It was the sort of game where you pretend that you’re not dead serious with what you’re saying.

 

            “Oh, if only my darling.” She said, playing along with me. “But you’re too far and we’ve got this sulking penis carrier between us. I’m afraid he’d disapprove.”

 

            “He can’t interfere.” I said, “If he gets in the way, we’ll just squeeze him between us and talk about shoes and cute skirts until he gets disgusted and leaves. Then you’ll be all mine.”

 

            “When can you come?” She asked, and I wanted to say about ten minutes after we get him out of the way, but her tone had changed and we were being actually serious now.

 

            “I’ll have to arrange a few things.” I said looking at my calendar. “A couple of days?”

 

            “Okay.” She said.

 

            “Are we going to have to make decisions?” I asked. “Because they’re really talking about that promotion for real.”

 

            “I don’t think so.” She said. “Not yet, but we’re not the ones who are stalling and making everyone wait.”

 

            “Okay.” I said. “Is he okay?”

 

            “He’s very annoyed about the money.” She sighed.

 

            “Why, aren’t you getting paid?”

 

            “Yes.” She said. “But Jack’s got this… thing about money. He keeps thinking that he’s betraying his working class roots because he spent a summer working in an injection molding factory one year and a machine parts shop another year. The idea of financial security worries him more than the idea of being broke. I don’t understand it, but he’s always convinced that money causes more problems than it causes.”

 

            “Strange.” I said, because almost nothing about that made any sense to me.

 

            “I know.” She said. “So we’ll see you in a couple of days?”

 

            “I’ll call you tonight.” I told her. “I’ll have to check some airfares and stuff.”

 

            “I’ll take care of that.” She offered. “Don’t worry about it. It’s not fair to make you pay.”

 

            “Oh.” I said. “Thanks.”

 

            “Just call me tonight and tell me when you can get out here.” She said. “I’ll get everything else arranged from there.”

 

            “Okay.”

 

            “It’s going to be alright, you know that, right?” Debbie said. “He’s going to make the right choice, and he’ll work like hell to make it all work.”

 

            “I know.” I said. “I just feel like he could run off again at any moment.”

 

            “I don’t think he will.” She said. “I think he’ll stay this time.”

 

            “I should hope so.” I said. “I don’t think I could take anymore abandonment without developing some serious issues.”

 

            “I won’t let him do that to you.” She said.

 

            “Thanks.” I gave a little laugh. “I’ve got a question though.”

 

            “Yeah?”

 

            “What happens if I get this promotion, and he does what we know he’s going to?”

 

            She didn’t say anything for a while, and I almost wanted to ask if she was still there when I heard her take in a long breath. It was pretty clear that I’d asked the question she didn’t have the answer to yet, which is probably why we were all waiting for him to do something. Jack would have and answer if we asked him, he’s good at answers to tough questions.

           

            “I think we’ll have to discuss that when it happens.” She said finally. “Jack’ll have an answer. Christ. How stupid does that sound? Like we’re just a bunch of silly girls who need rescuing and a man to lead us along and tell us how it’s going to be.”

 

            “We could try to make up our own minds.” I said.

 

            “No.” And I swear I could perfectly see the shake of her head and the little sardonic smile creeping across her lips. “If we did that, we couldn’t make this all his fault somehow.”

 

            “Well that’s true.” I laughed, and it all seemed like it was going to be okay. “I’ll call you later tonight.”

           

            “Okay.” She said. “We’ll see you in a few days.”

 

            “Yeah.” I said. “Yeah you will.”

 

            And they did.

 

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Retroflix Advent Calendar Door #13

Behind the Thirteenth Door is Scrooge (the Alastair Sim version) #retroflixadventcalendar

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment