Here we are, first snippet of my new novel, due for release on Sunday, November 1.
FRIDAY 5 PM
If it’s true what they say, that God has a sense of humor, then He’s having a huge laugh at my expense right now.
Fifteen years ago I swore I would never come back to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, so the fact that I’m standing here in an auto repair shop can only be attributed to some kind of twisted Divine sense of humor. That’s what my father would probably say, anyway. My mother…well, my mother would probably scold me for thinking blasphemous thoughts. She didn’t exactly share Dad’s more lighthearted approach to the Almighty, which is odd, since he was a minister. You’d think the opposite would be true.
Meanwhile, I’ve been here for an hour. There’s no Wifi, which isn’t quite the big deal for me as it is for most people. It’s not like I spend a ton of time on social media. I’m not that social. But I could be doing some online research for work. Work would help pass the time I’m forced to spend sitting on an orange molded plastic chair circa 1977.
Oh sure, I could access the Internet with my phone’s data plan, but my phone is dead. I haven’t been able to find my charger. This, again, is not the disaster it might be for most people. It’s not like I’m going to miss some life or death text if I don’t have a charged phone for a couple days. My mother and sisters are used to not hearing from me every day. My agent is really the only person who gets frantic when she can’t reach me.
No, my biggest problem at this moment, other than not being able to escape Manitowoc before anyone manages to recognize me, is that I’m bored.
I’m not bored often. When you’re in my line of work, if you get bored, you get up, walk around a bit, or maybe get in your car and drive some place. Do something to change the scenery, andthen get back to work. And when I’m really into it, if I’m really in the writing zone, boredom is the least of my problems. Remembering to eat is usually a bigger issue.
Besides, I’m not built to be bored. If you’re a person who believes in Divine Intervention, you’d know what I’m talking about. God saw to it when He made me, He made a person who simply had zero chance of finding the world dull or tedious. Terrifying, yes. Bewildering, absolutely. Never boring.
And yet, here I am. Maybe it’s some sort of evil spell that hangs over this city on Lake Michigan.
No, that’s not the case. I don’t have to go back too far in my memory to realize that ‘terrified’ and ‘isolated’ are really the only two things I took away from my time in this burg. I was too busy being tormented to feel anything other than those two emotions. So, hey, there’s that silver lining my sisters are always telling me to look for.
Right now the one thing that’s saving me from sliding into a brain dead coma is the television in the corner of the waiting room. Granted, it’s tuned to local news and the local anchor, complete with that North Eastern Wisconsin accent, is telling us all a delightful little story about some seventh-grade school group having an exciting day at all the tourist attractions along the Lake Michigan shore. The story is pure fluff and I have zero interest in local news, school groups, or Lake Michigan while my vehicle is being poked by strangers. But TV noise is better than the sound of a mechanic telling me my beloved Forester is dead.