Call for Obstruction (The Courier #1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.2) - O'dark Thirty

Submitted: May 01, 2009

Reads: 313

Comments: 2

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Submitted: May 01, 2009



Damn. It’s 4:40 in the morning and I’m wide awake. Only birds and insomniacs are up this early.

No longer able to fight the urge to take a leak, I roll out of bed, rub the crust out of my eyes, and shuffle down the hall to the bathroom.

Minutes later, I turn away from the toilet, scratch my protruding ribs, and head for the kitchen to fix a bowl of Tootie Fruities. Cereal in hand, I collapse down on my rock-hard couch. It was a college graduation gift from my mom. She calls it a divan, and it’s uncomfortable for a reason. As in ‘Don’t get too settled in your apartment, Son. Your place is with me.’

I reach over an empty pizza box for the TV remote. It rings and vibrates in my hand. My heart skips. When I realize it’s my cell phone, I juggle and it drops to the floor. How’d my cell get here? Last I remember it was on the bed stand.

My nostrils flare as I pick it up and read the eight-hundred number for the warehouse on the display.

Margery’s wasting her time. I have no intention of working for her, let alone driving one of her damned red vans. I tap the screen to ignore the call, but the phone continues to ring. The power button is just as unresponsive. I fumble to remove the battery. Still it rings.

Under normal circumstances I’d complain to my cell provider about the phone’s malfunctions. Not sure how they’d respond to “How do I stop an old hag from enchanting my phone?”

“Shut up!” I call out.

“Barry?” Margery says through the phone’s speaker.

I jump backward on the couch, kick up one foot, and whack my shin on the corner of the glass table. “Shit,” I call out, then cuss some more in my head. While I rub the throbbing welt, my eyes transfix on the glowing surface of the cell phone.

“Honey, I can hear you breathing.” Her voice transforms from cranky-old-lady to a slow baritone. “Get your ass to work.”

I hold myself tightly in place and blurt out, “I’m sick.”

“Oh, Honey, I’m so sorry to hear you’re under the weather. What’s wrong? Got the flu?”

If only she sounded sincere. “Food poisoning,” I say. Instantaneously, my stomach churns and gurgles. I rub my palm center-torso and wonder what the chances are of the cramps being a coincidence.

“Tell me it’s not the diarrhea,” she says. “I hate the diarrhea.”

“Been up all night with it,” I lie. My bowels growl like a Rottweiler.

“Well, Honey, I’ll tell you what.” She pauses to cackle. “Come on down to the warehouse, and I bet your food poisoning goes away in a hurry.”

I lean to one side and pass a long audible wave of burning gas that turns damp. “This is not funny. I’m in a lot of pain here.”

“Seriously, I guarantee a trip to the warehouse will fix ya right up,” she says. “Besides, I know where you live. If I have to send someone after you, it’ll be much worse than a little Montezuma’s Revenge.”

Chills travel up my spine and my bowels loosen further. I groan, jump to my feet, and run for the toilet.

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