Write What You Know, Part 14
By Stephanie Thompson, 1, 779 words
Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13
“I don’t know what you expect me to say or do. I’m unhappy with my current terms and I’m behind on delivering my pages all ready anyway. One way or another, I’m probably going to break the terms but even if that doesn’t happen, what are you prepared to do to make me happy and productive and keep me that way this time around?”
It doesn’t matter what she says, keep refusing. Always neg the first offer.
“First things first, let’s have a seat, maybe turn on the lights, pour us some drinks, and let’s work chat about this thing, like the old days.”
Stella went around doing the things as she listed like a hospitality whirlwind surrounding Christie so deftly she barely realized it’d happened until after she was set on the couch with a vodka rocks in her hand.
“So, when you say you’re unhappy, what in particular would you liked change? What is something I can do tomorrow, to make you reconsider throwing out the baby with bathwater? We use to be really great together, now I know we can work this thing out.”
With the light turned on, it was all to obvious to her what the first order of business was.
“I want a better hotel. A quieter hotel. Someplace where I can’t hear every late night joy ride or the banging of every door.”
She took out a legal pad. Christie could see the cracked dark glass of the iPad inside her large purse. It’s cold dead surface gave her an odd sense of satisfaction
“Okay there’s only few more days in New York, do you still want . . .”
“Stella, I can’t remember the last time I slept a full night’s sleep. I wouldn’t care if it was my last night here, I’d still move rooms if it meant even just three hours of silent sleep.”
Oh great, now she’s going to think you’re week.
She wrote in her large loopy cursive on her pad.“Understandable. What else?”
“If I must keep going on this tour instead of to a nice retreat or cabin in the woods, then I want you or an assistant, a single assistant mind you, my own consistent through every city, every stop. I mean, if you can’t be there yourself. But I’d rather honestly concentrate on writing a book, any book but an ’NRaged novel, and that means quiet and solitude and not pond hopping or jet setting or whatever t his is.”
“Christie, I can tell you’ve put a lot of thought into this but I have to tell you, I don’t know how I can make this possible.”
“Then what the fuck did you come here for, Stella?” She topped of her drink in one fell swoop and swallow.
“If you wanted more money, or more time, maybe one on one with me, I thought I could do that, negotiate, put more paperwork on my own assistant but you want a whole salary and benefits for a new employee or a complete shuffling of personnel, on top of practically not working at all. No new Nikki Vampyro novels? That’s the only reason you have a recognizable name. No more tour? Those are the only book sales keeping your series afloat. And if you’re not going to do those things, how am I suppose to get an extension or pay boost or better hotels?”
“YOu know, what it was stupid of me to think that anything would change. That you would change. I’m . . . I’m just going to go home. Write my books and represent myself.”
“There’s no need for personal attacks and myabe going home is the best thing for you right now. Go home, get some rest, and after a bit of sleep we can talk about it again. We’ll cancel the next stop, say you’re ill, I don’t know picked up something on the road. They’ll understand or at least won’t sue.”
I told you, I told you. You let her know you had a weak spot and she’s going in for the kill. You’ll be writing those shitty novels until the day you day.
“Yeah, yeah, okay, you’re right,” she said because she didn't want to argue with either of them not because she actually agreed.
“Good, good, let’s maybe. . . I’ll clean up a bit in here, you go ahead and take a shower or even a nice relaxing bath. We’ll have you asleep in no time and back home on the first train tomorrow morning. Okay? Don’t worry about a thing.”
Stella had her in the small en-suite bathroom, hot water filling the tub before Christie even had a chance to say she wasn’t talking to Stella and she was basically getting nothing she wanted.
I seriously fucking hate that bitch.
Yeah, well, at least we’ll get to go home tomorrow. Get some real sleep, get some real writing done.
You are such a pussy.
Christie didn’t argue. She sat on the toilet watching the bathtub fill up with water and thinking about Knock on the Door stories.
When the tub was half full, Stella knocked on the bathroom door. (Different door, same person on both sides). She came in without an invitation. Christie was very tired of feeling like she was invisible and didn’t matter.
“Got you some nice lavender and chamomile bubble bath and lotion. This will calm you down, soothe you out, you’ll be nice and relaxed and ready for bed in no time.”
She watched in silence as Stella squeezed a healthy amount of soap into the flowing faucet.
“Brought your laptop and headphones for some music or YouTube videos or whatever you want to watch, as long as it’s relaxing. I’m gonna do some cleaning out there but don’t want to disturb you. Hey, maybe I’ll even find you’r phone, lol.”
She suddenly had a very strong urge to hold Stella’s head underwater until she stopped struggling for saying ‘lol’ anywhere outside of a text (
When the tub was full she stripped down, climbed in, and played some music that was far from relaxing. It was loud and angry in attempt to drown out the loud and angry voice of Nikki who wouldn’t stop grumbling.
That mother fucking dirty skanky bitch is going to get what she deserves. Fucking treating us like children, like we’re fucking helpless. I’m not fucking helpless. Fucking WHORE! I hate her, I’ve always hated her with that smug pedantic sort of way of talking, it’s always been a false, two-faced, fucking liar. Always!
Cassandra soaked in the hotel bathroom. The water was hot, very fragrant, and very bubbly. She’d gotten some kind of soap at a gift shop downstairs, stupidly expensive. She charged it to the room. Just like drinks. Cleaning up wasn’t her normal job but that wasn’t what she was doing in the bath. She was soaking, what she normally did in blood, and thinking about the piano player.
The way her moved when she turned her head, her thin nimble fingers, the smell of her skin, the taste of her blood, and the sound of her pleads of mercy.
All the details danced around her head on a loop. And it was all the details, not just then end ones. Usually it was only the end ones, The stabbing, the ripping, the sound of organs sliding against each other, or the scent of blood that chased out all the other scents of the foul places she usually had her fun. But . . . But . . . This one was different.
She didn’t have feelings for her. Cassandra didn’t have feelings for anyone. Barely had feelings at all and what she did have was reserved for herself mostly. She got bored. She had fun. She was enraged a lot or occasionally. She did not get happy, sad, joyful, tearful, anxious, anything else emotional. No, she didn’t have feelings for the tall, dead, blonde, pretty piano girl.
Maybe . . . Maybe . . .just maybe it was, and this was kind of the insane part but perhaps it was regret. Regret that she had taken a beautiful perfect creature out of this ugly, stupid, insane world.
Or perhaps loneliness. Not a real loneliness, not the kind that leads to dinner dates, engagement pictures, and picket fences. The kind of aloneness that leads to buying a fish, a cat, a dog.
She laughed, closed her eyes, and leaned back in the tub. Yes, she wanted her funny little piano player on a leash, crawling behind her, beside. Voiceless, tear eyed, afraid, and alive.
Yes, she regretted killing her. She regretted it while she did it, which is why this was so different. She didn’t play the way she normally would. And now she was unsatisfied, bored, and, worst of all, angry with herself.
“Are we sure this is the same killer?”
“It’s so much cleaner than the other crime scenes.”
“Yeah and you can still tell what she is. I mean, what she looks. . . Looks like. Her organs are still inside her.”
Wes though the task force actually might be compromised of the worst investigators they could’ve scrounged up from the roster. Personally, he wanted to punch each one of them in the face right now. At least then he’d get some quiet and could actually think. (He checked over his shoulder real quick).
“You okay detective?”
“ Yeah, I’m . . .fine.”
Except I’m squatting over yet another stab victim with no idea of who’s doing this and I completely fucked up the interview with the closest thing I have to suspect.
“Who called this in?”
“Uh…” Gimlet flipped through his tiny notebook. (So lame, dude) “ A neighbor, um, friend, I guess. Says they usually have lunch together in her apartment. Well, lunch for her, breakfast for the victim because she worked nights as . . .” He flipped more pages. “A piano player."
“And she was found like this?”
“Nobody moved her boss. We’re not a bunch of rookies.”
“Yeas, yeah, okay. Forget it.”
Talking wasn’t getting him anywhere lately it seemed. His stupid co-workers kept telling him things he already knew and Christie Fields. Well, he couldn’t get her out of his head. He was just going to give it up.
“You know what guys? I think I have seen all I need to see here. You guys wrap this up, keep canvassing, and make sure I get the pics asap. I’m going back to the office. See if there’s anything in the other cases that fit with this one.”
No more talking for him, just thinking.
“No problem, boss.”
The story continues in Part 15. Thanks for Reading!