Friday, August 23, 2013

A Chronicles of Cashmere Short Story: The Boarding House

** Recently, I had a dream where I owned a boarding house-specifically, not a bed & breakfast.   I was also babysitting a friends daughter AND then Rihanna came in needing a room...and guidance.  I was probably looking at pics of her on Instagram or Rihanna is my spirit animal.  In any case, I decided to write a non Nicholas Sparks inspired (I HATE HIM) story inspired by this dream.  Just a way to flex the writing muscles, raise my spirit and somehow write a non sex related story about Rihanna.**


-- The house was quiet as Miriam walked through, just the creaky wood floors and Charlie the cat as they did their nightly walk through the large Victorian boarding house.  Miriam loved walking through the house, she almost felt as if her Aunt Patrice was with her, but she disappeared leaving Miriam to care for the large, beautiful empty place.
It seemed like the perfect (and right) thing to do.  Miriam was stuck in another dead-end job with another dead-end boyfriend and at thirty-two she needed a change.  As if on cue she received a call from the sheriff from the town of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.  She was shocked that she was speaking to an actual sheriff.
Sheriff Mason informed her that her aunt was missing and that Miriam was listed as next of kin.  He mentioned that the boarding house she owned was empty as well, besides Charlie, and just in case someone needed shelter, someone (i.e. Miriam) should be there.  It took all of two seconds for Miriam to decide to leave her small apartment in Brooklyn and move to a small town in Pennsylvania.
What did she have to lose?
Two soft knocks are heard at the front door.  Miriam only heard them because she happened to be on her way to the kitchen to make popcorn.  Popcorn and Netflix were on her agenda as she pondered what to do with her life.
She opened the front door leaving just the screen door between she and a frightened looking Rihanna.  There she was all legs that were uncovered, wearing 'daisy dukes' and cropped white tee shirt.  A baseball cap covered whatever new hairstyle she had.  Her beautiful eyes were watery and her lips were blood red.  Rihanna was with two gentleman.  One looked like 'The Rock' and the other looked like her accountant.

"Um....Rihanna..." Miriam's natural sarcastic tone was a little extra since she considered that she was being punked.

"Hi...listen can we come in.  We need a place to stay-"  Rihanna's voice was familiar and shakey.

"Isn't there a hotel in Philadelphia or something?"  Miriam asked.  This was just an old boarding house, she was sure Rihanna was used to the finer things...things Miriam didn't have the want or care to provide.  She barely got by making popcorn for herself and feeding Charlie.

"We were told by the sheriff that we should stay with you due to the situation..." 'The Rock' said speaking for the time.  His voice matched his large build as it was deep and seemed authoritative.

"What situation?-"  Miriam asked.

The accountant-looking guy rolled his eyes, "Isn't this a boarding house?  Shouldn't you be hospitable or something?"

"You don't know what is going on out there?"  'The Rock' asked, both of his eyebrows raised.  He tries looking behind Miriam, "Do you own a TV?"

"First, I have taken over this boarding house from my missing aunt and second, I hate what's on TV these days so I watch Netflix...what is going on?"

"Zombies!" Rihanna says, fear in her eyes.  She begins nervously tapping her leg.  "Please let us in..."
Miriam wasn't the kindest person, but she could sense urgency and despair.  She was a human being, so she unlocked the screen door.  When she looked out beyond the people she was letting in, she saw clouds of black smoke.
'The Rock' closed and locked the front door and then leaned a large rifle next to it.  It was the first time Miriam noticed it.

"I'm Brock, this is Nathan and you know Rihanna of course- thank you for letting us in..."  Brock says, though Miriam would still call him 'The Rock'.

"Zombies?" This was all Miriam could respond with.  She didn't mind that Rihanna and Nathan seemed to be walking around checking windows and locking doors.  It seemed like the right thing to do if there were zombies around.
Brock on the other hand, wrapped a large cinnamon brown arm around her shoulders and led her into the kitchen.  Miriam then realized she was wearing a long high collared night gown and figured she probably looked very prudish.  Then she felt foolish for even considering how she looked while talking to 'The Rock'.

"The sheriff told us to come here, Miriam,
 since this town seems to be safe for now from zombies.  Something started in Florida at a Pitbull concert- he went to pull a girl onstage and she started eating his arm.  For the past week it has spread up the East coast.  Scientist believe it started with a bad batch of 'molly'-"

"There are lively dead people eating people because of 'molly' and this has been going on for a week?"  Miriam sits at the kitchen table.  Her head in hands, she realizes that perhaps watching only movies on Netflix and Buffy the Vampire DVD's was not the best thing as she decided her new life goals.

Brock leaned his large body on the refrigerator that was across from Miriam.  His largely muscled arms were crossed, he was quiet while he contemplated his present situation.  He wondered how a gym owner like himself could now count killing zombies as his life skills.  How he went from booking strip-kickboxing classes, to saving Rihanna from being eaten by her backup dancer-which a week ago would have resulted in her reciprocating with sex. Lots of sex with Rihanna.  Instead, he didn't even consider sex with Rihanna because just surviving each day was a struggle, that and the fact that they couldn't shower often and when she wasn't high, Rihanna was annoying.  All she did was come up with bad word combinations and call them song lyrics. When she wasn't 'writing songs', she was crying or trying to seduce Brock.  It wasn't just Rihanna though, it was her assistant Nathan as well.  When he would say things like "we men should stick together" he meant literally.  Brock shivers.
"That seems to about it...."  Brock felt a tenderness for her, maybe it was the old lady nightgown she wore, but he felt like he wanted to take care of her.  He felt weird about it, but continued, "Listen, this is just another battle we have to fight in this world...we have to stick together.  I speak for Rihanna and Nathan when I say your hospitality is appreciated.  I will do my best to protect you-"

"My savior..." Miriam mumbled.  Though she was happy to have people around, especially a great looking guy like Brock and who would believe she was providing shelter for Rihanna?  Miriam didn't enjoy the damsel in distress roll, perhaps it was because she truly needed help.  She had no clue to what she wanted out of life, but not being eaten by zombies was a main goal now.  She just didn't like that some muscle-head guy was offering to protect her, she felt it was too cliche.

Nathan and Rihanna walk into the kitchen, afraid to be alone anywhere even with each other.  Any form of comfort is sought when you're running from zombies.  They sit opposite each other at the table with Miriam.  Miriam looks from them to Brock and then back again.  She stands and goes to retrieve the half eaten apple pie from the refrigerator.  It was one of the few things she had left from her aunt.

"So what do we do now?" Nathans asks as he readily accepts a slice of pie.

"We'll work on securing the house and try to hunker down as long as we can.  We'll take it day by day..."  Brock says, he joins them at the table.  He wanted to nuzzle Miriam's neck and whisper sweet nothings in her ear.  She was feeding them pie and providing more than comfort, she was giving them hope.

"First we'll eat pie though and then we'll figure it out."  Miriam went to go make everyone tea.  In this time of crisis, she realized that she would be okay.  When she caught eyes with Brock she felt as if she were on her way to something.  Something big and definitely not death by a 'molly' zombie.

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