by Carolyn Brown
Hello, everyone! I’m so excited about my October release, The Ladies Room! It’s my first attempt to write in first person and believe me I have a whole new respect for folks like Sue Grafton who has dozens of books written in first person.
Since it’s barely on the book shelves and available to order at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I thought I’d give y’all an excerpt or a sneak peek at part of the first chapter. But I remembered a lot of other places that I wanted to share so I settled on a different approach. A little bit from each of the first ten chapters to see if it would pique your interest enough to want to read the whole book.
And for those who still want a longer excerpt from the first chapter about what happened in that ladies room during Aunt Gert’s funeral, you can find it on my website on the Sneak Peek page at http://www.carolynlbrown.com/ I’ll be looking forward to seeing your comments!
I wished I had that little twenty-two pistol from my nightstand. When they came to clean the church bathrooms after the funeral dinner there would be my two female cousins, one bullet for each. If only I’d had the good sense to carry a gun in my purse instead of candy bars.
I parked in the gravel driveway and stared blankly at my new home. For a minute I almost wished the helicopter bearing those boys in the white jackets would appear on her overgrown lawn. The padded cell, whether in a state run facility or a private one, was looking better by the minute. I left all the paperwork I’d been given that day lying on the car seat and opened the door to a blast of summer heat. If the end of May felt like this then what would July and August to be like with no air conditioning?
The wind blows constantly in Oklahoma until the first day of June and then a body couldn’t buy, borrow or steal a gust of wind until after Labor Day. That’s because it’s so hot in June, July, and August any amount of wind would cook the flesh off our bones. Daddy used to say that even the lizards carried canteens over one shoulder and a machine gun over the other during the summer months. The machine gun was to take out anyone who looked sideways at the water jugs.
I had a panic attack in the church parking lot. I wasn’t even sure I could get into heaven if I didn’t uphold the standards set by my mother. What would happen to the rich and shameless if I didn’t wear black Versace and support hose to church on Sunday mornings?
That’s when he lost it. Daggers shot out of his eyes. His face turned the color of day-old liver and I thought for a minute he was going to fall down on my porch and start slobbering. And my cell phone was lying in a ditch so I’d have to go inside to call 911. I could sit down on the steps and see if he came out of it on his own before I went inside the house and called. But, dang it all, he started yelling again. Some days I couldn’t catch a lucky break.
If there were too many deer then hunters were given the opportunity to shoot them. Cheating husbands were also a problem in the balance of nature and there were far too many of them. Why couldn’t there be open season on cheating husbands? Ex-wives could purchase a gun, take lessons and receive an ex-husband license complete with a big red “A” stamp to tie to their zipper after the kill. Open season could be scheduled months in advance to give ex-husbands a fighting chance. They could hide in refuges or stay and take their chances at being shot through the living room window as they watched Monday night football.
That brought on a whole new set of delicious giggles. I vowed to find something to laugh about every day for the rest of my life. I finally got it under control but a smile stayed with me most of the afternoon when I thought about Gert making a misstep Saint Peter giving her soul to the devil. Bless his little red heart, he’d have to keep Gert tied to his forked tail and make sure Lonnie was exiled to the back forty if he wanted to keep any kind of order in his fiery abode.
I sat in the swing for an hour while God and Lucifer had a battle. I have to admit, Momma would have been ashamed at the one I championed. Or maybe not. She might have been right out there in the dark helping me pour coals of fire upon my ex-husband’s sorry cheating head. I don’t know if Lucifer won the war or if God got tired of arguing with me and him and just let us have our way. I may still have to answer for what I did that night but I’ll go to my grave with a smile because of it.
I should not have opened that attic door after dark. There I stood barefoot, waving my hand back and forth searching for the light cord, when a mouse ran across my toes. My screams sent it scurrying down the steps in a blur. I jumped straight up and tried to Velcro my hands to the ceiling. Gravity sucked me back down to the floor with a thud. Adrenaline sent me into a second jump, which is when I found the light cord. The light came on. The old cord broke and I fell on my butt.
When we were back in the carriage, he told the driver to give us the grand tour. I could give someone the grand tour of Tishomingo in exactly five minutes. In a carriage, it might take fifteen, and that would allow time for the horses to stop and nibble on Daisy Black’s rose bushes that stuck out over the sidewalk.