More of An Arresting Sunset

“Hoy, Johnny. What’s up?”

Two Outies she didn’t recognize ascended the stairway behind him. Charming raised her hand to shade her eyes to see them better. The first was a slender woman with a blonde ponytail, an earlink, and a bloodless complexion. The second was a man she couldn’t—

—”Miss Venda? Miss Charming Abigail Venda?” the Outie woman asked.

Feeling both crowded and alone on her small rooftop, Charming turned her attention back to Young Johnny. A thought came to mind: all of Song called him Young Johnny because of his dad of course, but his official epithet was Deputy John Boonliang.

Charming folded her arms across her chest and took small step back. Thinking it might give everyone space, dispel her unease and start the whole thing over, she meekly repeated her original greeting, “Hoy, Johnny. What’s up?”

“Charm—”

“—Miss Venda, can you tell us where your parents are?”

“What’s going on, Charma?” Nadia called out from her spot on the roof reminding Charming of the expansive rippling tin and aluminum rooftops behind her. She wanted to run; she wanted to dash away from Young Johnny, the man, and especially that woman. Charming swung her free hand palm back to Nadia to halt her question.

“Why’re you asking ’bout my parents, Johnny. You know they went Out past week.” They hadn’t pinged her in two or three days, but gaps like that weren’t odd until the constable’s man showed up on your roof deck with two strange Outies. Charming stepped forward and used the same crisp voice she used with unruly children. “What happened, Johnny? What happened to my parents?”

Johnny raised his arms outward like he was casting a net. Charming realized she’d rocked back. She felt like a fish about to take a hook. “Nothing. I don’t know. They’re fine I suppose.” Johnny grimaced at his stumbling. “The point is they aren’t here.”

Charming thought he might be asking a question or might be leading her. “They’re not here.” If not for the Outie’s she may have told him she expected them back later tonight. “I don’t expect them back for several.”

“Several days? Several weeks?” The white-faced woman lilted her tone and raised her eyebrows, “Months maybe?”

“Days. Several days, Ma’am. We don’t really do weeks here. Months don’t much matter either.”

“It seems not much—” She slapped the handrail, “—matters on this rag-tag barge.”

“Charming, these Outies want to arrest you. But they—”

“Arrest me? What?”

“What did you say, Young Johnny?”

“Nadia! Please?” Young Johnny called out before she could interupt more. “Charming, these Outies want to arrest you.” He enunciated each word like it was it’s own single word sentence. “But,” His eyes jerked the line to set the hook, “since you’re still seventeen they can’t do that without your parents’ consent.”

“But I’m—”

“—not getting arrested. Since. You’re. Just. Seventeen. We can only detain you. Here on Song. Till your parents return. Until they get back,” Young Johnny gestured to the Outies, “these nice folks can’t take you off Song.”

Charming nodded understanding.

“But why?”

The white woman spoke again. “Mr. Tanjun Peeters is dead.”

Charming turned to Young Johnny. Peeters was an Outie name, but it sounded very familiar. Charming turned to Young Johnny for help.

“Yes, that Peeters. Tanjun Peeters it seems is Jun-Kata’s real name. Was his real name.”

560 words on day 721

This Seemed Longer at the Time

I thought I’d finish this later on Friday, but I didn’t. I even forgot to post it at all. I’m not going to bother to clean it up since I’ll just get caught up needlessly.

Skip the below and read this edit and extend instead: http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/20110327/more-of-an-arresting-sunset/

Thought I’d run with the portrait monitor scheme today as a fun change of pace. How does it look to you? I thought so.

“Hoy, Johnny. What’s up?”

Two Outies she didn’t recognize ascended the stairway behind him. The first was a slender woman with blonde hair, an earlink, and a bloodless complexion. The second was a man she didn’t—

—”Miss Venda? Miss Charming Abigail Venda?” the Outie woman asked.

Feeling a both crowded and alone on her small rooftop, Charming turned her attention to Young Johnny. All of Song called him Young Johnny because of his dad of course, but his official epithet was Deputy John Boonliang. It worried her she remembered that now.

Charming folded her arms across her chest and took small step back. Thinking it might dispell her unease and start the whole thing over, she meakly repeated her original greeting, “Hoy, Johnny. What’s up?”

“Charm—”

“—Miss Venda, can you tell us where your parents are?”

“What’s going on, Charma?” Nadia called out from her spot on the roof reminding Charming of the expansive rippling tin and aluminum rooftops behind her. She wanted to run; she wanted to dash away from Young Johnny, the man, and especially that woman.

had become a steep slope she might fall into. Though she wanted to back up, that ledge must be close.

“Yeah, Johnny. What’s going on?”

“Miss Venda, are your parents available?”

“My parents? No?” Charming

238 words on day 719

An Arresting Sunset

Charming loaded everything she’d need into her arm, stuck a banana into her skirt pocket, grabbed her smoothie with her free hand, and climbed to the roof. Once she’d arranged her things and unstrapped and unfolded her chair she stayed standing and waved outward to Old Johnny.

“Where’s Young Johnny…and New Johnny?” she yelled.

“NJ’s with his momma,” Old Johnny answered back. Young Johnny and Rancy hadn’t worked out well together, but they got along fine apart. “Don’t know what a holding up Johnny though. He a missing a beaut though.”

Charming turned to the west to admire the pink and orange confetti clouds peppering a line of high white thunder clouds not yet turned to rain in the distance. Luminous yellow rays blossomed outward showing where the sun hid behind the clouds for a little bit longer.

“That he is.”

“Eh?”

“I said, ‘That he is!'” Old Johnny nodded back over the distance. He returned to his pad.

“Charma!” Charming turned upward to the sound of her name. Nadia was working her way across rooftops to the closest she could reach to Charming’s roof. Charming did the same back to her. They got within a couple redi-mades of each other.

“I’d get closer, but I don’t want to cross Phûn’s,” called Nadia. She pointed off to her left.

“I know. I heard,” said Charming. “Have you seen him yet? Is he adorable?”

“I popped in long enough yesterday to drop off a bit of food and see that he had her black hair and his blue eyes.”

“Uh, oh. That’s not gonna be good around here.” They both laughed.

“We’ve got a few years before that’s a problem. Hey, I wanted to thank you for sending that touri by my place today. You working tomorrow?”

“Sunday. I’m in the Pit all day.” Charming made her best theatrical frown, and Nadia smiled back.

“I want to give you part of the tip she left.”

Charming threw up her hands like a wall. “No-no. I’m fine. You’ve sent folks my way too. It’s what we do.”

“Charma, I know that, but I also know that she tipped well.” Nadia’s voice sunk into a deeper register on the last word like she might describe how her latest boyfriend was hung. “I’m serious. I’m coming by.”

Charming shrugged. “Come by. We’ll talk.”

“Looks like we found Young Johnny.” Nadia chinned back over Charming’s shoulder. Charming noted an odd feeling about the direction since it wasn’t over to Old Johnny’s place it was back to hers. That odd feeling would linger then turn sour soon.

431 words on day 718