909: May 23, 2015

Jenna was sweating. It was 5:45. She was at least 40 miles outside of Hollywood. Deanne had been right. She should have left much earlier. The stalled car blocking the slow lane in Rancho Cucamonga had set her back at least 30 minutes, and the rush hour traffic in L.A. County was merciless. She remembered […]

909: May 22, 2015

Something was tickling Natalie’s ear. “Babe. Babe. NAT!” Natalie started awake. She blinked and looked around. “You in there?” She was beginning to realize the nice-looking but vacant face in front of her was her boyfriend’s. “Mm. Yeah. I’m here.” “You have any idea what time it is?” “Time…? No. What day is it?” Alex […]

909: May 21, 2015

Deanne had set up a makeshift beauty salon in Jenna’s bedroom. The evidence of her efforts were strewn about: Wet towels draped across the bed, vials and bottles crowded the dressing table, heated hairstyling instruments plugged into every available outlet. Jenna wondered how it was that all makeup smelled the same. Not individually, no, but […]

909: May 20, 2015

“What time are you leaving again?” Jenna maneuvered her Toyota onto Highland Ave. “Well, it starts at 6:00. I think I should probably leave here around 4:30.” “You sure that’s enough time?” “It’s not in another state, Deanne. It’s just in Hollywood. It’s what? 60 miles?” “But with traffic, you should probably give yourself a […]

909: May 19, 2015

“It’s noon.” Natalie heard a fuzzy, buzzing sound in the air. “Hey. Babe? It’s noon.” The sound got louder and more insistent. “Nat. Nat. Time to get up, sleepyhead. Hey.” The buzzing formed words. She put them together in her head, but they didn’t make sense. She opened her eyes. “There you are! I was […]

909: May 18, 2015

Jenna’s fork speared through tomato, lettuce and chicken. She shoved the salad totem pole in her mouth, chewing listlessly. “That’s the word he used? ‘Silly’?” Deanne said. “Yes. He specifically said ‘silly.’” Jenna’s fork went in for another nonchalant kill. Hapless tomatoes spewed seeds and jelly gore. “Rob’s an idiot,” Deanne said, hunting her own […]

909: May 17, 2015

Natalie awoke, blinking. Something woke her, but she wasn’t sure what it was. “Alex? You home?” She waited for a response, but got none. Her eyes fluttered shut. “Natty? What is this?” Natalie’s eyes opened again. No one called her Natty but— Natalie’s grandmother shuffled from the bathroom holding a small silver object. She frowned […]

909: May 16, 2015

Jenna dropped her keys into the gaping mouth of a ceramic pink pig. “Home!” she called out. “Hey!” a voice from the living room answered, obscured by the war sound effects blaring from the TV. “How was shopping?” “Good! You want to see?” There were sounds of explosions before the answer floated back. “Sure.” “Okay! […]

909: May 15, 2015

“Miss Bowman!” Natalie had stumbled and grabbed the counter for support. “I’m fine, fine,” she said. “Fine. And… fun.” She paused and gazed into the saleslady’s eyes. “Your eyelashes,” Natalie said. “They’re so loud.” The saleslady’s smile never faltered, but her eyes darted around as if looking for the nearest exit. “I’m terribly sorry,” the […]

909: May 14, 2015

“I can’t believe I bought this dress,” Jenna said, staring at the garment bag containing her scarlet conquest. “Ah, it’s good for you. Builds character,” Deanne said, pulling up next to Jenna’s SUV. “And Rob will love it.” They sat in Deanne’s car for a few moments without speaking. The college staff parking lot looked […]