« Wish | Main | Nothing But Net »

Hesitantly, the doorman raised his hand

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

1. The mysterious stranger stepped out of the limo and into a gutter full of water.
23. "Besides the three of us," her sister began, "who knows that Papa exterminated, in 1922, a race of albino dwarf landwhales near the headwaters of the Amazon?"
2. Carla let the curtain fall back into place; he was here.
22. "Josephine," Carla gasped, "does this mean what I think it does?"
3. Willie dreamed of quitting his job as a doorman, leaving Lucille, and never entering a condo again.
21. "It's a mask, you moron," Josephine snarled, ripping the disguise off her head and throwing her pistol on the sofa.
4. The revolving door disgorged the black-cloaked figure like a gut-punched Linda Blair ralphing the Devil.
20. "We don't see many Kurds in these parts," Robin quavered, staring at the man's distinctive schnoz.
5. With trembling fingers Carla spelled "extreme danger" on the telephone keypad and then hung up.
19. Willie had been meaning to tell Mr. Hood that the pet deposit didn't cover jaguars, but he'd have preferred doing it with dry pants.
6. Willie noticed the wet footprints on the lobby carpet just as the elevator door closed.
18. Robin wasn't home, so she stepped out into the hall, saw two people and a large cat enter her own apartment, and followed.
7. The phone rang again: Robin would never finish reading "Nostrilia" at this rate.
17. Willie sent the boys home with a promise that he would check out the fourth floor.
8. Carla raised the window and stepped out on the ledge.
16. Robin turned away from the door to find himself nose to nose with a menacing figure.
9. The leash was missing, not that you can really walk a 40-kilo cat, anyway.
15. The two boys were sure the woman who'd just climbed in a fourth-floor window had not been wearing underwear.
10. Willie dreamed he and Carla cuddled on a blanket nice as you please, until she poured hot coffee in his lap.
14. Her doorbell rang, but Carla was already almost to the next apartment.
11. "Cheeto! Come back!"
13. There was only one place the cat could be headed for.
12. A high-pitched scream ululated through the lobby like the ring of a phone in an empty house.


Wait... what? Possibly this could be untangled by putting it back in order, but if you have to do that doesn't it defeat the purpose of mixing it like that in the first place? After all, typically you're supposed to be able to put the pieces together as you read and hold them there when you're following a story told out of order, right? Unless this is all a Dadaist challenge to that notion...

Posted by: Mo | August 13, 2009 1:06 PM

I like it, and I almost get it, but I think the cut up routine would work better without the enumeration.

Posted by: louise daileigh | August 13, 2009 5:48 PM

Sorry. I have a cold.

Posted by: Neal | August 14, 2009 5:24 AM

Post a comment