Booky Noise II
My eyes stung from the smoke as I stood across the street watching the flames roar out of control. Although twilight was settling in, the sky was lit like high noon. The intense heat from the fire warmed my face and bare shoulders even from this distance. Ash drifted about and the air tasted of acid and smoke, burning my nose and settling a nasty taste in the back of my throat.
“I didn’t start this fire.”
Officer Larry Schneider, one of Angel Fall’s finest, gave me a disgusted snort and walked away. I whispered it again, more to myself then anyone else, “I didn’t start this fire.”
And no one believed me.
My name is Riley Margate, a twenty-eight year old hairdresser and mostly average in all respects. My shoulder-length, blond hair is on the dark side (I have it highlighted regularly—one of the perks of the job), I have average hazel eyes that leaned more toward blue, then green. I go to work, sometimes a movie and then home to live out my quiet life. It’s a boring life, but I like it that way. I was never a drama-mama and prefer to be the fly on the wall instead of the one in the middle of a cat fight. I stay home most nights as a choice. Although my mother thinks I’m hiding, that’s just not true. I’ve just decided that I like things better at home.
No dating, no wackos and no problems. Average, like I said, but twenty-four hours ago I made a really bad decision and now the fire in front of me seemed to be the least of my problems. Fires burn, firemen put them out, but what that man on the beach made me do won’t go away as easily. I pulled the blanket up and hugged it to me. I thought about my bed at home and how good it would be to put on my flannel pajamas and get under the covers. Hide from the world and never come out. Then maybe this nightmare would go away.
NOTE TO Gregory Huffstutter: Please resend your Booky Noise excerpt and cut it down at least in half. We only want to deal with opening hooks, not whole pages. Thanks!