The Landy Novella: Chapter 1


Unfinished SymphoniesIf you’re like me–and I shudder to think that you might be–you have lots of unfinished projects and people in your life nagging you about them. Sometimes timing is the issue. You, a well-known asthmatic, are just waiting for the magic moment when opportunity intersects enthusiasm to finish removing the twenty year accumulation of carcinogenic soot from the chimney.I have timing issues like that when it comes to completing most of my work–I mean the lawyering that I’m paid to do. Writing projects are different though. As any creative writer knows, I don’t write the stuff, it writes itself. So it’s not my fault.



Last year, for example, a Sci Fi short story manifested itself by means of my typing skills. It owed much to A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The muse refused to favor me with a credible ending so I printed the story, doused it with Scotch and torched it. In frustration, I deleted the computer file as well. Damn, what a fool I am. That was expensive Scotch.Rather than waste single malt, what to do with unfinished work? Easy. The Internet.

I hope you’ll do me the favor of reading the first chapter of my latest work in progress. I call it The Landy Novella but that’s just a working title.

I do plan to finish this one. All comments, including your critical ones, are welcome and appreciated. TD

Chapter 1

Landy was approaching the two lane bridge near the county line. She had driven at least 45 miles before she discovered that she hadn’t taken off her reading glasses after stopping to check the map. Landy was absent-minded that way. Before her realization, she had concluded that someone had repainted all the street signs in crisp black lettering. And that her hands were swollen.“Silly girl,” she said out loud, “things will be just fine so long as you don’t fall apart.” Try to unclench your toes and breathe, she told herself.

Her rigid arm jutted out the car window at the precise moment that the bridge’s mid-point was reached. Her fist opened and the syringe that it held floated gently on the breeze until it was sucked violently into the river that raged below. Now she could relax, if only a little.Just then Landy almost jumped out of her skin. It was her cell phone. Her heart racing, she picked it up and spoke. “Oh, Lynne it’s you. No, I’m fine. No, hon, I’m not coming in. Did you forget that today is the first day of my two week vacation? I swear your frontal lobe is starting to rival mine.”

Lynne was Landy’s friend of 20 years, her sometime travel companion, and a fellow librarian. The head librarian called them the “Bobbsey Twins” which, of course, frustrated persnickety Landy because the Bobbseys are two sets of fraternal twins.

Lynne was calling because Landy was late for work and that had never happened before. “Lynne, you’ll just have to get over your withdrawal pains and cope until I get back. I’m kidding. It’ll be just as hard on me. I’m out of my coverage range once I’m in New Mexico but I’ll drop you a postcard or two. Be good, doll.”

Landy pulled the battery from her phone and dropped it into her purse. She then threw the phone as hard as she could through the still open window. It landed somewhere in the foot tall weeds next to County Road 14. She had an immediate sense of regret for having discarded her phone. Doing that wasn’t in her plans. Rather than stop to retrieve it though, she stepped on her accelerator.

To be continued…

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~ by Tim Daniel on July 16, 2007.

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