dontravis.com blog post #396
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Enough of the Drama Club for the moment. We’ll leave Jarod basking in the glory of seducing—or being seduced by—his new drama coach.
This past Wednesday, I sent the completed manuscript of my 7th BJ Vinson novel to the publisher. Now comes the long wait for the process to run before a yes/no decision is made. Well, I want some reaction before that. So, I’m devoting the next two postings to Cutie-Pie. Today we’ll see the Prologue to the book. Prologues are important to me because they set the tone of the novel. I’ll let you tell me if it did the job. Warning, an earlier version of the prologue may have been posted, but this is the one that counts.
THE CUTIE-PIE MURDERS
Albuquerque, New Mexico, Monday, March 5, 2012
The curly-haired young man strode up Central east of the university, slipping gracefully past fellow students, merchants, housewives, and giggling children. Intent on the coming assignation, he was oblivious to the admiring looks thrown his way. Had he noticed; he’d have ignored them. After eighteen years of being first cuddly cute and then staggeringly handsome, conspicuous attention failed to elicit a response from him. Not even the rumble of heavy traffic on Route 66—now reduced to an aging, neon-speckled Albuquerque city street—penetrated his awareness. Nor was he distracted by the tempting aromas wafting from a hotdog joint a few doors away or the more pungent odor of a passing homeless man, the sole of his left shoe flapping in imitation of a muffled duck.
The recollection of what this venture had cost him triggered a misstep, but you only live once, and besides, he hoped to salvage that relationship without giving up his dream. A sudden image of his mother and father jarred him again. How would they look upon this venture? Cray, of course, but, cripes, he was in pursuit of a goal. The script from rendezvous like this would finance the career he was born to pursue. One day soon a client would recognize his potential. Then he’d walk the runways. The big-time runways, turning heads, setting trends, and making the big bucks. He knew it. The bones of his body, the fibers of his being incessantly crooned that lullaby.
The address he sought appeared to be one of the new apartments in the next block. Cool. Fancy digs meant easy money. He was new to the business, but he’d already learned a few things, and that was one of them. Prime start for an almost spring Monday.
He dashed across the side street against the light and halted before a set of big double doors. After scanning the communications panel—and with a heart playing pitter-patter in his chest—he reached out a tremulous forefinger to push the proper red button. After a moment, a pleasant baritone reverberated through the speaker.
He moistened dry lips and put some life into his speech. “Hi, this is your—”
“Fourth floor. Door’s open. I’m getting in the shower but won’t be a minute. Go down the hall to the bedroom on your right and make yourself comfortable.”
Excited by the timbre of the voice, he couldn’t resist. “How comfortable?”
Galvanized by the sound of a buzzer, he hastily pushed through the heavy doors into a vacant lobby, removed his aviator shades, and called up the elevator. His date was a man. He’d been left guessing because the message was simply signed Anxious. This was only his third engagement of a personal sort since starting this new vocation. The first had been an attractive woman a bit older than he liked. Nonetheless, he’d played his part well enough to earn an encore in the near future.
The second was a good-looking middle-aged man who’d kept himself fit. In a critical review of the two trysts, he judged the second more enjoyable than the first. His client had begged for more and more… until there was no more to give. In all honesty, the second date had been less… heavy.
Now another man. And wow! If the dude matched the baritone on the intercom, it was full speed ahead.
As promised, the door to 4201 stood slightly ajar. He eased into the apartment and looked around. Nice! Black diamond floor tiles in the vestibule. A heavy mirror in a gilded frame hanging to the left of the door allowed him a quick inventory of himself. He approved of what he saw… a young man in his prime who belonged in a place like this. He pushed a wayward chocolate brown curl into place and turned to examine the ritzy apartment.
How long before he’d be able to afford a place like this to moss around in? Probably about a bazillion years. He paused to take in a pleasant blend of bentwood contemporary couches and antiqued ball and claw-foot chairs, all lent a touch of elegance by ornate occasional tables and French ormolu lamps. His mind’s eye saw friends sitting around sipping wine or guzzling beer and engaging in intelligent conversation as they looked down on the busy street. He smiled to himself as he imagined repairing a fractured relationship by nuzzling on the long sofa.
The only sour note to the Better Homes and Garden atmosphere was the corner of what looked like a big canvas laundry cart visible in the kitchen area. Maybe his host was planning on messing up the sheets big time. Go for it, dude!
The faint, sensual scent of lavender teased his nostrils as he turned right and headed for the big bedroom at the end of the hall. From somewhere, he heard a shower shut off. How much time did he have before the man with the voice showed? He closed the blond oak bedroom door, wanting his client to open it and get a sudden, stunning glimpse of what he was buying.
Standing beside the king-sized Tuscan bed, he ran a hand over the satiny yellow and cinnamon spread… or was this a duvet? Whatever, it felt dope against his fingertips. He eased off his loafers while debating over how comfortable to get. He’d heard some clients liked to undress their merchandise, but maybe he should go all the way and display what he had to offer. And without being smug about it, that was considerable.
He shrugged out of his windbreaker and tugged a polo shirt over his head, careful not to muss his shock of dark hair. After hesitating briefly, he slipped out of his cargo shorts and lay back on the bed. A second later, he kicked off faux leopard skin briefs and lay naked except for socks. After plumping a pillow, he scanned a hairless torso to admire his pecs and abs. How would he look to the guy about to come through the door any minute now? He nodded to himself. Probably hella bad. Everybody said he wore a pretty, girlish face on a toned man’s body.
When the door opened, he threw up his hands and shouted, “Surprise!” The first sight of his date sent shivers down his back.
The man with the beautiful voice moved bedside, balancing two glasses of white wine in his hands. “Well, well, aren’t you a cutie.”
Interesting enough to continue reading? That’s the entire purpose of a prologue… to catch your attention and give you an idea of what’s coming next. While I write the BJ Vinson mystery book in the first person (I…me), my prologues are written in the omniscient so that the reader knows what the actors on the stage have no way of knowing. Hope that comes through.
Next time, I’ll give you Chapter 1, and then I’ll move on to something different.
The following are buy links for my last BJ Vinson mystery The Voxlightner Scandal.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-voxlightner-scandal-don-travis/1132632844?ean=9781640809260
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4AxPDo
Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!
My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old email@example.com. PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:
See you next week.