First Page: Love’s Little Gator Bites~working title
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Loud knocking saved Bobby Jean’s face from the sharp teeth of the piranha, this time. Waking up, she reached for her husband, but her hands landed on the cold satin sheets. He must have snuck off right after my little blue pills kicked in, she thought. One pill calmed her down; two pills knocked her out. Last night, she had needed two.
She could hear the aquarium bubbling behind her and the fan whirring overhead, but nothing else. Must have been part of the dream, she thought, sitting up and rearranging the wall of pink ruffled pillows behind her back. The Piranhas, alerted by her movements, raced around the aquarium in a frenzied school.
Big Jim had bought the “custom built” headboard for their wedding anniversary. The way he had carried on about his “spectacular” gift had made her think he was going to give her a new diamond or maybe a fine strand of pearls. He was, after all, the so-called “Cattle King.” And wasn’t she — “Bobby Jean the homecoming queen”. It had seemed reasonable to expect something nice. Instead, he had blindfolded her, carried her into their bedroom, and dropped her on the bed. For a moment, she had thought he wanted to fool around, but he had only positioned her before removing her blindfold. As her vision cleared, she had seen nine sets of pointy piranha teeth. Vaulting from the bed, she had run out of the room. That had been three weeks ago, and every night since, she had closed her eyes to the sound of piranha thumping the glass above her head.
Nauseated, she reached for her saltines. Nibbling on a cracker, she thought about her husband. He had no trouble “adding to his story” as they say in the L.L.S. (Living Life Sober) meetings. Big Jim had enough first-day-sober tokens to make himself a belt. In his latest “spectacular” thriller, he had driven his new truck into a canal. And it would have stayed there had Deputy Wayne Ryder not stopped to pee. At the moment of discovery, Deputy Ryder had been “trying to pee on a turtle’s back” (according to his police report) when he had seen the bright red truck in the water below. Stopping “midstream,” he had run back to his motorcycle to call it in before “heroically” diving into the canal. Deputy Ryder had not found anybody to rescue. Divers had been called to the scene and after searching for three days, they had found nothing, but a couple of old tires.
The truck had been a mangled mess. Most people thought Big Jim Walker was dead and his body had been taken by a big gator. Not Bobby Jean, she had known all along that the only thing dead on her husband was his pickled brain.