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A Certain Cure for Insomnia

I have a lot of hobbies; sewing, writing, and trapeze are just a few. When you do something for fun, it can take you anywhere.  Your heart pounds, your adrenaline flows and joy courses through your veins. That drug that courses through ones veins can sometimes make everything seem like a masterpiece. For instance, my early chapters of the Inertia Chronicles. My only direction was that it was going to be about  a girl who was always running from the real root of her problems, meanwhile blessed with a "superpower" to bring peace and happiness to others.

Here's a sampling of the first few pages which I thought were sheer "genious," yes, I know it's spelled wrong. They may or may not be making it into book 3 or 4 after rigorous editing.


     When Inertia got home she was anxious to tell her husband what had happened at the store.  Ever since she and Sasha moved to the sleepy New England town, she had been amused and equally horrified by the quirky behavior of the locals.
      Sasha Findlay was a very deliberate man.  He liked order and reason in his life and he fought many battles both emotional and physical to maintain control over every aspect of the world as he knew it.  He had no room in his environment for chaos. Distracted by the endless amount of dirty money that was in need of swift laundering, Sasha armed himself with Tarnex and Mr. Metal every Saturday morning for the weekly battle against microbes.  He had expressed his concern to Inertia that she only use their check card when she made transactions but that didn’t stop her from needing coins for the parking meter and several Mom and Pop businesses that ran on a cash in cash out basis.  Because Sasha was greatly in love with his wife he allowed the money into the house.  However, it did not stop him from complaining. 
      Sasha put on his chemical gloves, poured a clear glass bowl full of Tarnex and dropped the pennies in one at a time when Inertia burst into the house.  He was starting with the smaller currency first and working his way up to the nickels and dimes. He used an old T-shirt as a rag to clean the nickels dimes and quarters with Mr. Metal.
      “I don’t have time for this now Inertia.  Can’t you see that I am cleaning the money?  I have to finish by Noon so that when I take a shower I will have time for my hair and beard to dry before I wash the dog.  I don’t know how I am going to get everything finished with that shedding and slobbering thing around. I mean he licks his private parts, Inertia. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times, if he is going to live in this house he needs to be washed in the morning and night or else he has to be kept outside.”  Sasha was slightly annoyed by their hundred pound Labrador retriever.  Sasha was a devout animal lover but felt that they had no place in his controlled environment, particularly dogs. Inertia couldn’t resist the sorrowful eyes and affection starved dog she had found off of the highway abandoned by its owners. 
      “Sasha, you don’t understand.  I was just in the Curiosity shop down the road looking around.  Uh, you won’t believe the stuff they have in there.  Moose heads, stuffed squirrels, pictures I guess of the owner holding up his kill.  It was a little deer with its spots still on, totally awful.  I can’t believe this is the kind of place we moved to.” Inertia watched Sasha wash his chemical gloves as he reluctantly stopped his obsessive cleaning while he became mildly interested in what Inertia was so excited about.
      “I felt really guilty for being in there, Sasha.  It was like I could feel that I was loosing Karma points or something.  Anyway, I kept looking around there were animal bones and rabbit carcasses that were packaged for bait.  Bait for what? What is that all about? And where was everyone?  I started to leave and got a sense that someone was watching me so I froze.  Then I felt so sick.  Sick in my stomach like I needed to throw up and my heart started to palpitate and then I felt so hot a tired.  I took off my coat and the next thing I knew a scary skinny old woman was staring at me asking me what size bra I was wearing. I was totally naked and she was trying to help me put my clothes back on. She said that she wished her breasts could still be as perky as mine and She hoped that I didn’t mind but she had felt them while I was asleep.”
      “Inertia, Inertia, INERTIA!!!” Sasha was in mild hysterics as he heard what she had just been through.  “We’ve got to get you to the hospital and have you checked out.  Are you in any pain?  Maybe you should take off your clothes and let me check you for marks.”  Sasha led Inertia into their bedroom.  He drew the blinds and went into the other room.
      “What’s all the banging Sasha?  What are you doing?” Asked Inertia.
      “I’m getting the digital camera we should be keeping daily body logs and we should be keeping journals.”  Sasha and Inertia both worried obsessively about their health.  If they developed new freckles, or pimples, they were convinced that they were dying.  Sasha often mentioned keeping daily body logs but Inertia was not into the idea. “There’s not going to be time to wipe the lens off properly so I’ll just have to use it the way it is.” Yelled Sasha as he came into the room.
      Inertia scoffed and told Sasha that she didn’t think anything was wrong.  She vaguely remembered taking off her coat and maybe she had just started to undress because she was so hot. “I really think that I’m fine, Sasha.”
      “You can’t be fine, Inertia.  You passed out.  People don’t just pass out in curiosity shops and end up naked with an old woman fondling their breasts!”  Sasha was sweating and as he tried to put the camera to his face the lens was fogging up.  “I have to go get the fan to cool off before we take your pictures.”
      “It’s freezing cold in here and I’m naked” she complained and moaned.
     “It’ll only be a minute. Uh, sweaty…” Sasha wiped his brow with the bottom of his T-shirt then he pulled it off his wet skin right side out folded it then placed it in the hamper. He put the fan in front of their bed a sat on the bed and let the fan blow on his face. “Will you get me something to drink?” he asked Inertia.
     “I’m naked! Can’t you get something?”
   “How am I supposed to walk down the stairs go into the kitchen, and then walk all of the way backup here without breaking a sweat?” he asked.
    “You can cool off in front of the open refrigerator door while you get your drink.”
   As she curled up under the covers shivering, she struggled to remember anything else about the moment before she passed out.  The smell.  What was that smell.  It was as if the smell was stuck in her nostrils but she was unable to identify it.  She remembered smelling this burnt smell before.  What was the burnt smell?  As she thought about it she looked over at a picture on her nightstand.  Sasha had framed a picture of Inertia beside a gingerbread house made to resemble the house they lived in the first year they were married.  She remembered, the smell was burning sugar!
***
    The day Inertia made the gingerbread house she had accidentally left the colored sugar, in their plastic containers on the flat burner stove.  The stove had just been delivered just before she began construction of the gingerbread house and she wasn’t used to the fact that the flat surface got hot so quickly.  She was using the stovetop as an extra workspace.  During the finishing touches, Inertia heated a can of soup and forgot that the burner was still hot.  She put the pot the soup was in, in the sink and quickly slurped up the soup, then went back to working diligently on the last of the details on the gingerbread house.
     She lined up the chocolate sprinkles, the red sparkles and the red-hots on the stove.  She turned her attention to the royal icing that she was trying to keep creamy and room temperature.  She squeezed out a dollop of icing on the gingerbread house and then she turned around to the stove to get some red sprinkles. The bottom of the plastic container stuck to the stove and all of the sugary red sparkles were instantly melting on the stove.  The burner, where the soup had been heated, hadn’t had a chance to cool.  Inertia was faced with one of the biggest kitchen messes she had made since trying to heat a cup of hot cocoa directly on the burner, but that was when she was 13.
     The smell of bitter, sweet goo and plastic filled the air.  The heat from the smoke filled Inertia’s nostrils and then quickly spread to her lungs.  She opened a window and the back door to let the smell out.  What was this doing to her body? She thought as she tried her best not to breathe anymore of the fumes in.  Surely this would make her bald or sterile.  How was she going to clean up the mess and how was she going to get back into the house without a gas mask.
     She held her hand over her face and walked back into the house and into the kitchen.  She put her hand on the burner and felt that it was Ok to touch.  She grabbed a plastic spatula from her utility drawer and started scraping the melted mass that had congealed on the burner.  As she scraped, and chipped the mess she remembered instructions for making the gingerbread house windows.  Pour sugar into a pan and melt it.  That’s what she had done on the stove only with an added dose of plastic.
     The smell was still enough to choke Inertia as she put the force of her entire body into the scraping.  She tried to take in very small short breaths so she wouldn’t damage her respiratory system with the vile blue smoke that was rising from the burner. 
      Sasha was going to be angry with her for the destruction she had done to their brand new range. He was supposed to be home any minute. She discovered that the mess would be easier to remove if she turned the burner on just enough to melt the sugar and plastic mixture. She turned the stove knob to 2 and walked to the pantry for something to eat.
     She looked around and thought about what she wanted to snack on.  She saw the rice cakes and she was sick of eating those, she saw fat free Fig Newtons, but after smelling burnt sugar for the past hour she decided that the low fat baked potato chips would be best.  As she struggled to open the bag she heard the rumble of Ivan barreling down the stairs.  Ivan was their dog.  Sasha had named him Ivan because he thought it was a terrible idea that they should take on the responsibility of a dog when they were such a burden to clean up after.  So Ivan the Terrible was heading straight for the kitchen as she finally burst through the metallic bag of chips.
     Sasha didn’t believe that the dog should live in the house.  While Sasha was at work, Inertia let Ivan stay in the house.  She never forgot to put the dog outside before Sasha got home.  Inertia walked from the kitchen to the dining room and back to the kitchen pacing as she munched the chips out of the bag. When she stopped the dog would bump into her backside as he waited in hopes that Inertia would drop just one morsel of food.  Inertia and Ivan had an arrangement.  What ever she dropped on the floor he could eat.  He was actually pretty good.  In fact, Inertia thought that the dog sometimes did a better job of cleaning the floor than Sasha.
     Inertia walked through the dining room to the hallway and started for the stairs when she dropped a giant chip in the stairs.  Just as she bent down, without thinking that Ivan would want the chip, he came barging through the dining room and up the stairs.  At the moment that Inertia bent over for the chip, Ivan lunged for it and the bone at the top of his head smacked against Inertia’s forehead, right between her eyes. She fell down the stairs and rolled unconscious to the floor at the bottom of the stairs in front of their front door.  The dog licked his lips and went back upstairs to finish his nap on the bed in Sasha and Inertia’s spare bedroom. 
     Inertia was out cold on the floor.  A red mark on her forehead the size of a quarter was beginning to turn redder and from the kitchen the smell of acrid burnt plastic and sugar were once again soaking the air. As the smoke filled the house, Inertia remained motionless on the floor.  The smoke reached the smoke detector on the other side of the kitchen and started to sound off.  The dog began whining and barking at the piercing sound of the smoke detector. Inertia still was motionless, as she was barely breathing through all of the commotion and smoke.  The noise could be heard all over the neighborhood.  The old man that lived next to the Findlays pulled his curtain back to see what was going on. 
***
     Oliver Moses didn’t know the Findlays.  He had met Inertia when their dog ran away as a puppy.  Inertia had knocked on Oliver’s door to see if they had seen Ivan sneak out of the backyard while she was at the store. Oliver considered Inertia and Sasha to be odd.  They had no children, no friends visiting and he never saw them leave the house for Church on Sunday.  Oliver thought Inertia was a witch.  She always wore black and he only saw her leave at night. He thought Sasha was a hippie.  He also couldn’t understand where the Findlays got their money.  Surely they didn’t have normal jobs because they never left at the same time everyday.  Oliver could only imagine that they were selling drugs to the school children that played on the soccer field near by.  So, when he heard the commotion coming from their house he went to the phone to call the police immediately. He just knew that the young woman and grizzly Adams looking man were using the suburban Dutch colonial house for manufacturing cocaine, heroine or some other bane of society that he heard about from the 700 club.
     “Richmond City police. How can we help you?” 
     “I want to report a disturbance.” Oliver said as he continued to stare at the house being careful not to be seen by the witch he thought lived inside.
     “What’s the disturbance?” asked the stoic voice on the other line.
     “That crazy lady that lives in the house next to me is free basing cocaine!” Oliver shouted into the telephone.  He was going to show those sinners next door that he was tired of druggies ruining the neighborhood and endangering his community.
     “What’s your address, sir?” asked the dispatcher.
     “I live on Sherwood Avenue on the north side of the city.  I live by myself and fear for my safety.”
     “What is your address, sir?” repeated the dispatcher.
    “I just told you that it’s Sherwood Avenue.  I don’t want to give you my specific address in case those crazies come after me.  Now, are you going to arrest them or not?”  Oliver was getting fired up.  In all of his 75 years he had never had so much trouble communicating with the authorities.  It surely wasn’t because he had lost any brain cells in the hospital this past spring.  He was down and out for 28 days.  Sure, he had some pretty wild dreams while he was hooked up to the ventilator but now he was “Healthy as a horse” as his doctor said.  Oliver knew when bad things were happening next door and he wasn’t about to let the unconcerned voice at the end of the phone stop him from enforcing justice.
      “Sir, where is the disturbance?” asked the dispatcher.
      “1311 Sherwood Avenue” said Oliver.
      “What is the nature of the disturbance?”
      “Drugs.”
      “What kind of drugs do you see?”
      “I don’t see any drugs.”
      “Then how do you know there is a drug disturbance?”
     "There are alarms going off and smoke coming from the back door.  Their attack dog is barking and I am afraid that he is going to get loose and eat my cat.” Oliver feared that Heathcliff, his cat, would meet his maker at the hands of the Findlay’s dog because every time Heathcliff was out Ivan would viciously bark.
     “We will send someone out, sir.” Said the dispatcher.  “Would you be able to be there to talk to an officer in the case that they need a witness?”
     “Would you be willing to give me witness protection?” asked Oliver.
     “Do you really think that is necessary, sir?”
    “Absolutely.” Then he hung up and waited to hear the sirens from the fleet of police vehicles he was anticipating.
***
     As he drove home from work, Sasha was thinking about the holidays.  He was excited about having an old fashioned family Christmas.  He was in love for the first time in his life and just couldn’t wait to get home and kiss his bride on the lips. They were just married a few months ago and he was still getting to know Inertia.  He loved that there was never a dull moment in their relationship, but he hated the feeling of what was going to happen when he got home.  Inertia had a way of making mountains out of molehills and sometimes at the end of a long day Sasha would hear the wildest tales.  He sometimes wondered how much embellishment Inertia added to her stories.  He knew she was very truthful but some of the things she told him were quite unbelievable.
      He drove by the gas station and looked at the fuel gauge on his car and decided that he should fill up his tank.  He hated leaving for work in the mornings and not having enough gas to get there.  He was not a morning person, so whatever he could do to make the mornings easier he would.  He wanted to get home as fast as possible to Inertia, but he didn’t want anything distracting his time from her.
     Sasha pulled beside the Premium gas pump, opened his glove compartment, and pulled out a brand new pair of rubber gloves and a dust mask.  He put on the gloves and mask, got out of the car and started pumping his gas.  From the station he could see his street and noticed that there was a cloud of black smoke lingering in the direction of his house.  He was sure that it was nothing and continued to fill his gas tank.  When the sensor stopped the fuel from filling the tank, Sasha carefully pulled the nozzle out of the car and tapped the nozzle on the side of the gas tank to be sure not to drop any petrol on the ground.  He removed his gloves and wrapped them in a plastic bag and put it in the trunk and then he removed his mask and stuck it back in the glove compartment.  He paid the gas jockey and was ready to get home.
     As Sasha drove down his street he could clearly see that his house was on fire.  He floored the accelerator and raced to his house as fast as his 4 cylinder Volkswagen Scirocco could get him there.  His heart was racing as he saw the endless amount of smoke billowing from every crack in the insulation of the house.  Sasha had been lamenting all spring about the fact that he needed to test the house for leaks in the insulation.  He new that their house wasn’t being heated efficiently.
     The tires screeched as he parked the car.  He took out his key out of the ignition, put the gearshift in neutral and ran to the front door.  He unlocked the door and saw Inertia racing to the back of the house with the dog.   Sasha took off his linen shirt and held it over his mouth as he burst into the kitchen.  He could see only smoke and no flames, which he thought was a good sign.  He opened the pantry door and grabbed the fire extinguisher.  He tried to read the instructions through the black fog in the kitchen, but there was no time.  He pulled out the pin and squeezed the trigger.
     After covering the brand new stove that was just delivered when Sasha left early that morning, He was now staring at a white powdery mass. 
     “INERTIA!”  Sasha yelled through the kitchen to the back yard.  Inertia was playing tug of war with the dog in order to tie him outside.
     “Sasha, your home!” Inertia said as if nothing was going on.  She walked to the back door, climbed the three small stairs to get into the house and kissed Sasha on the lips in a girlish kind of way then propped the back door open with their plaster garden gnome.
     “What are you… What… Are you…” Sasha was speechless.  He didn’t know where to begin the investigation of what had gone on while he was at work.  He surmised by the stench in the air that something Inertia was making in the kitchen had caught on fire and had destroyed their brand new stove.  He took his finger nail and scrapped delicately some of the white stuff that the fire extinguisher left on the stove.  It seemed as though he could clean that off, but what was the black tar like substance on the front right burner?
     "Inertia, Was there a fire here today?” He asked.  Counting to ten silently in his head as not to disturb Inertia’s flighty temperament.
      “No.  The stove malfunctioned while I was eating some potato chips.”  She quipped.
      “What is on the stove?” he asked.
      “That white stuff?  That wasn’t there when I was in the yard.”  She was getting a little defensive.

TO BE CONT'd (Maybe)

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