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Today's Story by Caitlin Myer

A blush filled his face, deep red. “Oh, God. Can you ever forgive me?”

Serialization Sunday – Hoodoo: Chapter 11

Every Sunday, Fiction365 presents a new chapter in a previously unpublished novel.  Our first serialized novel, the taut thriller City of Human Remains, can be found in full here

Our current novel, Hoodoo, tells a story of visionaries, heretics and lunatics in Utah, centered on the life of Alice Lott, a twelve-year-old girl  who believes that God wants her to have an affair with her junior high school counselor. 

Find earlier chapters in Hoodoo here.

Chapter 11

Bobby wanted me. He almost kissed me. Weeble eve, weeble eve, weeble eve in Bobby, in visions, revelation, prophecy, the gift of tongues, and so forth. Weeble eve in miracles. The Lord finally talked to him and he heard. I moved through the sea of kids at Laban like Moses toward the Promised Land, the waters parting before me. Later – the next day maybe – I would see the looks on their faces as I walked by, later I would feel them shrinking away, would know that the love that washed over me onstage was fear up close. I was more strange than ever before. But then all I knew was Bobby speaking in my veins, my blood pushing out through my skin, just held in by the barest layer of cells, rolling and pulsing in my cheeks, between my legs, my nipples hard and chafing in my bra.

It finally broke through in Physical Science. The page was blurring in front of me, black letters bunching up into strange shapes, meaningless, random, splitting and joining, marrying and giving birth, and I thought I would have silk crocheted lace on my wedding dress, the words now tiny flowers, ivory rather than plain white, a high neck, and puffed sleeves, and I was startled to hear a soft splat. My eyes focused on a bright splotch of red, shining on the page, then another, pop, right beside it, they were coming fast and I looked up at Mr. Wright, a hand moving to my nose.

“Oh, good heavens, Alice. Get yourself to the nurse this minute.”

The nurse’s office was right next door to Dr. Bob’s. The Lord’s hand was heavy on my shoulder, the blood spilling through my fingers as I sped to Bobby’s office, seeing his arms wide to take me in and hold me, mine for eternity.

I rushed open the door without knocking to see him visibly jump, he started up from his seat toward me, I closed the door behind me, but he stopped, his hands halfway raised, his breath stopped, held in his chest.

He blinked, eyes coming wide open like a ball was about to hit him in the face. I felt a heavy drop of blood slide over my lips and onto my chin. He blinked again, coming unstuck, and then he was close in front of me.

“You’re bleeding.”

His fingers, rough and blunt, came gentle against my face, thumb brushing across my lips, blood jumping to his hand running fast toward his wrist.

We shuddered, together.

All I could see was his mouth, his breath on me. I lifted a bare inch to my toes and pushed my lips against his.

He tried to pull back, hands against my shoulders, breath shrieking in around my mouth. I felt him shiver, a wave coming up from his stomach, or lower, and he pushed his mouth back into mine, his arms coming around me. We were kissing, hard and hungry, blood and spit and teeth clacking against each other, he was holding me against him and kissing me, my arms around him now and I remember thinking how big he felt, not fat, just more than I expected, I opened my eyes and saw his hair where it grew out of his scalp, his skin up close and closed them again and he bumped against the desk and we kissed and kissed until we finally had to break long enough to suck in a breath and then we were right back at it until our lips were raw and we were hanging onto each other, me resting my forehead against his shoulder, my head buzzing.

“Oh, oh. Oh, hell,” said Bob, a moan quietly turning into words, “How…how old are you?”


A blush filled his face, deep red.

“Oh, God. Can you ever forgive me?”

I didn’t know if he was asking me, or God.


The rest of that day I felt like my lips, all swollen and red, were shining like Rudolph’s nose, and anybody with half a brain would notice and tell the whole world. I covered my mouth with my hand as much as I could and not look too weird, like anyone would have noticed. Even JimDad, who showed up to take me to dance class—too snowy to ride my bike—even he was checking out something else while I was walking toward the car. He’d leaned over to open the door for me from the inside, and while I was buckling up, I could feel him looking at me, and I braced for it, knowing I was too late to cover my mouth.

“Are you limping, honey?”

Limping? I hadn’t noticed it. Did kissing that much make you walk funny? Now that he mentioned it, though:

“Huh. I guess the back of my ankle is kinda sore.”

Dad didn’t even slow down much, just flipped a U-ey in the middle of the street and started heading away from downtown.

“I gotta go to dance class…”

“You can miss one class, sweetie, I’m taking you to the doctor.”

Doctor Bob? I couldn’t help thinking.

“But…it’s not really anything, I’m just sore.”

He flashed his big old grin at me.

“I sure hope so, kiddo.”

He took me to a doctor he did business with, and I got in to see him right away. JimDad hung around the whole time, fussing and hovering until Dr. Wilcox made him sit down.

“Your daughter has tendonitis, an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, in both ankles. It’s worse in the right. The usual prescription is rest.”

“But I can’t rest, I have performances this weekend…Dad?”

“Doc, you know this kid has a very special gift. I want us to do everything we can to make sure she can keep dancing.”

That shut me up, and I looked at Dad with big eyes. I guess I didn’t know he’d noticed. The whole family had come to opening night, though.

The doctor nodded at me.

“I’ve heard about you, Alice.”

Dad made a big You-see-the-problem gesture. Doc gave him a prescription for what I think was Tylenol more or less, told me to ice, take it easy if I could, make sure I stretched really well before and after class, be really careful, blah blah blah.

What did I have to worry about? Heavenly Father had picked me for something big, I was sure of it. He wouldn’t let a dumb ankle thing get in the way.


Founder of the Portuguese Artists Colony in San Francisco, Caitlin Myer regularly reads her work at Why There Are Words, Quiet Lightning, and other established reading salons in California.  Her one woman show on Simone de Beauvoir was produced in Seattle. 

Read more stories by Caitlin Myer


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