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Today's Story by Caitlin Myer

I knew, I knew the Lord was working in him.

Serialization Sunday – Hoodoo: Chapter 9

Every Sunday, Fiction365 presents a new chapter in a previously unpublished novel.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 9

I’m creeping up, now, on what happened. Half because I don’t want to remember what came of it all, and half because I want time to walk through those days and look around. I want to remember just how our big yellow house at the top of the hill smelled when Mom was cooking, cinnamon and onions and sugar burned and crackling in the pan, how the fall air hit me edge-on when I rode my bike down Center. How my heart turned full and soft as a ripe tomato whenever I came near Dr. Bob; how I couldn’t help thinking, as I breathed in, This is the air Bobby breathed, and it felt warm and rich in my lungs.

I thought Dr. Bob had wiped the memory of our meeting in Carson’s Market right out of his head. He sure never brought it up, and for a while he seemed sort of distant, but I had faith that everything would work out, and I kept finding reasons to see him. I sat in his office and told him about the day we talked about genealogy at Sunday school, and we were going around the room saying where our ancestors were from and then everyone looked at me. I knew for sure they weren’t thinking about my Mom’s ancestors. So I told him how I made something up about a grandfather who was a sheikh and buddies with Laurence of Arabia and Dr. Bob leveled those cool gray eyes at me and I knew he got it. I could say more to Dr. Bob in fifty minutes than I would the whole rest of the week, and he took it all in and never judged. I told him all my secrets except the one that mattered most.

Now everybody knows that faith without works is dead, and I figured I should do whatever I could to help things along some. It was clear that he had to see me doing that Arabian Dance.

So I brought a flyer to his office one day.

“Hi Alice.”

Dr. Bob was writing something down at his desk. The desk was up against the wall so that when a student came in to see him, he could just spin around in his chair to talk without facing a student down across a big old desk. So he had his back to me when I came in waving the flyer, and he held up one finger saying he’d be just a sec, he was almost finished. I laid the flyer down on a clean corner of his desk just as he was reaching for a folder, then, and his hand brushed against mine.

The Tabernacle Choir could take off their robes and quit right then, the singing in my ears was the purest Celestial music ever heard on earth. I swear my hair went from curly to afro, and Dr. Bob, bless him, blushed again, his eyes still on his work but I could feel the heat coming off his body. I was frozen in place, my hand hovering over the flyer, Dr. Bob’s blush fading, he found what he was reaching for and finished writing, just a second’s hesitation, but I knew, I knew the Lord was working in him.

“Sorry, Alice, I didn’t know you were right there.”

I made my hand point at the flyer.

“My dance school is putting on the Nutcracker this Christmas, and I really want you to come and see it, and I’m doing a solo, and it’s really going to be good, and we’re getting an orchestra from Lemuel High, and our Sugar Plum Fairy is from Wasatch Ballet and everything, do you think you can come?”

He reached for the flyer, slowly this time, and lifted it up with a flourish to take a look while I stumbled back to the student chair.

“You’re dancing a solo, huh?”

I opened my mouth, then closed it, and nodded.

“Well, then, I guess I’ll have to come see it, won’t I?”

I grinned, nodding like a retard.

“My daughter will love it,” he said, wheeling his chair over to tape the flyer on the wall above his desk.

I spent a minute mashing my lips together to try and hold back the tears that were just dying to jump right out of my eyes.

I almost asked if his wife was coming too, I might as well know, but something stopped those words right in my mouth.


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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