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Today's Story by Caitlin Myer

Another tiny miracle happened: he looked at my cleavage. And blushed.

Serialization Sunday – Hoodoo: Chapter 7

Every Sunday, Fiction365 presents a new chapter in a previously unpublished novel.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 7

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

This was a thing I used to do: pray for all I was worth, and then open the scriptures to a random page. I’d close my eyes and drop my finger on the page, and read what the Father had to say to me. That’s what I did the night after I found out Dr. Bob was already married, and my finger landed on Proverbs, chapter 3, verses 5 and 6.

Okay, that wasn’t the first scripture I came to, but I didn’t get the first one right away. It was Judges, chapter 6, verse 27:

Blessed above women shall Ja-el the wife of He-ber the Ke-nite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.

She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sis-e-ra, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

Well, and what was I supposed to make of that? This chick killed some guy with a nail and she was blessed above women? Was I supposed to kill Dr. Bob? So I closed my eyes and tried again, and that’s when I found the Proverbs chapter. And it started to make sense. If God made all the rules, well, He can change them if He wants to, right? Thou shalt not kill comes before Thou shalt not commit adultery, but Jael was blessed above women for chopping off Sisera’s head. I should trust in the Lord, like Abraham did when God told him to kill his own son. He was ready to do it, if God hadn’t saved him in the end. So I had to be ready to do whatever God told me to do. And he had told me to marry Dr. Bob. I wouldn’t lean unto my own understanding – how was I to know God’s plan? I just had to have faith, and He would direct my path.

It helped that every time I saw my Bobby, my teeth chattered with pure want. I could almost feel his lips on mine, the little hairs on the back of my neck standing up at his touch. Maybe Randall Warner was all part of the plan. I didn’t want to assume too much, but one way you could look at it is that Randall taught me about grown-up love. And if these thoughts were about my rightful husband, maybe they weren’t sinful, were they?

Lying in my bed at night, the covers up to my neck, my eyes closed, I would picture Dr. Bob in his office; closing the door gently behind me, he would take my face in his hands, looking deep into my eyes, telling me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me, and then, his face coming closer, he’d kiss me softly…my hands crept over my body under the covers while I pictured him kissing me, holding me, my hands on my breasts while he tenderly strokes my hair, my hand between my legs while Bobby goes down on one knee, opening a black velvet box, my fingers wet as Bobby asks me to marry him and when I say Yes, struck through with a lightning bolt, the power of the Holy Ghost saying Yes, yes, my voice whispering out loud to the dark, Yes, Bobby, oh yes.


Madame Lake’s dance school was putting on a production of the Nutcracker that year. The Wasatch Ballet company was going to loan us dancers for the parts of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and I got the Arabian Dance solo.

This would be my first performance on pointe, so now after regular class with the Big Girls, I got to go to pointe class for an extra half hour, and then rehearsal. Between classes I had time to run down the street to Carson’s Market for a candy bar. One September night, I caught my reflection in the store windows on the way there; levis pulled on over my tights, nothing over my leotard though the chill brought out goose bumps all along my bare arms, hair up; I liked the dancer me. I grinned at myself and jetéed across the parking lot.

At the market, studying the candy bar selection, the voice from my fantasies sidled up behind me.


It was him, it was Dr. Bob, outside school, shopping cart in hand. He looked strange to me, away from the halls at Laban, like he wasn’t supposed to be here. But there he was, almost too big for the tiny aisle, cart full of Froot Loops and Wonder Bread and Stay-Free maxis. I couldn’t believe he was buying maxi pads. I would never let anyone by me maxi pads, except maybe Mom.

“What are you up to, kiddo?”

“Break from dance class. We’re doing the Nutcracker. At Christmas, I mean. You know, it’s just rehearsals now.”

I shut my mouth fast, my idiotic voice echoing in my head. I wanted like anything to get away from that cart, but then another tiny miracle happened: he looked at my cleavage. And blushed.

This deep red washed right over his face, from up under his white hair all the way down his neck, right into his shirt collar, and he cleared his throat, and stammered something about not working too hard, and he was gone, escaped with that cart full of his other life.

That blush was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I looked down at my chest, all slick with sweat, and was glad those bumps had grown so fast.

That Arabian Dance music got right up inside me at rehearsal, even Madame Lake couldn’t do anything but stare. I got to break all sorts of ballet rules in that dance, like the rule that says you have to dance like you’re wearing a corset – in the Arabian Dance I could move my hips in lazy circles and roll my shoulders as I sank slowly into the splits. Maybe I’d slipped into some ancestral stream, snaking my arms just like my great-great-grandmother in Arabia dancing for her Sheikh. He watches her and smiles, showing an even row of my father’s white teeth. That music sneaked into me, crawling under my ribs the way Bobby did, and I was dancing it for him. My costume was going to be a flesh-colored leotard and tights under sheer harem pants and a sequin-covered vest, but for Bobby my belly was bare, my naked legs just visible through the fabric; I danced with a jewel in my bellybutton while he watched and wanted me.


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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