This week’s Teaser Tuesday is from Andrew Daley’s novel Tell Your Sister. Andrew Daley is the editor of Taddle Creek Magazine in Toronto. His work has appeared in several magazines including Kiss Machine. Tell Your Sister is his first novel.
Another Friday night. Dean was on the prowl again. he had his song of the day, “Heat of the Moment,” cued up on his Pioneer tape deck. When it was over, he’d hit Rewind and hear it again. From the Fina station by the Brewer’s Retail, past the banks and darkened stores downtown, the empty benches in Cenotaph Square, then down the hill to the Hungry Bear truck stop on the highway. It took three minutes, five if you caught the single red light, to get from one end of Main Street to another. In that time you could hear two songs, or the same song twice.
There wasn’t anything to do or anyone to see. There was only to drive. Dean’s red and white Celica Supra, still the only Toyota in town, had been a seventeenth-birthday present from his father. The cassette deck he’d paid for himself working weekends at Higham Realty or at the rental depot. He and Aaron had installed it back when they still did things together that didn’t involve Susan…
There were two parties that night, either of which, Susan had assured him, Helen might attend. On a street of two-story semis in the new Deerfields subdivision, the trees on the lawns were spindly saplings wired to the earth. There were a few cars in front of one house, and a lot of lights on. But it was too early to make an appearance so Dean screeched away.
The other party was downtown on Meeting Street. Dean parked in front of a many-gabled Victorian surrounded by ancient maple and oak trees, the kind of house he wished his father had bought when they moved into town. Many of the old Millward families lived in this neighbourhood, and they stood on their verandas as he walked along the sidewalk.
No. 19 was a renovated stone cottage. A plaque near the doorbell gave the name of the apothecary who’d had it constructed over a century ago. Motley Crue pumped into the street. Dean only knew the girl who had invited him vaguely. Peggy something. Feeney. She was Susan’s age, in the twelfth grade, though in Dean’s chemistry class.
In a messy living room, long haired guys in leather jackets stood in a knot by the stereo. Dean felt his body tense. Not his crowd. An older crowd of rockers, including Aaron’s house mate Kevin Muckley, were doing tequila shots at the kitchen table. The room had the sweet, charred tinge of hashish. Drugs might make the evening more interesting, except he wasn’t getting involved with those guys. He noticed his hostess was passed out in a chair. With the neighbours already restless, this was going to end badly.
“Can I help you with something, Professor?” one of the guys at the table asked.
“He’s all right,” Kevin Muckley said. His eyes met Dean’s in recognition.
“I’m fine,” Dean said. He heard laughter, and was called a preppy as he passed by,
Most of the party was in the wet backyard, where there was no sign of Helen or any of her friends. Iron Maiden had replaced Motley Crue, advising him to run for the hills. He’d gladly flee town a virgin, anything just to get away.
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