Just thought I’d post a chapter from my next novel, tentitively titled “Jaguar”, it’s a lesbian love story. Expect mistakes, this is unedited. 🙂
Any feedback would be great.
The stove alarm was going off, again. Her mom always tried to get her to learn how to make grandma’s banana bread, but it never seemed to work no matter how hard she pushed her. It never was as moist, with that deep, rich banana and walnut flavour, probably because she would always blacken the cake before getting a chance to eat it.
Jane’s Blackberry was her very favorite thing in the world. Not only could she keep track of all of her friends and family, but her BBM was full of all the top fashionistas and models in town. A secret little clique of chic kids, trippers, scenesters, dope fiends, tricks, queers and freaks. And her grandma. The way it feels in her hand, soft, curvy, strong, the way chain could feel if made from silk. Jane’s skipping through photos of some new fabric her friend posted on Pinterest when a beep or a boop lets her know that she’s got mail. A click or a clack on the keys brings her to the mail screen.
From: Kingboys Fashion Haus
Re: Unsolicited query
We have received your unfortunate unsolicited query, and we are happy to inform you that we’re putting you on our blacklist. Under “Submission guidelines” what part of “No unsolicited queries” do you not understand?
Don’t quit your day job.
Manfred Victor Kingsley
Owch. Jane feels the wooden framed chair dig into her as her world gets a little heavier on shoulders. She’s been working for free doing the most outrageous design work for the last three years, and still she’s gone completely unrecognized. Just what the fuck does she have to do to get anywhere in this city? Girls like Devon Dubois move to Yaletown, waitress for a few years to find the richest guy she could, then dole out million dollar marketing campaigns for designs that are just recycled from the late 80ies! Nothing she did was original or even of her own craftsmanship!
Sulking back in her chair, Jane’s eyes fall back to the signature on the rejection letter. Manfred Victor Kingsley, the most powerful man in fashion today, and he just dismissed her like she’s first year design trash. At least he’s seen her name now. It won’t be the last time, Jane promises to herself.
Jane jumps to her feet, the chair falling over and crashing to the floor as smoke billows out of the oven to quickly fill the kitchen. Rushing to open the window first, a dirty saucepan is grabbed from the sink, filled with water, and held for fire extinguishing duties. Last time this happened, the cake burst into flames from fresh oxygen let in when she opened the door, scorching her face and hair into what would become her signature look. A ‘Kiss the cook’ oven mitt and apron sit on the counter beside her, she’s never wanted to wear an apron, it feels so limiting. Jane slips her hand into the mitt and prepares to battle the inferno inside. Whipping the door open, the oven belches out smoke as the banana bread takes a breath to puff into open flames. Jane throws the water into the oven, hitting elements, cake, and herself with splashes of the dirty sugar stew she just made.
Steam hisses and pops in the bottom of the oven while the failed fruit loaf puffs a sweet smoke from its volcano top. Water pours out of the bottom of the oven leaving speckled black dots of ash all over the kitchen floor. Another cake ruined. Jane sighs when she notices her plain white button up looks more firefighter chic than she’d like. Her Blackberry jingles from the kitchen table. It’s mom. Jane cringes with the knowledge that she’s supposed to be at family dinner in an hour, with a cake, dressed nice. The smoke detector goes off.
Jane runs to her bedroom room, grabbing a towel from the floor, and running back to fan smoke away from the shrieking alarm.
Knock knock. Knock knock knock. The basement suite Jane lives in has a locked door to the upstairs, just off the kitchen.
“Jane, you ok?” the familiar voice of her landlord’s teenage son.
“Yeah,I’m fine! Just burn some toast!” Jane calls back through the door.
“Jane, I can smell the smoke through the door, it smells pretty serious,” the twerpy kid says through the door. Jane can swear he tried peeping in her window a few nights back.
“No, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it, it’s allllll under control!” Jane yells back, simultaneously fanning the alarm with her arms and a towel while swooshing a dishcloth around the kitchen floor with her foot. After a few seconds the alarm quiets down, frustrated arms toss the towel in the sink. She makes a little pile of black flakes, thanking soccer practice for giving her good leg control, and bends over to pick them up with a paper towel. “Shit! What am I doing?” Jane whispers to herself. Only 55 minutes to get to mom’s, if she’s late she’ll never hear the end of it. With a toss, the paper towel lands in the garbage bag propped up against the cupboards under the sink. Jane’s toned legs run her into her bedroom for her to put on some black tights and another baggy white shirt, if she can find them. Piles of clothing are everywhere, shambling mounts of nearly organic matter, layers upon layers of discarded clothing that form a dynamic and vibrant coloured landscape, albeit making it difficult to even walk to her bed or nightstand. Her closet isn’t much better, a space suit with the nipples cut out, a cheetah suit with glow-in-the-dark eyes, and a jacket she made out of old lingerie lace over leather.
‘Oh hi mom!’ she shows up to family dinner in a space suit without nipples. Her brother walks into the room in a diaper. Her younger, judgmental sister is wearing bible scripture. Mom sits down in an elegant dress while a grey phantom appears in place of her ill begotten non-father.
The closest she can find to normal is a green top with see-through panels. She knows she has a black tank top here somewhere, she just washed one. A black pair of yoga pants are easily found in her clothes hamper, and a grey tank will have to do for now. Jane changes in front of the only object she respects in her bedroom, her full length mirror. Her body is long and lean, firm, perky breasts, well defined abs, a well-groomed, pink innie down below. Her natural blonde locks she dyes a raven black, she swears this forces people to take her more seriously. High cheekbones with bluish grey eyes, her features are born model looks, but her real value lies within her incredible mind. Jane never really fit in among other girls, always trying to clamor for the affections of the dullest boys. While they were working on being cum dumpsters for football teams under bleachers, Jane spent her afternoons and evenings learning to sew and design. The last five years she’s been out of high school, her credits include dozens of fashion shows, magazine prints, clothing for all sorts of bands and friends of hers. Just nothing that’s got her out of this city, yet.
Old tights tear as they stretch over hipbones, Jane sighs and hopes her shirt covers the hole big enough to put several fingers through along the waistband. She pulls the grey tank on, then the green top, her appearance is somewhat normal, normal enough for family, at least she thinks so. Putting in some earrings and wearing her hair up, Jane grabs her latest portfolio shots and car keys from the nightstand, and heads out of her room. Through the kitchen and living room, Jane steps outside and fiddles with the door lock. The deadbolt is hard to close, the landlord’s lab takes it’s sweet time in smelling her crotch while trying to get her door to shut. The deadbolt slides in place with a groan as wet dog nose gooses her.
“Stop it Scrappy!” Jane says, half grumbling, half smiling at the cute pooch. The black lab smiles at her and barks once.
The basement suite she rents is in an older house on an even more nondescript street. Boring houses full of the most grey and brown personalities reside here in Port Coquitlam. As soon as she can find some sort of work downtown, she’s so out of here. She opens the brown gate from the green house she rents from, walking to her 1991 Pontiac Sunbird, her first experience of freedom. She doesn’t even need a key to get the driver’s side door open, the lock has been broken for years. Getting inside and starting it up, she pauses to let the engine warm, a good excuse to check her phone, maybe tweet about burnt banana bread.
Her BBM pops up and reads: ‘Jane its nana i cannot wait to try that banana bread see you soon love nan’
It’s going to be a long dinner.