Posted by: victanguera | August 6, 2009

Exercise #39

Using this exercise #31 as the basis, here is the rewrite from Manuel’s POV.

Glossy brochures vied for Manuel’s attention, each one more gaudier than the last. He thumbed through one after another, looking at bright photos of moss and vine encrusted stairs, underground caverns and horrible tourist destinations. Snicking yet another back into the rack disgust, he turned to leave.

“You try this.” A man held out an innocuous piece of paper without a bit of gloss.

Manuel’s eyebrows rose in interest, but he shook his head, pushed the man aside and walked out into the sweltering heat complete, with enough humidity to start an outdoor swimming pool. Swiping at perspiration already gathering on his brow, Manuel strode down the street with the man hopping along beside him. Ignoring him didn’t work, either.

“Señor, please. Great. You take.” He crumpled the paper up and stuffed it inside Manuel’s pocket, disappearing into the dusty crowds.

Examining what he’d originally taken for a brochure, revealed a detailed map. Interspersed between intricate drawing of palm trees, almost life-like images of spiders marched across the page. Tracing the line they made with his finger, adrenaline tingled through his body and a small smile graced his generous mouth.

Tricia had to like this, the most unique adventure either had undertaken.

“What the fuck are you thinking.” She yelled at him instead. He’d spread the map out on the battered table in their tiny hotel room.

“It looks interesting. Come on, we’ve got nothing to loose. I’ve read everything on here. It doesn’t even cost anything. We’ll be home in time for margueritas by the pool before dinner.” A pool the size of a battered suitcase and about as clean, he thought.

“All right.” Trisha turned her back on him, hugging her body with her arms. Even in the heat, he could see goose-bumps on her arms. Folding her into his embrace, she shuddered against him. In the end she’d come with him.

Manuel followed an invisible line, unable to stop himself. The light faded into the distance behind him, but he’d long since forgotten it existed. Trisha’s hand rested on his back, like a tiny fragile bird in the darkness. He thought he should know what that touch meant, who it came from, but the noise inside his head drowned all thoughts out. All thoughts but one.

The thought pulled him inexorably forward, ever deeper. Ever further from the entrance. Moisture traced down his face, but Manuel didn’t notice. Reaching above him, he grasped one more gossamer web, rolling it between his fingers, a silly smile on his face.

“She’s beautiful,” he said. “Look at her. She’s beautiful.”


The sound whispered through him, the last sound he heard.

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