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SliceJohn Culjak의 지식창고 2018.04.22. 14:18 (2018.04.21. 17:16)

Chapter 1

 
John Culjak' Novel 'Slice' - Chap 1
The brackish water of the pond was deep and dark. It was home for frogs, water boatmen, treaders, and water mites. The insects scattered as Geoff’s telescopic ball retriever, extended twelve feet, scraped the bottom in search of his golf ball. The edge of the pond was steep and lined with large boulders causing Geoff to balance himself precariously with his left arm so as to not end up in the water with his ball. His feet were planted between the rocks, scuffing the toes of his brown and white golf shoes.
 
He muttered to himself how bad his tee shot was. He did not like to play golf alone, but the usual partners were not available today. If they were, he thought, he would not have hit the ball so poorly – so he thought – nor would he be scraping the bottom of the pond in search of his ball. The black flies were torturous on this hot humid morning, intensifying his anger. Although it was hot and going to be even hotter, fog hovered over the fairway. Geoff felt some gratification in that no one was with him to observe his humiliation. On his belly, stretching his long scrawny body, reaching as far as his extended retriever would go, “Ah, I think I have it”.
 
He slowly drew his arm back, feeling the weight of a ball, perhaps his own. Geoff hoped it was his ball, it felt heavier. He dreaded the thought of losing a ball and being penalized two shots. He wanted to shoot fewer than 90 strokes today to prepare for the coming tournament. His arm shook as he brought the retriever out of the water. “Damn!” It was a yellow ball, not his own. “Oh well”. Geoff reached for the ball and bumping the quivering metal knocked it off the end of the retriever and back into the pond. He let out a sharp sigh of frustration. Geoff could hear the birds chirping brightly as they normally did at this time of the morning, but he did not hear the approaching figure that ended up looming over him. “Did you really expect to find your own ball in that black pool?” The deep voice, not unfamiliar, came from directly above him. Geoff cackled a nervous laugh at being caught in such a ludicrous position. Remaining stretched out; he turned his head only to see who was witnessing his folly. With a silly grin on his face, Geoff first saw a pair of highly polished black shoes, which were definitely not of the golfing variety. The last thing he saw was the bottom of uncuffed gray wool pants before the titanium driver struck his temple with the full force of a swing and a sweet follow through. The crack was dull, unlike the sound of hitting a ball. “Fore,” the voice said softly as he watched Geoff’s body collapse on the edge of the pond. Blood seeping out of his right eye, his head and right arm found the water. With his foot strategically placed under Geoff’s ribs, he pushed and lifted at the same time with his powerful leg and Geoff’s body rolled into the pond. The man reached out with his driver and pushed Geoff’s head fully under the water, holding it there for half a minute. There were no bubbles.
 
.. .. .
 
Lisa, breathing heavily, was reluctantly relieved to feel Philip’s weight lift off her body. She brushed the wet strands of her auburn hair from her eye and cheek, smiling contented. “Mmm. You were so hot today, Phil. I’m so glad you came to see me, baby.” She rolled over, on top of Philip and kissed him warmly, feeling the beginning of the new growth of his beard scratching her chin. She liked the feel of his soft stomach and chest, which felt cool and wet on her skin. She was glad he was not muscular and tight. Lisa was never impressed with a muscular body.
 
Philip looked into her dark brown eyes. “I am glad I came too,” he said laughing. “Pun intended. I was going to play a round of golf today with Geoff, but as soon as I found out that he booked a tee time, I bowed out and called you – to book a time with you.” He laughed. Lisa put her hand over his mouth. “Let’s not talk about Geoff. He’ll be back soon enough, Philly.” She said teasing him. Philip moved her hand away from his mouth, “Do you think he knows about us?” He wondered. Lisa responded with a smile, exposing her very white teeth, which were too large for her mouth, and said, “He doesn’t have a clue.”
 
.. .. .
 
Philip picked up his number one titanium driver that he left in the hall at the bottom of the stairs when he arrived, treating the club like a delicate treasured possession and said, “I’d better not leave this here,” referring to the club. “I should go, Lisa, before Geoff gets back. I don’t think it would look very good if he caught me here with you. It would be hard to explain why I was here, and not playing golf with him.” She took the club out of his hand and pulled him toward her, putting her hand under his chin, with her fingers wrapped around the left side of his cheek, in almost a chokehold. “You know, Phil, I don’t ever want to hear you say anything like that again. I don’t want Geoff to know about us, understand? If it came to that, I would deny everything. He’d believe me too. He knows I’d never lie to him, or be unfaithful to him for that matter. You know that don’t you.” She smiled looking intently into his eyes and held on as Phil tried to pull away. “There is no future for us, Phil, except for a little fun, when I’m horny. You understand?” Lisa’s hand on his neck and face made him feel uncomfortable. He pulled away, in a nervous gesture ran his fingers through his thinning hair, and patted it down. “Don’t worry about Geoff. He won‘t find out about us. I promise you that.” He said as though it were the definitive answer. Lisa laughed and looked into his light blue eyes that always seemed to be teary and vulnerable. At moments like this, she felt like mothering him. “You are such a little boy, Philip. Now go home before you get into trouble.” Philip lowered his head and left without saying goodbye. Once outside Philip looked across the street, both ways to see if anyone noticed him. He felt awkward; he felt sheepish, like a teenager who did something naughty. He felt powerless with Lisa, even though he did all that he could to be more aggressive with her. She always ended up taking control. He didn’t like the feeling, the position in which she placed him. I am 40 years old and shouldn’t feel like a little kid, he thought. He walked to his car, a late model BMW, which was parked a few houses down from Lisa’s house, turned to see if anyone was on the street, then got in, satisfied that he was not observed leaving her house. I’ll get even with her, he thought, frustrated. I always do. Lisa stood in the doorway, waved and watched Philip as he drove away. She did not want to conceal the fact that a man visited her, in case he was seen leaving her house.
 
Being overly cautious often made it more obvious that she was trying to hide something. At least, that’s what she thought.
 
.. .. .
 
Driver put his golf bag down, unlocked, and opened the solid wood front door of the Victorian three-story house. The house was painted a traditional white, with silver grey trim. The tree-lined street was quiet, as always. The tall trees arched over the street, creating a covered bridge. Driver liked his privacy and did not want to know who his neighbors were and, as far as he knew, they didn’t know him even though he had lived in the house for a year and a half. He cherished his old house in the south end of Halifax and, other than a cosmetic paint job, made no renovations when he bought it. He closed the door, put the clubs down in the hall, taking the titanium driver from the bag. He looked at the club head, saw what he expected to find, went into the kitchen, and turned on the hot water. He picked up a fingernail brush that was on the back of the counter near the white porcelain sink and put the head of the club under the hot stream coming out of the faucet. He squeezed dish detergent on the brush and scrubbed the face of the club. He rinsed and dried the club thoroughly, examined it, and put it back in the bag, slipping a cover over the head. In the cabinet, under the sink, he found a clean unused shoe brush. He brushed the strands of grass off his shoes, and swiped the bottoms of his trousers to make sure that there was no residue from the links. He went to the pantry for a dustpan and brush, swept up the grass and other bits that came from his shoes and pants and deposited it into the green plastic composter. Driver took a plastic bottle of bleach from the cabinet under the sink and poured some of it into the sink hoping to clear away any of the material that came off the golf club head.
 
However, he was not overly concerned about the club, considering where it came from. He ran the hot water and then paused for a moment, thinking what should be done next. “Ah, yes” he said aloud, and went to his small office, which once might have been used as a front room or a parlor, and was located just off the front entrance hallway. Driver sat down at his computer, which was perched on a small, solid oak postwar desk. Reference books and papers cluttered the top of the desk. He turned the Macintosh power center on and waited briefly for the desktop to appear on the screen. He opened Word and selected a file simply called List.
 
There were six names on the page. Number one was Geoff Jenkins. He moved the cursor over Geoff’s name and double clicked to highlight it. Then he pressed the delete key on the keyboard. “Deleted,” he said aloud. “Geoff, you are so deleted. And thank you”. Driver sighed in relief and smiled as he watched the name disappear; five remained.
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페이지 최종 수정일: 2017년 10월 25일