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Slice
Chapter
일자별구성 자 료 실
문서 개요
(A) 지식 자료
Chapter 4
about Slice

▣ Slice     John Culjak의 지식창고 2018.04.22. 14:18 (2018.04.21. 17:38)

Chapter 4

John Culjak' Novel 'Slice' - Chap 4
Jean Jenkins was shorter than five feet even though she wore two- inch heels. She wore her thick brown hair short and, usually, a hat covered it. Jean was 40 years old, but it was difficult to determine her age. If you looked at her face, you might have thought she was an old looking child. Her intelligent, electric blue eyes belied her age. Everything about Jean appeared to be contradictory. She gave the impression of a little girl playing dress up; her skirt looked too long, hanging at mid-calf, and her shoes too big. It appeared as though she was a child dressed in her mother’s clothes. Yet, she possessed the demeanor of an executive or perhaps that of a university professor. She was an odd mixture - an intellectual - a prodigy, perhaps? Jean had been awarded a scholarship to Brown where she excelled in geology, but she decided not to pursue it as a career because of her dislike of the outdoors, which included insects that inhabited the remote areas in which she would have had to work. She had chose Brown because class sizes were small and the city of Providence was similar in size to Halifax; so consequently it was comfortable for her. She was sitting at her computer when the phone rang. She adjusted her hat and let it ring three times before she picked up. “This is Jean speaking.” There was a long silence. Jean said nothing. She listened to the dead air. It seemed an eternity before she got a response.
 
“Hello, Jean.” Jean overflowed with disdain at the sound of Lisa’s voice. “Yes?” “I know you don’t like me to call you, but...” “Lisa, please. I don’t need you telling me what I don’t like. What do you want?”
 
“I am sorry...I...” Interrupting her, “Lisa, I did not schedule your indulgence into my day, so please get to the fucking point.” “Please, bear with me, Jean.” Lisa composed herself. “Jean, something terrible has happened.” “More histrionics, Lisa? Just tell me what happened. (Jean listened to the dead air) Lisa? What is it?” “Geoffrey is dead.” Jean said nothing. She was stung, momentarily paralyzed. Still holding the phone, she took her hat off and put it on the desk. “Jean? Jean, are you there?” Jean gently placed the receiver down and turned her computer off.
 
.. .. .
 
She sat silently, biting down on her lower lip to ease the pain and the emptiness that she felt. Blood began to trickle down her chin from the broken skin. Tears welled up in her eyes like a rising river, flooding over and rolling down her cheeks. There was total silence. The only sound she heard was one that emanated from deep within and escaped the corner of her mouth in a whimper.
 
Jean sank back into her chair. She clasped her hands together, intertwining her fingers, while her index fingers formed a steeple. She pressed her steepled fingers against her lips as she considered what Lisa had said. She wanted to scream out and say what could not be said, but not a sound was made. She always contained her emotions. Jean longed to be passionate and expressive, but was unable to allow herself that luxury. It was a conflict that would remain with her to the end of her days. She sat and thought. Her face was drained of color. She remembered Geoff carrying her on his shoulders. She was tiny and weighed only sixty pounds. Geoff paid special attention to Jean. He said sweet things to his sister; he looked after her. Mostly everyone else teased her about her size, calling her cruel names, humiliating her. Geoff made her feel good. He made her laugh, which filled her with indescribable pleasure. It was painful for Geoff to hear derogatory remarks about Jean. He used kindness to take away her pain, and she responded well. Jean adored his smooth tanned face, his mischievous smile, and the fact that he treated her as an equal. Geoff possessed the ability to make her feel like she was exceptional, something special. That gesture of tenderness indicated to her that men or, in Geoff’s case, boys could find her interesting, even though it was her brother who provoked such feelings. She was unsure exactly what those feelings were and what they meant. In a manner, she felt guilt, but was uncertain as to explain it. Even now, as she sat at her desk, her face flushed as she thought of Geoff. Oh God. Oh my God, is it possible? She sat for what seemed to be an hour thinking about Geoff, tears cascading down her face. She took a tissue from the desk, wiped the blood from her chin and the tears from her cheeks. She picked up the phone and speed dialed Lisa. Lisa picked up after the first ring.
 
“Is it really true, Lisa? I am so sorry. If only I...no...no...no. Not if only. What is, is done, Lisa.” Pulling herself together “Now, what can I do?” “I don’t know, Jean. I don’t know. I don’t know what to do myself.” Jean’s voice was now softer, gentler, more compassionate, and lower than before, “when did it happen, how and where?” The circumstances surrounding Geoff’s death flowed out of Lisa’s mouth as she reiterated what Detective Redmond had told her. She recounted all the details that she remembered, while Jean remained silent, listened, hanging on to each word. When she was finished, Jean said without hesitation, “Lisa, I will find out who did this. And when I do, I pity the poor son of a bitch.” “Please Jean, don’t do anything foolish. Leave it to the police. They know what they’re doing.” Lisa said, not knowing what else to say to console her, even though her loss needed consoling. Jean conceded the point, said goodbye and hung up. She decided to talk to Detective Redmond. In reality, she did not intend to do anything to anyone, even if she could. Where would she look? What could she do if confronted by Geoff’s killer, if she were lucky enough to find him or her?
 
She was definitely physically limited by her stature. She pondered the idea of buying a gun, and wondered if that was wise, if she could really shoot someone, even someone who had murdered Geoff. “Goddamn right I could, she thought.
 
I could do it in a minute.
 
Jean picked up her hat from the desk, held it in her hands, looking at it in wonderment, as though it was the first time she ever saw a hat. She tilted her head, a dog-like gesture, as if responding to a word of recognition, slipped the hat on, pulled it down decisively, rose from her chair and left the house.
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