Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Check out the beginning of Roger Rheinheimer's "Amish Snow-Volume 3" RIGHT NOW!

Amish Snow
Volume 3
Leather Shoelace

Ezra woke slowly, stupidly, his left eye plastered shut with dried tear-salt, his head pounding in time to the impatient open-palm slapping on the door, two feet away.
“You in dare, get up, it 9:15!” The maid was standing outside the door, smacking it like she was trying to kill a mulish mosquito.
“Yeth, alright,” Ezra managed, thick-tongued.
“Hurry up! They gonna charge you ‘nuther night!”
Ezra swung his now completely wrinkled gray pants legs, filthy, not fresh like his mother always made sure, over the edge of the bed. He stood unsteadily, and stumbled to the door. One boot had become untied in the middle of the restless night, and he almost went down, almost tripped on the leather shoelace.
Ezra fumbled with the lock – he didn’t remember locking it – and slowly opened the old, paint-chipped door, blinking against the bright sun. The maid, a large Negro woman, almost knocked him down shoving past, into the room. She pulled her large cleaning cart behind her, bristling with brooms and mops. She glanced at the closed bathroom door and said “git yo’ self outta heah. Yo’ needs to be gone. What you been doin’, boy? You smells awful.”
Slowly circulating oxygenated blood made its impact in Ezra’s brain, and the fuzziness began to clear. Saying nothing, he picked up his bag and jacket, looked around for his hat, remembered, and slowly walked outside. He was bareheaded, his yellow bowl-cut hair completely disheveled and greasy. The maid was still scolding him from inside the room, and he turned and closed the door behind him, her muffled voice raising several indignant, louder octaves at the affront. Someone’s radio sang, “I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand.” Ezra smiled slightly to himself, remembering how much his twin cousins loved that song.
Ezra was famished. Breakfast on the farm was usually scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and biscuits. The thought made his mouth water. Swallowing, he said, “Time to eat, Ezra, where you going to find food? Maybe ask your ‘friend’ in the front office?” He chuckled at the thought, and headed towards the highway, busy with morning traffic, cars zipping past every few seconds, driving too fast. He remembered a filling station in a long building with a restaurant on the other end. He thought he remembered a sign about breakfast.

Ezra walked around the corner where the motel street intersected the highway, and saw the filling station and restaurant about a quarter mile away on his right. There was little room between the fast moving cars on the highway and the ditch that ran beside it, a small, still river littered with cans and paper trash.
Ezra decided to walk on the far side of the ditch, away from the traffic, next to the sagging, rusting, chain-link fence someone erected many years ago. He started across the ditch, and one of his boots, the left one, sank until the putrid goo in the ditch met itself over the top of the leather shoelaces. For the second time in less than fifteen minutes, Ezra almost went down, catching himself on the unsteady street sign. He pulled his boot out of the sucking mud and headed towards the restaurant on the well-worn path, next to the fence.
Tired and dirty, he still had a spring to his step. Free from the tyrant father, free from farm duties, the world was waiting. Hell, he had an 8th grade education, he was smart, strong, knew construction well enough to get a job, this was going to be great, he told himself.
The restaurant was really a diner. The five stools at the counter were topped with badly worn burgundy Naugahyde, patched and re-patched with the same colored vinyl tape as the motel’s front office chair. The two truck drivers sitting on the far left stools, near the cash register, promised ever-lasting contentment to the waitress if only she would run off with them. She giggled and asked them to tell her more.
The three booths by the front window, with a commanding view of the two long semi rigs parked in tandem out front, barely off the road, were empty. Ezra glanced around and then sat on the far right stool, at the counter, nearest the door. The young man at the griddle, an aspiring cook, just slightly older than Ezra, glanced over his right shoulder and then returned to the hot griddle, artfully flipping the drivers’ breakfasts.
“What can I get for you, cutie?” The waitress had decided not to marry either of the truck drivers, and sauntered down to Ezra. She was on her stage, and leaned over, elbows on the counter. Despite his best efforts, he really tried not to look, his eyes fell into the cleavage, deep and wide enough for the Grand Canyon. She caught a whiff of the unwashed teenager, straightened, and asked again, not as friendly, “Have you decided what you would like to eat?”
Ezra retrieved his eyes and stammered, “Could…could I have four eggs and some home fries please?”
Now she was irritated. “The menu says no substitutions. You can get #4; three eggs any style, hash browns and tomatoes. You can order another egg as a side. Is that what you would like?”
Blushing slightly, Ezra said, “Yes, please.”
“And how would you like your eggs,” she asked.
“Uh, scrambled, please.”

The two truck drivers finished eating, paid at the register, and left, paying no heed to the young man at the end of the counter. Philadelphia had always been a boiling pot of styles, and the young Amish with his black leather jacket and gray wool pants might have looked like any other fifteen year old at the beginning of the ‘60’s.
Ezra asked the waitress if she would mind if he moved to one of the booths, now clean, and she rolled her eyes and asked why.
“I’d like to read that newspaper,” he said, nodding towards the one the drivers had left, “and there’s a little more room to spread it out.”
“Sure, go ahead and move.” He was pretty cute, she thought, but he needed a haircut. And a bath. She imagined giving him a bath and caught her breath.
Ezra picked up the rumpled newspaper the drivers had left behind, and turned to the “Help Wanted” section. The area of the classifieds looking for construction workers was half a page long.

What do you think of the beginning of "Volume 3"?

If you enjoyed it and would like to try the series but want to start with Volume 1 here is the Amazon Kindle Link,it is also available on B&N Nook and Kobo:

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