her name was maroula. i think.

Her name was Moula. Or maybe Maroula. I couldn’t be sure. You don’t really pay attention to banalities when the next words are:

“He is coming to kill me. He is coming to kill me now.”

It was Friday night. I was in a service station on a backwood road somewhere west of I77 when the girl fell through the door. A distinct beat-all-to-hell look on her face.

Jean – I’d later learn the cashier’s name was Jean – picked up a broom and moved toward the almost dressed mess – keen on sweeping her out with the rest of the night’s rubbish. “Crack heads,” she said, “come in here all the time…off their skulls.”

The girl grabbed her hand. Hysterical. “No. He will kill me. Pleeeeaaase. He is coming.” She started crying in a different language. One I knew just enough from my Nicky Days to make out this:

“I have no family. He brought me here to beat me. He said he will kill me and no one will know.”

Jean stared at the girl. She didn’t know the language but she knew the look. The desperation. The sincerity.

The older woman spotted me gawking in the Twinkie isle, Red Bull and Little Debbie in hand. “You leave now or you don’t leave anytime soon.”

I heard, but didn’t listen. I was too busy wondering at the girl’s face. At her skinned feet and knees and the missing patch of hair that snagged on longer strands on its way down her back.

I never said a word when Jean locked the three of us in under the neon lights of the Quickie Mart but I did think ‘Great. I haven’t been in the country a week and I’m already gonna be on an episode of Cops.’


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  • steph
    Oct 19, 2006 at 19:03

    i love the way you can write this!! i really cant wait to see how you play off the next episode …a very sad thing!!..so young and all alone

  • paperback writer
    Oct 19, 2006 at 19:23

    I have to echo what steph says. This is great.

  • David
    Oct 19, 2006 at 20:21

    OMG…WOW…and this isnt fiction, huh? Dang…it’s so scary when you realize crazy stuff like that goes on in your neighborhood. But I’m assuming, since you’re writing this, all’s well, right?

  • singlemuslimah
    Oct 19, 2006 at 21:59

    OMG…True life is stranger than fiction. That is so scary. Great writing.

  • actonbell
    Oct 19, 2006 at 23:53

    What a well-written cliff-hanger! I’ll be back, too…

  • Buffy
    Oct 20, 2006 at 0:34

    David ….unbelievable tales…they’re the story of my life. One day, when I’m no longer afraid of ‘what people will think’, I’ll join Pi and write a book on it all. ‘The Unbelievable, Inexplicable, Outrageous Life of Buffy’.

  • B.A.Carter
    Oct 20, 2006 at 3:40

    I can not get enough! A spectacular writer…as always. More! Feed my need to read!

  • Rick Lee
    Oct 20, 2006 at 5:23

    it’s a ripping yarn.

  • tremendoustim
    Oct 20, 2006 at 6:53

    Was in Barnes and Noble with HG.
    Our mission , to find books on greyhound dogs.
    Read one, then got up from chair, went to info counter.
    Told the worker I am looking for books by “Buffy Holt”.
    He worked the computer hard for a few minutes, then shook his head “no”.
    I went back to reading about dogs,”sadly”.
    I know the day will come, I know the day will come, I know the day will come!!
    Alot like making a wish.


  • Andrea
    Oct 20, 2006 at 21:53

    Holy crap! don’t keep us hanging too long with what happens next!

  • Dave
    Oct 20, 2006 at 23:52

    Sometimes I wonder why some peoples lives are filled with drama. I know it’s not very fun at times but it does make for some good writing. Don’t keep us waiting too long for the “continued” part!

  • Ryane
    Oct 21, 2006 at 1:34

    Buffy, you write so well. And I loved your post on the Greek interlude…

  • brooke alexandra
    Oct 21, 2006 at 3:26

    Indeed, west of I-77 can be quite an interesting and yet scary place. I cannot wait to read the rest.

  • LisaBinDaCity
    Oct 21, 2006 at 17:57

    I’ve got goosebumps! Please update soon!!!

  • Mel
    Oct 21, 2006 at 18:42

    More please! I hope you’re at work on your novel Buffy.

  • bob
    Oct 22, 2006 at 18:39

    “Red Bull and a Little Debbie”. Excellent detail.

    Nice buzz you’re (or your narrator … I’m hoping this is fiction) after there.

  • Katherine
    Oct 22, 2006 at 21:24

    Holy cow, hurry up and update, I’m dying to know what happened!

  • Onika Pascal
    Oct 23, 2006 at 1:19

    You’re telling the story and there you are the one with the goodies in hand. Buffy…do tell. I got my twinkies all ready

  • Joanna
    Oct 23, 2006 at 4:44

    Dang Buffy! Can’t wait to hear what happened! True Life can be scary!