In her old boarding house in San Francisco, Denise Richardson has had a sleepless night because of the drama in the lives of her boarders. Excerpted from Embrace the Whirlwind, (the prequel to Interior Designs).
She slept fitfully all night long, waking periodically at the slightest sound. At one point, she heard the boarders coming home one by one, trying to tiptoe up the stairs to the third floor.
In the morning, when the first sliver of light peeked under the blinds, she sat up and stretched, feeling every bone creak and moan with the motion. Aging certainly had its downside. But on the other hand, she now enjoyed an immense freedom. Retired last year from social work, she taught classes two days a week at the university and enjoyed the extra time on her hands. Secretly, she booted up her computer in her office once everyone else left for the day. While her fingers flew across the keyboard, her thoughts spun a backdrop of envy, lust and greed as her fantasy characters vied for control or sank into despair. Kind of like her own life, she decided.
She first began simply, putting down her thoughts and feelings about some of her own experiences. But almost by accident, she had found herself creating imaginary people from the detritus of her own experiences. As she embellished each character, she enjoyed the powerful feelings of control.
She hadn’t mentioned her writing to anyone from a desire to keep something special just for her. She backed up her files on disks and kept them in a private stash in her locked drawer. Knowing that the girls came in here frequently, she was just safeguarding her little secret for awhile longer, just until she was ready to share.
She slowly descended the stairs, drawn forward by the fragrant aroma of coffee. Reliable, early-bird Savannah was at work, creating magic in the kitchen. But something out of the ordinary was going on with her, Denise decided. Underneath Savannah’s smiling exterior, something of great import seemed to be brewing. When the time was right, she would gently probe.