Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I skipped ahead a scene for this week. Lexi has called her Grandfather to ask his advice. He agreed that she should stay put and wait for things to calm down in the pack. He tells her that Leonidas has gone looking for her in Atlanta.

In this scene, her decision to stay finalized, she heads to the RV Park Sam told her about in hopes of finding a cheap place to lay low until things cool down. This scene introduces a new minor character, Viron. He is the owner of the RV/Trailer Park.
Alexis walked along the dirt road, passing under large wooden sign indicating the entrance to Forest Lake RV Park. The small road opened up into huge square lot, the size of at least four football fields. The dirt gave way to gravel as she continued into the property, looking for the manager's office. Tiny patches of lush green grass surround each little camping site, and a small lake, or pond bordered the property to the South. Alexis heard the dull roar of Interstate sixty-five to her right, and a faint diesel odor permeated the air. She thought it strange to locate a campground in the middle of a city. Maybe the proximity of the site to the Interstate, and a big chain truck stop, made it convenient for travelers.
The property was mostly deserted, with only three camping trailers parked diagonally amongst ten or more rows of empty parking spots. Alexis saw a man sitting in a rocking chair on a makeshift porch in front of a singlewide trailer. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit, whittling a stick or something, and whistling to himself. It looked like a scene from Mayberry, or Deliverance. A small wooden sign above the door of the trailer said 'Park Manager' so Alexis turned and walked toward the man, thinking about what she would say to him as she approached.
The man did not see her until she had reached the wooden steps of the porch. When she walked up the steps, her hand extended in front of her, he put down his stick and his knife, and slowly eased himself out of his rocker, with what looked like, a great amount of effort.
"Afternoon Miss, what can I do you for," he said, in the kind of gurgling, raspy voice people get after years of smoking.
"Are you Mister Woods?"
"That be me. But please, call me Viron," he said, as he shook her hand.
"You come in here on foot?" Viron looked around her to the gravel road. "We ain't got no primitive sites here. Spots are for RV's and campers only."
"I'm here to see about a trailer rental," Alexis said. "Sam, from the Pink Pony sent me here, told me to mention him."
"Sam?" Viron's eyes rolled up and his chin jutted forward.
Alexis could almost hear the cogs and gears squeaking and creaking as he recalled the name.
"Sam," he said again, as if the gears in his mind suddenly aligned into the right position. "He's a good man. I rented to him when he first came to town. He's doing better now. Lives somewhere, Northside." Viron rambled on, lost in his thoughts. "I remember him talking to me about buying that run-down old strip club. Thought he could make it into something more respectable."
Viron stopped and looked at Alexis for a moment. She saw that little sparkle in his eyes that southern gentlemen get when they are with a lady. He stood there looking at her for a moment, his hand still clutching hers, before letting go.
"I'm sorry, Miss," Viron said. "I must've missed your name."
"Oh, where are my manners," Alexis returned, in the sweetest southern drawl she could manage. "My name is Ale ... Paulina. Paulina Grey."
"Well, Miss Paulina," Viron said, as he turned to the door of the trailer. "Let me go get some keys, and I'll show you what I have."
Viron went into his trailer, leaving the door open behind him. Moments later, Alexis heard keys rattling, but instead of coming back out directly, she heard him talking to someone on the phone. She thought she heard the name 'Sam' and assumed he was asking Sam about her. When Viron returned, he had a large brass ring with at least twenty keys on it.
"The key we need is in here somewhere," he said, as walked out in front of her toward the other end of the lot.
They walked to the other side of the park, passing the three camping trailers on the way. On the far gravel roadway stood three dilapidated old singlewide trailers. The three trailers shared the same look; tiny windows hung high along stark metal siding, and propane tanks mounted to the front. Viron continued to the last trailer in the row and fumbled through the keys on the ring until he found the right key.
"I know it ain't much," he said, as he opened the door. "But, the rent's cheap and the property's safe, quiet."
The trailer looked as ancient on the inside, the walls covered in simulated wood paneling. Except for the small kitchen area, the entire floor was covered in green shag carpet, but the place was clean, smelled fresh, and was fully furnished.
"What do you think?" Viron held out his hand like a model on a game show. "It's old, but I keep it clean, and the bug man just came through last week."
"How much?" Alexis shuffled her feet in the deep threads of shag carpet.
"One-twenty a week," Viron said. "But that includes all utilities. It ain't got no cable television hookup though."
"I'll take it."
Viron worked the key off the large ring as they walked back to his office. He asked her inside his office, and once inside, pulled out a rental agreement, handing it to her. His office was a small round table in his kitchen. The inside of Viron's trailer smelled of cigarettes and Aqua-Velva aftershave, and sported the same interior design as the trailer he had showed her. Alexis looked at the application. It asked for information she did not want to give, like her name, and social security number, and phone number.
"Look," she said, as she slid the paper back across the table. "Isn't there any way I could avoid all this paperwork?"
"It's the law, Miss Paulina." Viron slid the paper back to her. "State law requires it."
"Look, Mr. Woods." Alexis thought of the first lie that came to mind. "I'm just leaving a bad situation. I don't mind giving you my name and a phone number, but I just don't want my ex to find me." She gave him her best pout. "Can't we work something out? I can pay cash. Up front."
Viron stepped back and looked hard at her. His eyes were dark, intense, and piercing, with a depth that came only with age and experience. She feared he would see right through her, and into her soul, where her lie could not be concealed. Relief came as a slight smile swept across his mouth, a softness forming in his eyes.
"Alright. No paperwork," he said, taking the form from her hands and placing it back on the table. "But, I'll need two weeks rent paid up front and in cash. We'll talk about it again after that."
Alexis thanked him and fished the money out of her purse. He gave her the key, and she gave him a big hug before nearly skipping back to the trailer—her new home—aand conducting a more thorough inspection before testing the shower. After her shower, she dressed in her same clothes, and walked back to the Pink Pony to start her new job.
Hope you enjoyed this scene. It is the last scene in the chapter, and the next chapter begins with the introduction of Joseph Johnson, our bounty hunting main character, and future love-interest of Lexi. With Joe comes more trouble for Lexi, but the question will become, who will save who?

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