Lana flops down at her computer desk and presses the power button on her laptop. While it boots up, she takes a sip from her morning cup of tea and reflects. Even with working only on the weekends since school started, her blog was doing very well. Sweet Literary Treats was getting the attention of not only big indie authors but it was turning heads in the publishing world too. The response was so overwhelming that she didn’t even have to buy books anymore and still had plenty of great things to read.
Reaching out, Lana moves to set her tea on the table beside her laptop. Right as she sets the tea down on the table, Skype rings and she jumps, spilling tea everywhere. Glancing toward the call window while in freak out mode, she jumps up and runs to the kitchen to get paper towels. Pulling some towels from the roll, Lana lifts up her laptop, wipes it off and moves it. Once again Skype starts ringing and with a sigh, she answers the call. One no answer means you’re busy, two no answers? That’s just rude.
“Hello Marissa.” Lana calls out as she goes to clean up the tea, cringing a bit because she knows she sounds exasperated.
“Did I call at a bad time dear?” Marissa’s long southern drawl comes out of the speakers.
“No, you didn’t. I just spilled tea everywhere.” Lana says as she wipes the table.
“You should be more careful honey. Have you gotten a chance to read my book yet?”
“No, not yet Marissa.” Her voice trails off because she knows exactly what’s coming next. Honestly she was tired of feeling like she was giving excuses even if it was a fact that school was keeping her swamped with little time to read.
“It’s been six months honey. I’m starting to question your integrity. I didn’t just give you a free book not to get a review in return.”
Lana grits her teeth. THIS is why she hated talking to Marissa and most of the time turned Skype off on startup. Marissa Monroe feels there’s a certain way things should go in the book world. Reviewers are to have reviews back in three months. The woman is sympathetic when something goes wrong but if you pay close attention, you can tell she’s seething that your problems set her back. Still the author remains professional enough to not warrant someone snapping off at her. Instead, she makes you feel bad even in spite of you having a legitimate reason for not getting to her book right away.
“We’ve had this conversation before, Marissa.” Lana finally says, trying not to let her anger show through.
“I know, I know! You’re busy with school but are you sure you’re managing your time wisely? I mean you can’t find even ten minutes a day to read?”
Lana narrows her eyes at the display picture Marissa has on her profile, almost wishing she had decided to video chat so she could glare at the woman. This was the last straw.
“Who are you to say I’m not spending my time wisely Marissa? I go to class, come home and sometimes don’t even have time to shower because I’m working on homework till three in the morning”
Lana waits for an answer, running her tongue over her back teeth in an agitated manner. Feeling something come lose, she spits out a piece of a filling.
“I didn’t mean to make you mad honey.” Marissa says, trying to pump some sincerity into her voice but Lana sees right through it.
“Oh yes you did. First you question my integrity and then you ask me if I’m not managing my time right? You have all the answers don’t you Marissa? You’ve totally crossed a line. I’m tempted to…”
Lana doesn’t get to finish her sentence because she starts to taste blood and something else floating in her mouth. Without thinking, she spits into her hand and finds a mess of dark red blood and her own teeth. Marissa is talking this whole time but she doesn’t hear her as she leaps up and runs to the mirror, opening her mouth. She pokes her remaining teeth and although they look healthy, they fall out as well. Horrified, Lana spins, takes two steps towards her door and collapses, the blood from her mouth pooling on the floor along with the last few teeth she had left.
“Lana? Lana are you there?” Marissa’s voice can be heard from the computer, sounding worried. When she hears nothing, she laughs evilly and then ends the call. Obviously the poor book blogger didn’t remember the conversation about dabbling with voodoo.
Misty Rayburn is a graduate from Capital University with a BA in . She was a live event photographer, covering a lot of Columbus’ local scene but a back injury kept her out of the scene for two years. While recovering, she created The Top Shelf. Misty doesn’t have a TBR list, she has a mountain! Come visit us! Website: http://www.the-top-shelf.com Twitter: @topshelfebooksFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/topshelfebooks