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Me Myself and Why

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message 1: by Kittiya (new)

Kittiya | 29 comments MaryJanice is releasing a brand new series, Me Myself and Why. Enjoy this excerpt from the book and look for it to be released in September, 2010.

The lilting strains of thrash metal crashed through my skull and I sat bolt upright in bed, clutching my ears. Someone—probably my psycho sister—had set my alarm to W-ROX and cranked it. It was a lot like being awakened on an airport runway by an approaching DC-10.

I clawed for the snooze button, missed, swiped again, knocked the radio to the carpet, slithered off the bed, fell on top of the snooze button, and mercifully, the Sweet Jerkoff’s new release, Raining Hell On Your Stupid Face, stopped.

Don’t ask me how I knew the song and the band. I won’t tell.

“Too early,” came a sonorous voice from the bed above. What the—? “Sleep more.”

I cautiously peeked over the edge of the bed. A strange, nude man was tangled up in my Laura Ashley sheets. His long dark hair covered half his face and fluttered as he resumed snoring. He had a tattoo of Donald Duck performing a sexual act on Daisy; it was almost four inches across!

And—what the—?—I was naked, too.

Over his slurred protests (he smelled like he’d fallen into a tequila vat on the way to my apartment), I pulled him out of bed as efficiently and politely as I could. I found his jeans under the bed, his shirt hanging over my bedside lamp, his boxer briefs on top of the heating vent, one of his shoes in the bathroom, and the other in my kitchen sink. It was tough work getting him dressed while not looking at his penis, but I managed.

Don’t ask me how; I won’t tell.

After the stranger was gone, I set about cleaning up the empty tequila bottles, the gnawed lemon slices (one was nestled beside my toothbrush like a bedraggled yellow comma), the spilled salt shakers (my moo cow shaker! In the toilet! Darn it all!), and something that looked like a small purple whale.

I was studying it, hoping it wasn’t what I knew it was, when it started to buzz in my hand and I dropped it. What was that doing in the fridge?

Never mind. Never mind. I—I had to get to work. Mustn’t be late! Mustn’t be late!

I kicked the vibrator across the kitchen floor until it was close to the garbage, then darted into the bathroom. I took a quick shower, dried at light speed (my blonde hair looked all right, but my eyes were bloodshot—what had my sister been—never mind, never mind), and dressed in my best conservative navy suit.

Then I grabbed a breakfast Hot Pocket (ham n’cheese), and headed out the front door. I had a splitting headache, but some iced coffee ought to fix that nicely...along with about ten Advil. No time for makeup, but I twisted my hair up into a large barrette.

“Morning, Ms. Jones,” Ben, the doorman, said on my way out. “Late night, huh?”

I had no idea what he was talking about, as my last memory was of walking down Lake Street at 5:30 p.m. the day before (a peek at the newspaper assured me of the date), but nodded and waved my Hot Pocket at him.

It took ten minutes to find my Mitsubishi Eclipse—I was thankful it hadn’t been towed again, intruding crookedly on the sidewalk as it was—and another twenty-five to drive (a bit more quickly than usual) to BOFFO headquarters, located on Marquette Ave in Minneapolis. It looked like an office building, maybe the corporate headquarters for Target or one of those financial advisor firms that did so well until 2008. But this was no office.

Well, it was in that there were printers and desks and things, but it was actually a branch of the FBI, the Bureau of False Flag Ops.

After I parked, I took the elevator to the correct floor, slid my key card through the slot, waited for the retinal scan, then popped in. Five minutes early! Victory was mine.

As always, I was greeted by Opus, the custodian for my floor.


“Hi, big guy. Have a nice night?”

Opus gave the question careful thought before answering. “Yes.” Opus didn’t understand the concept of small talk—he had savant syndrome (never, never use the phrase ‘idiot savant’; soooo 20th century!)—but he could do incredible things with numbers, even if he couldn’t write out a grocery list. He was a shambling bear of a man—well over six feet tall, with shaggy brown hair, bushy eyebrows, mud-colored eyes, and thick forearms. His two-piece brown uniform made him look not unlike a grizzly bear. With a mop.

I’ll admit, I had a soft spot for the man. I’d had to defend him from occasional taunts from some of my less sensitive co-workers, “Rainman” being a popular insult.

It was almost funny, that anybody who worked for BOFFO would have the nerve to insult anyone else who worked for BOFFO. After all, we all had—

“Cadence!” George Pinkman was actually dancing from one foot to another. “I got the new Halo! You should come over and help me blow shit up.”

“Some other time,” I replied sweetly. George gave me the creeps. A textbook sociopath, he didn’t think anything was real except the world of violent video games. Why BOFFO needed him I would never understand, but was certainly in no position to complain or judge. I mean, jeepers! I was a federal cop, not King Solomon. “But thanks.”

“Maybe your sister, then.”

I shivered and moved past him to my desk. He really was crazy. Well, sure. He had a BOFFO I.D. card, didn’t he? And he’d fooled a lot of people with those big green eyes, aquiline nose, and firm jaw. His eyebrows were slashing commas across his forehead and, although he had a slim build, held no less than three black belts. He often dressed and talked effeminately to provoke the local rednecks. Then he’d lure them out into the parking lot and break various bones. All in the name of self-defense, of course, while sporting one of his huge collection of incredibly garish and tasteless neckties.

The one he wore now featured a single cartoon puppy in a dead-Christ pose, against a background of rainbows.

I scanned the morning faxes, checked arrest reports, did some work on the computer, and heated up my Hot Pocket, which I gobbled in six bites (so hungry!). I got a Frappucino from the vending machine, balanced it on my Hello Kitty mouse pad, and began gulping it with a few Advil. This would, I hoped, take care of my hangover.

“Cadence Jones!”

I swung around in my chair, nearly spilling my drink. My supervisor, Michaela, was framed in the doorway of Da Pitt (where all her field agents congregated to fight crime and work on their Secret Santa drawings). She was a fifty-something woman with silver, straight chin-length hair and amazing green eyes. Pure green, not hazel. Like leaves! Hair the color of precious metal, eyes the color of wet leaves—she’d have been gorgeous if she wasn’t so scarily efficient and surrounded by cubicles and printers and mail carts. And today, as usual, she was dressed in Ann Taylor.

I squashed the urge to shake the ringing out of my ears—boss lady had the volume and pitch of a steamer whistle. “Weren’t we going to work on our inside voice?”

“Debriefing! Thirty minutes!”

“I know, I saw the email.” I pointed at my computer screen. “But thanks for assuming I hadn’t learned to read in the first grade.”

“Leave the mouth at your desk!” Thankfully, she vanished through another doorway.

Now how was I supposed to do that? Physically, it was impossible. Figuratively, it didn’t make any sense, since my mouth was essentially what made me valuable to BOFFO. Maybe Michaela was coming off an odd night, too.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Oooo I want to

message 3: by Kittiya (new)

Kittiya | 29 comments Me too! I had meant to just put the link, but had trouble figuring it out.

message 4: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (vadeluna) | 3 comments Can't wait. I always laugh my ass off reading MJDs books. My husband looks at me like I'm crazy cause I'll just bust out laughing when I read the Undead series.

message 5: by Adelheid (new)

Adelheid (thecelticmyst) | 39 comments Mod
Do you ever have the problem that then he wants you to explain what is so funny? Then looks at you wierd when you explain? I seem to have this problem, well not with my husband as I don't have one, but with other people. I have it also when reading the Buffy Season 8 graphic novels.

message 6: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (vadeluna) | 3 comments Yup. He'll ask me what's so funny & I'll tell him. Sometimes he'll laugh with me & others he'll look at me like I have two heads. That's okay though, I still think her books are hilarious and I still laugh out loud when something funny happens. :)

message 7: by Adelheid (new)

Adelheid (thecelticmyst) | 39 comments Mod
So do I. : )

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