Sooner or Later


As she held her tooth in her hand, blood dribbled from her bottom lip, reaching the white ringed collar of her Breaking Benjamin t-shirt. The heeled bootsteps of another woman entered the women’s bathroom of the bar.

“Helene! She knocked your tooth out!”

Pulling a green hair band from her left wrist, Helene brought her long, unwashed brown mane into a pony-tail. She didn’t bother looking at the woman.

“It’s okay, Lily. My dad’s girlfriend works for a dentist. I’ll get it worked on before I leave town.”   Helene wet two balled-up paper towels the color of playground sand and tried to stop the bleeding. The cold make her wince. She noticed a purple line under her left eye. The damage of the three punches she took from her angry bandmate would take a few days to heal.

“Lily, I’m leaving for New York in three days. I’ll take the Slipper Socks Medium name, logo, and MySpace page with me. If you want to take a shot at me, do it now. But, know this, one day, you’ll be able to say you kicked the ass of Helene Troy, that chick that made it out of Pittsburgh.”

Lily joined Helene at the dirty, cracked sink. She placed small, thin fingers on Helene’s right shoulder.   “I knew the band was short-term, for me. I just don’t think the other two girls, did. They got too dependent on you. You did everything. I should’ve said something.”

Helene tossed the used paper towels on the floor. There wasn’t a trashcan in the room. She sighed and looked at Lily’s blue eyes, framed by a pixie cut, dyed platinum blonde. Lily, a year younger than Helene’s twenty-one, was half-way to a cosmetology degree.

“Keep playing Lily. But if you ever want to cut hair in New York, come see me. I’ll be the girl with a fake tooth, healed black eye, and new band.”

****blogger’s note****

I’m fighting some writer’s block after 19 months of uninterrupted creative flow. I took some advice from my friend Aimee from the book of faces who wrote “and she held her tooth in her hand.” I have about five thousand words of a biogrpahy and fake wikipedia page of Helene Troy written out. Slipper Socks Medium is a her she founded in Pittsburgh a year before she meets Darcy, Sadie and mara in New York. I simply wrote from that bio around Trifecta Writing’s houseguest that begins to annoy or smell after three days – Helene’s annoynaces are the band, the tooth and the black eye

I’m not a huge fan of this band but this is something Helene would have listened to in 2006 when this story takes place. Breaking Benjamin is from Wilkes-Barre and would have played Pittsburgh many times. Here’s Sooner or Later.


20 thoughts on “Sooner or Later

  1. Holy hell. I had another sentence after that phrase I was going to give you, but decided to leave it more general. The rest of it? I shit you not. Was the blood trickling over her chin, down her neck, and staining the collar of her dad’s Bee Gees t-shirt. Not those exact words, but….. holy shit….

  2. Great descriptions of the area. I like the way she didn’t look at the person who was talking, and decided what she was going to make of her life, right then. On to New York 🙂

  3. I love your descriptions, they put the reader into the scene perfectly. I am confused though about Lily and Ginny. There are two other women in the bathroom with Helene?

  4. Dude… you call that writer’s block? That was excellent. I love seeing Helene’s beginnings. I love this description–“paper towels the color of playground sand” and the little details like throwing the trash on the ground because there wasn’t a trashcan.

    Even better than zombies or ninjas!

  5. Gina

    I liked that she just threw the paper towel on the floor and this chick’s steely determination. I love stregth in women and you capture that through Helene.

    • that;s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received about Helene. I’m surrounded by strong women. Helene’s steel is based on so many I’ve known. thank you.

  6. Ok maybe I got the stories a little mixed up, LOL. I read this in passing through my email, then went back to read the 100 Word Song post, and somehow I thought she was still in Philly. Anyway, I love this beginning. Its so full of hope.

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