Hello, It’s Me


“Nem toda a gente pode ser comprado,” she said.

Vivian didn’t believe that, in Portuguese or English. She crossed her legs but didn’t lift her peach-colored dress over her knee. She knew how to distract the two men sitting six feet away. The one doing most of the talking ran his right index finger and thumb over the pencil-thin lines of his dark goatee. Bald, but still holding on to his thirties, he squinted as he spoke.

“I know who you are, Millicent Stingley. You’re a killer, like me.”

She’d lived the past few months knowing this could happen. The world was smaller because of computers. But Vivian Alves thought law enforcement would come to the door of her Sao Paulo dress shop using her other name. She didn’t allow herself to squirm or sweat, but spit words, back.

“Then, telling someone, Tomas, would hurt us both.”

He stroked his goatee again, and muttered to his cohort.

“Ir buscar o dinheiro.”

As the other man unlocked the shop’s door, Tomas scooted his metal chair closer to Millicent. The sound of metal on concrete jarred her. The invasion of her personal space didn’t intimidate her. It drew disgust and anger. She imagined him choking to death on something she could make from her back room refrigerator.

“Listen, Millicent, Vivian, who gives a shit about your name? We’re business people, right? We kill when we have to. I’m going to leave the money. You help me move the product and we both get to live in peace. Okay?”

His smirk made him face smaller and more sinister. To her, being a drug mule for a mid-level criminal felt gross, but better than solitary confinement in an Atlanta prison. She uncrossed her legs and stood. It was time to redistribute power. He tried to stand, too, but she touched his left shoulder, pressing Tomas to the chair.  The curvy, tan, easy-going Vivian became the southern United States ice queen, Millicent.

“My shop opens every morning at 9. If I see you or your errand boy, here, after that time, I’ll make sure you know why both of my names exist. Deal?”

Feeling his dark eyes on her breasts, she leaned down then picked up his chin with her left hand. Tomas’ associate returned, delivering a small, black neoprene bag. Tomas opened it, removed cash, and counted it on a small table.

A female voice called from the doorway.

“Viv, you alright?

Vivian looked up. Her eyes widened and her a smile spread across her face. Her excitement couldn’t hold the name from leaving her mouth.


Tomas stared at his helper and then at both women. He let the money fall onto the table and walked out.

****blogger’s note*****

Inspired by my friend and writing partner, Tara’s, quick return to Pauley and Millicent this week http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/girl-from-ipanema/  , I did the same for Write On Edge’s “Money” prompt http://writeonedge.com/

You can read the story Tara aka @tara_R and I wrote here: http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/pauley/

a href=”http://yeahwrite.me/speakeasy”>

Today’s song played in my head as I wrote this. Obviously it’s about a love affair between Todd Rundgren and whoever was enjoying him at the time. This is more of a sweetly ironic nod to the weird friendship of Millicent and Pauley. Here’s Hello, It’s Me, by Todd. Great song.


44 thoughts on “Hello, It’s Me

  1. Love the beginning WOE prompt in Portuguese! Glad it was a quick sequel to the last installment. One of my all time favorite songs. Began loving it in high school (he puts on a good small show, too) and still to this day.

  2. Great job with showing the dynamic between them. I could feel them fighting with more than the words, and it would be interesting to see who comes out on top in the end.

  3. Three killers … one room … I have my money on Millicent and Paulette.

    A bit of concrit: I understand the use of two names, but I think it should be consistent in the narration (either one works, but pick one or the other in terms of narration).

    • good point…the outline I had was pauley telling millicent to stick with vivian in Brazil. That would have been in the next 450 words. Thank you though. You gave a great prompt.

  4. this was awesome. you had me from the first word to the last! maybe it’s just me, but i like the use of the two names (vivian and millicent.. it definitely drew me in. 🙂

  5. Great play on language in the opening line.

    I think I’m with Angela. I like the idea of using only her alias in the narration, since that’s the skin she’s in, and my impression if Millicent is that she’s a bit of a method actor. When you shift it to ‘Millicent’ before Tomas uses it in his dialogue, it takes away from the impact a little.

  6. TheJackB

    whoever was enjoying him at the time.

    I enjoyed the entire post, but that line almost made me snort coffee through my nose. 😉

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