Ain’t It Heavy


Last time with Millicent/Vivian & Pauley in Brazil: 

Passing notes
Brazilian Blend
I want you around

In an unusual moment of vulnerability, Vivian slumped in her outdoor cafe chair and gazed at the bustle of mid-morning Sao Paulo. She thought about how easy it had been to open her dress shop and find her assistant Danela. She sipped from the cup of steaming coffee in her right hand and waited for the burn to leave her tongue before revealing more to Pauley.

“Danela has a contact in her phone labeled T. Azevedo. I saw it by accident about a week ago. We were busy and then I just didn’t feel like it was important. She’s so hard-working and sweet. I mean she’s a smart ass and she needs to improve her English if she wants to be in fashion. And don’t get me started on some of the high-hemmed skirts she wears.”

Vivian caught Pauley’s exasperated sigh and disapproving glare. The waiter delivered her order to take back to the shop for Danela.

Before Pauley could reprimand her, Vivian paid the waiter and stood with perfect posture and a stern expression.

“Fine, Paulette. I turned you into a stylish modern woman. Now, you can show me how to get rid of Brazilian gangsters.”

They exchanged smiles and began walking back to the dress shop. They sipped their coffees and adjusted strands of hair from their mouths caused by a steady South American breeze.

“Milli, damn it, I mean Viv, it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Danela may be an innocent plant. Hell, she may not even know she’s there to hurt you. But she didn’t just overhear Tomas and his guy plotting. Tell Danela I’m in town to help you with inventory or orders or tell her I’m a buyer. But I’m going to be there when your truck arrives. I hope you have a mop, in case things get messy. Your dress shop is lovely.”

The women walked by some street vendors and a young female musician strumming guitar. Vivian reached into her handbag and pulled out some loose change. As she dropped it in her guitar case and leaned into Pauley.

“She’s terrific. Late in the afternoon she gets enough cachaca in her and starts rockin’. I call her the Portugese Melissa Etheridge.”

Pauley laughed as they approached her dress shop. From the street Pauley could see Danela fumbling with her cell phone, possibly texting, while writing something on a notepad. Vivian saw Pauley glare, again.

“What is it?”

Pauley grabbed Vivian’s left arm and directed her toward the rear of the shop.

“Paulette, you’re going to make me spill excellent coffee!”

As they made their way to the back alley. Pauley stopped and announced their next move.

“We’re going through the back. She’s texting and she looks nervous. Viv, I need for you to distract her enough so I can look through her phone. We have 2 hours before that truck arrives. We’ll use the time it to break Danela, if we have to.”

Vivian pulled her cup to her mouth and savored a final taste of smooth blend before walking inside the backdoor. She composed herself and spoke through a smirk.

“This is way too heavy for ten-o-clock in the morning. But, you know, it’s kind of us, isn’t it? ”

Pauley felt like shooting her.

****blogger’s note****

This is another chapter of the sequel to Dead Money, the summer blog series I co-wrote with my good friend and writing partner Tara aka @Tara_R from

Today’s aong fits lyrically and I gave a nod to it inside the story. Here’s Melissa Etheridge’s emotional foreboding Ain’t It Heavy.


16 thoughts on “Ain’t It Heavy

  1. I like the new Viv. I know Millie was heavier, but people change. I loved the “isn’t that so us?” line, I use that with friends all the time. Terrific, Lance, and thanks for commenting at Sharp Li’l! Peace, Amy

  2. debseeman

    I absolutely adore this story and these characters. Each sophisticated and inept in her own way. They compliment each other so nicely. Keep it coming guys and then you should go court a publisher.

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