Thursday, December 6, 2012

Excerpt: "Mercury Rising"

Brooklyn stared blearily at the yellowing Playboy centerfold pinned up behind the bar. Sandra Settani. He wasn't sure why he remembered the name, but the whole world knew the pose. Dark eyes, darker hair. Naked on a cream-colored lounge, the big viewport behind her showing what the good old US of A looked like from 20,000 miles up in the Eisenhower Space Station. April 1963's Playmate of the Month. One rumor had it the pictures were faked. Another one said John Glenn, the first man to orbit Mars, was floating just off camera wearing nothing but his crew cut and a grin. 
The 1960s had been a good for astronauts. Even Hollywood had nothing on the first heroes of the space age. Brooklyn wondered how Settani had held up over the decade or so since the picture had been taken. He'd kept a copy of the centerfold between his boxspring and mattress all through junior high and high school. He saluted her with his glass and took a long drink of the pale beer inside.
"You know she's probably thirty now. Maybe popped out a few kids."
Brooklyn looked at his friend Chris, who was riding the barstool right beside him. "You got a problem with kids?"
Chris shrugged. "Just saying she's probably fat now. Making apple pies for some Guido in Jersey."
"She's from Wisconsin," Brooklyn shook his head. "She ain't fat. Takes longer than that."
"You ever see a thirty-year-old you wanted to hump?" Chris said.
"Matt Cooper's lady down on Ashby. She has to be at least thirty."
"She's a freak of nature. Name another."
"Sandra Settani."

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