My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Her soul sagged

>>Off Kona

"I really am sorry," Cruz MacKenzie said from Mano Kekai's Zodiac. "I heard you liked this guy a lot."

Aboard Daren Guy's fishing boat the Moku 'Aina anchored out in the bay, Sonya Chan slumped a little more.

"Besides, it's either me or Becky Hong, the Advertiser's Black Angel. She does the death beat and loves it. The more tragic, the better. She adores gore and grizzle and sobs. And she's persistent. At least with me, you have somebody who gives a... well, who cares about you."

The sound of her high sigh carried softly across the dark water. "It's O.K., Mano. I can take him back in the launch some time later."

Mano grunted a grateful good-bye. The sound of his engine faded toward shore.

Moonlight and shadow played in the perfect cleft between Sonya's breasts. She pulled the black silk robe tighter around her. "Give me a minute. I'll pick up inside."

"Out here is fine. The recorder doesn't need light."

"Recorder? You really are working."

"Why else would I be here?"

"You wouldn't believe some of the offers I've had from some of Daren's so-called friends. When I heard the motor coming, I thought it was another one."

"Nothing like that." But the thought had crossed his mind. It always did with Sonya. "I'm here to ask you to tell me about him." That much, at least, was the truth.

"Want some wine?"

Sonya, prone to shyness, turned absolutely gabby after a few drinks. "Why not? It's early."

She disappeared into the cabin and returned with a half-empty jug of Yellowtail Chardonnay and another glass. She'd had a head start and handed both to Cruz. "You pour."

He filled both their glasses, recorked the bottle, set it on the deck and reflexively raised his glass. "Here's to, uh..." He found himself at a rare loss for words.

Sonya filled in the blank: "...anything better than feeling like this."

Sitting side by side on a teak bench, they sipped unenthusiastically. On the radio, Barbara Lewis sang Hello, Stranger. Moonlight was sufficient to show that Sonya was, for the moment, all cried out. Her eyes were puffy and the moon washed out her dark skin like lunar bleach. Her voice was tired. Her long, silky black hair, which until she got boobs was her number one pride and joy, had been forgotten for some time. It wasn't necessary to ask Sonya how she was doing. Her soul sagged.

Cruz pulled out the recorder, pressed a button, the red record light glowed in the night. "Tell me about Daren."

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at


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