Thursday 5 October 2006

Sandy is a Spider, Part Two

Sandy is a Spider is a novelette of eight chapters, posted over eight week days -- by me, your metaphorically tap-dancing host, Cheeseburger Brown.

Despite watching years of
Sesame Street I never did end up learning Spanish, except for the word "agua" pressed into my brain from Luis' famous desert-full-of-nonfunctional-faucets sketch. With this in mind please be kind when you submit your corrections for any of the driblets of mangled Spanish in the chapters to come.

My babelfish is out of order, and I find myself consistently without the benefit of a psychic police box.

And now, today's chapter:


Ensenada de Arcos Iris Villas & Resort stood on the southern coast of Quintana Roo, nestled in a shallow cove protected from the ocean's worst by the trailing edge of Cozumel's coral wall. The buildings all followed a common faux-Maya style, complete with frescoes of pictographic warriors dancing around pyramids. The walls were white stucco, the metal roofs covered in bales of decorative thatch.

Every room had a slowly turning ceiling fan, lending the establishment a common, lazy beat of throbbing air.

This slow rhythm was desecrated by Ryan as he attempted to juggle a beach bag, a roll of towels and a fold of clothes while fishing around for the key to his tiny villa. Playing to a unique but precise tempo, Ryan dropped two thirds of his bounty and stumbled just as Sandy rounded the corner.

"Damn it!"

Without turning around he gathered up nearly everything and then appealed over his shoulder for help with his key. Sandy picked up the key and unlocked the door to Ryan's room. "Fanks," he said, a towel in his mouth. Then he looked up. "Hey -- ith you."

Sandy smiled, turning away the birthmarked side of her face. "Hi again," she said. "Are you okay there?"

Ryan walked inside as he replied, leaving Sandy dangling at the entrance, crossing her arms over her navy blue bathing suit. Ryan dumped his beach bag and towels on the sofa. "I got it now, thanks Sandy. That's two I owe you now, isn't it?"

"Oh, not really."

"You can come in, never you mind," he said firmly, which caused Sandy to take a step or two into the hall of the compact, two-storey guest villa nearly identical to her own. "But seriously," continued Ryan, "you have to let me make it up to you. First the water, now this. And since we're both here at Arcos Iris the least you can do is to let me buy you dinner."

Sandy blushed. "That's really not --"

"No no, I insist. You can't leave me feeling obliged to you like this. It isn't right."

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to."

"Listen, if you're travelling with somebody they're absolutely invited, too. Any friend of yours I'd be happy to buy dinner for. Let me do this, Sandy. You gave me your last drop of water -- you have to let me make right. Fair is fair, isn't it? I mean, come on: isn't it?"

"Well, yeah, fair is fair..."

"So let's do it. We can meet right outside here, on the walkway. Say...six o'clock?" Ryan grinned and opened his arms in appeal.

Sandy giggled despite herself. "Six is okay, I guess. Just outside here...?" She pointed vaguely behind her.

Ryan nodded, then waited patiently. Sandy hovered nervously and then looked down. "Okay well I guess I should go," she said. "I was going to have a shower and stuff."

"Until six then, Sandy," said Ryan warmly, eyes still on her, brow open.

Sandy coloured under his scrutiny, smiled again, made a false start left and then turned right and shuffled out into the sun again, closing the door gently behind her. "Sorry," she mumbled about something.

Ryan waited a moment, then relaxed. "This one's going to be easy," he chuckled aloud, sinking into the sofa and propping his feet up on the matching Guatemalan-quilted ottoman. "...So easy."


Mark said...

I like the drawing for this story, by the way.

So, we still don't know for certain whether he's trying to get in her pants or her pocketbook. Or both. Regardless, Ryan is a shameless player.

Anonymous said...

I don't like this Ryan guy ....


Cheeseburger Brown said...


If I were Ryan -- and I'm not -- I would hang around at popular tourist sites like the pyramids in order to get a chance to survey a large pool of potential victims. I would have a chance to observe them, to get them alone to suss them out, and then, when they leave, to find out fairly easily to which resort their bus was headed.

This story originally had a scene at the end of this chapter in which Ryan watched Sandy drive off, made inquiries as to where it was going, and then made arrangements for his "usual villa" at the same resort. I cut the scene for pace.

Cheeseburger Brown

Cheeseburger Brown said...


To research this story I read pounds and pounds of articles about the victims of con artists. Basically Ryan is running what's known as a "Sweetheart Scam" -- choosing someone who seems to have low self-esteem for whom a little flattery and attention with go far.


Sash said...

I dated a guy like Ryan once. He thought I would be easily controlled because I'm small, personable, and a little quiet until I get to know you better. He found out the hard way and never tried for a second date.

Anyway, back to the story. The title is intriguing. I get the feeling that Sandy is not always as meek as she appears.