MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Liar's Game

by Eric Jerome Dickey

Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey X
Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2000, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2001, 400 pages

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Then Gerri vanished with the spring to her summer.

Dana said, "Gotta go potty."

"I'll be right here."

I headed for the narrow hallway between the front of the club and the back, where the loud music from the front collided with the loud music in the back, canceling each other out. The girls from the group came out of the bathroom. Somebody sounded upset, like she was holding back tears with every pissed-off word: "I don't believe that fucker brought us down here, then was all over that old-ass bitch, dumped me like I ain't shit."

"Why you tripping, Butter? He ain't your man. He set your ass straight down in Atlanta. Stop playing up on him and quit tripping."

"I ain't trippin'. He the one trippin'."

"Well, you need to think about the group. Like he told you, this is business. That other stuff you running off at the mouth about ain't—"

They felt me listening. Ten eyes snapped my way at the same time. Butter stepped out, gave me a cold what-the-fuck-you-looking-at expression before she stormed away. Her girls followed their leader.

As soon as Dana came out of the bathroom, she said she was ready to raise up out of here, so I escorted her out to her car. We talked and headed beyond the Brenda's Talk of the Town and the Chinese dry cleaners, strolled down on the far side of Ralph's grocery store. Dana stopped in front of a dark-colored Infiniti Q45. Her ride was ten years old.

She looked disturbed. "Full moon."

"Full moons means romantic."

She shook her head, her mood changing, becoming dark and distant. "Drama. A full moon is a flashlight so everybody can see your drama."

I opened her door, peeped inside before I let her get in. No child seat, no sign of those cheap throwaway toys that come inside a Happy Meal. No man's belongings. No leftover cologne scent.

Dana kept the door between us, that subtle yet straightforward move a woman does when she's letting a man know that she ain't in it for the kissing. Her lips, full and dark with color. All evening, every time they opened and closed, my mouth watered. She tossed her purse over to the passenger seat; it turned over and some of the woman stuff she had inside spilled across the seat.

Makeup. Pager. Checkbook. A coal black stun gun.

That caught my eye.

She followed my eyes to the stun gun and said, "I was mugged on the subway."

"Mugged?"

"Got jacked for my little old purse. Damn near fell in front of a freakin' subway train and got run over." She cleared her throat like she was trying to cough the memory out of her system, then picked up her urban assault weapon, let it rest in her lap, in ready position. "I was almost run over by a train, but this guy caught me before I fell."

"Good thing he caught you."

Her tone turned flat. "Good thing, yeah. Bad thing too."

She fired up the engine; it purred like a newborn kitten.

She took my digits, gave me her red-white-blue business card. Her office was near the golf courses in white-bred Westchester. The card had her smiling face on the front, an office number, pager number, web site, e-mail address, but she didn't give up the home number. That made me question whether she really lived alone. Or was single. I've been on a few dates with sisters, and when we made it back to their crib, a boyfriend or a husband that they'd forgotten all about was waiting in the parking lot. Not a good way to end a night.

It's all part of that dating game. You lie about this, I lie about that, you don't tell me this, I don't tell you that, we date a while, have sex, some lies come out, we mention the unmentioned, we realize how incompatible we are after about six months of fun in the sun, then bygones.

Copyright © 2000 Eric Jerome Dickey. All rights reserved.

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