Alice’s Restaurant

January 5, 2007

Suzie’s House1: A Matter of Economics

Filed under: fiction, Suzie's House, writing, Writing Romance — aliceaudrey @ 12:27 am

Suzie stirred the stew, sending up inviting whafts of  basil, thyme, and onion.  Wisps of steam from the stock pot spread the scent throughout the kitchen.  Suzie paused to take in the warmth and beauty of her kitchen, a long last look before she lost everything.

Light-yellow walls she had painted herself, oak cabinets she had refurbished, polished granite counters she had spent more than one paycheck on, everything looked homey and welcoming.  She was going to miss this room even more than the rest of the five bedroom Victorian “painted lady” when the bank foreclosed.

Suzie pinched off three portions of bread dough and rolled each out, though she was more in the mood to punch something.  She changed her mind about making a braid out of the bread, and put the three portions back together to make a loaf. 

How ironic that she would loose her home, the home she had fought tooth and nail to keep in the divorce, to a simple inability to pay the mortgage.

One tear rolled down her face.  She rubbed it off with the back of her hand, and blamed the onions.  When someone knocked on the back door, she welcomed the break from her endlessly repeating thoughts.

“Come in!”  Suzie shouted.

“You’re cooking?  Stove AND oven?”  Miranda let herself in, then teetered across the kitchen in ridiculous shoes – this time hot pink strappy things with spike heels inverted so the wide part hit the floor and the minuscule tip attached to the vamp.  Suzie bet the heels would snap off in less than a week.  The shoes went with a sequined mini skirt and feather-trimmed halter top.  Her hair was blond streaked with pink today.  Yesterday it was red.

Miranda flopped onto a kitchen chair.  “What’s wrong?”

“What do you mean ‘what’s wrong?’  Nothing’s wrong.”  Suzie shaped the loaf, then dropped it into a battered bread pan.  She refused to look Miranda in the eye.  If Miranda knew what was happening she would be sure to make trouble.  Suzie wasn’t sure what form the trouble would take, but didn’t doubt who would take the brunt of it.

She draped a cup towel over the loaf and stuck it on the stove where it would probably over heat on the side near the burner and be too cool on the side away.  Then the loaf would puff unevenly.  She told herself she’d give it a turn every few minutes, knowing she lied to herself but pretending she didn’t. 

“You don’t go to this much trouble if there’s nothing wrong.”  Miranda plucked at a feather at her shoulder.

 “I cook every day.”

“Not if you can help it.”

Suzie pulled out  a chair on the opposite side of the kitchen table.  Sitting, she ran her fingers over the smooth surface.  “I like to cook.”

“Sure, when you’re in the mood.  Which always seems to be when you are avoiding something else.  Now spill.”

“If you hadn’t rescued me from Tommy Crocker in the third grade there’s no way I’d let you be so rude to me.”  Suzie faked a glare.

“But I did rescue you.  So spill.”  Miranda leaned forward with her elbows on the table.

“Miranda, I’m going to have to sell the house.”

“No!”  Miranda drew back as if she’d been slapped.  “You love this house.  I love this house.  The judge said you could keep it, and there’s nothing your rotten X-husband can do to change it.”

Suzie tried to smile.  Miranda had stood by her through the whole messy business, siding with her when Rob tried to lay claim on a house he hadn’t wanted to begin with.  If she hadn’t used her inheritance as the down payment, he would never have set foot inside.  He’d matched her on mortgage payments about half the time, but made her pay by getting his tubes cut after Ben was born so she couldn’t fill the rooms with children.

In the divorce proceedings Rob tried to claim the house for himself simply because he knew it would hurt her.  When that didn’t work he tried to force her to sell, or cough up money he knew she didn’t have.  Luckily the judge had not agreed.

“He can’t do anything, but the bank can.  I’ve been running behind on the mortgage for months.  They’re threatening to foreclose.”

“I know you never have enough money with the book keeping job, but you always pay it all eventually.  Can’t they cut you a break?”  Miranda jutted out her jaw in righteous anger.

“I lost my job.  Even if I can make this month’s payment, what about next month?  And the month after?”

“There must be something you can do.”  Miranda tapped one hot-pink talon on the table top while her eyes narrowed.  “I’ve got it!  You should rent out your extra bedrooms.  Sort of like a long-term bead and breakfast.  What were those called?  Boarding houses!  You should make this a boarding house.”

“I thought of that, but who would I rent to?  Some stranger who answered an add in the newspaper?”  Suzie shuddered.  “I have to think of my son.  I can’t let just anyone live here.”

“So rent a room to me!”  Miranda leaned back in her chair, her smile decidedly smug.

“What?”  Suzie’s throat felt tight.  She hoped she’d heard wrong.

“Rent a room to me.  I can help you find renters for the other two rooms. That’ll put you in the black.  Then you’ll have more than enough to pay the bank and I’ll get at least one good meal a day.  What could be better?”

Suzie thought about what it was like when they lived together in the dormitories in college, and blanched.


  1. Lovely! Is this your latest WIP?

    Comment by Bev — January 5, 2007 @ 8:46 am

  2. This is my “Fiction Friday” blog – something I thought I’d try out. Every Friday I’ll be telling a little more about what happens in the life of Suzie Hammacker.

    My current WIP is ‘Zackly Right, which I still haven’t finished revising.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — January 5, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  3. Hey Alice!

    Can’t wait for next Friday to roll around. Gotta find out what happens to Suzie and her wonderful house. By the way, I could almost smell the bread baking, and she hadn’t even put it in the oven yet. 🙂


    Comment by Donna — January 5, 2007 @ 9:21 am

  4. Music to my ears Donna. Glad to have you drop by.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — January 5, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  5. I’m hooked! I felt so connected to Suzie and can’t wait to find out what happens next week!


    Comment by Laurie — January 5, 2007 @ 10:01 am

  6. Having been through a divorce where I lost my house, I can definately empathize with Suzy!

    Can’t wait for next week’s installment.

    Comment by Pam — January 5, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  7. Ha! I didn’t forget to check it out! *raspberries* 🙂

    Suzie is a fantastic character – so easy to identify with, even for those of us who haven’t gone through what she has. And I feel for her when Miranda makes her offer. How nice to have such a “helpful” friend!

    I can’t wait to see what you have in store for Suzie next week!

    Comment by Kelly — January 5, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  8. I enjoyed this introduction to Suzie! Looking forward to reading more!

    Comment by Marg — January 5, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

  9. Thanks Laurie, Pam, Kelly, and Marg. I feel much better about this now. I don’t know why I was so nervous about posting fiction here.

    See you all next Friday!


    Comment by aliceaudrey — January 5, 2007 @ 7:56 pm

  10. […] reasonable to me. But I was quite surprised when my one passing mention of ZhaZha Gabor in my Suzie’s House posts brought in a dozen […]

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  11. […] Audrey on behalf of Mr. Al presents Suzie’s House: 1 A Matter of Economics « Alice’s Restaurant posted at Alice’s Restaurant, saying, “A continuing tale of love and […]

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  12. […] Lucious Chapter 7 by Bonnie Dee Liberating Lucious Chapter 6 by Bonnie Dee Suzie’s House #1: A Matter of Economics by Alice […]

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  13. I’m so glad you linked to this, Alice! Is it going to be easy to catch up on the rest of what I’ve missed?

    Comment by Susan Helene Gottfried — June 3, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  14. I’m afraid I’m not as organized as you. Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll have this linked up for you so it’ll be much easier to get from episode to episode.

    Comment by aliceaudrey — June 3, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  15. […] Suzie’s House 1: A Matter of Economics Suzie’s House 2: Friend or Roommate? Suzie’s House 3: Rules Are Made to Be Bent… Suzie’s House 4: …Or Broken… Suzie’s House 5: …. Or Completely Devastated. Suzie’s House 6: Back to Work Suzie’s House 7: There’s No Place Like Home Suzie’s House 8: If You Can’t Stand The Heat, What Are You Doing In The Kitchen Suzie’s House 9:  Dinner! Suzie’s House 10: Rub A Dub Dub Suzie’s House 11: Good Morning Suzie’s House 12: All In A Day’s Work Suzie’s House 13: Of Duty and Honor Suzie’s House 14: Mouth to Mouth Suzie’s House 15: Resusitation Suzie’s House 16: Crying Over Nothing Suzie’s House 17: Visitors Suzie’s House 18: For Want of a Band Aid Suzie’s House 19: Drew’s Decision Suzie’s House 20: Miranda’s Decision Suzie’s House 21: Well? What Did You Decide, Drew? Suzie’s House 22: Should Something Arise Suzie’s House 23: The Forgotten One Suzie’s House 24: A Mother’s Love Suzie’s House 25: The Times, They Are A Changing Suzie’s House 26: The New Chef Suzie’s House 27: The Taste of Defeat Suzie’s House 28: Hey Babe Suzie’s House 29: Guilting the Lilly Suzie’s House 30: The Confessional Suzie’s House 31: A Sympathetic Ear Suzie’s House 32: Respect Suzie’s House 33 : Suzie and Drew Sitting in a Tree Suzie’s House 34: Lost Boy Suzie’s House 35 : A Tale of Two Brothers Suzie’s House 36: Mata Hari Suzie’s House 37: A Dark and Balmy Night Suzie’s House 38 : the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth Suzie’s House 39 : Good Intentions Suzie’s House 40: Cat Scratch Fever Suzie’s House 41: Coming to the Point Suzie’s House 42: A Little Understanding Suzie’s House 43: To Clear the Air Suzie’s House 44: A Little Get Together Suzie’s House 45: A Party with a View Suzie’s House 46: Peas in a Pod Suzie’s House 47: For the Greater Good Suzie’s House 48: Birth of a Scream Suzie’s House 49: Unraveling Suzie’s House 50: On the Case Suzie’s House 51: Something to Think About Suzie’s House 52: Mixed Up With Muffins Suzie’s House 53: A Little Conspiracy Suzie’s House 54: Miranda Takes Steps Suzie’s House 55: Ladie’s Night Out Suzie’s House 56: Dancing Around the Subject Suzie’s House 57: Miranda at the Caribou Suzie’s House 58: At Cross Purposes Suzie’s House 59: Chance Encounter with the Ex Suzie’s House 60: Taking Advantage Suzie’s House 61: A Compromising Position Suzie’s House 62: You Can and I Can’t? Suzie’s House 63: Brothers in Arms Suzie’s House 64: Something to Watch Suzie’s House 65: Grilling Out Suzie’s House 66: Little Red Corvette Suzie’s House 67 : On Our Side, Sort Of Suzie’s House 68: When the Cover is Blown Suzie’s House 69: So Lonely Suzie’s House 70: Ratatouille Suzie’s House 71: The Outsider Suzie’s House 72: If the Shoe Fits Suzie’s House 73: Time to Go Suzie’s House 74: Decisions, Decisions Suzie’s House 75: One Toe Over the Line Suzie’s House 76: On Suzie’s Mind Suzie’s House 77: Men! Suzie’s House 78: In the Heat of the Moment Suzie’s House 79: Nothing Has Changed, Indeed Suzie’s House 80: In Comparison Suzie’s House 81: Mrs. D’s Revenge Suzie’s House 82: Breaking Point – The First Suzie’s House 83: Heavy Weighs the Crown Suzie’s House 84: Reconciliation Suzie’s House 85: Home Sweet Home Suzie’s House 86: To Break a Mother’s Heart Suzie’s House 87: Drew Steps In Suzie’s House 88: Man to Man Suzie’s House 89: With Head High Suzie’s House 90: To Reconsider Suzie’s House 91: Crashers Suzie’s House 92: A New Direction Suzie’s House 93: Getting a Handle On It Suzie’s House 94: Guess Who Suzie’s House 95: What About You Guys? Suzie’s House 96: Ms Spring Suzie’s House 97: Trust Suzie’s House 98: One Handshake Away Suzie’s House 99: Breaking Point II Suzie’s House 100: The Reign of Insanity […]

    Pingback by Suzie’s House Index « Alice’s Restaurant — January 16, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

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