There hadn’t been a heat wave like this in over 8 years, the old farmer thought. The sun had barely risen over the barn, but already there were beads of sweat on his brow. He pulled open the barn door, and took a handkerchief from his back pocket to mop his face.
It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the dark inside the barn. When he realized what he was looking at, he was unable to move from shock. The heat inside the barn was heavy and thick, saturating his clothes and skin. The handkerchief fell from his fingertips. He dropped it like it was hot.
The young detective had never seen a case like this. A triple homicide, an underground crime ring, millions in smuggled drugs, with incest and bestiality to boot. And he had never seen a woman like this, like the one who stood before him now, in the dark, holding her cigarette just so, blowing smoke in his face, trapping him against the wall.
She traced a fingertip along his wrist and kissed him. For a second, the detective sensed danger. But before he could realize what was happening, his hat was askew, his necktie loosened, his belt undone, and his trousers had dropped to the floor. Dropped like it was hot. So, so sensuous, and so, so hot.
Tick. Tick. Tick. The lecture hall was packed with students, presumably ones with the same idea she had: fulfill two general education requirements with this one class, and get them over with. But she had to strain to hear the professor, and she found the subject – ethical considerations in intellectual property – tortuously dull.
It was a popular class for the wrong reason. Mid-way through the lecture, she decided that she’d rather take 2 classes if they were remotely more interesting than this one. She collected her things and squeezed past rows of seated students, back to her dorm room, to log into the registration system and drop this class. She would drop it like it was hot.
Eliza Doolittle had a habit of not pronouncing the ‘h’ at the beginnings of words and names. “In ‘artford, ‘ereford, and ‘ampshire, ‘urricanes ‘ardly hever ‘appen, ‘enry ‘iggins.” She dropped it like it was ‘ot.
5. Chicken Wing
The sign on the counter said, “5-Alarm chicken wings! Finish 5, and it’s on the house!”
Brad thought he could do it. He loved spice, added red pepper to everything. Free chicken wings? Always a good thing. He signaled the bartender.
One and a half wings later, Brad’s tongue, mouth, and face were burning. He gulped at his beer. The area around him was littered with crumpled paper napkins. He had tried wiping his tongue on one, and when he found no relief, he ate the rest of the napkin.
He summoned the will to take another bite and picked up the wing. His fingers were tingling. The wings, if not for the spice, were pretty good. He inhaled, thinking the smell of good chicken might help. But the moment the spice hit his nostrils, he knew it was over. The half-eaten wing hit the paper plate, and he threw down his napkin and threw back the rest of his beer. He dropped that like it was hot.
These days, when it’s cold out, I pick up these things that other people have dropped like it was hot, and I clutch them to myself for warmth. A sweat-stained hankie, the trousers of a fallen detective, an dull college course, a half-eaten chicken wing, the letter ‘h’.