Annie stood in silence, taking in the enormity of what she saw. She stood on what she could see was the only section of the floor without debris. She loved Allen with all she had, but at this moment she had to wonder about his judgment.
“I know, you think I’ve lost my mind. But this space can be everything we’ve dreamed of,” Allen promised.
Annie drew in a deep breath, immediately regretting it with her lungs full of the musty air.
Miriam settled on the beach for the final time trying to keep the fond memoires fresh in her mind. She never expected to be here, much less take back such treasured memories. It was all a mistake, her being here. First there was the mysterious invitation she received in her email. But it was from Bradley, the guy she lost her heart to as a freshman at the university. Any chance to re-board that train was one she would take.
How could she know it wasn’t from him but from his roommate, Eric, who had loved her from afar for the whole time the trio worked their way through their courses. She liked Eric and wondered why he always complicated her efforts to be with Bradley. Only this weekend did she learn the truth of his affections. Eric had begged Bradley to create the opportunity.
Now as she sat holding his hand she wondered what her new reality could be.
It was such a treacherous time that no one could be trusted. There was infiltrators from King Ebsen’s legions of Red Guard all throughout King Landry’s kingdom. Anyone without a solid and known bloodline was suspect. Trying to wage a war became more of a process of thinning out suspected malcontents and traitors. So much so that a mechanical device became a trusted tool.
The first dozen or so times the heavy gate was used for its purpose the effect was chilling. The process of removing those who fell victim was something etched into the minds of those tasked with the job, sure to remain on their minds forever.
The king knew this could not go on for long. The truth was that too many questions remained even after the sentence was imposed and there was no way to rectify the errors. King Ebsen was going to win their struggle and envelop King Landry’s pride and joy. Unless, King Landry thought, he could rig the gate just so.
Michael was not the greatest at being nonchalant. When he knew something he got this look on his face. Myra always said so. But Myra did not know what he did for a living. She wouldn’t know after today either, he’d make sure of that.
One of the three women talking to the manager was the assassin. The intelligence was light on this team. Too light for Michael’s taste.
He could feel the hair on his neck rise when the woman in the white sweater turned his way. Their was recognition and a dark smile. Yes, she was the one.
Elyse Begley watched her subjects as they reacted to her latest test cycle. There was a good variety of needs represented in her two dozen patients. None of her colleagues ever admitted trying an alternative treatment such as this, but that did not deter Elyse. She embraced technology such as virtual reality glasses as a regular component of her psychology work. Her assistant, a new graduate student, watched in amazement as the experiment played out.
“What are they seeing?” Kelsey asked.
“It depends. Every mind is different. Plus there are different medicines at work in every brain.”
Elyse was especially interested in the experience of Les. He was her most troubled patient. She really wanted this to help him. He needed to be able to function again. The world knew him by his pen name, H.A. Marcum. His claim to fame was a series of best selling mysteries that kept the world breathless every three months when another rolled off the press. But it had been almost eight months since his last success.
This was one of Professor Hollin’s favorite days. After a semester of teaching classic history to college students he got to entertain a class of six year olds as they toured his home city. Over a decade he had come to absolutely love this day. At first he declared he had no business doing such, but a little girl eight years before had changed his mind with her imaginative interpretation of his city’s storied architecture.
Now he looked forward to the six year old perspectives. Stopping in front of classic piece he asked his young charges what it was about.
“He is giving his friend a high five,” Mario suggested.
“No, he is petting his dinosaur,” Luisa chimed in.
“He is learning football, but doesn;’t know it means no hands,” Luigi added.
“I think the sun is in his eyes, like it is in mine,” Carolina said, her little hand failing to filter the bright sun on her face.
Hollins motioned for the youngster to come toward him out of the bright light. Yes, this was so much more fun than listening to the college class with their pompous, know-it-all attitudes.
Julie loved being with Tucker. He was the kind of guy every girl wanted. She knew that was true because they could go nowhere without every single girl staring. But Tucker always reassured her by clasping her hand tighter as they walked. Until he didn’t.
Julie watched, listened and supposed what was to blame. Was it Christina, Maddie, or Victoria? Eventually she realized it was the new car. Tucker treated it better than her when they first met.
So she made her point, first by smashing the rear view, then with a baseball bat she bashed off the side view.
There are arenas all around the world where the most recognized sporting events are set. The kinds of locales known across the spectrum of interest: Wimbledon, Augusta and the like. But in all the world there was only one that mattered to the Kenner Valley Bridge Club. It was the manicured 24 x 24 foot square where they would decide the 111th Bridge Championship.
From 32 teams they had whittled down to the prerequisite two. The favorites, from the city, was the sister duo of Harriet and Hailey Carmichael. They would attempt to win their third straight championship and seventh in the last decade and a half. Their confidence was unshakable, especially since they considered their opponents to have no chance.
But Ally McNeal and Carrie Shuman knew the game so well they had hardly sweated through their side of the playoff bracket. They weren’t afraid of failure because they had nothing to lose.
The murmurs subsided when the quartet settled in their seats. A capacity crown awaited this epic battle, along with the hysterics the Carmichaels always brought with them.