Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dark World: Flip You For It

(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)

“Poetry in motion,” Dr. Fleming quipped, briefly watching Clio transition from floundering to swimming. “Specifically, something by Sir Walter Scott.”

Then he noticed that Darren was fleeing in the direction of the car, with Lassiter close behind. He decided to utilize his scientifically trained running ability, though he didn’t get within hailing distance until they reached the woods.

“What’s the matter?” he called.

“I know Clio,” Darren said. “She’s not only an excellent swimmer but a very fast runner.”

The doctor wisely chose to save his breath for running and his expletive for later. A roar of feminine fury behind him confirmed this decision, and he was only slightly comforted to realize that her soggy clothing should slow her down.

Darren maintained his lead and was starting the car when the doctor arrived. He grabbed the door and braced himself on the running board as Darren rocketed through the brush and onto the path.

“You did know I was here, didn’t you?” the doctor asked.

“Could a scientifically trained runner not be?” Darren replied with a grin. “Are you scientifically trained for riding on a running board?”

“Not exactly,” the doctor muttered as he opened the door and swung inside. Lassiter waved a cheery greeting from the back seat, to his great annoyance.

“Now would you mind telling me what that was all about?”

“The wager? Isn’t it obvious? First, it should give her something to think about instead of her father, at least for a few minutes. That should take the edge off her grief, if I understand her correctly. She will still grieve, of course; but I think I’ve blunted its force. Second, I take her to be an honorable woman, so her pledge not to get involved should keep her from rampaging around in dangerous places while she’s too distraught to think. And third, she was annoying me.”

“So now what?” Darren asked. They had reached an actual road, and the intersection required a choice.

“Home. I see no reason to stay away from there now, and I’d rather have the home ground advantage in whatever else transpires. I’d also like to sleep in my own bed for once. You and Lassiter can argue over the guest room and the couch, and I’ll get another bed and room set up as soon as possible. Like it or not, we’re in this together now.”

Next: No Place Like Home

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