Monday, November 14, 2005

Telling a Tale


The plane began to roll. The woman clamped her mouth shut on her next question, braced her feet, squeezed her eyes shut and reached her hand for the man beside her.

For a moment, Damie felt her "nice green aura" turn navy blue. I don't have anyone's hand to squeeze if I'm frightened or excited, she thought. Not anymore.

Good thing you're not scared then, isn't it?" commented the little voice from its accustomed corner of her mind. Not at take-offs, Damie admitted, as the plane leaped from the runway and charged up into the night, but coming in for landings we waddle like a pregnant cow and that terrifies me.

Maybe the woman burbled because she was wound up and nervous about flying...Damie wondered if Doog would miss her and misbehave. The kids had promised not to run him past any cemeteries. A private joke's one thing, but she didn't want to be responsible for a sudden spate of spectral beast/Black Dog stories...

As soon as the seat-belt sign blinked off, the woman heaved herself up and wriggled past her husband/lover on her way to the washroom. The husband/lover patted her departing behind, then opened a paperback. Damie slid the envelope from her travel case.

The envelope contained two computer printouts and a sticky note, saying, "Observe only. Pictures, please," signed "S."

Damie sniffed. "S" for Steve, and "S" for "silly buggers." The "only" was underlined several times. Was this just an automatic reminder not to get all eager and play "I Spy?" Did he think she had some sort of suppressed desire to play Mrs. Peel? Damie sniffed again. She was Mrs. Peel like Madonna was a gospel singer. Did he think she would get carried away and break into this creep's room to see if he had "Death to Infidels" embroidered on his underwear?

Well, she wasn't eager. Steve knew that. So it had to be something else - like "no approach" or "keep your distance." Fine with me, thought Damie. I may not even come in contact with this "person of interest" or have any chance of observing him for the body language and habitual gestures Steve wants, let alone any pictures.

She'd met LaViolette several years ago over a bombing incident. A nutcase had sprinkled his taunting missives with obscure Norse asatru symbology to mistify his "mission" and intensify his threats. Damie had provided analysis that narrowed the suspect list in a hurry. She'd been scheduled as an expert witness before the suspect decided to plead guilty.

After that, two or three times a year Steve phoned and faxed for her opinion and analysis of odd material that came up in the course of investigations. Most came from threatening letters sent to the Prime Minister and other government officials. Some psychotics tended to pepper their epistles with borrowed arcana for omnious effect.

She liked Steve. He was funny and quick and casual. He'd been sober over this though, and he hadn't been amused by her crack about shoe phones and asking if this information would self-destruct after she opened it. Well, she'd been annoyed.

The husband/lover seemed immersed in his paperback and picking his nose. Damie unfolded her packet.


Anonymous said...

I like the flow here. It's difficult to make reflection passages work well.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason. It's back story, pure and simple, but only a couple of paragraphs so I hope to get asway with it.