“We are such stuff as dreams are made on: and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
William Shakespeare

Beth is now asleep, as I put down Shakespeare to collect the happenings of the day.

This morning I called the school and asked for a sub. I couldn’t focus. I had to be with Beth. I arrived at the hospital around 8. At 8:30 Alex showed up and asked if I would come to the station to talk with the fellows from Ottawa, that it should only take a half hour or so. The nurse told me Beth would be sedated until the doctor changed things, so I decided that a half hour wouldn’t make much difference. As I entered this windowless room in the center of the building lit by a single bulb located in a metal frame in the far top corner, I looked at the expressionless man in a dark suite, red hair, stand and extend his hand as if in a gesture to shake my hand. I noticed to my left what seemed to be a stubbier man, dark hair and perhaps day old stubble on his chin, cheeks, and neck. He too was wearing a dark suit.

“Have a seat.” Said the man standing turning his hand from what looked like an invitation to shake to an open palm, fingers pointed down toward the chair. As I turned my gaze from the man's cold emotionless eyes to the back of the chair his open palm was gesturing toward, I saw a glass of water close to the edge of the table by that same chair he wanted me to sit in. Time seemed to move excruciatingly slowly.

After seeing the water I wondered if Beth had a sip of their water, if they poisoned Beth.

“What do you want,” I responded as abruptly as was asked to sit.

“We just have a few questions about your friend, Spencer,” said the little stubby man sitting in the chair.

“Ask,” I replied, my patience for this game gone.

“How, when, and where did you meet Spencer?” Said the man still standing, both hands now in his jacket pocket.

I narrowed my eyebrows and replied, “Beth and I were in a bar in Juno after a meeting about Inuvik, about a year ago, and this character about our age started talking about the song in the background. We all reminisced about that time around high school when the song was popular. We all got along well.”

The man sitting said, “And Spencer’s associate, Maya, when did you meet her?”

“The day she and Spencer arrived here.” I replied.

“Have a seat, this may take a while,” said the man in the chair.

“Look, unless you have something substantial to talk about, I have a real issue to attend to,” I said, paused and since there was no reply, I started to turn to leave.

As I crossed the door threshold I heard the stubby man in the chair almost sneer, “You will be hearing from us again, soon.”

I was back with Beth within the hour, but now my mind was swimming with thoughts about what had just happened.

A nurse walked toward me, smiling. How strange, I thought, and returned the smile out of politeness.

“The doctor is taking Beth off of the sedatives. Whatever was in her, the poison, seems to be gone and her body appears to be returning to normal. She should be ready to go home later today. The doctor wants her to stay home for the rest of the week.”

I called my school substitute and asked if they would finish the week for me.

As Beth was recovering and between being wheeled out for different scans I watched the news, images of riots across the US, kids in black shirts, jeans, ski masks, police lines firing rubber bullets and tear gas, bricks going through merchant windows and looters. Core2 appeared to be losing the battle of control.

By 3:30 I was driving Beth home. On the drive home. The living room chair was off by about two inches from its typical location, and the sofa seemed askew somehow. Someone had been in our apartment. The rest of the evening Beth talked about H, and her behavior patterns, trying to understand what was behind her actions. Beth was pulling from all her training to try to stitch together a psychological model of H.

Alex stopped by around 6:00 PM to see how Beth was doing. Alex’s grandmother was one of Beth’s weekly visits. We are all becoming family. He said H and the two from Ottawa had left Inuvik early this afternoon. While we thought their presence was strange, equally as strange as their behavior, so was this sudden departure. It left a kind of welcoming empty void.

Ukpik also stopped by for just a few minutes to see how Beth was doing.

Thought exercise: “A vector field in the plane (for instance), can be visualized as: a collection of arrows with a given magnitude and direction, each attached to a point in the plane.” Although, our cube in space is not a plane. It is four-dimensional. The concept of vector fields is only a two-dimensional conceptual slice. I think I’m closing in on Maya’s dilemma.

About this short story:

With a tip of the hat to 100 Naked Words, and inspired by What I learnt after writing a Medium post every day for 2 months by Shirley Lee, (364) The Evolution of Finding Shit to Write About Every Day for a Damn Year, and following my own advice, I’m setting upon the journey to write a very short story per day, a sketch, nothing special, yet perhaps a slight improvement over the previous day. The idea is that every day, in and of itself, is its own adventure, its own story. The framework for these short stories loosely happen within the context of the draft of “One,” the second part of time.



Who is Hank M. Greene?

“I am what I said I am, a storyteller. But, you may be asking, from whence did I come and to where do I go? ‘Ten’ holds the key to where I go, and it’s to be determined from whence I came.”

Read the draft of Book 1: Ten by Hank M. Greene @ https://sites.google.com/view/time-a-trilogy/

Ten, Chapter 1 read on YouTube

Twitter at @hankmgreene or https://twitter.com/hankmgreene

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