Sharp as Sword Blades, ch. 4: April Guthrie [null]

Monitoring: April Guthrie [null]
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

1:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014
17:25 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Rewind—

Face turned to the lionfish on her table, April watches out of the corner of her eye as Hannah converses with Simon’s mystery people. Even when they reveal their knowledge that they are being watched and Señora Viejo, as she is apparently named, blatantly looks around the restaurant, April keeps her face impassive. They know about two PALATINATE agents and one of those is almost certainly Mary, so there’s a fifty-fifty chance that her cover is intact. Continue reading

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Sharp as Sword Blades, ch. 2: Hannah Johnson

Monitoring: Hannah Johnson
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

1:15 p.m Eastern Standard Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014
17:15 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014

“Milk, fruit, cocoa, and kudzu. That’s the part that makes it fit for this restaurant,” the man in green tells Hannah. “Oh, and peanut butter, I think, but they’ve taken our menus away. You aren’t allergic to peanut butter are you?”

He’s smiling. So is the woman in white, but she wears it differently: more softly, not in a gentle way, but as if she’s a bit of clay that hasn’t been fired and finished yet. His grin is sharp, even toothy, but it’s measured, Hannah feels. Continue reading

Sharp as Sword Blades, ch. 01: April Guthrie [null]

“Ask very pointed questions. Sharp as sword blades…if you catch my meaning.”
Afterlife, by Mike Monroe.

Monitoring: April Guthrie [null]
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

12:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014
16:45 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Fast forward—

“Table for one,” says April. “Over on the right, if you don’t mind.”

“The right?” asks the greeter.

“I think I’d like the view better from there. I hope that’s alright.” Continue reading

Not Too Small, ch. 13: Reggie McIntyre [null]

Monitoring: Reggie McIntyre [null]
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Friday, March 14th, 2014
21:30 Coordinated Universal Time
Friday, March 14th, 2014

Meanwhile—

Reggie returns, slowly, to the waking world with a dull but insistent throbbing pain in his head. His vision is blurry, but he can see that there’s someone in front of him, doing…something. There’s a sort of splashing sound there, too. A moment later, he realizes that he’s on the ground–in the kitchen, this is tile that he’s on. His vision clears up a little, and the scene resolves into the figure of a woman in a white suit, idly pouring milk on the floor. He can’t see very well from this position, but there are a few glasses on the counter that are filled, to varying levels, with more milk, and there’s an empty jug on the floor. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 13: Mitch Lowell [null]

Monitoring: Mitch Lowell [null]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

7:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
3:35 Coordinated Universal Time
Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Rewind—

The old woman and her son have been sitting there in the booth, eating and quietly fuming at each other, since before Mitch had arrived at the diner that morning. They are eating with deliberate movements, as if each bite required consideration before they could progress, lest something important be missed. He isn’t sure if they’re going to a funeral later that day—they are dressed formally, the man in a green suit and his mother or grandmother in white. It would account for the gravity with which they seemed to be approaching their meal, and in retrospect perhaps he had judged too quickly in interpreting their mood as angry. Continue reading