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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 56: Slade 163
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Stretched out on the bed, Slade felt when his wife sat down on her side.
“Do you think I’m paranoid?” he asked.
She hesitated. “I don’t think I know what that word means, m’lord,” she responded.
“Oh.” He thought for a moment. “Do you think that I feel like people are out to get me when they’re not?”
Again she paused, then said, “No, I don’t think so. Sometimes they are out to get you and you miss it, sometimes they aren’t out to get you and you suspect it, but that seems pretty normal to me. Why do you ask?”
He sat up. “Well, I’ve heard from Lauren. The visitor from the east has left, and there’s no suggestion that he was anything other than an ambassador bringing condolences and getting to know his neighbor. I was sure he was a spy, but it seems I was wrong.”
Shella shrugged. “Well, no harm done. They say you can’t be too careful.”
“Except that you can. We almost killed the poor guy trying to figure out what he wanted to know. Lauren says he’s going to have a few gaps in his memory, but she managed to repair the damage. We wouldn’t have been trying to search his mind if I didn’t think he was a spy.”
“Of course, you were certainly right that he might have been, and you would have been sorry if you hadn’t checked.”
“I guess. I just feel bad for the guy, you know? Here he is on a mission of friendship, and we nearly kill him.”
“I suspect it’s small consolation, but at least you can stop worrying.”
“Yeah, I guess. And I can keep working on that idea of meeting with them sometime. I’ll have to discuss it with the others, but I think we should do it.”
“You probably know best.”
“Yeah, you keep saying that. It’s got to be true at least sometimes, right?” She smiled and he chuckled and laid back down.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #339: Verser Tensions. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: