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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 49: Beam 173
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When the white-haired man reached the community bedroom, he removed his own bedding from the narrow bed he had shared with his wives.
“I’m headed for the master bedroom,” he said. “We’ve accomplished much today. You ladies are welcome to join me if you like, or to sleep here, or to return to the other bedrooms, as you prefer.”
He heard Sophia huff, or snort, or make some unpleasant noise indicating her indignation, but ignored it and closed the door behind him. He also closed the door to the main bedroom before he started setting up his bedding by the light of his flashlight.
When the door behind him opened, he did not need to look. His beliefs were confirmed as Ashleigh came into the field of his peripheral vision carrying her own bedding. He turned toward her and smiled. “I’m glad you came,” he said.
She smiled back. “Me, too.”
He helped spread her bedding to compliment his own into a single double bed before he said, “No Sophie?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t expect her; she’s pretty angry.”
“Honestly I didn’t, but sometimes she surprises.” Stripping out of his clothes, he crawled into the bed. “Of course,” he said, “you can be surprising, too, in your own way.” He shut off the light and waited for her. She obligingly slipped into the bed beside him.
Abruptly the room lit up and went dark again.
“What was that?” Ashleigh said, suddenly sitting up in the bed.
The room had windows to the front and side yards, and toward the rear of the house a two-roomed bathroom, the larger with sink and closet and the smaller off of it with the shower and commode. The light had come from the front yard.
“I expect it’s Sophia venting her anger out front.”
“She’s a redhead and a fire mage, so I suspect that her natural temper is expressing itself in a display of magic.”
He could see Ashleigh’s uncertain face in the next flash of light.
“If it were anything else, Bob and Dawn would have alerted us by now. You could ask Bob, if you like, but I prefer the illusion that he isn’t constantly aware of everything we’re thinking.”
The next flash showed a somewhat aghast look on the girl’s face.
“Yeah, get used to it. He knows not to share too much. Now, we can enjoy the fireworks and enjoy creating our own at the same time. Sophia will get over it–and what’s the worst she can do, kill us? I don’t see that happening; not tonight, anyway.”
She sat for another moment, but then apparently resolved her worries and came down to him swiftly and amorously. It was going to be a good night.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eleven other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #484: Characters Maneuver. 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: