True love doesn’t hit that way, the kid thought. No, he argued, it starts slow and builds over years. He envisioned Tessa Logan in Grindingle and wondered what could possibly be better. But Mitch had called, to say he needed a place to stay for the weekend. Said he had found the love of his life. And so, practical concerns pressed.

“I’m not sure. I’ll hitch down Friday, don’t know exactly when I’ll arrive. Depends on the rides.”

The kid, meanwhile, needed to discover there’s nothing more glorious than the many manifestations of intimacy. Mitch said he had to get away from his campus a bit.

“Of course. So what’s the big deal? Is your ex-prima donna, prima mamma after your tail with a pitchfork?”

“No, no, nothing like that. It’s simply that Nita attends Daffodil, just like you.”

Which is when the kid realized he’d been indoors too long. When, in being set up for a magical introduction, he entered a lobby where any wait would feel like an eternity. Getting an elevator could take eons.

Didn’t matter. Rather, the spirit wrapped in strawberry and Dublin-colored suede a step behind her caught his attention. The soft voice had him hoping to capture each syllable. Whatever pierced him at that time would affect his memory forever, even if he could remember next to nothing of what was actually said.


For more from my THIRD RAIL collection, click here.


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