Re: Zephyr


Herr D

Chapter 5: The Away Team

Jennifer had barely downloaded her text files when Shelley came bursting out of the stairwell, snapping shut her compact.
“Do you need an excuse to have guests? Should one of us be a relative?” She said breathlessly.
“Not enough hands,” said Jennifer, looking up to see Young Mike emerging from Mr. Crowe’s office. ALREADY?! If you were carrying my dessert from the refrigerator, and I was carrying the laptop–” She held down the power button and pulled it onto her lap. “Well–other way around.”
Shelley pulled out a keychain, waved it in the air, and put it beside the laptop. “Perfect,” she said. She dashed for the breakroom and wasn’t quite back when Young Mike practically blurred around Jennifer, grabbed her chair, and started for the freight elevator.
I’m gonna have to know stuff more often! This is cool!
It was halfway to being a circus act how Young Mike and Shelley wheeled Jennifer right off the end of the loading dock into the van without the ramp, trusting her to hold the laptop, Shelley taking things from Jennifer’s lap to the one rear seat while Young Mike strapped the office chair to an equipment locker and trotted around to start the van. It was surprisingly easy to half-swing from the rope handles hanging from the roof up to the front but a clumsy business for Jennifer to pull her legs around to the front seat, buckle in despite her wrist canes, and take the laptop and pillow on her lap while Young Mike drove out of the lot. Jennifer stared at Mike while he used his left hand to steer, signal, and sip from a water bottle while he used his right to shift, rummage through a basket of various cables, and feel the ends without looking until he said, “Ha – HA!” He plugged one end into the cigarette lighter and handed the other to Jennifer, who, unable to keep from smiling and shaking her head, plugged it into the laptop and began editing. Lunch traffic was ending by the time they reached Washington Street, and that’s when Shelley stopped stressing with her makeup and reached forward, stuffing rubber-banded bundles of mousepads between the laptop and the glove compartment above Jennifer’s knees. Ohhh. “Want one under your mouse elbow?”
“Yes, thanks.” Ironically, this is probably the easiest rewrite I’ve had in awhile. Imply, suggest, give a great fact, repeat.
“Why are you typing?” said Young Mike, “I thought all you did was graphics.”
Um, oops. “Have you SEEN Shelley’s typing? I edit just about everything we produce.”
“Ah.” Well, if you’ll buy it, I guess it’ll do.
“Why are you called ‘Young Mike?'” Hmmp. Nice smile.
“Mike Clarend has seniority. My name is Mike Claren with no ‘d,’ and both of us have the same middle name. I was ‘Old Mike’ in my college group.”
“Was there another Mike Clarend there?”
“A Mike McClaren.”
Young Mike’s phone rang at that moment.